The key to every successful website is traffic. Without it, you don’t have people visiting your site, checking out your content, and giving you much-needed clicks and sales.
Whether you want your content to be seen or your website to make you money, increasing traffic is essential.
It can be difficult to generate interest in your website at first. That’s why we have made this guide to increasing organic traffic to a site.
Organic traffic is the most important kind of interest you can generate for your website.
With more organic traffic, your site will typically enjoy better search ranking performance, higher conversion rates, and repeated interest in the site and the service it’s providing.
You can do many things that are guaranteed to increase your site’s organic traffic.
In this guide, we include these methods that are verified by the wider SEO industry and should work well as we head into 2022.
We have also included links to material that supports the information in our guide and provides further reading into related SEO topics.
With that covered, let’s start with SEO and why it is so important.
Let’s start at the very beginning, for those who may not be familiar with SEO and how it can help your website.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
SEO is a continuous process where the owner of a website improves it, on the front-end and the back-end, to become more visible in search engines.
This is done by tailoring the site so that search algorithms favor it over other websites, where they then carry the site further up the results page.
Some SEO also focuses on making the site and its contents more appealing to people by keeping user experience in mind.
Using effective SEO on your site should help it climb the search engine results page, gathering more interest and earning it more traffic.
When you get to the top three positions, you get most of the traffic. In fact, many people only click the first option that Google shows them.
How Can It Help Your Business?
So, SEO makes your website more popular with Google and other search engines.
As it gets higher on results pages, many more people click on the site to check it out.
Maybe you’re wondering – “how does this help my business?”
Well, your business isn’t doing very well if nobody knows you exist.
Think of the Internet as the largest marketing platform to ever exist; SEO is how you become more noticeable on that platform.
Succeeding at SEO is one of the greatest and most effective marketing strategies available right now.
It’s also a great equalizer since, with the right approach, anyone can make the front page no matter how much money or clout they have.
Generating organic traffic through SEO often has more return on investment than paying for ads.
It doesn’t matter if your website is:
- A personal project
- A blog
- An affiliate marketing site
- An e-commerce store
- An online presence for a larger business model
All of them will benefit from an increase in traffic. With more traffic, more people will click through your website and create higher conversion rates.
Growing and maintaining a website’s conversion rate is essential if you’re looking to profit from it.
It’s also great for building a brand.
As more people flood the site and many of them return frequently, it becomes easier to gather a community of people interested in your content or what you’re selling.
A popular site also looks better to new visitors, who understand that your business is legitimate. With that comes trust and brand loyalty, which is very important for many traditional business models.
What Is Organic Website Traffic?
At the start of this guide, we made the distinction between organic traffic and other kinds of traffic.
Here’s a brief primer for the other kinds of traffic:
- Direct Traffic: Traffic generated by visitors typing your website name into the search engine, which only happens with established brands and businesses.
- Referral Traffic: Traffic generated from other websites linking to yours, where their visitors click to check your site out.
- Social Media Traffic: Traffic generated from social media links being shared for free by users on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
- Paid Traffic: Traffic generated from paid ads using services like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.
So, what is organic traffic?
Organic traffic is where a visitor has entered their search engine (probably Google but also Bing and Yahoo sometimes) and executed a search. Then, they saw your link on the results page and clicked on it.
Besides direct traffic, which comes from being a successful and established business online, organic traffic is the best traffic a website can get.
With organic traffic, you get visitors for free. It indicates how well your site is performing on search engines.
These visitors chose to click on your site too, so they often have better user intent behind their search.
They aren’t just window shopping; they’re looking for a site to click on, and they choose yours. If you sell things, this often means they’re looking to buy, making it easier to get a sale.
Ranking higher in organic searches is based on many, many different factors.
The field of SEO focuses on the important ones and allows us to make websites that are more attractive to both ranking algorithms and the people conducting web searches.
How To Increase Organic Traffic To Your Site
So, we’ve covered what SEO and organic traffic is, and how they help your website.
