How to Increase Organic Search Traffic

How to Increase Organic Search Traffic

On average, organic search accounts for over half (53%) of all traffic that websites receive.

And for business to business, that figure rockets to 76%—in other words, over three quarters of B2B organic traffic comes from search.

In contrast, for all the attention that social media attracts, it accounts for just 5% of organic traffic.

Of course, there’s also paid traffic.

But with ad costs continuing to rise, along with privacy changes making it harder to track their effectiveness, organic traffic continues to have a key role to play for customer acquisition.

Acquisition costs in paid channels tends to be 30% higher, yet businesses using organic channels like blogging attract 67% more leads than those that don’t.

The conclusion from all this data is simply this..

Knowing how to increase organic search traffic is essential.

And the good news is, with the right strategy, it’s not actually that difficult.

It just takes time and consistent action, along with a few key activities that help Google know how to rank your site appropriately.

So without further adieu, here are...

13 Ways to Increase Organic Search Traffic

1. Start Blogging

This post largely assumes your site already has a blog to which new content can be published—but if not, that’s the first step, and needs addressing urgently.

If you’re looking to grow organic traffic from search but aren’t yet blogging, you have a huge opportunity in front of you to start doing so.

‘Cause that’s how organic traffic is built.

Start blogging to increase your organic search traffic

And as stated in the intro, businesses that blog get 67% more leads than those that don’t.

However, don’t expect an overnight home run.

It can take:

  • Several weeks to start seeing traffic from blogging…
  • Several months of consistent activity for that to become significant and for you to start seeing some return.

It’s also hard work.

I don’t want to sugar coat it and give you unrealistic expectations.

But this is also where the opportunity lies.

The work involved is why many give up after just a few posts, disillusioned by the lack of early results, and jumping to the conclusion that it therefore “doesn’t work”.

But keep going a little longer, and within just a year you can be attracting thousands of new visitors a month.

Within two or three, that can be tens of thousands a month.

The gold is to be found after the point at which most give up and go home…

Later, I’ll tell you how your blog can be used to increase organic search traffic to other pages on your site, including your frontend sales pages.

2. Publish New Posts Regularly and Consistently

Once you start blogging, you have to keep going.

And that means keeping to a consistent schedule.

For example, this particular blog started publishing consistently from early January 2021.

At the time of writing, it’s less than a year old. Every week without fail we publish a new post at 2am UTC on a Friday.

Publish regularly and consistently to increase traffic from search

With consistent, regular activity, and within one of the most competitive niches, it’s now generating thousands of organic visitors from search a month.

I’ve ran previous blogs for years on this type of regular, consistent schedule, growing over time to attract tens of thousands a month.

Google values this type of regular, rather than sporadic, activity. It helps indicate that you operate professionally, and that the information you provide is likely to be authoritative.

And, if you’re the one creating the posts, the consistent activity means you hone your craft, get better at it, and improve your results over time.

One of the major challenges in keeping a consistent schedule with blogging is knowing what to write about.

But actually, your market will tell you what they want to know about—this post tells you how, along with 101 business blog post ideas.

Another common question relates to how long your blog posts should be to maximize search traffic—here are some answers.

3. Do Effective Keyword Research

To increase organic search traffic, the content on your blog has to match what people in your market are searching for.

After all, there’s little point in creating content that isn’t.

And that means doing effective keyword research.

In other words, you’re:

  • Researching what people type into Google…
  • Seeing what the demand is (how many people are searching for those keywords each month)...
  • Seeing what the supply is like—how much content already exists for those keywords, and what type of content is out there...

Using Google’s Keyword Planner to research what people are searching for

For example, you might find a keyword that thousands of people are searching for each month, but only a few thousand pieces of content currently exist to meet that demand.

With the proper optimization (more on how to do that below), that makes it easy to rank for.

But a slightly different keyword might have fewer people searching for it, and far higher competition.

Effective keyword research provides the slight shift that magnifies your results significantly.

There’s not the space here to go into keyword research in depth, but I’ve written about it previously. Here are a few resources I’d recommend diving into:

4. Make Your Content as Valuable as Possible

Google wants to send its users to content that provides as much value as possible for what they are searching for.

That’s how they’ve become the dominant search engine—over 90% of searches are now done on Google.

Google dominates organic search

So the more value you can provide to your visitor on the topic of your post, the higher you’ll rank over time.

Google has a number of ways to judge this.

One that can result in lower rankings involves someone clicking through on a result, only to then immediately return and click through on another. It indicates a lack of value or relevance for the keyword in question.

