It’s that time of year again: it’s time to examine your organic traffic for 2022 and figure out how you can improve upon it in 2023.
Do you spend a lot of time each day analyzing and auditing websites? If you answered yes, then you probably already know that organic traffic is important to your site. In fact, between 70 and 80 percent of users completely ignore paid ads and utilize organic search.
When it comes to increasing your organic traffic, there are several things you can do. One way is to create high quality content that is relevant to your niche. Another thing you can do is to optimize your site for mobile devices. There are also other ways to increase your organic traffic.
If done correctly, these techniques will improve your chances of getting initial organic traffic, and much more.
What is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic is the type of web traffic that comes from search engines. Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo rank websites based on how useful and relevant they are to searchers. Websites ranked highly tend to receive more organic traffic than those ranked lower down the list.
The main goal of SEO is to make sure that people searching for something find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. For example, if you want to buy a pair of shoes, it makes sense that you’d start typing “shoe” into a search bar rather than “buy shoes.”
A good SEO strategy includes creating high-quality content, building trust and authority, optimizing your site correctly, implementing social media, and monitoring performance.
The graph below shows organic traffic (in orange) for the site msnbc.com.
A discussion about organic traffic is not complete unless we also talk about direct traffic.
What Is Direct Traffic?
Direct Traffic – What Is It?
In today’s digital world, there are several ways to reach people online. One way is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is done by optimizing a website for a given keyword. Another method is through Social Media Marketing (SMM), where you promote your brand through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. There are also other methods such as Pay Per Click (PPC), Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Adwords, Affiliate Marketing, etc., but none of them guarantee success without direct traffic.
This type of traffic is generated by users entering the URL of the website directly into their browser’s search bar. In addition, some users click on links found on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. These clicks do not necessarily mean that these users have visited the corresponding website. They could simply have clicked on a link shared by someone else.
However, when a user enters the URL of a website into their browser’s search box, he/she does not enter the URL of another website. He/she enters the URL of the website itself. Therefore, this type of traffic is called direct traffic.
Why Does It Matter?
There are several reasons why acquiring direct traffic matters. First of all, most of the time, it is the first impression that users have of your website. If they see that your website loads slowly, or looks unprofessional, they might think twice about coming back. Secondly, direct traffic is highly targeted. Users searching for a specific topic are much more likely to find what they want on your website than those who just use generic keywords. Thirdly, direct traffic is usually free. You don’t pay anything for it, unlike PPC advertising. Fourthly, direct traffic is very easy to acquire. All you need is a good domain name, an attractive website design, and a strong marketing strategy.
It’s important to understand the difference between organic traffic and direct traffic, so you can target your SEO strategy accordingly.
How SEO Drives Organic Traffic
There are many different ways to optimize a website for organic traffic. But the most important thing you can do is make sure that your content is engaging enough to attract visitors. If you don’t have good content, no one will want to read it. And even if they do, there’s nothing worse than reading something boring.
Once you’ve got great content, you’ll need to make sure that Google can find it. You can use things like keywords, meta tags, and headers to help Google know what your page is about. After that, you’re ready to start optimizing for visibility. This includes making sure that your site is easy to crawl, that it loads quickly, and that it doesn’t have broken links.
Finally, once you’ve optimized your site, you need to keep up those efforts over time. There are lots of tools out there that can help you track how well you’re doing, but the best way to really see progress is to look at the data yourself. Use tools like Screaming Frog and GTmetrix to check how often your site is being crawled, and how fast it loads. Then, go into Search Console and review your rankings. These metrics give you a snapshot of where you stand today, and how far you still have to go.
Below, you can see a screenshot comparison between PPC ads, local business results, and organic results, which drive organic traffic.
Why Is Organic Traffic Important?
Organic traffic is one of the most important metrics for every website owner. In fact, according to Moz, it accounts for up to 70% of all web traffic. This means that if you want to see how well your site is doing, you must look into organic traffic.
Organic traffic is important because it allows you to determine whether or not your site is functioning properly. If you are selling products online, organic traffic helps you generate more sales. If you sell digital goods, such as ebooks, videos, audio files, etc., organic traffic helps you reach more people.
If you don’t know what organic traffic is, it refers to the visitors that come directly to your site without clicking on any paid ads. These are real human beings that found your site organically. They usually find your site via a link on another site.
How to Increase Your Organic Traffic?
There are many ways to improve your website’s performance in the search engines, but there is one thing you must do: follow proven white hat SEO techniques. This is what we call SEO in the world of digital marketing.