It’s high time we get into the best practices to increase organic traffic to your site.
SEO experts have been exploring search rankings and organic traffic generation for many years, so there are tried and true methods that will help your site’s performance.
That said, SEO is a field that shifts with every Google update, so any advice given today may not hold up in a year or two.
Provide Correct & Up-To-Date Content
First, content is king.👑
You don’t want to flood your website with content that is factually incorrect or outdated at the time of publishing.
With many forms of SEO focusing on the back-end of your website and how it interacts with ranking algorithms, it can be easy to forget that you’re trying to appeal to people.
Even if you have the best algorithmic profile, a site with bad content is doomed to fail.
You don’t want to get a bad reputation, especially if you target a niche community that will compare notes and find your site lacking.
Users won’t return to a site with poor content, making it harder to build a brand and establish direct traffic.
Even then, algorithms will notice if people don’t like your site.
Many on-page indicators can measure how users enjoy your site. Maybe they bounce, which is where they leave your site quickly without engaging in any meaningful way, or perhaps they didn’t scroll to the end of the page.
Google’s Core Web Vitals update allows algorithms to measure user experience in a rudimentary way.
You should also consistently update the site too. Users and ranking algorithms prefer active sites that are still creating content instead of older, inactive sites that haven’t uploaded new content in many months.
Use The Correct Keywords That Are Associated With Your Site
Keywords are critical to SEO, especially when you’re trying to generate organic traffic.
One of the main driving factors behind your search ranking is the keywords attached to your site and the content behind them.
When the user’s search query uses the same keywords, your site will outrank a site that doesn’t have those keywords.
Attacking the right keywords is the backbone of most SEO strategies.
It’s all about choosing keywords relevant to your site and the content it produces or the goods it sells.
Not only do your keywords have to be relevant, but they also have to be appropriate for your site’s ‘ranking potential.’
Your site won’t outperform older sites with more established content and links if you’re just getting started.
Older or bigger websites will have better ranking potential than your newer site that has less content & links.
You need to try and rank for keywords that are both relevant & less competitive than some of the more popular terms.
It’s better to be one of the first results of a niche keyword and get some traffic than to hit the bottom of the 10th page for a popular keyword and get no traffic.
Once your keywords are correctly targeted and sending your site to people’s search results page, that’s when organic traffic will start to trickle in.
As we’ve said many times now, the higher you are on the search results page, the more organic traffic you’ll get.
Post & Promote Your Site On Your Company’s Social Media Pages – For Free!
Just because you have your own site, that doesn’t mean you should stop promoting your business on other sites.
The largest and smallest businesses all over the world all have a social media presence that helps generate interest in their company.
With that interest comes more interaction with their website, which should be the hub of your online presence.
While this isn’t organic traffic, it can easily become organic traffic if you give those people a reason to come back. It also helps establish your site’s brand and gets users thinking about your business.
Look at the content your site produces.
If there’s a lot of image content 📸, you should get an Instagram.
On the other hand, Facebook is great for e-commerce 🛒 and community building 🤝.
If your business creates videos 🎥, a YouTube channel can drive positive engagement toward your site and your business as a whole.
Don’t limit yourself to one. Get as many as you can comfortably manage.
Then, as you grow your social media accounts, you should advertise your website on them.
Place it in your Instagram and Twitter bio and use it as a sign-off on certain posts.
If people like your social media content and see that you have a whole site dedicated entirely to your business, they should click through.
Create The Best Content Possible For Your Site
As we said, you need to have good content on your website that is up-to-date.
If you were wondering what good content is, and how to create the best content possible for your website, then we have some rules for you to follow:
Keep It Simple
You want your content to be accessible.
Often, this means it should be in shorter sentences, especially if you’re writing marketing copy.
You can get away with longer informational sentences if it’s easy to understand. Even then, limit jargon and explain any that you do use if you absolutely must use it.
