Are you trying to hide a dead body? The best place to hide it is on page two of Google because no one is going to look there.
That, ladies and gentlemen, was an SEO joke…please don’t stop reading.
Bad jokes aside, if you’ve spent any time diving into the world of online marketing, I’m sure you’ve heard the term “organic traffic.” You may have asked yourself, “what is organic traffic and how do I increase it?”
Great questions! Both of them are something that newcomers and established businesses alike ask on a daily basis, and with good reason.
Organic traffic is the lifeblood of many successful businesses. Did you know that 49% of businesses claim that organic search has the best ROI? I’m not one to promote peer pressure, but in this case - I’m promoting it.
49% of businesses are focusing on their organic traffic and seeing amazing ROI, you should be focusing on organic traffic too.
In this blog, I’m going to breakdown what organic traffic is, how it works, it’s importance to your business, and 5 ways you can start increasing it for your business.
What Is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic, in its simplest definition, refers to visitors that arrive on your website through unpaid search results. Users find your website by using search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo - but let’s be real, who the hell is searching for things on Yahoo?
Don’t cancel me Yahoo.
While that answers the question “what is organic traffic”, let's dive a bit deeper into it:
- The Natural Choice: The term "organic" often implies something natural. When users reach your website organically, they do so because they believe your site offers the most relevant or authoritative response to their search query, not because of paid/persuasive advertisements.
- Trustworthiness: Organic traffic often carries a sense of authenticity. According to various surveys, users tend to trust organic search results more than paid ads. In one study, it was found that Ad Position 1 only had a 2.1% click-through rate, while Organic Position 1 had a 39.6% click-through rate. This shows that users believe if a site ranks high on a search engine organically, it must offer value and credibility.
- Search Intent: One of the significant benefits of organic traffic is the alignment with user intent. When users search organically, they have a specific intention. In the SEO world we classify search intent as informational, transactional, or navigational. If your content aligns well with their search intent, not only do users get to your website but there is an increased chance they engage more with your site, like registering for your newsletter or buying something.
- Long-Term Benefits: While securing a top spot on search engine results might take time and effort, the benefits are long-lasting. Unlike paid advertising, where traffic stops as soon as you halt the campaign, organic traffic doesn't dry up instantly. With consistent quality and regular updates, your site can continue to attract organic visitors over time.
How Organic Search Works
Between entering a query into a search engine and seeing a list of results, there's a complex process happening behind the scenes.
Let’s see how the organic search sausage is made (what an uncomfortable idiom - it was the only one I could think of, sorry):
- Crawling: The first step search engines take is 'crawling'. Using bots, sometimes known as spiders or crawlers, search engines scour the internet to discover new or updated pages. These bots follow links, moving from page to page, collecting data to be indexed.
- Indexing: Once the bots have gathered all the necessary information from a website, it’s time for indexing. During this process, the search engine processes the data collected by the bots and stores it in a vast database. This way, when a user performs a search, the search engine can quickly provide relevant results.
- Ranking: After indexing, ranking comes into play. When someone enters a query, the search engine sifts through its massive index to provide the most relevant results. Various algorithms determine this relevancy. These algorithms consider numerous factors like keyword relevance, website quality, user experience, mobile-friendliness, and more.
- User Interaction: After the search results are presented, user engagement metrics come into the picture. If users consistently click on a particular search result and spend a considerable amount of time on the site, the search engine considers this as a positive user experience. This can influence future rankings.
- Ongoing Optimization: Organic search is a continuous cycle. Search engines constantly update their algorithms, and websites need to adjust accordingly. SEO isn't a one-time task but an ongoing effort to ensure a site remains relevant and provides value to its visitors.
Understanding this process emphasizes the importance of SEO. If a website isn't optimized for search engines—through high-quality content, relevant keywords, and other factors—it's unlikely to rank highly in organic search results. It's not just about getting noticed by the search engines but also providing the best possible experience for users, which in turn, improves rankings.
Why Is Organic Search Important?
Think of organic search as a tree.
When you first plant a sapling (or start a website), it's small and doesn't stand out much in a forest (the internet). But as you nurture and water it (through SEO and quality content), it grows taller, becomes more robust, and starts to stand out.
Over time, this tree provides shade (trust and credibility), bears fruit continuously without needing to be replanted (sustainability), is more cost-effective than constantly buying fast-growing but short-lived plants (cost-efficiency), and attracts a variety of creatures (higher conversion rates) because it's naturally integrated into the ecosystem.
Much like the tree, organic search is an essential piece of the digital marketing puzzle for several reasons:
- Trust and Credibility: Typically, users trust organic search results over paid ads. If your site frequently appears in search results, it can establish your brand as an authority in your field.
- Sustainability: Unlike paid ads which stop bringing traffic as soon as you stop paying, organic traffic can continue to flow for an extended period, especially if you consistently produce high-quality, SEO-optimized content.
- Cost-Efficiency: Although optimizing for organic search requires time and effort, in the long run, it often proves more cost-effective than paid strategies.
- Higher Conversion Rates: Visitors from organic search tend to have better conversion rates. This is because they are actively searching for information, products, or services, making them more likely to engage or make a purchase.
5 Ways To Start Boosting Organic Search
I’m sure you’re more than convinced that organic search is a power you want to tap into. Here a five actionable strategies you can start doing to boost your organic search traffic:
- Keyword Research: Identify keywords relevant to your business and audience. Use tools like Google's Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find terms with a good balance of search volume and competition. I wrote a whole blog about 5 powerful keyword research tools you can use for free.
- Optimize On-Page Elements: Ensure that your website's titles, meta descriptions, and content are optimized for your target keywords.
- Quality Content: Regularly produce high-quality content that addresses your audience's questions, needs, and interests. This not only attracts visitors but also establishes your brand as an authority.
- Build Backlinks: Backlinks, or links from other reputable websites to yours, are a significant ranking factor. Engage in guest posting, collaborations, or other strategies to earn high-quality backlinks.
- Mobile Optimization: With an increasing number of searches conducted on mobile devices, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Google's mobile-first indexing emphasizes the importance of a responsive design.
If you implement these 5 strategies, you’ll see results. It won’t be overnight, but 6 months down the road you’ll begin to see the fruit of your labor.
Building organic traffic is a long game, but once it’s working you’ll be set for a long time.
Summing It All Up
Alright, let's wrap this up before I make another lame SEO joke.
What is organic traffic? If you read this entire blog, you know it's more than just a digital marketing buzzword. It’s the lifeblood of successful websites.
Being on the web without tapping into organic search is like hosting a party and forgetting to send out invites. Sure, you're there with all the glitz and glam, but where the hell are all the guests?
The beauty of organic search isn't just about getting visitors; it's about attracting the right ones.
It's about being the answer when someone asks a question.
It's the marathon in a world full of sprints, providing long-term results instead of fleeting moments of fame.
Remember, as tempting as it is to chase quick wins, nothing beats the feeling of seeing genuine, interested users land on your site, courtesy of your tireless efforts. So, pull up those SEO sleeves, focus on the long game, and soon you'll see the magic unfold.
Keep at it, and you’ll have nowhere to hide that dead body you’re trying to hide because you’ll be all over the first page of Google (just had to throw that callback in).
Does reading this blog make you want to level up your business? Let's huddle up and work together to get your business into victory formation!