How to Increase Organic Traffic to Your Website (An In-Depth Guide)
How can I increase organic traffic to my website? It’s a question that everyone wants an answer to.
We all want more traffic, because more traffic means more leads and customers, and more awareness surrounding our businesses.
But how can you get more website traffic? What’s the secret sauce?
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 through a search engine without a direct marketing cost attributed to their visit.
This unsolicited, but awesome, organic traffic is there because you have created a valuable online space, worthy of visiting.
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.
Let’s dive in!
The Truth About Organic Traffic
Here’s a reality check:
Creating organic traffic through 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.
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.
If that doesn’t sound like the life for you, check out our favourite small business advertising ideas.
Exploring Different Ways to Get More Website Traffic
At Canny, we use our blog to drive most of our traffic. But on top of that, we’ve also experimented with creating a video show.
Our blog posts live on our website, and we post something new every single week.
The blogs we post usually contain between 1500 and 3000 words. This means we can cover the topics we write about in depth.
In turn, this gives Google enough content to hook onto, and helps us rank in Google for not only our target keywords, but also several different long tail keywords.
If you’d like to learn more about or success with blogging, check out this post about how we built a six figure business using our blogging.
Blogging works because we start to rank for lots and lots of search terms. Sure, they may only get 4 or 5 searches a month, but when you rank for 20-50 terms, that’s a lot of extra organic traffic.
We also use our blog posts to get people to sign up to our email list.
We do this by offering a free giveaway, called a Content Upgrade, in each post. In turn, people join our list and become subscribers. Then, each week, we mail them with our latest posts, building a relationship with them, and bringing them back to our website.
At the back end of 2017, we added a video show to our content strategy.
Our video show is called The Tuesday Show, and you can check it out on YouTube.
We added a video show, because we wanted to give people a behind the scenes look at what happens at Canny Creative.
Now, obviously, we can’t show every little detail of our projects, but we can show what we’re working on, what meetings we’re going to and more.
Right now, we have a small number of subscribers, but views on our videos are growing, and our subscriber base is creeping up.
But it’s all about consistency.
Since then, we’ve had to stop production of the video show, as we couldn’t commit the resources with our current workload.
There are of course many other types of content that can and should be used to benefit from organic traffic, these are:
- 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.
- 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 business 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.
- Podcasting: 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.
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.
One small, but very important reminder:
Don’t forget content distribution!
One key thing to remember when it comes to content creation, is that you can’t forget about the distribution.
It’s no good writing lots of great blog posts, if you’re not going to promote them.
You need to reach out to the people and companies that you mention within your posts. Drop them an email and ask them if they’d be able to share it. That way, you can capitalise on their network and contacts too.
Building links within your industry, and from other websites to yours, will help increase the amount of website traffic you get.
Imagine if someone links out to one of your posts from a top news site. You’re likely to pick up a lot of new website visitors from that alone.
But you’re not going to get those links without reaching out to people. Distribution is key when it comes to your content marketing strategy.
Your content needs to get noticed, so don’t forget to promote it!
Check out this guide if you’re looking to improve your content marketing.
SEO and Digital Marketing
By ranking higher in Google, you will get more website traffic. That’s a given.
Ranking your website in the coveted 1-3 spots in Google’s SERP (search engine ranking positions) will drive a lot of organic traffic to your website.
Your content strategy should be designed to work alongside your SEO strategy, in turn, increasing your organic rankings.
A good digital marketing agency will be able to help you put together a content strategy that works for your business.
As well as pulling together your content strategy, your digital agency should be focusing on several other key techniques that will improve your organic rankings to build up your website traffic.
- Auditing and optimising your website
- Creating SEO optimised landing pages
- Building internal and external links
Each of these techniques, coupled with your content strategy, form a winning SEO strategy that will help drive a lot more organic traffic to your site.
But SEO has evolved from “pay us some money, and we’ll help you get good rankings.”
Nobody can guarantee that anymore!
Repeat after me:
Nobody can guarantee that anymore!
SEO is not a magic bullet that can be fired to help your website get ranked in Google. It’s a combination of different techniques that you can use to give you the best chance of success.
You need to be working together with a digital marketing agency to build your online presence, through all of the techniques mentioned above.
However, there are several other ways to get more website traffic.
Using the Right 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.
We recommend using Google’s Keyword Planner combined with Keywordtool.io to start generating long tail keyword ideas.
Or, splash out on a tool like AHREFs that will make finding these keywords a breeze.
Failing that, you can get help from a professional digital marketing agency.
If you’re looking to double down on SEO, check out our 17 Actionable SEO Tips to Help Skyrocket Your Rankings.
Paying For Adverts
Paying for advertising is a great way to get more people onto your website. And there are a few different ways you can do it.
Paid advertising doesn’t have to be expensive. And if you get it right, you can really double down, increasing both awareness of your brand, and (hopefully) profit.
Two types of paid advertising have risen above the rest. They are:
- Google Adwords
- Facebook Adverts
Let’s take a look at them both.
Google Adwords was the first platform that gave people the ability to buy advertising that drove people to their website.
When Gary Vaynerchuk started out promoting Wine Library, he was buying the word “wine” at less than 5 cents per click. Now, that same click would cost somewhere in the $15 region.