Know Your Audience
Continuing from that last rule, you should also know your audience and the kind of content they are expecting.
Many offline businesses create an ideal customer to market towards. For online businesses, it helps to do this with your users.
What do they already know? What do they want to know? Where and when are they most active online?
If you provide content for people about particular topics, you’ll need to use jargon more often.
Sometimes explaining every term can make your site look amateurish if you’re targeting a highly specialized area, so scouting out your user base can help determine their knowledge level.
For most pieces of content, you should place the important stuff right at the start of the page.
Burying the lede is outdated in the Internet age – users want instant solutions and answers to their problems.
They don’t skip to your answers further down the page anyway, so give them what you want and leave them with a good impression of your site.
Break It Up
When writing content, you should make sure it’s easy to read.
Nobody likes running into a wall of text, so make sure yours is broken into neat paragraphs.
Never underestimate white space and what it can do for a user’s content experience.
You can also incorporate multimedia in the form of videos and images, which will get information across a lot faster than the written word.
Another great way of breaking up content is to throw in numbered or pointed lists, like the one you’re reading right now!
Sometimes, you just need to ask for a little more engagement to get it.
A call-to-action can do wonders for your entire website if your content is good.
This is where you prompt users to share your content, join a mailing list, or get transported to another page on your site. All of these are good business.
Update Old Content
Lastly, good content doesn’t need to be perfect the first time around.
You can update and re-publish older pages to change or even add content to them.
This is common for when a page ranks well, you can dive back in and add more valuable content and calls-to-action that maximize engagement and make good content even better.
Create A Blog On Your Site That Is Informative
Maybe all this talk about content has you worried.
Many websites do just fine with an e-commerce store and focus on on-page SEO for their listing pages, but they don’t create written or audiovisual content in any way.
If that’s your site, you can get even more organic traffic by creating some content.
Audiovisual content will require some technical know-how to get started, which is beyond many peoples’ abilities. If you have those abilities or know somebody who does, then creating a YouTube channel or Instagram to market that content is a great idea.
Some also start podcasts and get them listed on iTunes and Spotify. As we covered above, gaining traction in all of those established social media sites can help organic traffic.
However, you can rack up keywords and generate organic traffic without spending a cent by starting a blog.
It can be as personal or as business-related as your website demands.
Following our example – an e-commerce site – you can write in-depth reviews of the products being listed along with other products in the space (especially if affiliate monetization is available to you!)
Consider Naming Images On Your Website
Here’s a trick that will help your website on the back-end. In breaking up the content on your site, you probably have a few images floating around.
They can be photographs, diagrams, data points like graphs or tables, it doesn’t matter. Any kind of image content breaks up the site and makes it easier to digest.
However, when you place those images, you need to rethink how you’re naming them.
Are you calling them ‘IMG_01’ or a meaningless string of numbers? That’s common. It’s also a wasted opportunity.
The bots that algorithms use to crawl, index, and rank your site’s web pages also look at image names.
You can smuggle a keyword or two, or the name of your business, into the image title to get more mileage out of those images.
Name them ‘business_name_image1’ or something similar to that.
If it’s a photograph of an object or place, throw the relevant keyword in there instead.
Organic traffic can come from image searches too. Many SEO practitioners forget this.
If somebody searches for an image, and you named your images correctly, now it could be yours that shows up.
From there, users are a click away from your website. The thousands of other websites that settled for ‘IMG_01’ won’t get that traffic.
What Are The Benefits Of Organic Traffic?
Now that you’re armed with six great ways to improve your website’s organic traffic, we should go over the benefits and what they mean.
Organic traffic is great for a site but, sometimes, it has potential that is squandered if the webmaster doesn’t know how to use it.
By knowing the advantages of organic traffic and how to capitalize on it, you’ll make the most of those good situations where you have user attention.
Organic Traffic Brings In More Qualified Leads
First, qualified leads. A qualified lead is an interested buyer who has started engaging with your business.
Somebody who has found your website organically is a perfect example of a qualified lead.
