Let’s face it:
Putting out fresh content on your website everytime and getting little to no attention in return can be frustrating.
Does the web not know the hours of research and writing that you put into that single piece? To be candid, I don’t think the web does.
That is not because your content is not good (I’m assuming you have done your content right). It is because, for one reason or the other, you are not getting enough organic traffic to your content.
That is why today’s piece has been centered around how you can also increase organic traffic for free.
The best part about this piece is that the models suggested here are not less-suitable to other paid traffic models. In fact, these are the methods used by the top names in the blogging and content marketing scene.
Before we get into the meat of the post though…
What are Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic is used to refer to all those visitors who landed on your website without having been funneled onto your platform as a result of some paid promotion/ sponsorship.
Visitors that come into your site via the organic traffic model are usually those who use search engines to land on your website.
Let me paint you a scenario:
You got onto the search engine (let’s use Google since it’s the most popular) and entered your query. The search engine brought back some results based on your keywords and you found a website that has the kind of content you want.
You click on that link.
Guess what? You just became one organic traffic for the owner of such a website.
How Important is Organic Traffic?
Search engines have fast become the foremost source of information for most people. Considering the fact that Google (who managed about 75% of all searches in the year 2017) received well over 63,000 searches per second on any day, you can only imagine how much of that traffic you are missing to your website if you are not optimizing for organic traffic yet.
Another thing to consider is the investment.
One thing I don’t like about paid referrals is how much you see your traffic dip once you pull the plug on the financing. With organic traffic though, you can always be sure to get a decent percentage of your traffic from that one source (search engines) … provided you have done every other thing right.
Ranking your content well for search engines using natural traffic techniques will also make it harder for your competition to outdo you.
While your content will keep doing well, theirs will only enjoy sustained success based on how much they can invest into its promotion. Such resources are what you can easily invest in other parts of your business to make the rivals bite your dust even more.
Probably the most interesting reason to go for organic traffic techniques is what every website owner is looking for – conversions.
Paid traffic will aim to target a demographic for you and send your content their way. Organic traffic means the prospects sought out your content by themselves. It needs no telling who is getting the biggest share of the cake.
How to Get Organic Traffic for Free
There are a lot of supposed good practices on the internet today that promise you huge traffic in no time.
Building a system of good organic traffic to your website will take time. If there is a technique that promises to get you to thousands of traffic overnight, it might come back to haunt you.
Having sifted the good from the bad, here are the top suggestions from the savvy bloggers that have been doing SEO (and having it work for them).
1 Target Long Tail Keywords – Neil Patel
Doing your keyword research and coming up with those short, cute and sweet keywords that naturally fit into your content is simply amazing.
Guess what is not so amazing? – The hundreds of blogs out there that are trying to rank for the same sweet keyword, that’s what.
The biggest challenge with short-tail keywords is that some heavyweights in your niche might have already taken them and put a lot of effort (and even money) into ranking for those keywords.
I am not saying you can’t rank for the same keyword too. What I don’t understand is why you would rather spend weeks trying to rank for a single keyword when it might not even happen in the end.
So, should you stop keyword research altogether and just go with the flow?
No – look for the long-tail keywords instead.
The best thing about short-tail keywords is that they allow you get a good share of the traffic to your side.
After Google made their Panda algorithm updates, internet marketers attested to the fact that long tail keywords began to do better for them than the short-tail alternatives. That is not surprising given they account for more than 70% of all searches on the web.
Another advantage you get with these keywords is that they can always be used to anticipate the last stage of buyer decision. You can always see that in the way these keywords are detailed and to the point. For example:
“things to consider before buying a laptop,” and “how to choose the best hair extension.”
The underlined text represents what a bigger company might have dedicated an SEO team to ranking for. With the long-tail alternatives, you stand a higher chance of being in a league of your own. How cool is that?
Perhaps the best thing about long-tail keywords is how they allow for the incorporation of local SEO.
Instead of competing with tons of other taco vendors to rank for ‘buy tacos,’ guess how easy it would be to rank for content optimized for ‘buy tacos in [insert your business location].’
Before you think local SEO can do nothing for you, remember that Google searches for local content doubled in the past year alone.
To get you started on your keyword research, we have curated 6 free (yet highly effective) keyword tools that you should strongly consider.
2 Create Great Content – Matt Southern
For all the hours spent doing keyword research, it is good advice to spend even more time on your content creation.
When creating your content, you are not writing for the search engine – you are only optimizing for that. You are creating the content for your audience.
