This blog will delve into the modern-esque definition of the term Search Engine Optimization as well as explain what “organic traffic” means, and why this type of traffic is so valuable. And, because search engines have grown so advanced they’re almost as good as we (people) are at deciding whether or not a website’s content is suitable, we’ll conclude with some tips regarding how you can increase the amount of organic traffic to your website while ensuring that you’re getting the RIGHT type of traffic.
I. Defining Search Engine Optimization: Time for a Fresh Perspective
The way marketing companies market, sell, and deliver SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services has undoubtedly changed. From Google’s algorithm updates that have rendered content marketing and social media core components of a strong organic search strategy to an evolving sense of SEO practices, the raw definition of SEO has evolved as well. Even if one were to Google the phrase “definition of SEO,” nothing truly concrete is returned; sometimes the official definition seems to be “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page,” while other times it’s “a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) – including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other platforms.”
But we have to tell you, from a marketing standpoint, SEO is more than this, too. What can be considered an accurate description of SEO given the changes the marketing sector has experienced? Some experts have dubbed “Web Presence Optimization” the all-encompassing approach to optimizing an entire web presence for organic search, including the website, social channels, blogs, articles and press releases related to it all. To this end, strategies, techniques and tactics are still used, but content marketing and social media are strongly incorporated.
The bottom line on SEO is this: Search Engine Optimization in the digital marketing mix is here to stay. Having a look at some of the newer “takes” on the definition of this term will help you better understand the importance of it, the reason for committing to it and the short and long-term impact an SEO strategy has on a web presence.
To our minds, SEO can currently be defined as:
- The ongoing process of uncovering and discovering non-branded keywords that are driving organic search traffic and conversions, then publishing content optimized for those keywords.
- The process of producing optimized content that is discoverable by the target audience as they progress through the buying cycle.
- An approach in which a prospect discovers a brand’s content and web presence through search and social channels, and the owner of that content being able to understand who consumed the content and the impact of it across the organization.
- The outcome of a content marketing strategy that makes use of highly-converting keywords that your targeted audience is searching on.
- The process of enhancing the visibility of a brand’s web presence in organic search.
II. What is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic is web traffic that comes from unpaid listings on search engines or directories. If that definition offers little to no explanation to you of what organic traffic actually is, let’s take another stab at defining it: It’s FREE traffic sent to your website from search engines such as Google and Bing.
For the purposes of this blog, a strong organic traffic flow helps connect your website to potential customers right at the beginning of their sales cycle (when they are searching for broader solutions to their problems), and when they are closer to the end of the sales process (and are seeking very specific things). You might connect with your organic visitors a bunch of times as they move through the buying process – some blog posts, a white paper, an interview on another website, some service pages and so forth – but the bottom line is that the more content you offer on your website, the more “doorways” you can create organically to drive traffic.
In our experience, organic sources are the largest traffic drivers for most websites; businesses that lack a strong online presence cannot hope to keep up with the competition, even if their offline brand presence is deemed “powerful.” Believe it or not, a lot of businesses live and die by organic search, with a typical Internet marketing plan consisting of this logic:
- Do SEO
- Get top rankings
- Get tons of traffic
- Make tons of sales
- Become billionaires
Okay, that last one may be a bit of a stretch…but we all have dreams, right? The point is, organic search is often a key part of business success – for many businesses, it’s the leading form of traffic (as we touched on a bit above) and also tends to boast a higher conversion rate than other channels like referral or social. And THAT is precisely why you should be working so hard to get more of it.
As a general rule, you can grow your organic traffic by:
- Building more pages
- Making your pages count
- Building links via press outlets
- Being proactive
- Being patient
But, to ensure you’re getting the RIGHT type of traffic….well, let’s get into it below.
III. Tips to Increase Organic Traffic and Ensure It’s the RIGHT Type of Traffic
Write Interesting Blogs and Page Content Applicable to Your Ideal Customer
By creating quality educational content that resonates with YOUR ideal buyers, you’ll naturally improve your SEO. This means tapping into the main issues of your demographic and the keywords they use in search queries; optimizing for search engines alone is useless because all they’ll end up with is keyword-riddled nonsense. Additionally, blogging is perhaps the best way to increase your organic site traffic, allowing you to go into more depth than your website allows while creating a large “catalog” of helpful, customer-oriented content centered on your market niche.
Use Valuable Long-Tail Keywords for Your Optimization
Don’t just go with the most popular keywords in your market; use keywords that are more specific to your service or product. Over time, Google and other search engines will identify your website or blog as a “destination” for that particular subject, which will in turn boost your content in search rankings and help your ideal customers find you.
Learn What “Page Metas” are…and Use Them!
The meta title, description and keyword(s) are the three key elements of an optimized web page or blog post – it’s simple, but effective. The purpose of a “meta description” tag is to provide a brief and concise summary of your website’s content; search engines often display meta description tags in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and these descriptions provide an introduction to your website that will likely determine whether an individual decides to visit your website or bypass it. Therefore, the better your meta description tags are, the greater the chance that someone will actually click on your link and visit your website.
Don’t Make Google Angry
There are an overwhelming number of “get traffic-rich quick” schemes out there that use “black hat” techniques to cause Google to penalize your site…heavily. It is also important to note that you shouldn’t steal, scrape or plagiarize copy because this is another tactic that Google can detect with extreme ease and will punish your site for severely.
Track Your Traffic
Use a solution such as Google Analytics or Multiverse Media Group’s Rank Tracker to track visitors to your site and blog; being able to see where they come from and what keywords they searched for enables you to fine-tune your content. What will an analytics tool tell you? For starters:
- The number of visitors reaching your website.
- How they got there – whether through a paid ad, finding you organically, from referring traffic via an affiliate program, etc.
- How long your visitors are staying on your site once they get there.
- The Bounce Rate, which represents the percentage of visitors who “bounce” off your site after viewing only one page.
- How many pages they are viewing per visit.
- How many page views your site enjoys overall.
- Where your visitors are located, based on IP addresses.
- Which percentage of your visitors have already been to your site or are first time visitors.
This list essentially covers the basic information that any analytics tool will provide, but the first step is deciding which analytics tool to utilize, as there are quite a few to choose from.
Building a strong search engine-optimized site is a slow and steady process, but always remember the old adage about the tortoise and the hare…slow and steady wins the race.