People always want to know how to increase organic traffic to their website. Increasing your website’s traffic isn’t easy, and increasing your organic traffic can be time consuming and/or expensive.
Organic traffic is when people come to your website without a direct marketing cost attributed to their visit.
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This unsolicited, but awesome, organic traffic is there because you have created a valuable online space. You’ve done this by creating interesting and engaging content, useful information and/or resources that has earned your visitor’s attention.
Your organic visitors didn’t click on a pay-per-click advertisement they saw on a banner. A promoted post on Facebook didn’t make them want to learn more about your website. Nor did Google AdWords encourage them to visit by positioning your post on the top of a list with a small blue “ad” label next to it.
They are visitors to your site because of your organic marketing efforts.
Free Marketing: How Is That Even Possible?
Believe me, it is possible to garner this kind of attention without taking out a second mortgage to finance an expensive online marketing campaign, but there is an investment involved.
It takes time, creativity, and diligence to increase the organic traffic to your website.
Many new business owners want to create this kind of online buzz immediately, so they throw up a website, start a daily blog, and become a 24/7 social-media-promoting maniac. After a few weeks, their traffic decreases, and no matter what they do, they can’t seem to get it to a place where it’s profitable.
The Truth About Organic Traffic
Here’s a reality check:
Creating organic online buzz can be hard to do, but it’s not impossible.
Sure, it may be easier to throw money at the situation by paying Google AdWords money or to make a deal with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, but to what end?
New business owners quickly find out this marketing model is not sustainable long-term, and wish they had started an organic marketing campaign much earlier.
You will be successful in attracting organic traffic to your website if you do these seven things:
1. Create Quality Content
People will visit your site on a regular basis if you give them a reason to.
You know that star on your browser that lets you bookmark a website? Your goal is to be that star for someone! When visitors “favourite” your site by clicking that star, it means they view you as a credible source, and the content on your website adds value to their life or business.
To earn that recognition, you must provide new, engaging, and thoughtful information on a regular basis.
This content can include things like:
- Videos: Short and to the point, videos can help introduce you and your services. And landing page videos can help you convert visitors into customers.
- Infographics: Presenting images with text in an attractive way can help promote your business. And by using Brian Dean’s guestographics marketing plan, you can really double down on your organic traffic.
- Editorials and Blog Posts: Engaging narrative can help showcase you and your business’ personality online. Editorials are longer blog posts explaining topics in more detail.
- How-to articles: Step-by-step directives will keep your customers coming back for more. Again these can be blog posts, taking your website visitors on a how to journey and help them achieve an end goal.
- Memes: Customers love humorous memes and will share them on social media. Just make sure they’re not offensive or too crude! Memes have a tendency to go that way.
- Interviews: Transcripts of interviews can help promote and sell your business. Bring guests on your podcast or video show, and transcribe it into a blog post. That way you’ll help search engines latch onto your content.
- eBooks: If you have the resources to engage professional help, eBooks are a great investment. You can use them as “giveaways” or “content upgrades” to your traditional blog posts. That way you can get people signed up to your mailing list.
- Podcasts: These work for those who can dedicate the time to regular well-researched content. If you’re shy on camera but have no problem talking down a microphone, then this is for you! People love podcasts and the podcast trends is getting stronger daily.
- Product reviews: Depending on your industry, product or service reviews can generate a lot of views. For example, on the Canny blog, we might review web hosting solutions or email providers. What could you review?
- “Top 20” Lists: These kinds of superlative lists will improve your SEO efforts. People are attracted to list posts as they’re easy to scan and follow along.
- Online polls: Asking your viewers what they think it is a great way to increase engagement. Online poll results can be a great way to open up discussion on your website.
- Guest posts: Both industry experts and regular customers can add value to your site. Think carefully about who you’d like to guest post, and what type of guest posts you’ll accept. Not “”any old rubbish” will do.
- Useful links: Customers appreciate links to resources and will keep coming back to use them. You can also make money here using affiliate links. Be careful though, only recommend products or services you use or would use yourself. Don’t just link to anything to make a quick buck!
- Research: Depending on your industry, the latest industry trends or news can help awareness. You can keep on top of emerging topics using a tool like Google Trends.
- Case Studies: If you work in a service based industry such as design or marketing, why not show off your body of work? By providing testimonials, you can convince visitors to buy from your company and visit your website more often.
- Online Tutorials: People are always looking to learn. So why not share useful information like tutorials to help your website’s visitors?
- Virtual Classes: Just like tutorials, online classes and courses can help create long-term relationships with customers your customers. Derek Halpern loves talking about online courses, and we highly recommend his blog, Social Triggers.
This is only a small sampling of the content options available that you can use to help promote your business.
Creating the right mix of these options, and promoting them strategically through social media, will result in more people visiting your website organically rather than through your paid marketing efforts.
