Do you want more website traffic without paying for ads and directory listings? Organic traffic might be the answer you’re looking for. This high-ROI strategy can get your services in front of more potential clients. In this blog post, we give an overview of what organic traffic is, why it’s important for small businesses, and how to increase organic traffic to your site.
What Organic Traffic Is
Organic traffic refers to visitors who come to your site through search engine results pages (SERPs). Say you’re a wedding florist. If someone enters “floral installation” into Google, you’ll want to be in the top results for that search. When they click onto your page from Google, that visitor becomes organic traffic. In other words, organic traffic comes hand in hand with good SEO.
Organic Traffic vs Direct Traffic
Visitors who come to your site via direct traffic either type your URL into their internet browser or follow a direct link to your site. The link might be in an email or on another website. These visitors can be warmer than those who find you through organic traffic. However, there typically are more steps to getting your link in front of those visitors than there are for organic traffic from effective blogging.
Organic Traffic vs Paid Traffic
Paid traffic comes from clicks on ads. These days Google lists ads at the top and bottom of SERPs. It’s one way to make the first page, but the costs can add up.
Why Organic Traffic Matters for Small Businesses
The comparatively low cost of organic traffic makes it a huge asset for marketing a small business. Once your website is optimized, there are not many costs in maintaining it. Compare this to the potential costs of social media or Google ads with unpredictable returns. By designing their wedding photography website for organic traffic, Tia often gets over 2,000 monthly visitors with no paid ads or directory listings.
Improving your SEO takes time. When you’re publishing regularly (see below), a blog post may take three months or more to rank well. Patience is worth the ROI when it comes to organic traffic. A blog post can have a lifespan of over a year. That’s more than any paid ad can promise.
Arguably, monthly website traffic is a vanity measure. It doesn’t tell you how your business is doing. However, more traffic to quality content can increase leads significantly. It’s an opportunity to establish trust with potential customers before you get them on the phone or in your inbox. For small businesses, this is an invaluable chance to stand out from competitors.
When you can rely on organic traffic to your website, you can stress less about active marketing. We’re all human, and most solopreneurs need to ghost some marketing channels from time to time. If you let your ads lapse or post inconsistently on Instagram, organic traffic gives you more space to honor your humanity while keeping your business running.
5 Tips for Driving Organic Traffic
1 Create quality content.
Quality content drives organic traffic – and leads – best. But what is “quality content”? Remember that people go to search engines like Google to ask questions. Think about what questions you can answer with your content marketing.
Think about what your clients are doing before they search for your services. For example, if you’re a family photographer, your clients likely are looking for outfit inspiration and photo location ideas. You can create content around these topics to drive organic traffic and, ideally, increase your leads.
2 Publish regularly.
Regular publishing accounts for 26% of Google’s algorithm. Blogging gives small businesses a low-maintenance way to make a big impact on their SEO. Big businesses can afford teams to blog 10-12 times each month. The solopreneurs we work with tend to see gains with blogging just once a week, which is much more manageable.
3 Develop a keyword strategy.
For your content to be findable on the web, you need to optimize it for relevant keywords. Your long-term strategy should include a cloud of related keywords. In Google’s view, this supports your authority on your main topic or service. For example, a doula could target keywords around birthing centers and prenatal care. This will help you rank higher in more searches across the board.
4 Get more backlinks.
Backlinks are links from other websites to your own. Backlinks improve your domain authority, so Google will rank you higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). A few ways to get backlinks are:
- Get your work published on an industry website (Brides for wedding photographers, for example)
- Guest blog for another website
- Do an interview on a podcast
Ideally, backlinks will improve your direct traffic as well as your organic traffic.
5 Optimize your images
In our opinion, this is one of the wildest statistics in SEO: Over 60% of Google searches are image searches. This means that you might connect with clients via your images before they encounter your copy. Even if you’re not a visual creative, this can have a big impact on your SEO strategy. A hotel or restaurant, for example, could find it worthwhile to have some professional images to help drive organic traffic from image searches.
To show up on image searches, images need to be optimized for quick load times and contain keywords in the alt text. Alt text is an image description embedded in a website’s code. It is first and foremost a disability accommodation. When screen readers encounter images, they read that description aloud for users. Alt text also signals to Google when an image is relevant to a query.
Do you want a straightforward guide to alt text for your website? Alt Text 101 is our straightforward guide to alt text. It includes practical tips and real life examples to support you in getting ranked on Google Image searches with more accessible images. You can grab your free copy here.
Designing Your Tailored Strategy with Brandcendent
At Brandcendent, we specialize in creating on-brand, SEO-driven content tailored to small businesses’ marketing goals. Our blogging and website copywriting can help you build a foundation for your SEO so you can take a step back from marketing when you need to honor your humanity. Reach out to us to learn how we can help you drive organic traffic and quality leads with strategic content.