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If you have a website or blog, one of your biggest goals is to increase qualified organic traffic for your content. There is no use in having a blog if no one visits it, right? As we have already talked about how to buy traffic, it is time to talk about how to increase organic traffic to your website or blog. As you probably know, organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic, which means that there is no direct investment in the purchase of that traffic, because as it is organic, it is automatically increased by the good positioning of your content in search engines. That does not mean it doesn’t need indirect investment. Writing good content and optimizing it for SEO is something that requires immense time and dedication.
The great advantage of organic traffic is its low cost when compared to paid traffic, and also its quality. You have probably heard that organic traffic is what converts better and/or has more quality. That is because it is usually associated with specific searches, that is, the user is already searching for a certain topic and he is better prepared to buy something from you if you have the answer to his problem. In the purchase of traffic that doesn’t happen, because we will be advertising indiscriminately in the attempt to increase sales, regardless of whether the user is prepared to buy or not.
Both types of traffic have their benefits and downsides. Increasing organic traffic is a slow process that will require immense dedication, since it is necessary to understand that millions of new content is daily published on the internet, and you are just one more. Having your website, blog or content standing out is not something as simple as it was 10 years ago. However, with a good content marketing strategy and good SEO, it is quite possible you can achieve excellent results with your content and increase quality organic traffic to your site.
There are many things to consider when your goal is to increase organic traffic on websites and blogs. Probably some of them you already know and already work with, while it is possible you have never thought other ways existed. However, when it comes to organic traffic, it is impossible to separate that from content production. Organic traffic will always require the creation of content; and the more content you create, the greater your chances of generating more traffic. More important than the quantity of content you create is its quality.
Also, good planning is essential for results to appear. Without proper editorial design and content planning, you’ll hardly be able to get above your competitors in Google’s organic results. Therefore, it is important for you to follow all the steps that I recommend throughout this article, so that your content can achieve a relevant position in the SERP and, above all, increase quality organic traffic and considerably increase its reputation. Let’s work on it.
I have already talked about the importance of working on a results-oriented planning. It is not worth to create an article if no one searches for what you intend to write. Even if you can position your article in the first place of Google results for that keyword, if no one searches for that term, you will basically get close to zero visits per day.
One of the tools that I use to do keyword research and which I consider the best in the market is called KWFinder. With that tool you can anticipate your ideas of content creation and know exactly what to expect when writing an article on a particular topic. Let’s imagine the keyword “business marketing”. If you plan to write an article for that keyword, know that in Brazil there are 10 monthly Google searches for that term. It means that creating any content about it would be a real waste of time, and even if you got the first spot in the SERP for that term, you would get something around five visits per month.
In order to increase quality organic traffic, you need to focus on two things: keywords with high volume of searches and long tail keywords that have at least some monthly search volume. The difference between a common keyword and a long tail keyword is that the first is a simple word like “marketing”, while the second one is a compound like “digital marketing for digital entrepreneurs”. The former has a higher traffic volume and is more competitive, while the latter has less research volume, and less competition as well.
If we consider that the organic search in Google has quite different values in the traffic volume compared to the position in which its result appears, then the game changes completely. On Google, the first position for a given search receives roughly 36.5% of the total traffic from that search. Second place receives 12.5%, and so on. The lower your result appears, the less traffic you receive, except when your result appears in 10th place or the first place on the second page of results (11th place).
This means the ranking on Google makes all the difference when it comes to generating large quantity of organic traffic. That is why working with long tail keywords is so interesting, since the competition is smaller and it gets easier to rank a certain content of your website or blog in the first position.
If we look at the suggestions for other search terms on KWFinder and organize that information by search volume, we quickly find some very interesting long-tail keywords to work with, such as “marketing plan” or “relationship marketing”, where it will be easier to get a good position and still create interesting traffic.
Unfortunately, all of that work has to be done in advance. I suggest you create a spreadsheet in Google Drive or Excel to create a map for your content. Define which topics you want to write about and which keyword you want to focus on. Then insert those keywords in KWFinder and analyze the viability of writing about those themes, as well as the search volume of each of them. That will make a huge difference in the results you will get when we talk about organic traffic.
Another strategy you may work with to analyze keywords is to spy on your competitors. If you know who your competitors are, why not try to understand where they are seeking their organic traffic? If they can get good positions for certain searches and it increases results for them, it may be interesting to join the competition and compete for those same keywords, right?