They landed on your website because they were looking for something you have on it.
They searched and found you beginning the engagement themselves.
They chose to click on your site out of all the other results!
If you can give them what they’re looking for, they’re ripe for a sale, so make sure you do!
High Conversion Rates
With organic traffic, visitors are more qualified because your website addresses the exact search they had.
All the things that make them a more qualified lead are exactly what gives you a higher conversion rate.
You created content that they were searching for. They chose to visit and view that content because it serves them.
Organic traffic is much more likely to want what you offer and convert.
In comparison, picture somebody who was told to visit a site for a giveaway.
They’re not looking for that website. They don’t care about that website.
As soon as they enter that giveaway, they’re done with that website. Even if the giveaway page is a sales page, they will almost never convert.
Creates Sustainability For Your Site
When discussing organic traffic, you’ll often see words like “build” and “invest”.
This is because it’s much more sustainable than many other forms of advertisement online and often future-proof.
When you pay for ads, you get that ad space for a limited time.
Through SEO and generating organic traffic, you are improving the quality and authority of your website and its pages for the long term. These are semi-permanent inroads to search engine success.
Assuming you don’t use black hat tactics, you can roll with any punches that Google updates throw at you by changing and optimizing content to fit new demands.
As we said at the start, SEO is a process, it never ends if you want to stay on top.
When you do SEO properly, you have a sustainable, repeatable, successful marketing strategy that will reliably get your site noticed.
Driven By Customer Intent
When you’re generating organic traffic, you can rest assured that there are people behind those clicks and not soulless bots.
But they’re not just people. They’re often people who are interested enough to engage with your site by joining emailing lists, giving feedback in comment sections, or buying a product or service you have to offer.
You don’t get that kind of customer intent with paid advertising. SEO, aimed at organic traffic, guarantees that the people who are clicking on your site are the ones you want to be clicking on the site.
The first step of any sales funnel is marketing to the right people. Generating organic traffic does that automatically, by nature of what it is.
Building a site that can attract organic traffic is very cost-effective, especially when compared to other methods out there. It can be costless for some, barring the price to keep your site live on the Internet.
For some larger, more serious operations, many use paid-for tools. Even then, they are typically MUCH cheaper than paid ad and pay-per-click(PPC) alternatives.
Also, if somebody is investing in tools to up their SEO game, they’re probably making more than enough to cover the cost of those tools and still make a profit.
Putting your site in front of users through organic traffic is very… well, organic. It’s not a disruptive advertisement or a random link they clicked on Facebook. It’s a more natural and seamless way to engage with your customers.
Every search query is someone asking for something, whether it has a question mark or not, and Google comes back with thousands of answers.
When your site is one of the first answers, and all those searchers click on it, that is more personal and engaging than any other form of online marketing.
If you’re running a business that offers a product or service, or maybe you just want your site to be memorable, then you need to create a brand.
With brand loyalty, your site will be the first that people think of for all their needs, whether that’s informational content or products for sale.
You can build brand loyalty through social media, and many influencers do, but for a business, it helps to have your website where people can find your work and engage with the fruits of your labor.
It also helps that you have complete control over your site vs social media platforms where you’re at the whim of the platform and limited by its capabilities.
Since organic traffic makes it much easier (and cheaper) to engage customers and build your brand, it offers you a competitive advantage over other webmasters and SEO experts out there.
If a competitor of yours doesn’t enjoy organic traffic, they’ll have less business and will need to spend more on advertising to get the same recognition.
By the very nature of SEO, it’s a competition to get to the top of search engine results pages.
If you’re at the top, many other sites want to be at the top, aren’t at the top, and suffer for not being at the top.
When you’re starting your site, that’ll be you. If you make it to the top, you should remember that you have a great advantage over others and work to stay at the top by regularly monitoring and updating your SEO.
How To Maintain Organic Traffic On Your Site
SEO is a competitive process that never quite ends. When you’re at the top of a results page, you’re in a good position, but there’s usually somebody looking to take your place.