In contrast, if someone clicks through on a result and stays there, that sends a different, more positive message.

Your job is to encourage the visitor to stick around once they reach your website from search, such as through the use of images to help engage them (here are some free and paid stock photo sites you might like to keep to hand).

You’ll discover some other ways to do this in other sections of this post, as well as some things to avoid.

The main message here is, first and foremost, to serve your visitor.

With each post, ask yourself the following question:

“Is this the most valuable resource available on this topic?”

By creating content for which you can answer a confident ‘Yes’ to that question, you can’t help but rank well for it.

Old practices to grow rankings like keyword stuffing and writing for the search engines rather than real visitors are ancient history, and will only work against you.

Create value for Google’s users, and Google will reward you appropriately.

5. Optimize Your Content for Search Engines

Optimizing your content doesn’t involve any sneaky backhand techniques to try to get Google to rank your content highly when it doesn’t otherwise deserve to be there.

SEO is simply about working with Google to help them understand what the content is about so that they can rank it appropriately.

That’s it.

Here are seven key ways to do that—more detail about each of these can be found in this previous post, where I outline the exact process we use to attract several page one listings on Google for this blog:

a. Provide genuine value—already discussed in (4) above. It’s at the top of the list for a reason.

b. Use your post’s URL to reflect what your content is about. So yoursite.com/keyword-here rather than yoursite.com/random-text.

c. Use your post’s title in a similar way. It must reflect the keyword your post is focusing on, preferably as near to the start of the title as possible (but remember to write for the user and optimize its readability and click-through appeal).

d. Optimize your page’s meta title to properly reflect your keyword too. Normally this will contain the title of your post, but may have your site’s name before the post title. If you’re on WordPress, you can check this via the Yoast SEO plugin, checking the Google preview for the post in question.

Use Yoast to optimize your site’s meta title for search

e. Optimize your post’s content by ensuring it reflects the keyword, without detracting from the value provided to the visitor. This means repeating it a number of times (depending on the length of your post), in different ways and without ‘trying too hard’. It can be more art than science.

f. Use your image names and alt text in appropriate ways. Again, incorporate the keyword into image file names in different ways (without overdoing it), as well as the alternative text provided for those images. More on images in (9) below.

g. Internal links—I’ll talk about this some more in the next section.

Some final tips:

Use Google Search Console to help increase organic search traffic

6. Add Internal Links Between Posts

One key way to help Google understand what different posts on your blog are about is to interlink between those posts, using appropriate keywords.

You’ll find plenty of examples of that on this blog!

WordPress and other blogging platforms do this to some extent already through their in-built navigational structure.

But that needs to be supplemented by internal in-post links too.

Add internal links to help increase organic traffic

That doesn’t always mean using the exact focus keyword as the link. In fact, you shouldn’t do that, as it can mean over-optimization, which Google can flag as a negative signal.

Instead, if you’re talking about something that relates to some other post, just link to it in a natural way, somewhere within the sentence.

Google looks at the context of a link—in other words, the meaning of the words around the link itself—to help judge what that page you’re linking to is about.

So linking phrases such as ‘click here’, ‘this previous post’, and so on are all fine, where the other words relate to the post in question and have some relevance to the keyword.

For example, here’s a link on a previous post about submitting infographics, where I linked through to a post that tells you how to create one:

Link between posts using natural language for SEO

Google understands these kinds of in-context links, which help give it a rounded picture on what a particular post is all about.

7. Add (and Attract) External Links Back to Your Content

As well as internal links, links from other sites will also help increase your rankings, including passing on some of the authority of those other sites to your own.

Personally, I’ve never invested much time in reaching out to other sites directly to request links, and have instead always preferred:

  • Attracting links naturally over time from other blogs—this just happens with consistent blogging, and accelerates as your rankings improve and you become a more authoritative site to link to…
  • Growing links by publishing content on third-party sites—more info on this below...

8. Grow Content on Third-Party Sites

There are multiple third-party content platforms available that you can freely publish content on and link straight back to your blog or other pages on your site.

You’ll find most of these are no-follow, in that they provide little or no direct benefit for SEO purposes.

But they do attract indirect benefits, such as people clicking through to your blog from these other sites (and potentially signing up to your list), and then choosing to link to it in future simply through familiarity.

Rather than go into detail here, I’ve written extensively about these other platforms elsewhere on this blog, so here’s a list of posts you’ll likely find helpful:

9. Improve the User Experience

Google wants to send its users to sites that offer a positive experience, and don’t cause the user to click back to search in order to find a different result.

