Every website has various sources of traffic going into it. Web analytics software, such as Google Analytics, will attribute a visitor based on the channel they have come from. While all traffic is important, organic traffic is what every business wants. Why? Find out as we explore organic traffic.
What is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic refers to the visitors that land on your website from an unpaid “organic” search result. This is the opposite of paid traffic, which is all traffic generated from paid search ads. An organic visitor to a website is when a user enters your website through a search engine such as Google or Bing, and not from any referred links on another website.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a type of online marketing that focuses on improving the organic traffic of a website. SEO marketers use various techniques, including the creation and publishing of high quality and relevant content on the site that helps boost ranking for target keywords.
Because organic search traffic is obtained from search engines, it is known as free traffic, which is the type of traffic most site owners want.
Why is Organic Traffic Important?
Organic traffic is an important indicator that the site is functioning correctly and helps build an audience for the site. As you create content, publish blog posts and build backlinks, your search rankings will improve, you’ll increase organic traffic and the popularity of the site will grow. If you are an e-commerce site, organic traffic will bring more sales.
How is Organic Traffic Measured in Google Analytics?
Google Analytics separates traffic that enters your site through search engine results pages (SERPs) from traffic that arrives from other referring channels, such as paid advertisements and referral sites. The traffic segment is called “organic search traffic”.
Analytics knows the most popular search engines in the world and can attribute traffic to each source. Any traffic that comes through any default search engine appears as organic traffic in your reports. However, if your user finds a site from a search engine that isn’t on this list, it will be considered as referral traffic.
Where is Organic Traffic in Google Analytics?
To view organic traffic in Google Analytics, and other sources, you must go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels where you will find the report.
Within analytics you can examine various sophisticated metrics, including landing pages and keywords which have gained the most organic traffic and other relevant indicators. Doing so allows site owners and digital marketers to build a strategy for driving more organic search traffic to a website.
Site owners can also analyse overall site traffic alongside organic traffic. The report features other metrics such as average time spent on a web page, number of pages visited, keywords that have generated the most organic traffic and the various traffic sources (Direct, Organic, Referrals and Paid Traffic).
Difference between Traffic Sources/Channels
While we continue to mention channels other than organic traffic, it’s important to understand what we mean by each one.
Direct traffic is any visitor who arrives on your site without clicking on any other website. However, direct traffic that is measured in Analytics can also show up visitors where it has no data on how they arrived on the site. This could be down to a referring source that isn’t properly configured in your reports.
Referral traffic is any visitor to your site who has come from another site, without searching and finding you in search engines. When someone clicks a link from a website or social network to go to another site, Google recognises this as referral traffic. Most site owners will use UTM codes to track where each source of traffic has come from, so you can separate social media visitors and other website visitors.
Referral traffic is part of building backlinks to a website – an SEO tactic. With the right backlinks, a website can gain consistent traffic to the website from another. The better authority links that a website has can help rank a site on search engines. With improved brand exposure and authority, there’s a bigger chance of online success.
Paid search traffic, also known as pay-per-click (PPC), is tagged to visitors who have clicked on a link placed as an advertisement or sponsored listing that a business has purchased to appear at the top or bottom of search results.
When searching “organic traffic” in Google, you will probably find ads like these:
When you click on a link like this, Analytics will add it to the “Paid Search” tally in your report.
How to Increase Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is important to every website and there are things you can do to increase it.
Optimise your site for SEO
Search engine optimisation offers results that are permanent for a website. By making your website set up for search engines through optimising the website and looking after your technical SEO, robots can crawl your site with ease. With keyword research, you can map your on-site content to keywords that your target audience is searching based on their search volume. With a balanced approach including high volume and low competition keywords, you will grow quickly in search engines.
Don’t forget to use on-site optimisation, including H1s, H2s, H3s and optimised Alt tags for images.
Create a Blog
The best way to build authority in your site is to keep an active blog. This will attract an audience by generating more traffic to your site, if you create content that targets keywords your audience is searching. Blogging also helps your SEO, as you can link to products or services which Google will see as being relevant to your niche.
You should look at questions your audience is asking online. You can build content around them and guide users to your product/service that fixes that problem.
Optimised Meta Titles and Descriptions
Your meta title and meta description are the first things users see when on search engines. It’s important that these are optimised and relevant to the search query you’re targeting. Meta titles are a ranking factor, so must include said keyword(s). Meta descriptions aren’t a ranking factor but should entice a user to click your link.
A site must be usable to gain an audience, so your design matters. If the user experience (UX) isn’t good, you will see a high bounce rate – people leaving your site – in your web analytics. Google will also spot this and penalise you for it.
Use Structured Data – Schema.org
Schema.org is a markup language on a website that translates natural language into structured data that Google’s algorithms can understand. Implementing schema markup for products, reviews, recipes, FAQs supports Google’s crawls and can lead to better rankings.
Work with an SEO Agency
All the above can seem daunting to a beginner. However, the experts at an SEO agency can support you by doing the hard work for you with a winning digital marketing strategy. By outsourcing your SEO work to an agency, they will have the expertise and skills to implement the right tactics to improve rankings and drive organic traffic. They will also have access to Google Analytics and other SEO tools such as SEMRush and Ahrefs which can give a greater insight into your site and can even build a competitor analysis to see what your rivals are doing to rank.