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What Is Organic Traffic and Why Is It Important?

What Is Organic Traffic and Why Is It Important?

There are two main ways for a website to generate traffic: organically, or by paying for ads to point potential visitors to landing pages. Organic traffic is an interesting concept, and one which can ultimately determine whether a site succeeds and grows, or fails and falls into obscurity.

Here is a look at what it is and why it remains the thing which all ambitious sites chase with their SEO efforts.

The Basics

In essence, organic traffic refers to any traffic directed to your site without you having to hand over any money. This can cover traffic that comes from search engines like Google, as well as traffic which arrives from other platforms, including social media sites.

Of course organic traffic is only “free” in theory, as in practice you will likely need to invest time, effort, and resources to get your site to the point that it can generate traffic organically.

Ways to Increase Organic Traffic

When it comes to getting more people to visit your site on their own initiative, there are a number of useful organic traffic tips to keep in mind.

At the top of the list of priorities should be the creation of content which is both relevant to your intended target audience and also optimized to include keywords and phrases which will play nice with the search algorithms that should hopefully put it in front of prospective visitors.

For smaller sites looking to grow, content strategies and keyword choices should be more targeted and specific; do not attempt to go to battle with the incumbent market leaders, but rather aim to exploit a previously untapped niche. Increased specificity will deliver better results, and the use of long tail keywords is preferable.

You can also use other approaches to drive organic traffic to your site, such as creating video content to share on platforms like YouTube and Instagram, so that people are compelled to click through to your site when they stumble across your content elsewhere.

The Benefits

In terms of why organic traffic is important, the biggest advantage it has over paid ads is its cost-effectiveness. While there may be upfront expenses to bear when you are optimizing to improve your organic search rank, in the long term you can see this as an investment that will pay for itself many times over as your site gains traction.

Conversely, with paid campaigns you will effectively be charged for every click, and if visitors do not convert, then this will be tougher to justify as a cost.

As your site increases the amount of organic traffic it earns, it will also become a more trusted and respected source. This is useful when looking to partner with other organizations, as well as to attract guest bloggers and other potential contributors that could further extend the organic reach in the future.

Furthermore as your site builds a reputation for offering quality content and fostering an engaged audience, you can expect other sites to link back to you organically. This again will be seen by search engines as a sign that your site is worth placing higher up on results pages, which should bring yet more visitors to you.

Getting more organic traffic is something every website should aim for, and it is also an ongoing process, not one that can ever really be “completed”, because search ranking factors can be quite volatile. Ideally, this means you should always be looking for new strategies to make improvements, and not just resting on your laurels.

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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.