Organic Traffic: Basics and How to Increase It

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Updated 2/3/2024

Learn how to increase organic traffic to your website with effective SEO practices, quality content creation, and online networking.

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Organic traffic refers to visitors that land on your website as a result of unpaid search results. Rather than being driven by paid advertising, these visitors find your site after using a search engine like Google or Bing. Let’s dive into understanding organic traffic and how you can optimize for it.

What is Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic comes naturally, without direct and immediate cost (like ads), and often indicates that your content or website is being deemed valuable by search engines.

Imagine organic traffic as customers walking into your store out of genuine interest, without you needing to run a special promotion or create and pay for ads. This highly valuable traffic type can provide a nice baseline for online business.

Why is Organic Traffic Important?

There are a handful of standout benefits:

  1. Cost-Effective: Unlike paid traffic, where you pay money for every click, organic traffic is essentially free. Yes, there might be costs in SEO efforts, but once you rank and earn traffic, you don’t pay for each visitor.
  2. Credibility and Trust: People often trust organic search results more than paid ads. Being at the top of organic search results can lend your site more credibility.
  3. Sustainability: While paid ads disappear once your budget depletes, organic traffic can sustain over time if you consistently meet your audience’s needs and stay updated with search engine algorithms.

How is Organic Traffic Different from Other Types?

To better understand, it helps to see how organic stands out from other traffic sources:

  • Paid Traffic: Comes from advertising efforts, like pay-per-click (PPC) ads, where you pay for each visitor.
  • Referral Traffic: Visitors who arrive at your website by clicking a link on another website.
  • Direct Traffic: When someone enters your website URL directly into their browser or via a bookmark.
  • Social Traffic: Those visitors coming in from social media platforms after clicking on a post or link.

You can categorize traffic however you like, but these are the main buckets most businesses and marketers use for reporting.

How to Check Organic Search Traffic in Google Analytics (GA4)

Follow these steps for a simple report on your organic search traffic:

  1. Access your property in Google Analytics.
  2. Click on Reports in the leftmost navigation bar.
  3. Go to this report: Life cycle > Acquisition > Traffic acquisition.
  4. Go down until you see Organic Search in the table.

This is an easy default report if you’re just interested in organic search. If you’d like to examine the data more closely, you can create filters using the Add filter button at the top or other methods.

How to Increase Organic Traffic

Getting more organic traffic means improving your website’s visibility in search engines and enhancing the user experience. Let’s delve into some effective strategies:

1. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines (SEO)

While this field involves many practices, trying these three should greatly improve your efforts for increased search traffic.

2. Create High-Quality, Relevant Content

Content serves as the landing page for what your audience is looking for. If you provide quality, useful content for your audience, chances are you’ll be rewarded with traffic.

  • Regular Updates: Consistently post new content. This keeps your audience engaged and signals search engines that your site is active.
  • Content Depth: Deep dive into topics, providing comprehensive insights that answer all potential questions of the reader. Use internal links to improve your SEO and build authority signals on a topic.
  • Visuals: Incorporate images, infographics, and videos to break up text and offer varied ways to consume information.
  • Diverse Content Types: Expand beyond more than just blog posts. Try infographics, videos, podcasts, or other formats that might resonate with your audience.
  • Relevancy: Ensure content is relevant to your intended audience. Don’t just try to rank for stuff because you might be able to. Consider the needs of your audience, what they might search for, and how you can help.

3. Improve User Experience

Google considers user experience a critical part of online searches. They want the best results to provide good experiences and serve the searcher. Try these out to improve your experience:

  • Responsive Design: Ensure your site looks and functions seamlessly across all device types, especially mobiles and tablets.
  • Clear Navigation: Design an intuitive menu system. Visitors should be able to find what they’re looking for within a few clicks.
  • Page Speed: Optimize website loading times. Slow-loading pages can deter users and harm your SEO performance.
  • Accessibility: Ensure your site is accessible to all, including users with disabilities. This includes using alt text for images, having high-contrast text, and ensuring keyboard navigability.
  • Avoid Intrusive Elements: Limit the use of pop-ups, auto-play videos, and other elements that could disrupt the user experience.

4. Utilize Social Media

Even though social traffic isn’t organic in the purest sense, having a strong social presence can indirectly boost your organic traffic.

  • Share Regularly: Every time you post new content or updates, share it across all your active social channels. Use social media marketing tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule posts at optimal times for maximum reach.
  • Engage with Followers: Respond to comments, questions, and feedback. A two-way conversation builds a sense of community and trust.
  • Content Variety: Don’t just post links to your articles. Mix in images, GIFs, polls, questions, and videos to keep the feed engaging.
  • Use Hashtags Wisely: Use trending and relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts to a broader audience.
  • Promote User Testimonials: Share positive feedback or testimonials from users. Authentic reviews can boost credibility and trust.

5. Monitor and Adjust

Use analytics tools to track your traffic sources, user behavior, and other vital metrics. Adjust your strategies based on what’s working and what isn’t.

  • Use Analytics Tools: Tools like Google Analytics, Semrush, and Ahrefs can provide valuable insights into your traffic sources and user behavior.
  • A/B Testing: Implement A/B tests on your website to determine which elements, such as CTAs or headlines, perform best.
  • Feedback Loop: Actively seek feedback from your audience. This can be done via surveys, feedback forms, or direct interactions on social platforms.
  • Monitor Competitors: Perform competitive analysis and track what your competitors are doing. This can give you insights into potential opportunities or strategy gaps.
  • Review Content Performance: Identify which content pieces drive the most traffic and engagement. Consider updating older content to make it relevant and signal that the site’s content is fresh.

Boosting organic traffic is a blend of SEO, quality content creation, and effective online networking. It takes time and effort, but the payoff — a steady stream of visitors coming to your site without the need for continuous ad spending — is well worth it.

Summary

Organic traffic refers to visitors arriving at your website due to unpaid search results, typically from search engines like Google or Bing. The importance of organic traffic lies in its cost-effectiveness, increased credibility and trust with users, sustainability, and typically higher conversion rates.

To increase organic traffic, website owners should emphasize SEO practices such as keyword research, on-page SEO, and technical SEO improvements. Creating high-quality, relevant content consistently can enhance rankings, while securing backlinks from reputable websites can further bolster organic search standings. ?

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