When you hear the word organic, “traffic” probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
However, getting organic traffic is as beneficial to your website as eating organic food is for your body.
Any visitors who come to your website through unpaid means are referred to as organic traffic.
- Anyone who found your website by typing in terms through any search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
- People who found your site through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat.
- Referrals from other websites.
- Visitors typing your website directly into their browser.
This is the ideal type of traffic because, well, you aren’t paying for it.
Paid traffic are the visitors who come to your site from clicking on ads that appear on a search engine or social media, including the banner ads that often follow you from site to site. Businesses purchase these ads based on keyword bids and pay per click or per impression.
And although paid ads should remain a part of your overall digital marketing strategy, you want to rely on better ways to increase your presence on the web.
After all, if you save money and have more visitors to your site, your bottom line will increase.
One of the main goals of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is to increase organic traffic so more people go to your website so you’re not continuously paying for people to visit your site.
Using keywords is one of the keys to getting organic traffic to your site, but this is the tip of the SEO iceberg.
Here are 7 more tips to put into practice:
1. Do Your Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of your website, and this should be the foundation for getting organic traffic.
Keywords are what people type into search engines in order to find your site, so you need to know what people are typing to get to you.
Start with Google’s keyword tool or the keyword tool of your choice to find out what keywords are best for your article.
Make sure you are keeping track of these words and their usage with a keyword database.
Whenever you write a new article or blog post, don’t forget to refer back to the keyword tool.
Related post: My favorite keyword tool
2. Link with Quality
One of the things Google looks for when determining rank is how much authority your website has.
But how is this decided?
Google looks at backlinks, or how many other sites are referring to your content.
Just because you have a backlink doesn’t mean it will lead to a higher ranking.
It’s important to analyze these links to ensure you are connecting to a website with value.
When looking at a backlink, a few points to consider are:
- Is this pertinent to my industry?
- Does it have content? These are the best for SEO purposes.
- Detailed articles have more weight.
- Make sure the link is from a trusted source.
Beware — there are services that will sell you backlinks, but they aren’t necessarily of good quality.
So how do you go about collecting first-rate backlinks for your site and getting organic traffic?
- Start writing. Write blog posts, articles, press releases and anything else you can think of. Make sure they provide value to your customers and relate to your industry. It may be a bit of a cliché but content is still king.
- Start commenting. Visit other websites in your industry and comment on their blogs. This can lead people back to your site.
- Start submitting. Since you’re writing articles about your field, why not submit them to a community where others can find it. Examples include Best of the Web, The World Wide Web Virtual Library, or Business.com. Only submit to quality, well-known, reputable directories or to niche specific directories.
3. Listen to Your Users — And Blog About It
If you think you have nothing to blog about, think again.
Look to your customers for a wealth of article ideas.
Past, potential and existing clients are a gold mine for posts, regardless of what industry you are in.
And although it’s important to respond to your customers ASAP, you can turn an email response into a full article.
This can help in getting organic traffic in more ways than one.
For starters, many times if one customer has a question, others will have the same question — but they may not ask it, and you may be losing potential business.
Having these questions answered on your website, blog or FAQ can help keep customers or gain new ones.
Also, a lot of people will type the same questions they ask you into Google. If you already have this on your website, you’ll rank higher — which means more organic traffic.
4. Fine-Tune Your Metadata and Content
The metadata of your website includes titles, descriptions, keywords and first paragraphs — and this is the first thing Google looks at when deciding how to rank your site.
If this metadata matches what someone is searching for, your site is likely to rank higher.
If you’re not sure what your metadata contains, you can view it by selecting “page source” under “view” in your browser toolbar. You’ll see a page of code, and anything with “meta” in the title is telling search engines what your website it about.
To increase your odds of getting organic traffic to your site, here’s a few ways to optimize your metadata:
Meta title: Make sure the theme of your page or post and your primary keywords are used. Keep in mind this tag is limited to 60 characters.
From an SEO point of view, the title tag should contain the keywords you want to rank for with the most important near the beginning. Although you want to include your keywords always write the title for humans.
The meta title is the boldest element in the search results and therefore is very important in the decision making of the searcher.
Meta description: The meta description summarizes your page’s content and is a snippet of approximately 160 characters. The search engines may show your meta description when the searched for phrase or words are included in the description.
Think of this as an ad for your website. When writing your meta description remember the main function is to encourage people to click on your link.
Meta keywords: The keywords meta tag is now no longer used by most search engines. Years ago it was beneficial but now it can be disregarded. As confirmed by Matt Cutts, the former head of the webspam team at Google, in the short video below.
Optimize everything: Don’t forget to place keywords in image titles, ALT, and descriptions.
Don’t stuff keywords: It may be tempting to stuff all of your keywords into your meta data, but this can end up hurting you. Avoid placing keywords where they’re unnecessary.
5. Use Internal Links
Want your customers to see your material?
Share it with them!
When you link to other posts or pages on your site, you are in direct control of creating backlinks while keeping readers on your site.
This is great for SEO and getting organic traffic.
If you have a lot of great content across your site, this is the best way to share it with your readers.
For example, let’s say you own a massage business and you write a blog on its benefits. Within that article, you can link to other posts on your site about massage techniques, different types of massage, the history of massage or anything else you want your customers to know you’ve written about.
