Whether they’re clicking past pop-ups on their smartphone apps or scrolling through promoted links during a regular Google search, internet users have become increasingly apathetic to advertising on every platform. In fact, a recent Forrester survey revealed that only 40% of digital advertisements are ever viewed by humans at all.
With these kinds of challenges on the horizon, companies in every industry have been forced to focus their efforts on creating more authentic online customer experiences. Ultimately, the goal is to increase organic traffic to your website. Here’s how you can go about doing it.
Content Is King
Almost every business has a content marketing strategy that involves blogging, social media posts, and email newsletters. Despite the deluge of data on the internet, online audiences are always on the lookout for useful information that caters to their specific interests, and search engines like Google are built around delivering this information to users in the most effective way.
To compete with industry-leading brands, you need to offer quality content that stands out from the crowd. That means putting the same amount of research and effort into your content as you would any other product or service. If you’re hurting for inspiration, check out commonly posted customer complaints and queries, and tackle these concerns in an article, podcast, or video. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, make sure to maintain a consistent posting schedule. Both search engines and users love a regularly updated website, so this will be sure to increase your organic traffic.
Do Your Keyword Research
Three-quarters of all Google searches never leave the first page, while only 33% of them go further than the first organic result. Ranking first for a given search term will earn you ten times more organic traffic than the nearest competing website. These statistics reveal just how important it is to optimize your website for the right keywords.
Start by identifying obvious keywords for your industry and niche. For example, a pizza place would obviously target their keyword research towards search terms involving pizza, fast food, or restaurants. However, these popular keywords will likely already be monopolized by bigger competitors, so you’re better off using them as a jumping-off point for longer, more specific queries. Start by adding a location, and if you’re looking to serve a particular market segment, add that as well. Ultimately, you might end up with something like “pizza place for teenagers in Westboro, Ottawa.” An estimated 70% of organic traffic comes from these long-tail keywords.
If you’re looking for more ideas, log in to Google’s keyword planning tool, enter your main long-tail keyword and click the Get Ideas button to find related alternatives. The Q&A platform Quora is also a great place to get inspired. Type in any search term relating to your business on the website and find terms that have the most associated questions, then use these terms to inform your own keyword planning. Once you have a strong shortlist of targeted search terms, it’s time to embed these keywords into your content, meta titles, and descriptions. Remember, keyword optimization should never come at the expense of great content.
Quality backlinks come from popular, well-respected websites in and around your industry, and they are proven to increase organic traffic through search engines like Google. On the other hand, low-quality backlinks from irrelevant or untrusted domains can have the opposite effect.
One of the most effective ways of developing a strong network of backlinks is by guest blogging on other popular websites within your niche. These blogs are a perfect way to introduce your products and services to an existing community that is already amenable to your offerings. When you’re looking for guest blogging opportunities, make sure to look for sites that share similar traffic profiles to yours. Tools like SimilarWeb can help you carry out this analysis. Domain authority is also a good metric to watch out for; Google offers SEO tools for evaluating the domain authority of any site. Any number greater than 30 should let you know that website is well-regarded by search engines.
Whether you’re starting up an online storefront or redeveloping an existing website, if you implement these strategies correctly, you will see organic traffic start to come in on a regular basis.