What Is Organic Traffic And How To Increase It

Organic traffic is a very commonly used term in the digital marketing space. It’s used to measure the success of various kinds of campaigns. However, while you may have heard it thrown around plenty of times before, you may not know exactly what it is. 

Here’s what you need to know about organic traffic, and most importantly, how you can increase it:

What Is Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic refers to all the visitors who land on your website from unpaid search results. These people have found your website through a search engine and have clicked through to it via an organic, non-sponsored result. 

Here’s an example of an organic search result:

screenshot of organic search results

Organic traffic is the bread and butter of search engine optimization, which aims to increase your rankings, so that your pages are shown to as many searchers as possible, for the most relevant search terms. 

What Is The Difference Between Organic and Paid Traffic?

Organic and paid traffic are polar opposites. Organic traffic is free, in the sense that you did not pay for an advertisement to be run. 

Paid traffic is, obviously, the result of paying for an advertisement. You can use either pay-per-click advertising or social media advertising to generate paid traffic. 

Here is the difference between an organic and a paid search result:

screenshot of paid and organic traffic in search results

What Is The Difference Between Organic and Direct Traffic?

We consider organic traffic to come from search engines, while direct traffic is when someone accesses your website directly, without conducting a search. 

They could have entered your website’s URL into their browser, or they may have it bookmarked and have clicked through from there. 

What Is The Difference Between Organic and Referral Traffic? 

While organic traffic comes from a search engine, referral traffic is when someone finds your website through another website. 

This means they have clicked on a link pointing to you from a website other than your own. The major sources of referral traffic are link building and link earning. 

Why Is Organic Traffic Important? 

Organic traffic is important because it will show you how well your website is performing. Only websites that provide high-quality content and that are designed and optimized well will rank high in search engines. 

Organic traffic can be used to measure the success of your SEO efforts. If it’s constantly and consistently on the rise, it’s a sign you’re doing things right. 

Note that fluctuations in organic traffic are to be expected. People will search for certain terms more on one day and less the next. You will never see a straight line in your organic traffic reports. 

Instead of obsessing over daily fluctuations, take a week’s or a month’s total organic traffic as your metric. If the numbers keep increasing, you are on the right path. 

What Are The Benefits Of Organic Traffic? 

Organic traffic is incredibly beneficial for a vast number of reasons:

  • It brings in relevant, qualified traffic at the right stage of the sales funnel
  • It helps you reach people who have never heard about your brand before 
  • It increase brand awareness and brand loyalty
  • It helps establish you as an authority in your field 
  • It has the potential to have very high conversion rates
  • It helps you build trust with your target audience 
  • It is a sustainable, long-term approach to digital marketing 
  • It’s effects are lasting and won’t disappear overnight
  • It is easily scalable 
  • It is highly targeted
  • It is cost-effective 

It is often said that organic traffic is also free, but this is not actually the case. While you are not paying for the traffic itself, as you would with PPC or social media advertising, there is still an investment involved.

Whether you do SEO yourself, whether you write your own content or outsource it, there is an investment involved. Even if you do everything on your own and don’t spend a cent, you are still swapping your time and energy for content creation and optimization, so there is a certain price involved. 

If you have hired someone to do SEO for you, or to write some of your content, that’s a clear investment in organic traffic. 

How To Measure Organic Traffic

The best way to measure organic traffic is to use Google Analytics. It’s a free tool that will provide the best estimate of your daily website visitors. 

To see how much organic traffic you are getting, go to the Traffic acquisition tab under Life cycle > Acquisitions in Google Analytics. 

You will be shown a total number of users and sessions, as well as how many of them have come from which source. Organic search denotes organic traffic, i.e. all traffic that has come from a search engine.

Note that this search engine is not only Google, but also includes Bing, DuckDuckGo and most other major search engines your target audience may be using to find you. 

You can also use other SEO tools to measure organic traffic. This is in fact the only way to discover how much organic traffic a website other than yours is getting. 

Bear in mind that all of these tools can only estimate organic traffic and are never accurate. Most of them tend to underestimate real traffic numbers, but they can also wildly overestimate. Take all the figures you see with a grain of salt. 

How To Increase Organic Traffic

Search engine optimization and content marketing are the best ways to increase organic traffic. While there are hundreds of tactics you can consider, here they are in the broadest strokes:

  • Do meticulous keyword research and select keywords you are most likely to rank for well
  • Write high-quality content that is easy to read and understand and that matches the tone of voice and knowledge level your audience is looking for 
  • Write for humans, not for search engines 
  • Remember that search engine crawlers use keywords to understand what a page is about, so use the keywords you have found to be relevant in as natural a way as possible 
  • Always match the search intent of a specific query
  • Create as many relevant internal links to your pages as possible. Link Whisper is here to help you automate this process and create a great internal linking strategy
  • Deploy on-page SEO best practices: optimize your meta elements, your headings and titles, to name just a few key points 
  • Build high-quality, relevant backlinks from reputable, relevant websites 
  • Ensure your website loads fast across all devices, without any glitches 
  • Make the website user-friendly and easy to use across all devices
  • Pay special attention to the optimization, speed and user experience on your mobile website 

The list does not end here of course. This is merely the tip of the iceberg, but it summarizes the key strategies for increasing organic traffic and seeing more qualified visitors. 

Key Takeaways 

Organic traffic is arguably the most valuable source of visitors for most websites. By working to increase it, you can steadily and sustainably grow your business in the long term. 

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