You need to keep up good SEO practices so that you continue reaping the benefits of your site and its organic traffic. It’s much less work than building the site, so it shouldn’t take up too much of your time.
If you’re doing these six things, you’re doing a good job maintaining your website.
Make Sure Your Site Is Always Updated, Relevant, & Secure
Your website should constantly be updated and relevant. Sure, we’ve already covered how your content needs to be relevant, but that’s just a part of the equation.
The design of your site also needs to keep up with the times. You don’t want your site to be like those tacky old ‘90s sites that are still floating around.
You also need to keep the security of your site updated so that any information contained on it is safe.
Make Sure Your Site Is Responsive
Next, make sure your site is responsive. You can scare away your customers if pages take too long to load.
Users can be impatient and, with things becoming faster and more convenient, they won’t wait forever to access the content on your site.
Pages should take 1-2 seconds to load at maximum, with 0.8 second load times being better than most sites out there.
Make Sure Your Site Is Technically Optimized As Much As Possible
SEO has many fields, one of which is technical SEO. Technical SEO is the things you can do, primarily in the back-end of your site, that improve how the algorithms crawl, index, and rank the site.
It’s unrelated to the content on the pages of your site or its marketing.
When we told you to include keywords or your business name in image titles – that was an example of technical SEO. So is increasing your site’s page load speed.
Here are some technical SEO tips you should follow to keep your site competitive against others:
- Create and maintain an XML sitemap that allows algorithms to understand your website better.
- Register your website with services like Google Search Console to make indexing easier and faster.
- Explore mobile-friendly SEO, a growing field of SEO that is neglected by some.
Create A Sense Of Community For Your Customers
A community isn’t guaranteed when you have an audience – and there’s a big difference between the two.
To develop a community, you should foster a social media following off-site and keep areas on-site where you can communicate with users, and them with you.
Many sites implement a comment section to allow conversations between users on their site.
Others go even further by trying to add a forum too, though they often come with moderation concerns.
Research Your Competitors
With any business, no matter where it is or what it’s doing, you’re going to have competitors. Fortunately for you, scouting out the competition is easier than ever.
Assuming your competitor is just like you, with an online presence and their own site, then you can go over there and check out what they’re doing right.
Sure, you’re giving them clicks, but you can learn a lot from your competitors by looking at what they’re doing right and wrong.
Everything on-page is fair game for scouting, to figure out how to outcompete sites on the results page.
The downside to this is that they can, and will, do the same to your site. That’s why technical SEO and other back-end tricks, that are harder to scout, are important.
Examine Your Analytics & Try New Strategies (If Needed)
Periodically, and after everything you do, you should step back and look at your analytics.
Keeping an eye on web performance metrics will show you when your strategies are working, mainly by looking at organic traffic to your site and then your click-through and conversion rates when they are there.
If you’re not seeing any movement in the analytics, then you need to change things up.
Changes should be done carefully, so you don’t change twenty things, find success, and have no idea what you did that led to that success.
If your analytics have stagnated, you should consider:
- Make more content or introduce more variety of content.
- Try out new keywords, consider exploring industries, niches, and topics that are related to your primary industry.
- Expand your social media presence and increase your posting to bring in other kinds of traffic, which can boost organic traffic performance.
With that, we come to the end of our guide for increasing organic traffic. We’ve covered everything from the basics to what you should do to get and maintain organic traffic for your website.
If you haven’t noticed yet, organic traffic is one of the best metrics a site can get. Not only does it reflect a healthy search engine performance, but it also comes with its own benefits that help your site rank in the future.
With organic traffic, your site can enjoy a strong conversion rate, allowing you to make more money without spending any of your own.
Using the information established in this guide, you can build a site that does well in search rankings, attracts organic traffic, and builds a business from that traffic.
If you’re going through the process right now, you can use this page as a checklist to make sure you’re doing everything right.