It’s healthier, more sustainable and natural.
No, I’m not talking about organic foods—though it can’t hurt to go for those either.
I’m talking about organic traffic.
You’re not trying to sell things to people—at least, not without providing those people with something of value.
First, you answer their questions and solve their problems within excellent, valuable and information-rich content.
Then, they take the action you want. They sign up for your email list, buy your product or pay for your service.
That’s the power of organic traffic. That’s how it works in a nutshell.
Even now, too many people are left wondering, “what’s so great about improving organic traffic?”
It’s not just great, it’s a must-do.
Why You’ve Gotta Improve Your Organic Traffic
Nobody would even ask that question about improving organic traffic if they’d seen the following statistics:
- Organic search now drives 51 percent of the traffic from all the visitors of B2B and B2C websites, leaving paid search (10 percent) and social (5 percent) far, far behind.
- Content that appears in search engine results, positioned in the second through fourth slots, received a higher share of clicks in 2014 (62.6%) compared to 2005 (32.8%). That’s still steadily increasing. The clicks keep on coming.
- 89 percent of customers start their buying process with a search engine. They type their questions and requests for recommendations right into the search engine, and they often make their final decisions and purchases based on the information returned to them in the search results.
With so much information available at our fingertips, we all want to fully understand the product or service before taking our wallets out of our pockets. It’s the modern way. Search engines now play a crucial role in the buyer’s journey.
It starts with awareness and ends up with a decision. In the middle of those two points, people are consulting with the internet and considering different options.
Search engine leads convert even more than social media leads because the intent to buy is higher—they’re on a search engine actively seeking information related to their purchase, not just aimlessly scrolling down their Twitter or Facebook feed. They’re in the right headspace to spend money when they’re at the search engine step.
Now that you’re convinced that organic traffic is important, let’s move along to the tips for increasing it.
9 Fresh Tips for Improving Your Organic Traffic Like a Natural
1. Create Keyword Database
Keywords, keywords, keywords.
You might know all about them or you might still be learning.
Either way, the big takeaway here is that they’re vital to earning organic traffic.
Keywords are what people enter into their chosen search engine to find information on a topic.
First, you’ll want to use a tool like the Google Keyword tool or Keywordtool.io to find a list of highly searched and relevant keywords. You’ll see some keywords with a higher search volume, say “Mobile Phones.” These can be hard to rank in search engine results for, so just pick one that most strongly relates to your site’s focal topic: Then make sure it features prominently on every page on your website for better optimization (without keyword stuffing).
Other keywords have lower search volumes and lower competition for search result rankings. For example, “Mobile Phones September 2017.”‘
As you’ll notice, they often revolve around the higher-traffic and higher-competition keywords, but get more specific and niche with additional words added into the mix.
Do your homework and build up a stockpile of relevant keywords.
Having a cluster of keyword ideas revolving around the same topics sends positive signals to the search engines. By publishing quality content on specific ideas, search engine bots raise your organic ranking by treating you as an authority in your domain.
Similar keyword ideas also create a robust framework of interlinks. In each page or blog post, you can link out to related pages and blog posts on your site. As readers love to explore more and more information about their topic of interest, your interlinking will play on each reader’s curiosity to know more about the topic.
- Identify the most useful keyword research tool for your needs
- Organize your keywords in a Google Spreadsheet or project management tool
- Track the keywords you’ve built content around in a keyword rank tracking tool like SerpBook to see how your content performs and tweak your strategy
2. Make Something Worthy of Shares and Links
Why do you recommend a product or service to a friend or family member?
Usually, it’s because it’s something you know well, like and trust.
Social media shares work the same way.
So, you need to provide plenty of great information and build up a reputation with your audience.
While building any linkable asset—whether it’s a page, blog post, e-book or infographic—just keep this information in mind. Nobody cares about your content until you care about others and what they want. Start by checking out the most popular topics in your industry through BuzzSumo, Alltop, Quora or Google Trends.
Research and validate your topic ideas before deciding on the content, style and format. Address the real needs, wants and issues of your audience. Otherwise, your post might well die a slow death without ever getting noticed.
Link to influencers within your industry to improve your chances of earning backlinks—that’s when someone sticks a link to your site on their site. The more backlinks you get, the more authority your site has, the higher your content appears in search engine results and the higher the rates of organic traffic you’ll see.
3. Turn Your Competitor into Mentor
Outperform your competitors by looking at what they’ve got and asking yourself the following question: Can I come up with a better content?
Stop looking the well-established players in your market as hurdles to jump or enemies to destroy. Use their resources as smart weapons to build your online empire.
- Create a list of competitors within your industry.
- Study their activities by scanning their social media profiles and website pages.
- Jot down their strategies to understand their inner workings. If you find any similarities in the approach followed by two or more competitors, keep that plan on the top priority list.
- After analyzing, get down to work. Don’t just plan the content without taking any action. Test things out and modify your plans according to the mood of your target audience.
4. Do an Expert Roundup
Do you find difficulty connecting with the influencers in your niche?
Do you fall short when brainstorming ideas for your new content?
Do you like the sound of reaching your target audience without spending a single penny on promotions?
The expert roundup comes to the rescue.