The term SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to the process of optimizing a site so that it ranks high in the search engine results pages (SERPS). In fact, the main goal of SEO is to help people find information on the web efficiently. To achieve this objective, search engines use algorithms that take into account several criteria such as the number of times a keyword appears on a page, the quality of the content, and the relevance of the link structure.
Below, you will find a screenshot showing the improved organic traffic of a particular website Hennessey.com, in orange.
Publish Content That Users Want to Read
The most important thing about writing good content is to make sure you write something people want to read. If you don’t know what type of content your audience wants to read, there’s nothing else you can do. You can’t just sit down and start writing without knowing what your customers want.
One way to figure out what your audience wants to read is to ask yourself questions like: What topics am I interested in? Who are my readers? What problems are they trying to solve? How can I help them? Once you have those questions answered, you can use them to guide your writing process.
A recent study found that there are three types of people searching online: those looking for something specific, those trying to solve a problem, and those just browsing around.
The latter group accounts for 70 percent of searches, according to the report. This type of searcher doesn’t necessarily know what they want. They don’t even know why they’re doing a search. So how do we reach them? By delivering relevant content that solves problems and satisfies needs.
This is where content marketing comes into play. If you publish great content that helps readers, you’ll gain attention and build credibility. And once you start building authority, you’ll attract visitors who are actively seeking solutions to their problems.
Include Relevant Keywords In Your Page Title
The page title is one of those things you don’t think about too much until you see how important it really is. You want to make sure that people are able to find your site easily when they type certain words into the search bar. This means including relevant keywords and phrases within the title tag. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are a few ideas to help you out…
Use long tail keywords
If you’re trying to rank for something specific like “best vacuum cleaner,” just use the keyword phrase itself. But if you’re targeting a broader audience, try adding related terms to the end of your keyword phrase. For example, if you sell vacuums, you might add “vacuum cleaners” to the end of your phrase.
Keep it short
Try to keep your page title under 60 characters. Anything longer could look cluttered. Also, if you go over 70 characters, you risk being cut off on mobile device search results.
Don’t repeat yourself
Make sure there isn’t anything else on your page that says exactly what the page title does. If you do include a link to another part of your site, make sure it adds value and doesn’t simply repeat information.
These are just a few techniques you can use to create optimized and engaging page titles.
The following includes an example of what to do and what not to do when creating optimized page titles for SEO:
Create Easy to Use Websites
Website usability is both a direct SEO factor and an indirect one. If you want to improve your site’s visibility in search engines, make sure it loads quickly and has no errors. This will ensure that people find your website easily and return often.
You also need to develop websites that are mobile-friendly. People spend most of their time on smartphones and tablets nowadays. Your site needs to work well on those devices. In addition, your website must be error-free. Search engines won’t index your site if there are critical page errors and your pages are missing crucial SEO elements.
Technical SEO refers to the process of making your website accessible to search engines. There are several aspects of web design that affect the way search engines crawl and index your site. These include things like server speed, page loading times, and whether or not your site uses HTTPS.
For example, slow website speeds can cause visitors to abandon a page before they even see what it offers. A site that takes longer than three seconds to load is considered slow. To avoid this problem, you need to optimize your site for speed.
Another important aspect of SEO is ensuring that your website isn’t blocked by robots. Robots check sites against certain criteria to determine whether or not they should index the site. They look for specific keywords and phrases, meta tags, and HTML code. If your robot detection settings aren’t set correctly, you could end up losing out on potential traffic.
Finally, you need to keep an eye on your analytics data. Make sure that you know where your traffic is coming from and what types of searches are bringing visitors to your site. Use this information to fine tune your SEO strategy.
Here are a few statistics that relate to how easier websites can help you gain significant traffic and users as a result:
- In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices generated 54.8 percent of global website traffic. (Statista, 2021)
- 32 percent of small businesses already have a mobile app and 42 percent plan to build one in the future. 26 percent of small businesses, on the other hand, are unlikely to ever release one. (Top Design Firms, 2021)
- 50 percent of smartphone users are more likely to use a company or brand’s mobile site when browsing or shopping on a smartphone because they don’t want to download an app. (Google/Ipsos, 2019)
- In a study commissioned by Google and conducted by 55 and Deloitte, decreasing mobile site load times by just one tenth of a second resulted in major increases in conversion rates — specifically, 8.4 percent for retail sites and 10.1 percent for travel sites. (Deloitte, 2019)
The following shows what users might do after they have a negative UX experience, according to startupbonsai.com:
Find Winning Headlines and Make Yours Better
Headlines are the most important part of every article. They are what makes it go viral. And they are the thing that gets people clicking. But there are some easy ways to improve your headlines. Here are three steps to help you do just that.