When you give your customers a reason to stay on your site with compelling content or irresistible offers, the time they spend there increases and your site goes up in the rankings.
6. Encourage Others to Link to Your Site
As we’ve seen, backlinks are essential to getting organic traffic and boosting your ranking.
And your readers are a perfect source for spreading your message.
By including a widget within or at the bottom of your post with social media links to share the content, you have the opportunity to greatly increase the number of backlinks and organic traffic.
This is the digital equivalent of word of mouth.
Make it easy for the reader to share your post — if they have to look for a way to share the content, chances are it won’t happen. Plus, they might not have thought about sharing it if you hadn’t put a button there in the first place.
Keep in mind that in order to do this, you need to give your readers something they want to share — so content is still king!
7. Keep an Eye on Your Progress and Traffic Sources
Getting organic traffic is not a process you can set up and walk away from.
Even if you are satisfied with your current SEO ranking, you’ll still need to monitor your traffic and progress.
By using tools such as Google Analytics (it’s free!) you can see where your traffic is coming from and where your visitors are going once they land on your site.
This data will show you what you’re doing that works and what you need to tweak.
It’s a good idea to monitor your site traffic at least once a week, and then analyze your overall SEO progress once a month.
Getting Organic Traffic Goes A Long Way
You won’t see your website rise to the number one spot overnight, but by following these tips, you’ll start to see a rise in your organic traffic.
Add to these some of the more technical factors that provide a good user experience like HTTPS encryption, mobile optimization, and site speed to ensure your website is well considered by Google.
When you increase the traffic to your website, your business increases as well.
Plus, keep in mind that getting organic traffic will not only give you more credibility online and with search engines — which will ultimately increase your ranking — but Google gives direct traffic a much higher value than paid SEO.
Have you used any of these tips to boost the organic traffic for your site? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks Peter for the great and simple SEO Must Do list. In fact very well known tips but even so called Internet Marketing gurus often forget those, from the first sight, simple things. Only one note I would like to add from my own experience. Regarding links from your niche market brand sites. I have some really valued links from such brands as Garmin, Raymarine and HidnSeek obtained naturally as my posts are published there. Those links undeniably leave a positive impact on search engine bots.
Yes, the list is nothing new but always good to have a reminder especially for the newbies. The links you mention are from authority sites and will certainly play a part in improving your search engine rankings. Such links obtained naturally aren’t easy to get which means you must be providing excellent content. Links definitely play a big part in the ranking algorithm, so well done!
Thanks for your visit,
Well hello there Peter!
It’s been a while since I last visited your website, but I see you are still offering quality information. I just finished reading your article about generating organic traffic and thought I would just drop you a quick comment to say thanks!
Organic traffic is always the life blood of any website and without it we would never make a penny. Personally I don’t bother trying to get backlinks or anything like that. When I first started out online, it seemed that getting links was the most important thing to do. I just concentrate on keyword research now, as you suggested here.
Its surprising that by simply writing naturally you can sometimes rank for phrases that you didn’t intend to. Which is always a bonus!
Nice to see you again Andrew and thanks for the compliment! I agree organic traffic is the most important, although some people seem to do very well with just using paid traffic. I think keyword research is the most important element and then write a post that’s unique and of quality. Even if you don’t bother with backlinks, if you provide quality information and link out to other sites you will find you will get backlinks naturally which is great. Yes you can rank for keywords you never thought of and it’s also a good idea to include LSI keywords. These are keywords that are semantically related to your main keyword. Your post will rank for these related terms and also for terms you never targeted.
Hope your business is going well,
You have so much great information here, it took me a while to absorb all. Being a newbie in affiliate marketing, this definitely helps me a lot.
Now, I need to fine-tune my metadata. I didn’t know it helps in ranking. More so the way to write it.
Thank you so much.
I understand, when you’re starting there’s a lot to learn and the different terminology can be confusing. Anyway, it looks like you got through the post and I’m glad it will be of help to you. It’s definitely worth fine-tuning your metadata, it’s not too hard and can be done rapidly. It can make big a difference to your rankings!
Best of luck with your website,
The most important I think is keywords. I usually do keyword search to help with ranking on Google. What surprises me sometimes is that I get ranked not for the keywords that I am trying for but for other ones! I try to focus on the content and it’s purpose and hope it will get ranked because of its relevance and keywords.
All the other factors are important too. Great list of tips!
Thanks Dinh! Yes, the keywords you choose are very important, it’s very hard to get ranked for a keyword when there’s a load of competition. Usually, I like to pick keywords with less than 100 competing sites, this way I can often rank on the first two pages of Google.
As you say, you can get ranked for phrases other than your targeted keyword phrases. This is because the search engines will take other phrases they find in your content and if the search term matches a phrase in your content you may find your post surprisingly ranked on the first page of Google. Sometimes you can be ranked for something completely out of context with your site, although with the improvements in the search algorithms this happens less frequently these days.
To achieve a top ranking you need to carry out as many of the factors as possible. I think it’s always best to start with the on-page SEO and sharing on the social media. These are the easiest to carry out and if your content is awesome this may result in some backlinks and social shares, and who knows perhaps a 1st page ranking in Google!
All the best,