Gone are the days when you could just take a single keyword or list of keyword and stuff them into your copy just to rank on Google. With new updates to the search algorithms, you will most likely fall into their bad books for that.
While the keyword will get you out in front of the people, the content is what keeps them. Should people not be happy with your content, those search engine algorithms we talked about will drop you so fast, no amount of long tail keywords will help you.
You have to understand that your website is an extension of your business and one of the most important factors in estimating your reputation. You should not just be publishing content for the sake of it, or because you’ve heard that reeling them out on the regular is good for SEO.
Take the time to look for what people want.
Make sure your content is crisp, clear, straight to the point and well-written. Give value to the readers in the content.
The ideal thing to do is making your website and content a one-stop location for readers. No matter what they are looking for on the topic, let it be available to them right from the comfort of your content.
The reason why I am saying this is not far-fetched.
As much as Google is not being biased towards your site, they can develop a dislike for you if your content doesn’t hold the audience. When readers leave your site almost as fast as they enter, it means they didn’t find what they were looking for in there.
That leads to a high bounce rate for you and what comes next is a combination of drop in search engine rankings – for the post in question and website in general.
Before you push that Publish button on the next content, make sure you have
- Cleaned out the content for errors
- Ensured all your facts are accurate
- Added value to the readers
- Meta – Your meta is that blurb of content you get under topics in search engine results to give you a hint into what the content contains. Integrate your keywords into the meta description and make it enticing enough that readers are intrigued enough to want to read what you have.
- Internal links – Linking to content you have done before is good for SEO. It keeps people on your site for longer and reduces your bounce rate. It also shows Google and other search engines that you have other important pieces of content that readers can find valuable
- External links – Seeing that your content contains links to external websites is an indication of the research you did when coming up with said content. It also gives your readers a source of additional reading.
- Images – Sometimes, people go onto search engines to look for images. Adding appropriate alt tags to your picture (with your keyword in mind, of course) will increase your chances of showing up in such image searches too
3 Do On-Page Optimizations – Matthew Stibble
You now have the long-tail keyword/ series of long-tail keywords and a great piece of content to match. This is the time to take a sip of that creamy black coffee once again, rest back in your chair and hit the Publish button, right?
You have done the huge part of the work, but why go at all when you won’t go the full nine yards? That is why you have to do on-page optimizations.
The best way to track your on-page optimizations is by downloading a relevant tool to guide you. For WordPress users, we advise that you get the Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin. It is a very powerful tool that I believe every WordPress blogger should have.
That’s out of the way. So, what next for your content?
4 Write Compelling Headings – Dan Shewan
No matter how great your content is, it might never get read if it doesn’t have a compelling heading to it.
Let’s take a sample study between the following headings:
“How to build a WordPress website” and “Build a responsive WordPress website that converts in 11 Steps.”
Both headlines promise the same thing: to teach the reader how to build their own WordPress website. However, the second holds more promise.
I will surely like to build a website that is responsive and converts sales/ leads for me. I also like the certainty of how many steps I’ll take before getting to my finished website.
So, even if the first blog post contains the same information, I will be more inclined to clicking on the second link.
That’s why your blog has been getting passed by time and again.
Your content is rich and carries a lot of value already. Why not advertise that in the heading?
Keep in mind that writing compelling headings also entails keeping it concise. It is called the heading – not the content itself – for a reason.
It is recommended that you find way to incorporate your keyword into this heading for the best results.
Trust me, it works!
5 Set Up Metrics – James Norquay
With everything that goes into wanting to steal that coveted top spot in search engines, it is easy to lose track of what’s happening. To combat that, you can set up analytics to tell you how your content is doing across the internet.
From there, you can make the decision of what works and what doesn’t. By concentrating on the strengths and working towards strengthening the weak points, you will be making your website the better for it.
One free tool that you can easily integrate into your website is the Google Webmaster Tool. We like this one not just because it is free, but because it is from a reputable company.
Furthermore, it was developed by the company that gets the lion share of search results across the web. Who better to give you insights into how well your content is doing on the web?
For a smaller site, you can take time out to look at the analysis and draw actionable information multiple times a week. For a larger site, stick to doing your analysis on a daily basis so you don’t miss any trend/ spike.
In the end, I advise that you keep doing what works and drop what doesn’t. Following the steps above to the letter, you will see an improvement in your website’s organic traffic in no time.
Stick to the analytics, drawing inferences from the trends there to improve while constantly seeking out new best practices.
If you need even more insights to growing all other aspects of your blog, you should consider joining the Wealthy Affiliate family too. Did I mention the monetization and high conversion potentials that come with joining too?