Paying for Google Adwords can be very expensive if you don’t understand what you’re doing.
But get it right, and you can make a huge positive impact on your business.
The rise of Facebook advertising has happened because right now, it’s a lot cheaper than Google Adwords.
And, as most people are on Facebook, and spend a lot of time there, it makes sense to advertise where you have the best chance of getting seen.
One of the huge advantages of Facebook advertising is it’s demographic and profiling features.
You can target people by age, sex, location, job, interests and more.
This gives you a huge advantage, and if you have a well defined customer persona, you could be in luck with a cost effective Facebook advertising strategy.
Other Paid Advertising
Now, if you know your customer personas well, you might decide that they’re not really the Facebook type of person.
And that’s great.
Where else do they look on the internet? Are they using Instagram, or perhaps LinkedIn?
Great! They have paid advertising options too. So utilise them.
Some people view paying for advertising as a “cheap tactic” or “easy win” – but it can drive a lot of traffic and growth.
If it works, who cares what anyone else thinks?
Blog Your Heart Out
Now that the important steps are out the way, you really, really, need to 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 helpful 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.
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, where, and when. Easy!
Another way to get more website traffic is to…
Utilise Social Media
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!
First things first:
Social media isn’t just a fad, it’s not just for young people.
Social media is growing. And will continue to grow.
So you need to be using it to your advantage. If your business doesn’t have a presence on the relevant social media platforms, you’re missing out.
You can use social media to drive a lot of traffic to your website.
It’s all about using the right channels, sharing the right content, and sending out the right message.
Social media can have a huge impact on your website’s traffic. It’ll do nothing if you don’t do it right. But get it right, and you could see a huge spike in your numbers.
Too often, owners rush to promote their business online without having these kinds of digital assets in place.
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, and LinkedIn.
Choosing the right social channels for your business is important, you need to go where your customers are.
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 traffic to your website.
They’ll see there’s something new at their favourite retailer and pay your website a visit. If they like what they see, they’re likely to return in future, giving your organic traffic a boost.
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 Someone sees it, shares it with their friends, and they go on to do the same.
Boom! Free online advertising.
Link It Up – Use Internal Links
To build your credibility online, you need to have the content to back it up.
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, as well as the time your visitors spend on your website.
It is also wise to try and encourage other trustworthy sites to link to your website.
These websites could include:
- Industry leaders
- Fellow bloggers
- Family and friends
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. 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 backlinks from 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.
One thing to keep in mind when using internal links is to make sure you don’t have too many of them.
We usually put them in our blog posts once per point we’re making.
You don’t want to trap your visitors in a whirlwind of internal links that they can’t get out of.
One internal site link 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.
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 to potential customers and lend credibility to your business.
And, sometimes you can score a backlink from blog commenting on popular domains.
Marketing firm Mailchimp have thousands of backlinks directing to their annual report alone!
Make it relevant to your business and keep it simple.
If 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?
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, 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 website change, your website needs to evolve to help them.
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. Especially if you’ve chosen the right keywords!
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 useless content will drive readers away.
But here’s the important thing about content marketing:
You can’t forget the “marketing.”
Like we’ve already mentioned, 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.
Once You Have People on Your Website
Once you have people on your website, it’s important that you don’t squander your opportunity.
You need to make sure that you’re able to convert your visitors into a lead, potential lead, or customer.
Follow these web design tips to get the most out of your website visitors.
Avoid Making Website Design Mistakes
Your website needs to load fast, look good, and instill trust.
You only have one chance to make a first impression, so you need to make it count.
Then, you need to make sure you’re offering value.
If you’re selling a service – what is it people are going to get by working with you?
If you’re selling products – why should they by from you rather than your competition?
Be transparent, and offer value.
Think About Your Call to Action
Make sure you give your visitors a way to get in touch. Think about your call to action.
What action do you want them to take? Do you want them to fill out a form? Email you? Call you?
We prefer it when people call us, therefore a lot of our call to actions are based around our phone number.
We like talking to people on the phone. It allows us to understand more about their business, and the conversation flows more organically.
That means, we have a higher chance of converting them into clients.
Remember, Not Everyone is Ready to Buy
And that’s fine. Not everyone is going to buy, but you should try everything you can to get them onto your email list.
Sure, people hate popups when they’re in the middle of reading something – but when they’re about to leave your website, why not intercept them then?
Getting people onto your emailing list allows you to keep touching base with them. The hope being that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll come to you first.
In the words of Gary Vaynerchuk;
Jab, jab, jab, right hook.
Value, value, value, then ask for the sale.
Conclusion: How Can I Get More Website Traffic?
You can increase your website’s organic traffic without paying someone else to do it for you.
The tips shared in this post 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.
Getting more organic traffic to your website is key to your success. With conversion rates at around 3% on average, you need to be attracting a lot of visitors per day to make any sort of impact.
To do that, you need to understand your target audience, and take action to bring them into your website.
Without a doubt, blogging is one of the easiest ways to bring people into your website.
Then once they’re there, make sure you’re able to capitalise and make the sale or capture the lead.
It’s not rocket science. You need to provide value to attract people.
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.
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