If the user experience on your website is currently lacking in some areas, improving it can provide some quick wins in terms of increasing your traffic from organic search.

Some key areas to focus on include the following:

  • The experience on mobile—be sure to check how your website, including your blog, looks on mobile. Is it easy to navigate and view content, or are there immediate issues that jump out at you? Use Google Console to see how Google views your site on mobile…
  • Font size—too many sites still use really small fonts for their content, which for many people make it difficult to read...
  • Make content suitable for online reading—long paragraphs of unbroken text may be fine offline, but online they drive visitors elsewhere. Just a sentence or two per paragraph is optimal, and use bullet points, headings and subheadings liberally...
  • Page speed—Google prefers sending visitors to sites that load quickly. Use their PageSpeed Insights tool to analyze how your site performs on both mobile and desktop, and make improvements accordingly.

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to improve page speed and attract more search engine traffic

  • Use images and other media liberally—images and other media like video (see below) help engage the visitor and keep them on the page, rather than flitting back to search.
  • Check your site regularly for broken links—of course, links break from time to time, but they mean a poorer experience for users. Scan your site regularly and fix them as they occur.

10. Embed Relevant Video Content

The most engaging type of content is of course video—and Google loves sending visitors to sites that contain it.

If you’re already growing content on third-party sites (see (8) above), and video is part of that mix, embed relevant video back on your site within appropriate blog posts to offer more value to users.

With the appropriate tools, it needn’t be difficult or particularly time consuming to create either.

11. Be Active on Social Media

Social media doesn’t impact your organic search traffic directly—but it does impact the amount of traffic you attract from search indirectly.

There is a lot of correlation between the amount of social shares you get for your content, and your SEO rankings.

That’s not causation—but, as this infographic from LyfeMarketing helps illustrate, it definitely plays a role.

Social media indirectly helps to increase organic search traffic

The first rule is to make it easy for people to share (and reshare) your content, including discovering it on social media.

Here are some resources that can help:

Second, the growth of your own followers on different networks will help drive up the amount of attention your content receives, and the benefits you indirectly get on search.

Here’s some information on how to grow your followers on some of the main social networks:

12. Have a Process for Regularly Updating Older Blog Content

Of course, as you create an increasing amount of content, your older content steadily becomes less relevant and more outdated.

That potentially means it can become trumped by newer, fresher content in the search engines on the same topics, a factor which is particularly pronounced for time-critical content.

Update content regularly to help increase traffic from search

However, your content still has a certain amount of advantage because of its longevity, including the number of links it may have pointing towards it from other authoritative content.

It means that regularly updating your older content can keep it fresh in the eyes of Google, and allow it to maintain or even grow its position in the search engines and attract increasing traffic.

The best approach is to simply have a regular process to revisit older content and revise parts of it where the information may have since become outdated.

13. Link with Relevant Keywords from Your Blog Content Back to Your Main Keyword Pages

Finally, how do you ensure that all this effort on your blog translates into an increasing amount of organic search traffic for your main frontend pages too, including those you’re trying to rank on search for major keywords?

The truth is that as your blog grows in both volume, longevity and authority, you have in your hands a very powerful tool to do just that.

Just as in (6) above we discussed linking between posts using relevant keywords (including in the surrounding context), you can do the exact same thing for main frontend pages.

You likely have a handful of keywords, usually short tail, that would be very valuable for your business to rank well for.

Increase traffic from organic search to your site’s main frontend pages by linking with short tail keywords from your blog content

So link back to your frontend pages from within your posts, using those keywords and closely-related text, that help Google understand what those pages are about so that they can rank them appropriately.

As your blog posts focus on the same niche, albeit with a tendency towards long tail keywords, such links have a high level of relevancy, boosting the authority of your whole site as a whole.

And if you’re also publishing content on third-party sites (see (8) above), on occasion linking back to your frontend pages, you become difficult to compete with, and are likely to only see your rankings and traffic continue to increase over time.

You just have to stick at it.

To Conclude

Knowing how to increase organic search traffic is essential. Between half and three-quarters (for B2B) of all organic traffic comes from search.

This post has given you 13 ways to increase your own organic traffic from search, focusing on a strategy of consistent blogging combined with effective SEO, including driving search traffic back to your main frontend pages.

Over time, you develop a hugely powerful and valuable asset that delivers increasing rewards and makes it harder for others to compete.

@byStephenDShaw

Stephen D Shaw is the founder of Takanomi, which for 20 years has provided software that helps businesses effectively market themselves online through the use of content for customer and lead acquisition.

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