Spying on your competition is a great way to find out how to generate organic traffic to your website or blog, since your competitors’ behavior also determines what you can and should create in terms of targeted content and keywords to work with. If a competitor gets too much traffic from a particular search, you should probably create differentiated content and get into that fight.
One of the most interesting tools to study your competitors is SemRush. By typing in a competitor’s URL, you get to know exactly how much organic traffic your competitor is generating, and what are the organic keywords they are working with. This is a really competitive advantage because it is easy to realize with which keywords you should be working with in order to get in the fight for the first places, creating a differentiated and quality content, obviously!
Looking at the results of ResultadosDigitais.com.br, for example, we can quickly understand which organic keywords are generating more organic traffic for them, and what content they are ranking for those searches. Imagine the power this information can have in other less competitive niche markets and the competitive advantage you have over your competitors. Basically, it feels like getting access to your competitor’s Google Analytics and knowing what content gives them more traffic.
It is obvious that you will always need to create relevant and differentiated content on the topics you discover. It does not make sense to do a similar job to your competitor’s because it is possible that they are going to remain in the first position. Only differentiated content that better clarifies the users will make you stand out from your competitors.
With that information you will already have several ideas for new content to create, but that will not be enough. It takes more than that to improve the organic traffic of your website or blog.
Another very important thing to do is to examine your own website or blog. Lots of professionals often worry too much about their competitors and SEO strategies, and end up forgetting about the most important thing: their own projects. If you have a website or blog, you are probably using Search Console do Google. If you are not, you should be. Google’s search tool lets you access sets of really relevant information about your website behavior in Google’s organic search, which is, therefore, a fantastic source of information for working on the organic traffic of your site and improve their key performance indicators (KPIs).
In the Search Console, “Search Traffic > Search Analytics” menu, you can enable all of the “Clicks”, “Impressions”, “CTR” and “Position” options and get a perfect view of what is happening to your website or blog on Google’s organic results pages, such as the number of clicks and impressions for each keyword, which keywords give the highest return and, most importantly, which keywords you need to work best to rank higher positions on Google.
Looking at the image above, we realize that the search for “self-esteem” generates thousands of impressions, but few clicks. This is because, on average, the article is ranking between the 3rd and 4th places of the first page of results, generating very low organic traffic. In an SEO content strategy, the ideal would be to create more material on that subject and include other internal links with the anchor text “self-esteem”. If we create a guest post or capture some external link to that keyword, it would be great. That would help improve the position of the article and, who knows, reach the first place. Another option to consider would be to improve the content of that article so that Google interprets that piece of content as more complete than the existing one or, perhaps, give it a boost on social networks, generating more shares of that content.
It is amazing how much organic traffic can be get just by optimizing and improving the old content of your website or blog. Google loves new content that positively answers questions of those who use its search engine. Older content on your website could be the answer to that, but you certainly need to give it an update. If it is the case that you have published articles several years ago, and some of them are even well ranked and could easily reach the first position, you may notice that your organic traffic may skyrocket when that happens.
In a quick search on Google Search Console, organizing the results by the number of impressions, we may notice that the main articles generate lots of impressions because they are ranked for keywords with a lot of traffic, but they generate few clicks because they are listed in lower positions. If the vast majority of those articles were at the first position of Google, they would generate impressive organic traffic to the blog.
It means that there is a lot to improve not just in terms of content, but mainly because of the internal and external link building of those articles. An article ranked third or fifth place in Google’s organic search means that they are leaving a lot of organic traffic on the table. We need to improve those pieces of content, improve the internal linking for those articles, increase the number of shares on social networks and also get some external links to those stories.
When looking at the chart above, if we consider that an article in the fourth position on Google generates only 8% of the total traffic of that search, the math would be very easy to do. Look closely at the image above and at the keyword “self-esteem”. The article is in the fourth position (3.7 on average), which represents 8% of the total search volume for that keyword, right?
Looking at KWFinder, we realize that the amount of searches for “self-esteem” in Brazil generates 60,545 monthly searches and that 8% of that traffic is actually 4,844 unique visits per month, making the article rank fourth on the results page. If the first position gets an average of 36.5% of the traffic, it represents something like 22,098 unique visits. Right?
If I optimized my article correctly and managed to move it up from fourth to first position, that article alone would generate another 17,254 unique visits per month. That’s what I call generating massive organic traffic! Now imagine it happening to keywords with a higher volume of searches; you could easily get much more organic traffic on your blog just by optimizing your older content or those that are not so well positioned.