2. Blog Your Heart Out
The term organic traffic is usually associated with blogging. This is because it is a free and relatively easy way to talk about what you offer,using your website as a platform. While blogging is an effective way to create some buzz online, your blogging strategy must be carefully crafted and executed.
If you choose to blog, make sure your blog posts are these three things:
Your blog posts should provide helpful information about your business that your customers will appreciate. With so much competition online, you want your blog to stand out by providing insight and advice unrivaled by your competition.
But you shouldn’t just focus on your own business.
You need to write blog posts that your target audience will find so amazingly helpful, that they can’t help but reach out to you. Don’t be afraid to “give away the farm” in your blog. There’s no point in holding information back, because it’s not helping anyone that way.
Make your blog as insanely help and useful as you can, and you’ll find people will comment, link to and share your posts!
Before you start talking to your customers online, make sure you know who they are and what they care about. It will be a tremendous waste of your time to write and manage a blog if the information you present doesn’t resonate with your target market.
Like I just mentioned above, you need to write posts that directly target your audience.
But, how do you define your audience?
Neil Patel has a great guide on creating reader personas. If you’re struggling, go ahead and check it out.
You don’t want your blog posts to be good; you need them to be phenomenal.
That means the information you write in your is interesting, the narrative is engaging and it includes SEO-friendly keywords, and most importantly, there are no grammatical errors. If it isn’t outstanding, your blog can wind up hurting your brand rather than helping it.
If you don’t feel up to the task of writing your own blog, hire a writer who can do it for you. You should consider these steps when hiring a professional, be it a writer or designer.
One thing your blog must do is start with WHY?
Before you kickstart your blogging activities, ask yourself:
“Why am I blogging?”
There are a number of reasons you could be creating content for your website. And any of them are fine, but knowing your purpose will help you make decisions.
At the Canny blog, over the few years we’ve been focused solely on creating content to help us generate leads. That’s why we stopped creating posts that solely share interesting design and branding work.
At Canny, we only write posts that our target demographic will find helpful. We get them onto our mailing list and/or they reach out directly to us for help.
So ask yourself WHY, then you can define your WHO, WHAT, WHEN and WHERE. Easy!
3. Use Long Tail Keywords
Keywords are industry-specific words or phrases that when included on your website, can help search engines recognize your website. In turn, your keywords can help connect you to more of your customers online.
If you are in the business of cutting lawns, your website might include words like “lawn” and “maintenance.” These keywords are fine, but not great.
They’re not great because they’ll be difficult to rank for in Google. And it’s no good ranking 50th. You need to rank of the first or second page.
So to do that:
You must use long tail keywords including more geographic information like “Greensleeves Lawncare Services,” “U.K.’s Largest Lawn Treatment Provider,” and specific terms like “Hard Surface Weed Control.”
Not only are these keywords going to be easier to rank for, but they’ll generate more local interest.
Because they are far more specific to what you are selling.
The reasoning behind this is that potential customers who use longer, more specific, phrases to research what they’re looking for are far more likely to make a purchase. They know what they’re looking for and are ready to buy it.
On the other hand, short, non-specific words like “lawn” and “maintenance” are more likely to be used by people not yet entirely sure what it is they’re looking to purchase.
I might need to do something about my horrid lawn, but I’m still undecided between hiring Greensleeves Lawncare Services and tackling the job myself with the help of a new lawn mower and something to manage the weeds.
Long tail keywords are your friend. The more words in the phrase, in theory, the easier it should be to rank for.
But finding these long tail keywords can be a bit of a nightmare.
If you’re looking to double down on SEO, check out our 17 Actionable SEO Tips to Help Skyrocket Your Rankings.
4. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Now that you have a website filled with high-quality content, an interesting blog to share, and a thoughtfully developed website filled with long tail keywords, it’s time to promote your business and blog posts using social media platforms!
Too often, owners rush to promote their business online without having these kinds of digital assets in place. In turn, this leaves customers disappointed and only produces a one-time spike in their website’s organic online traffic.
And one-time spikes are not what we’re going for here. We’re going for steady, week-on-week traffic increases.
You want a steady flow of visitors from your social media marketing efforts.
Original, interesting content, valuable resources, and a regular blog will help gain that sustainable traffic when you promote them all using your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Choosing the right social channels for your business is important, and we’ll be releasing a blog post about that soon.
While most advertising campaigns involve promoting your wares to the masses – that is, to people who may use your products or services, as well as people who most certainly never will – sharing content on social media is a great way to keep in contact with potential customers.
Your social followers have already shown an interest in what you have to offer. These followers are following you for a reason: They like you.
So, sending out a quick tweet about your latest product to people who actually want to hear what you have to say is a great way to increase organic traffic. They’ll see there’s something new at their favourite retailer and pay your website a visit and your organic web traffic goes up.
