Organic search accounts for over 53% of website traffic. A simple statistic, but a powerful one. So, what is organic traffic?
What Is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic refers to search results on Google that aren’t paid ads, and organic traffic is the “free” website traffic driven by a page’s relevancy to a search query and content quality, without using pay-per-click (PPC) Google Ads to buy the top spot on Google.
That’s what search engine optimization (SEO) is all about. SEO trends have evolved greatly over the years, owing to the enormous number of users turning to search engines to answer their queries and needs every day.
Not to mention search engines like Google have been working on refining and updating their algorithms. So far, Google’s algorithms are updated 600 times every year (major algorithm updates include Panda, Pirate, Pigeon, and most recently, BERT). These updates greatly impact the criteria the algorithm uses to gauge the rankings relevancy of websites and their respective web pages.
The most recent algorithm, BERT, has helped create a smoother, faster, and more helpful search experience. The reason why BERT is one of the biggest Google algorithm updates to date?
Two words: search intent.
What Is Search Intent?
Put simply, Google’s modern ranking algorithm focuses on search (or user) intent — it tries to understand the intent of the user who’s typing out a search query. Broadly speaking, the search intent could be informational (“what is yoga”), transactional (“best yoga mat” or “buy yoga mat”), or navigational (“Gmail login”) in nature.
For websites, search intent will play an important role in site relevancy, rankings for keywords, as well as quality and quantity of organic traffic.
Now, before you work on boosting your website’s SEO performance, conduct an SEO audit to determine where your website needs improvement.
Why Run An SEO Audit?
As the popular saying goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. And so, the first thing you need to do to start taking your SEO efforts in the right direction is to run an SEO audit.
In your audit, monitor the following key SEO metrics that are tied to the goal of boosting your organic traffic:
- Keyword rankings
- Click-through rate
- Organic sessions
- Average session duration
- New users
- Bounce rate
For this, you might be collating SEO data from different tools of your choice, such as Google Analytics, Search Console, Semrush, AccuRanker, etc. Consider using Swydo to create SEO audit reports as it will improve your efficiency and help make your audit report readily accessible to everyone on the team (and share results with clients, if you’re an agency). With it, you can easily combine the data of your SEO audit in one report.
Swydo integrates with a number of third-party SEO platforms such as the ones just mentioned, and enables you to bring all your search marketing data together in a single, comprehensive report like this one.
With your audit report ready, let’s dive into the six of the most effective things you can do to boost your website’s organic rankings and traffic.
Techniques To Boost Organic Traffic In 2022
1. Do A Thorough Competitor Analysis
A single search query, something as simple as “What is SEO?” shows thousands of blogs and websites that answer the same questions. Standing out amongst hundreds of competitors isn’t impossible, but it takes well-thought-out strategies and thorough competitor research.
Here’s how you can measure website growth against competitors for relevant keywords, drive better traffic to your website for certain search queries, and build a leak-proof strategy for organic growth.
Start with keyword differentiation
Targeting the right short-tail and long-tail keywords can give you an edge over your competitors, irrespective of whether your company’s in the big leagues or a small business.
Identifying relevant keywords with lower competition yet decent search traffic can help you attain first-page rankings quicker for certain priority pages.
To start with, identify content types that work best for your site, be it videos, blogs, short features, infographics, etc. Here are three steps you can follow to come up with engaging and informative content ideas.
- Identify the content types that best resonate with your audience, such as how-to posts, listicles, videos, etc.
- Look up relevant and top-performing topic ideas using content research tools such as BuzzSumo, HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, etc.
- Study your competitor’s content strategy with the help of tools such as Sprout Social, or SEMrush.
Do a link gap analysis
Link gap analysis entails looking for sites that are already linking to your competitors. This will help you scope out sites that are readily linking to similar content, which means they’re easy targets to earn some juicy backlinks.
To help scout out your competitor’s performance and links, use gap analysis tools like the Link Intersect Tool from Link Explorer.
Above all, you can use Swydo Semrush Integration or Ahrefs that can help you with all these aspects of competitor, content, and keyword analysis.
2. Write For Humans First, Engines Second
The heading says it all. Here’s how you can optimize your content for your users, and then for the algorithm.
If your website copy isn’t easy to read, neither your users nor the algorithm will like it. The higher your readability score, the more brownie points you score with the algorithm. Here’s an example.
A user searches for “What is SEO” on Google. If your website is filled with technical jargon and complex copy, the algorithm will simply rank your site lower for relevancy and move on to the next website.
Say goodbye to user traffic and quality leads if your website isn’t optimized for better readability and smooth UX.
- E-A-T rating
E-A-T stands for Expertise-Authority-Trust, and the higher your E-A-T score, the more relevant and credible your site will be to your users.
Here are ways in which you can work on improving your E-A-T score:
- Working on valuable, informational content – through blogs, how-to’s, product guides, etc.
- Include plenty of testimonials and reviews (the more your brand is reviewed by users, the easier it is for another user to trust you)
- Include clear information about what your company does, its mission, values, etc.
- Invite guest features from industry experts
- List out plenty of contact details – to answer any queries your users may have, and build better trust and credibility.
Tip – Integrating your content details and customer reviews on listings such as Google My Business helps with organic reach too.