Know Your Audience
The best way to figure out what type of headlines work best for you is to know your audience. What are they interested in? What topics do they care about? Are they looking for something specific? Once you know your audience, you can start thinking about what types of headlines might resonate with them.
Write For Them First
When writing headlines, think about what kinds of stories appeal to your target audience. If you’re trying to sell shoes, don’t use a headline like “You’ll Love These Shoes!” Instead, try something like “These Women’s Sneakers Have A Comfortable Fit”. Or maybe you’re selling dog food. Try “Dog Food Is Better Than Human Food!”.
Make It Easy To Click
If someone wants to read your article, they shouldn’t have to hunt around for it. When you write a headline, keep in mind where they are coming from. Do they already know your brand? How long have they been searching for information about your topic? If you’re writing for a very niche audience, you might even consider writing a unique headline for every single piece of content you publish.
Dive Into User Questions for Keyword Research
The first step to answering questions is asking them. This simple hack allows you to use your existing data sources to uncover questions people ask about products and services you offer. If you’re already collecting data on how customers interact with your site, you’ll find it easy to start asking questions yourself.
Here’s a hypothetical example…
First, say we used our favorite tool, Screaming Frog, to crawl the web and pull out every single URL containing keywords related to the product/service we are working on. Then, we filtered those URLs and extracted some basic information like the domain name, number of words, and whether there was a link to the homepage. From there, we exported the data into a spreadsheet where we could sort, filter, and analyze it.
Next, we used another free tool called Answer the Public to scrape public records (like property listings), news articles, and online forums to collect additional data points. For example, we found that many of the domains had been registered within the last month, so we added that to our list of potential keywords. Finally, we grouped the keywords into categories based on the types of questions they asked.
You can also use Google’s People Also Asked feature in the search results to figure out exactly what people are asking regarding your topic.
This process took us less than 30 minutes, and now, we have a list of over 300 questions I can use to build my keyword research strategy.
You can also use Answer the Public to create mindmaps and research questions and answers on your topic to create posts that answer these questions (and much more).
Research Your Topic, Then Write About It Using a Unique Angle
Content marketing is about creating great content that helps businesses grow. If you’re struggling to find ideas for content, check out our article on how to generate ideas.
But what happens when you have a ton of great content already written? You could just republish everything you’ve got, right? Not necessarily. As a matter of fact, republishing content in this manner is actually known as duplicate content, which can further harm your chances of ranking.
That’s why we recommend first researching your topic, then approach your subject from a unique angle. This allows you to come up with original content that stands out from the crowd.
In addition, you’ll find that your content will become more effective because you’ll be able to speak directly to your audience. Your readers will feel like you’re talking to them, rather than at them.
Consistently Produce Engaging and Shareable Content
Content marketing is like a game of chess. There are many different pieces moving around the board trying to achieve specific goals. In order to win, you must know where each piece is located and how it moves.
In my experience, most people don’t think about content marketing as a strategic process. They begin producing content and hope it works out. This isn’t good enough.
You need to take a step back and ask yourself some questions. Are you consistently producing content that is useful and engaging? Is your audience actually consuming it? And finally, do you understand how to use content marketing strategically?
Rank Higher for Keywords That Already Rank
If we had a dollar for every time someone told us they ranked for a long list of keywords and didn’t even know how many times they did, we could retire tomorrow. But it happens all the time, and it’s frustrating because there’s nothing wrong with having a lot of rankings. In fact, it’s something to celebrate.
But what people don’t realize is that the top spots on those lists are worth exponentially more than the lower positions. The top three spots account for close to 90 percent of the total traffic generated by a given keyword. So if you want to increase your traffic numbers, you need to start thinking like a marketer rather than just doing some basic research. You need to think strategically.
The best way to do this is to look at where your competitors are ranking. If you see that they’re ranking well for a particular term, chances are good that you’ll benefit from doing the same thing. What makes this strategy work is that you’re looking at a different set of keywords than everyone else.
You might be surprised to learn that you’re already ranking for some of the terms that you thought you weren’t. For example, we recently found out that a particular site might rank for over 200 keywords that we never knew existed. And while we were happy to see that, we were able to use that information to improve that site’s performance across the board.
Gain Rankings for More Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are those that are less competitive than the main keyword. They tend to be broader and people use them less often. However, they still make up about 40 percent of searches. If you want to rank for long-tail keywords, it’s important to do some research on how many people actually use them. You can find out what keywords people type into Google by looking at the Search Console data. Then, look at which pages on your site rank for each of these keywords and see whether there is overlap. For example, if one of your pages gets good rankings for both “hair extensions” and “wigs,” you might think about creating another piece of content specifically targeting hair extensions.