There are three simple steps to conduct an expert roundup:
1. Do detailed research on the influencers and jot their names down on an Excel sheet.
2. If the influencers are unapproachable through contact forms, ping them on their social media platforms or sign up for their email newsletters and write a reply to their next mailer.
3. As the influencers are busy, do a follow-up in reference to your first request.
Check out Richard Marriott’s case study to experience the power of the expert roundup for building organic traffic.
Apart from high-quality backlinks, expert roundups build the most important thing: Relationships.
After building a rapport with the influencers, you’ll handle future interactions with ease.
5. Build Backlinks with Broken Links
If you don’t have ample time to create new content, help others out with your already-published articles.
As nobody likes broken links, you can earn backlinks from all kinds of websites, including scholarly (.edu), government (.gov) and other authority websites.
- Choose a site where you’d like to have a backlink.
- Check out a site’s broken links through the Chrome plugin Check My Links.
- Find the sites with the broken links with the following search commands on Google:
- “Your keyword” + inurl:links
- “Your keyword” + inurl:resources
- Contact the webmaster and ask them to replace the broken link with your link. If your content is link-worthy, get ready to grab the juicy backlink.
6. Indulge in a Barter System with Industry Publications
Exchange your expertise with the massive audience base of the authority sites. Offer to write them a guest post—if they have a page about submitting contributions, all the better because you’ll know what they’re looking for.
If not, scan their site and come up with a clever proposal that fills a big gap in their content.
Even big publications welcome new, fresh, expert content with open arms. In return, they provide the platform for the authors to connect with the readers and win their trust.
That said, don’t aim for the big shots in the beginning. Start with the small ones and build a strong digital portfolio.
Once you’ve hooked a website for a guest post, stay away from the self-promotion in your article submission. Include your links only in your author profile. If the content is totally self-promotional, editors scrap away such drafts without giving them a second thought.
Always remember: Don’t force these guest posts for gaining the backlinks. It must be excellent writing with top-notch information and a unique perspective. Readers and editors alike are smart enough to tell the difference.
7. Help Reporters for Earning High-value Links
Press magic works on the principle “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.”
The message is loud and clear from the reporters: “I don’t have the time to do the research by myself. If you can help me get the research done, I’ll do something for you that you can’t do for yourself.”
Sign up for the press alerts to get emails directly in your mailbox from journalists. Here’s a list of some free services to get you started:
Keep the following points in mind:
- As you’ll receive tons of emails, create individual folders for different services.
- Be selective about the industry topics to have less crowding and clutter in your mailbox.
- Make the response clear and to the point, without any self-promotion.
- Wait for the reply from the journalist. If it doesn’t come, leave it and focus on another press request. Don’t follow up.
Why should you help reporters?
- Media exposure from big sites lifts your reputation in search engine’s eyes, and as a result, it boosts the organic search traffic.
- Press links generate direct traffic to your site.
- Mentions on big publications build authority. With authority comes the trust and credibility to convert your site into a brand.
8. Join the Community
A community can turn out to be a goldmine for generating highly-targeted organic traffic. It’s a place where like-minded individuals come and discuss topics of common interest.
Let’s say you’re launching a meditation product. For building trust and credibility, the best option is to look out for communities interested in the meditation topic. The Meditation topic on Quora has more than 200,000 followers and around 10,000 questions.
With so many questions out there online, don’t even dare to complain about the shortage of topic ideas.
- Look out for the specific hashtags on different social media channels. Join a Facebook group. Answer questions on Quora.
- Don’t join the community for self-promotion. There are no shortcuts to promote your products or services.
- Discuss the ideas with the intention of educating the members.
Frame your keywords and content around the questions posed by internet dwellers. The questions, posted by community members of all different social sites, reflect what kind of content is needed. They can’t figure out the solution, so they seek external help.
This is an excellent chance to win their hearts and the confidence of the search engines.
9. Resolve 404 Errors
404 error page signals, to both users and search engines, a clear message: The page is not found.
This error creates higher bounce rates and lowers click-through rates. Google supposedly doesn’t count this as a negative search signal or penalize you for it in terms of SEO, but it does result in negative user experience.
Some common reasons for 404 errors:
- Removal of content from the website.
- When someone lands on your site after clicking a misspelled link. To overcome this issue, contact the webmaster from where the visitor landed on your website.
- Change in the permalink or the link structure on your end. You should avoid changing permalinks or link structure at all costs, but if you must change these things, make sure you set up redirects.
How does it feel when you click the link with the hope of getting a solution and it results in a 404 error?
To ease the frustration and decrease the bounce rate, customize your 404 page by following these practices:
- Include the link to your homepage. This gives readers a next place to go. The main idea is to hold them on your website.
- Insert your main site menu, to help visitors to go through the main sections of your website. If they can’t get the information they were looking for, at least make sure you hold their interest and keep them on your site.
- Share your contact information. You may also ask the readers to tell you where on your site they’re experiencing the issue. Which link was broken? On which page? This simple step turns the frustration into admiration because you’ve taken the initiative to enhance the user experience.
- Include a search bar. This way, visitors can try doing a manual search for the information they wanted.
Ultimately, your customer—the reader who arrives at your site via organic search results—is the king.
Give them what they want: Valuable information, insight, advice, recommendations.
With satisfaction, the organic traffic will start to flow.
With more traffic comes more clicks, more leads and, ultimately, more sales.