If you’re just getting started in SEO, then you may be a little confused by the many different types of traffic that can lead to a site. Perhaps the most commonly discussed form of traffic is organic traffic, and with good reason. Organic traffic is arguably the most important traffic that you can drive to your site.
Over the course of this guide, we’re going to explain what organic traffic is, compare it to a few other kinds of traffic, and we’ll discuss why it’s so important. After we’ve established all of that as groundwork, we’ll get into a few ways that you can boost organic traffic to your site.
(Organic results of SpaceX)
If you input a search query into a search engine like Google, you’ll see a search engine results page (SERP) that contains the most relevant sites for the search that you made. If you were to click one of these results, then you would be organic traffic. This is easily the most common form of traffic on search engines since that’s what they were designed to do.
Compare this to other forms of traffic like paid traffic in which you pay to put up ads for your site. These ads will usually be near the top of the search results or somewhere conspicuous where people will be more likely to click on them and be led to your business.
(SERP Checker - Paid vs Organic)
Obviously, when you take out an ad in a search engine to get yourself some paid traffic, you’re paying for that ad space. On the other hand, if you work on developing and maintaining your organic search results, you’ll only have to make an initial investment on your SEO and your traffic from then on is essentially free.
The most common way that successful businesses get better organic search results is by working on their SEO, either internally or with firms that specialize in the industry. Most choose the latter option because SEO is an ever-changing landscape that requires at least some level of expertise and intuition.
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On the other hand, if you’re looking to get more paid traffic to your site, you merely have to take out an ad. Rates are typically based on the amount of competition for the particular keyword that you’re looking to rank for, and these ads are usually handed out based on a bidding system.
This is known as PPC (Pay Per Click) because you have to pay every time someone clicks on the ad to your site. A crucial difference between this and organic search results is that the moment you stop your PPC campaign, you’ll likely see a noticeable drop in the traffic to your site.
As we just mentioned, a major factor that separates paid traffic and organic traffic is that you need to keep paying for your organic traffic. This can easily cut into the profit that you’re making from the traffic that is being directed to your site in the first place, which isn’t ideal for obvious reasons.
However, organic traffic is also crucial because of the intent behind the searchers that make up your organic traffic. When someone types a query into a search engine, it’s very likely that they’re looking for something specific, and if you can meet that need, you’re more likely to get a new customer.
Even if you’re not selling anything, you may get another subscriber to your email list or another social media follower. Organic traffic is a versatile tool that can be used by more than just businesses that are selling products or services, and it’s relatively low-maintenance compared to paid traffic, at least financially.
Yet another reason why organic traffic is key is because it allows you to boost the trust of your site. When people see a site pop up high in the search results, they trust it because they believe that Google ensures that only the best sites make it to the top of their results pages, which is typically true.
(Google Analytics - Kinds of Traffic)
So far, we’ve only discussed paid traffic and organic traffic, but there are many other forms of traffic that can lead people to your site, so let’s take a look at them.
We’ve already discussed paid traffic at length, but just to reiterate, it’s traffic that you get by paying for it, typically through PPC ads.
Referral traffic is brought to you when people visit your site by way of another site. For example, if another site links to you as a source and someone clicks that link.
Direct traffic is when someone comes to your site without even using a search engine. Rather, they type the URL of your site into their browser bar.
Social traffic is traffic that originates on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
Display traffic is similar to paid traffic in that it originates from ads, but these ads are placed on other sites. Google Ads allows you to place ads for your site on other sites, though this is optional, so if you’re trying to stick to traditional paid traffic, you can choose to opt out of this.
This kind of traffic originates from your email marketing campaigns. For this to be recorded in Google Analytics, you’ll need to connect it to your email marketing software in advance.
To boost your organic traffic, the main thing that you need to do is match the search intent of the people who are most likely to become your customers. Answering their questions and building trust with them will surely go a long way.
You also need plenty of backlinks from reputable sources as well as keywords and common search queries in the titles and header tags in your content. This is just scratching the surface of how you can increase organic traffic since that’s an entirely different topic of its own.