If you don’t know where to start, try asking yourself questions like: What types of products does my audience buy? Do I sell wigs online? How much money do people spend on wigs? Is there a market for wigs in my area? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to figure out which keywords to focus on. This will help you narrow down the list and decide which ones to target.
Create a Blog for Your Business, If You Don’t Already Have One
First and foremost, your business must have a blog where you can publish helpful, long-form content. A blog allows you to tell stories about your products and services, provide information on how your customers can use those products and services, and even educate your audience on industry trends. Your blog doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-time job; however, it does require consistent publishing.
A study conducted by Hubspot found that companies that blog receive 97 percent more links to the sites compared to those without. 80 percent of internet users interact with both social media sites along with blogs. 59 percent of digital marketers found that blogging is a valuable return on their investment.
The more value you offer on the site, the more reasons there are for people to visit it. For example, if someone wants to learn more about a product or service offered by your company, they’ll want to read reviews and testimonials. If you sell clothing, they might want to know what size fits best and whether or not the style matches their personality. If you run a restaurant, they might want to find out if the food is delicious or if the ambiance is relaxing. Blogging gives you the opportunity to answer all of these questions and more.
Focus on Creating Evergreen Topics
News and trends are great ways to generate immediate attention, but they don’t provide long-term value. Evergreen content, however, does. Content that doesn’t go out of date quickly, like how to use social media, provides value to readers even months after publication. This type of content attracts links and shares because people want to help others learn about something they found helpful themselves.
Evergreen content can be published once every day, week or month, depending on your industry and topic. And how much work bandwidth you have on your hands. Once you’ve established yourself as an authority in one area, keep publishing similar content to build up your brand. You’ll attract visitors and start building links that will make your site rank better.
Create Amazing and Awesome Visuals
Designing graphics isn’t just for designers anymore. With Canva’s free online tool, anyone can create professional designs without having to pay for expensive software. From creating logos to designing infographics, there are endless ways to make your brand stand out. But the best part about it is that you don’t even need to know how to code. You can easily add text, shapes, arrows, videos, and photos to create gorgeous designs.
Canva offers templates for everything from wedding invitations to posters to social media posts. And because it’s completely free, you can try it out for yourself. Simply upload one of your favorite images into Canva, choose the template you want, customize it however you’d like, and download the finished product. Not only does Canva offer tons of free templates, but it also allows you to edit the original image, so you’re sure to find something unique to suit your needs.
If you’ve got a knack for drawing, you can turn your skills into money too. If you’re good enough, you could sell your artwork on sites like Etsy. Or, you could start selling prints of your work on Instagram. Just remember to keep your pricing reasonable—you don’t want people to think you ripped off someone else’s art.
Incorporate Video Like Your Life Depends On It
Video can increase conversions by up to 300 percent, according to HubSpot research. But it isn’t enough just to post a few videos to your social media accounts; you must optimize each one individually.
Video marketing is now essential to creating a successful online presence. In fact, nearly half of marketers say video is most important for generating leads.
And while text-based content is still king, video is quickly becoming the most effective way to communicate online. People want to see what you’re saying. They want to hear what you’re saying. So why aren’t you sharing more videos across your entire digital footprint?
Create a Resource Hub On Your Site
If you want to increase conversions, you must provide value to your customers. Your goal should be to convert people into buyers, not just readers. To do this, you must offer something of real value to your target market. This could include free ebooks, white papers, videos, guides, templates, etc. If you don’t already have a resource center, it’s time to start building one now.
You can use tools such as Google Docs, Dropbox, OneDrive, and other cloud storage services to share files with clients and prospects. These resources allow you to store large amounts of data in a central location and access them from anywhere at any time.
Then, when you have a new idea, simply share it with your audience for their own feedback, and repeat the process as you are developing your resource center.
Eventually, your resource center will be made up of hundreds of documents online that you can then use to market to potential prospects.
Driving Organic Traffic is Only Half the Battle
Why do we measure website performance through organic traffic? Because organic traffic means real users are finding your site and reading it.
But, it’s only half the battle. You also have to retain those users with an in-depth lead capture program designed to help keep those users in your site’s digital ecosystem.
This digital ecosystem can be used to send out ads, promotions, and other offers from your site. This also includes newsletters.
By waging the battle on two fronts – both organic traffic and lead generation, you work on steadily building a client base that will help funnel money to your business in the years to come.