When it comes to search engines, keyword density and content length can determine site relevancy, and in turn, organic reach.
Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword (both short-tail and long-tail) appears on a page or content block.
Focusing on a natural integration of keywords in your website content is the best way to ensure solid keyword relevancy, without having to resort to practices such as keyword stuffing (a big no-no).
Content length, on the other hand, is equally important. The longer (and more readable) your content is, the better it will rank for search queries. According to studies, algorithms prefer content that is at least 300 words in length.
However, a fine line has to be drawn between fulfilling this criterion and simply stuffing content in the hopes of a better ranking. The length of your content and its relevance is what will help boost organic reach.
3. Invest In On-Page And Off-Page SEO
To start with, let’s take a look at SERPs. Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs are the search engine’s answer to user search queries. When a user types out a query, the list of relevant websites, ads, and features that pop up are SERPs.
Almost all user traffic through SERPs can be divided into paid and organic categories. For organic reach, boosting reach via SERPs is essential. Certain keywords have more competition than others, Targeting the right keywords can help you rank much, much higher for a search query.
According to Backlinko, the top-ranked site results on Google have 3.8x more backlinks than those ranked lower.
Investing in on-page and off-page SEO is a great way to boost visibility, credibility, and relevance while being crawled by the algorithm.
On-page SEO involves optimizing web pages that you’re in control of. Off-page SEO involves boosting the credibility and relevance of your site through practices such as backlinking.
Here’s how you can invest in both on-page and off-page SEO to rank higher on SERPs.
Refining old content
Optimization is key. Reworking your old website content to match trends and brand growth is a great way to boost relevancy. Including keywords and fresh content (like blogs) in your website copy is a great way to rank higher. The more recent your content is, the better it’ll rank.
Adding new content formats
Once again, including new and relevant content formats (like videos and podcasts) is nothing but beneficial for your rankings. An added benefit of adding fresh formats is that the algorithm will rank your web pages as recent, giving your site an edge over your competitors.
4. Focus On Localization And Local SEO
More than a third of all mobile searches are location-specific.
It’s no surprise that local channels carry great potential for your website’s organic traffic. Thanks to advanced location technology, advertisement channels such as Google Ads allow sites to advertise to a certain segment of their target audience, one that is nearby.
By listing your site in local directories, and setting up a Google Business Profile, a company can direct its marketing and advertising efforts to its audiences, involving factors like – location, search preferences, demographics, etc.
Local listings also help customers find relevant brands and services quicker, leading to a greater increase in local, high-quality organic traffic for a company’s website.
Conducting local keyword research can also help companies target which keyword/phrase has the least/most competition, the largest search volume, and other relevant metrics. Making the right bids for these relevant keywords can contribute greatly to a company’s organic reach.
And lastly, optimizing content for local audiences captures better rankings on SERPs for relevant search queries, leading to better and high-volume inbound leads.
5. Work On Mobile Device Optimization
Here’s a statistic to show the sheer potential of mobile users for your site’s organic reach. By 2025, over 75% of all internet users will use only mobile phones to conduct search queries.
Optimizing your website for mobile-friendliness is the best way to prepare your website for organic success. A user browsing through your website on a laptop will see a much different layout than a mobile user. Websites optimized for mobile devices are adjusted to fit on a smaller screen, have a clearer layout, and are quick to load across various network speeds.
Optimizing all the media on your website (videos, images, GIFs) is essential – the less file size they occupy, the faster they’ll load. Imagine a laggy website with empty placeholders. Complete nightmare.
Another interesting technique companies can utilize is pop-up notifications. Users are, more than often, directed to visit a site or app through timely reminders via notifications. A cracking, relevant copy in your pop-up notifications can help boost user traffic and lead quality, especially while running your company’s marketing campaigns. (Think festive-themed notifications leading up to your annual Christmas sale)
And finally, the importance of the thumb. Responsive websites (easy-to-use and accessible) have one defining feature that sets them apart from websites that are inaccessible through mobile devices – they have a thumb-friendly layout.
While your website may adapt itself to various screen sizes, placing important buttons (such as CTA, contact buttons, place-an-order field) within easy reach of an individual’s thumb (or hand) is a great way to ensure a great UX and greater quality in traffic.
6. Keep An Eye On Google’s Changing Algorithm Updates
As mentioned before, Google’s algorithm undergoes hundreds of changes throughout the year. Closely watching these updates and working on optimization strategies is a great way to stay on top of the organic game. Google’s Search Central is a great place to read about the latest updates, and what they mean for your website’s visibility.
Another great place to always be in the know? Twitter. Top developers and tech heads from Google are constantly updating audiences with the latest trends and use cases for websites across diverse niches and market models (B2B, SaaS, B2C, etc.)
Organic traffic for websites in the coming year will be dependent on several factors – accessibility, relevancy, and the implementation of various off-page and on-page SEO strategies.
Keeping a user-centric focus while optimizing your site for better reach and visibility is the best way to ensure success on all fronts.
Paul Fraser is a Freelance Content Writer at Commerce Mentors. He has two years of experience in writing about eCommerce, Technology, and Marketing. Paul is also a number guy who enjoys reading novels. When not working, he loves visiting new cafes and spending time with his friends.