As I said in another article here in the blog, correctly optimizing the SEO of your content is crucial to get excellent results in terms of organic traffic. Properly structured and optimized content will make all the difference in the results of the organic search engine traffic of your website.
If you work with WordPress, I recommend you use the WordPress SEO plugin to optimize your content and, above all, receive nice instructions of how your articles are at the moment and what changes you should work on to make them friendlier. In that image, items 1 and 2 show the title and meta description of the article, which are two key elements when we talk about generating organic traffic, since a flashy title and a correctly written description draw the user’s attention to the search.
Item 4 shows indicators of the WordPress SEO plugin related to the parts of content that you wrote, such as amount of internal and external links, density of keywords, use of subtitles, size of paragraphs, quality of text, etc. There are several criteria that the plugin analyzes so we can work with the goal to make all those indicators turn green, representing content with great SEO.
A Hubspot study in 2015 pointed out that websites and blogs that publish more often tend to increase organic traffic and more leads. In fact, Hubspot came to the conclusion that who posted more than 16 articles per month received on average 3.5 times more traffic and 4.5 times more leads than other websites or blogs that published between none and five articles a month.
Neil Patel himself has already talked about it too, explaining that the main reason that led his blog to generate substantially more organic traffic was because he went through publishing two articles a week rather than just one.
It is obvious that you don’t need to create seven articles a week to increase organic traffic above your competitors, unless, of course, the content you’re creating is really relevant and totally out of the box. Otherwise, you are only creating more of the same and it does not necessarily mean more results. Besides quantity, the most important things are quality and relevance of the content. Without those characteristics, no results are achieved!
As you probably already know, there are studies about everything. However, some studies get our attention because of the quantity of analyzed material and the results demonstrated. Although an article does not necessarily have to be large enough to be able to reach the first position on Google for a given keyword, the reality is that a lot of studies show that larger and more relevant content do get better positions.
It also does not mean that you need to write extensive articles all the time. It just means that you need to work your content correctly so that it answers the questions of your users every time they perform a search. Basically, what Google wants is for the content to clarify its users. It means the content does not need to be large or small, it just needs to clarify the user without the need for further research on that same subject.
Still, the study conducted by Buzzsumo and Moz arrived at the conclusion that articles
with 3,000 to 10,000 words received twice as many shares in social networks and triple the links when compared to articles of 1,000 words or less. Given that social signals are extremely relevant from an SEO perspective, that means that larger articles tend to have a better performance in Google’s organic results.
A serpIQ study examined 20,000 keywords and first page organic results for each of those keywords, concluding that, on average, Google’s first and second places are ranked by articles with 2,000 to 2,500 words, so the story makes even more sense. More enlightening and more relevant content tends to rank better on Google organic results pages, as opposed to smaller, less relevant content.
Still, the most important thing is you understand that an article does not necessarily have to be big. It should only properly explain everything the user needs to know about that particular topic. Everything else is disposable or serves solely and exclusively to fulfill blank spaces. If you create extensive content just to fill in spaces, you are not going to get positive results, believe me!
Everyone is just tired of knowing that guest posts generate incredible authority; but more importantly, they create extremely valuable backlinks to your content. If you intend to really dominate your niche, you must either create epic content so that other sites or blogs will want to link to your content as an authoritative source, or you need to create guest posts for other blogs and thereby generate valuable backlinks to your own blog content.
A good guest-post strategy basically consists of you creating relevant and totally original content for blogs within your niche. It does not make much sense for you to write content for blogs in other niche markets unless there is a correlation between them; otherwise those links will not have the same value or relevance. The ideal is to write for blogs within your niche, which can sometimes be a very complicated task to achieve.
Besides backlinks, you will receive quality traffic from those blogs, which can increase your audience exponentially over time. Obviously, in an SEO strategy, you should look for websites and blogs that are better than yours, since the created links will also be more authoritative, and consequently the volume of traffic you will receive will also be higher.
It is common for your brand or name to be mentioned in other blogs and none of those articles cite the source. It happens quite frequently on the internet, and therefore, having a strategy of claiming links and/or credits for the content is key to the link building of your website or blog. Big brands and/or big websites are constantly clipping content to check when and where they were quoted, and claim a link to the page from where that information was taken. However, you do not need much to be able to keep all this under your sight and manage to attract good links to your website or blog.
One of the ways to effectively control that is by using Google Alerts, a free and really
basic Google tool that will help you incredibly to keep your brand on track and claim what’s rightfully yours.