Social media is also a great way to share the word about your amazing business amongst potential new customers.
Say you post a funny meme or one with useful tips on your Facebook site. That meme just happens to have your logo on it. (Pro tip: Make sure things you post always have your logo on them!) Someone sees it, shares it with their friends, and they go on to do the same.
Boom! Free online advertising.
5. Link It Up – Use Internal Links
To build your credibility online, you need to have the content to back it up. For example, when visitors like one blog post, they might want to read more of your work. So, having an internal link to another post can extend the conversation and the time your visitors spend on your website.
It is also wise to try and encourage other trustworthy sites to link to your site. These websites may include industry leaders, clients, fellow bloggers, family, friends, and suppliers, just to name a few.
Here’s the deal:
Building backlinks is crucial when trying to increase the organic traffic of your website. Backlinks to your blog posts will help you rise up the Google rankings. And, the further up you are, the higher chance you have of seeing an increase in your organic traffic.
Google favours sites that have many incoming links, so the more, the merrier! Just make sure they are reputable websites; nothing turns off a visitor more than spammy links.
Always review your links to make sure they are adding value to your site.
To learn more about how to maximize the benefits of the links associated with your site, our previous post 10 SEO Tips, Tricks & Myths gives some great insight.
One thing to keep in mind when using internal links is to make sure you don’t have too many of them.
Again, you don’t want your blog to be associated with spam, but that’s exactly what happens when all your links are internal and your site visitors get caught up in a whirlwind of links they can’t get out of.
One internal site leads to another which leads to another, and yet another, and there’s no getting out – that’s not the best way to build online credibility.
6. Make Friends Online
When managing your website or online storefront, it’s just as important to create professional networks as you would in a brick and mortar setting.
This means joining the online communities highly regarded in your industry and submitting your blog posts and digital content for them to share. You are more likely to have them share it if you reciprocate by sharing their latest news or content on your website.
If you don’t want to promote other content on your website, share their social media posts, tagging them to make sure they feel the love. This will help increase the chances of them returning the favour.
Aside from sharing, make sure to regularly comment on posts and link to other people’s sites and blogs in your industry. This will not only get your name out there; it will help connect you with potential customers and lend credibility to your business.
And, sometimes you can score a backlink from blog commenting on popular domains.
Pro tip: If you would like more people to comment on your posts, ask a question at the end. Make it relevant to your business and keep it simple.
Ff you own a small pet store, you could ask people to comment with a photo of their pet. Believe me; they will! Everyone loves to show off pictures of their furry kids.
Or, you could make up a fun game where the first person posts a picture illustrating their pet’s name. The next person has to guess their pet’s name based on the picture. So, if I had a dog named Spot, I might post a picture of a spot. (I did say to keep it simple!) Of course, it’s easy to guess, but it’s also fun and all you have left to do is sit back and watch the comments roll in.
If you’re going to do that, create a #hashtag for your game, so people can easily follow along. #guessthename sounds like a winner, right?
7. Keep Evolving
When testing out new methods of generating interest in your website, you will find some things work better than others.
How will you know?
Tools like Google Analytics can help track the visitors to your site so you can learn where they come from. and what keywords they searched for so you can adjust your strategy and plan your content accordingly.
It’s also wise to investigate which plugins will work best for your website. Are you not sure where to start? Check out Online Guru Neil Patel’s post about which plugins to choose.
These tips will help keep your content fluid so that it adapts to the changing needs of visitors to your website. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking what worked well in the past will work well in future, but as visitors to your site change, so should your site.
8. Get Good at Content Marketing
Putting lots of content out there will help with boosting organic traffic. Patel notes that even smaller companies with fewer marketing resources can benefit with more long-term organic traffic if they just increase the amount of content on their site.
Possibly the best way to address content marketing is to focus on blog traffic.
“If you build it, they will come,” certainly rings true here.
If you build up a quality blog with well-written articles that contain useful information for your target audience, it will attract traffic. Potential customers will come to see it as a helpful reference guide for your area of the market and it will boost organic search traffic.
Furthermore, more blog entries can and should result in more long tail keywords on your site, thus resulting in better on-page SEO and higher search engine rankings.
As mentioned above, be sure to stick to quality material when building up your blog. Spammy or vacuous content will drive readers away.
But here’s the important thing about content marketing:
You can’t forget the “marketing.”
You absolutely must remember to market the content you create. It won’t market itself.
Remember to post it on social, reach out to people for backlinks and link to it internally. Without doing that, you’re just content creating, you’re not content marketing.
Some Final Thoughts on Increasing Your Website’s Organic Traffic
You can increase your website’s organic traffic without paying someone else to do it for you. These eight tips can increase your search engine rankings, help your website generate the organic traffic you desire, and give you a way to genuinely connect with your customers online.
How have you increased organic traffic to your website? We’d love to know what’s been working for you, so leave us a comment below.