Driving Organic Traffic to Your Website
Your website is the cornerstone of your business online. It is your resume, business card, and billboard all in one. Every person who visits your site and reads about your service offerings is a prospective customer or client. They have real value, so a significant amount of energy and time should be spent increasing traffic volume.
But for most websites, this is easier said than done. Organic traffic that arrives after your website pages show up in a Google search doesn’t just happen. It must be earned. Sure, you can pay for traffic through search or banner ads, invest time in social media to build an active following, or entice existing contacts to visit, but your biggest potential source of new traffic and subsequent leads is through organic traffic.
Not only are these prospects likely already searching for what you offer but organic traffic is a perpetual, ongoing source of new leads. The effort you invest today will pay off tomorrow, next week, next month, and potentially for years to come. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most effective ways to drive organic traffic to your website.
Building a Strong Foundation
Google evaluates more than 200 individual factors when determining what to display for individual search phrases, but it’s nearly impossible to address all of them. It takes time and a careful eye for detail, and to be honest, several of those factors are much more important than the rest. With a strong foundation, though, you should be well situated to compete against other sites in your industry. What does that foundation look like?
- Ensuring your website loads quickly on all device types
- Checking every page for mobile-friendly presentation
- Making sure every page on your website has at least 250 unique words
- Updating your titles and descriptions to accurately reflect the content on those pages
- Implementing a user-friendly navigation structure
With the right theme and careful evaluation of your website’s content, you should have a good starting point.
It’s All About Content
With a foundation in place, the next step is to build a content strategy that reflects what your audience is looking for.
Google’s goal is to help people find the most relevant content in their search. They don’t want to show service pages and ads to people who only have questions about how something works. They want to show them educational content that answers those questions. This is where truly successful businesses can carve out a significant chunk of organic traffic.
Content that generates traffic does several things very well:
- It’s well-written and easy to read with an easy-to-scan layout.
- It’s designed to keep people on the page. Google measures how quickly people leave your site. Longer time on site is good for your rankings.
- It answers the questions they are asking. If they stick around, they probably got their answer.
- It is unique and comprehensive compared to competitor content.
That content comes in many forms. It can be a regularly updated blog, landing pages featuring new eBooks or case studies, podcasts and videos you regularly produce, or anything else you can think of that would add value to your prospects’ lives.
How to Generate Traffic with Content
What do you want to rank for? Most business owners will rattle off a handful of very broad, high-traffic terms, but realistically, these are incredibly difficult to rank for. Other websites with larger budgets and more time invested have a ten-year head start on your efforts.
To be competitive, start by identifying a handful of lower-volume keywords that are still relevant to your audience but less competitive. For example, if you wanted to rank for “speaker coaching,” a better place to start might be “webinar speaker coaching” or “Albuquerque speaker coaching.” You’ll have better luck at a smaller scale. After you’ve selected what you want to target, build content that relates to those terms, with the following in mind:
- Write regularly – One or two blog posts every couple of months won’t do much. Unless you get lucky and everyone under the sun links to and references your blog, you’ll be investing time and energy for no discernable ROI. Post regularly – about once a week whenever possible – to see consistently increased traffic from your content efforts.
- Write guest posts – Guest content is a great way to build quality references to your website (which Google loves), but SEO shouldn’t be the only reason you guest post. Find websites that represent your core audience and aim to generate traffic from that post first and foremost. Avoid posting on sites outside your niche or that aren’t directly related because it can backfire.
- Avoid cheating – It’s tempting to hire that SEO expert on Upwork who promises quick results in just a few weeks. In reality, SEO is a slow, laborious process. Google is incredibly sophisticated in its ability to unearth black-hat methods – essentially people who cheat to jump the line in the rankings. Avoid buying backlinks, don’t use keywords too often in your content, don’t borrow or rewrite old content to repost, and generally avoid an SEO expert who promises the moon.
The Most Important Thing to Remember
Building organic traffic to your website is not an overnight process. Search engine optimization efforts can take anywhere from three to six months to generate measurable results, especially if you’ve never invested in content before or if your website is relatively new.
But for those who invest that time and consistently publish high-quality content that is beneficial to their audience, the results can be incredible. The type of ROI businesses see from successful SEO efforts dwarfs anything you can generate from paid traffic, social media, or even email. It’s a bottomless fountain of free traffic…for those with the patience and perseverance to tap into it.