You just need to create alerts for the keywords that you are interested in, whether it is the name of your website or blog, your first name, or the name of your business, for example. Specify how often you want to receive Google alerts, what sources you want Google to track, what language, region, and how many results you want to receive for each search performed by the Google robot, plus the e-mail address where you want receive the alerts.
Basically, you will be notified by e-mail every time your keyword is mentioned on the internet and this will be a huge help on tracking mentions regarding your content or brand and then contact those sites and blogs to claim links that have not been published on those articles.
In general terms, you will only have to open the article that mentioned you, analyze whether a link to your site has been placed, or whether your article was the source of inspiration for that content; then contact the author of the story or site and ask him to put a link to your site or article. That simple!
Organic traffic is closely related to the quality of links on a particular page or pages of your site. Regardless of whether Google is always trying to look for other elements that could also work as ranking factors, the reality is that links remain the most important element when we talk about SEO. Properly working on your link building will make an incredible difference in the volume of organic traffic from your website or blog. Obviously, this is not the only factor you should take into consideration, but it is one of the most important ones.
In another Hubspot study, they came to the conclusion that the number of links their blog articles receive has a huge influence on the organic traffic those articles get. It means that although their blog may have a lot of links pointing to the main domain, article pages also have to receive links to be able to position themselves well in Google’s organic results and thereby increase organic traffic. It is not enough that the main domain is strong, the articles must also receive links and/or be mentioned by other websites and blogs.
The more links a particular content receives, the more likely it is to be positioned in the SERP and increase organic traffic to the site or blog. How to get links is a very complicated task. It is important that you have other strategies at hand, such as publishing guest posts, as we discussed earlier.
Also, you need to work very well on your internal link building as well. Do not forget that!
When Google introduced social votes, or social signals, the number of “likes” and shares in social media gained tremendous relevance and importance for anyone working with SEO. Google automatically determines that a content that is heavily shared on social networks is the one people are most interested in. Those social signals have taken on an extreme importance and you will need to work to dramatically improve the advertisement of your content so that your competitors do not leave you behind.
In that sense, the goal is not to have “likes” just to have them. Google takes into account several factors, such as comments on the content, number of likes and shares, mentions, etc. Any kind of interaction with your content, including the volume of traffic that your content generates from social media, effectively determines if one content is more liked by the audience than another. Not necessarily it is true, but it is important that you work the marketing of your content the right way.
Let’s take a look at my article about how to make money on the internet. That article received more than 2,400 “likes” on Facebook, more than 30 “likes” on LinkedIn and 4 “likes” on Google+. That could easily be considered an interesting article by the public because it has created an extremely high level of interaction in social networks. Obviously, this would not be possible without investing on Facebook:
By spending a few coins on Facebook, that article generated not only an organic reach of 5,640 readers and a paid reach of 12,347 readers, but was also shared 24 times within Facebook, got more than 2,200 “likes” and more than 400 clicks on the blog from readers interested in reading the content. Probably, if I had not invested a penny in spreading that content (I only invested $60), the results would be substantially weaker and the numbers would also be far less relevant.
In addition to all of those items that we talked about throughout this article, there are several other technical aspects that are important to consider and that have a very big impact on the organic traffic of your site or blog. Never forget that the most important thing is for your readers to love your website and its content. It also includes several usability and website navigation aspects that make your users’ experience richer and more interesting. Let’s take a look:
In reality, everything counts when the goal is to increase organic traffic or get a good position for your articles on Google. All the technical aspects related to your site will make a huge difference in the final result and the amount of traffic that you will manage to receive. Therefore, work hard on the optimization of all processes related to usability and navigability of your site or blog, because they will make a very big difference.
My blog, for example, is loaded in 2.79 seconds only, which is a very good result. You can use Pingdom Speed Test to analyze the results of your website or blog as well. Google prefers websites and blogs that load fast, so every millisecond counts to get better positions in the SERP and thereby increase quality organic traffic.
Now that you know all the necessary tools to start increasing organic traffic to your website or blog, it is up to you to improve your results. Contrary to what people may tell you, getting good results with SEO and organic traffic on Google is not as complicated as they say. The secret is to always create quality content that effectively answers users’ inquiries on Google. By doing that, you open the door to generating incredible value for your readers and stand out from all your competitors.
Never forget that one of the most important things is to differentiate yourself from other content already created. If you create texts that are similar to your competitors’, they are likely to remain in higher positions, stealing significant portions of search traffic from you. Differentiating the quality of content and the way you present it to your readers will make all the difference in the final result.