What Is Organic Traffic and Why Is It Important for SEO

What Is Organic Traffic and Why Is It Important for SEO

Organic traffic, also known as organic search traffic, refers to visits coming from unpaid search engine results. When people search for something on Google, Bing, or any other search engine, they see a mix of paid ads and organic listings. Clicks on the organic results are considered organic traffic.

In contrast, paid traffic comes from sponsored ads and other forms of advertising. While paid methods can be effective for quickly driving targeted visitors, organic search provides volumes of “free” people looking for what you offer. Thus, organic traffic should be a key focus for long-term sustainable growth.

Why Is Organic Traffic Better?

Organic traffic has higher conversion rates compared to other sources because searchers have more trust in unpaid search engine results versus paid ads.

How Search Engines Determine Rankings and Organic Traffic

Search engine algorithms analyze countless factors to decide which web pages best match user intent and keywords. While the exact formulas are proprietary secrets, we know authority, relevance, trust, optimization, and user experience matter.

Pages earning high rankings meet searcher needs, load fast, are mobile-friendly, and have reputable backlinks from other trusted sites. Optimizing for organic search is an ongoing process as algorithms evolve. But sites providing value consistently outrank competitors.

Ranking high organically leads to impressions, clicks, and visitors from search engines. The higher you rank for relevant keywords, the more visibility and traffic you get. So organic search traffic is essentially determined by your ability to rank well in search engines against specific queries.

How Do You Generate Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic is generated through SEO strategies like on-page optimization, link building, and content creation that aim to earn high search engine rankings for relevant keyword targets.

Why Organic Traffic Matters for Long-Term Sustainable Growth

Organic search delivers targeted visitors interested in what your business offers. It’s a primary channel for:

  • Brand awareness – Ranking for your brand name increases visibility and mind share.
  • Reputation management – Positive search engine ratings reflect well on your business.
  • Lead generation – Organic visitors convert into sales leads and customers.
  • Direct sales – Ranking for product terms drives direct purchases.

Unlike paid ads, organic rankings and traffic are essentially “free” once earned through ongoing optimization. And visitors who find you organically convert better. Studies show organic traffic converts over 2X better because searchers have more trust in organic results versus ads.

Organic search also provides a stable stream of qualified visitors due to the perpetual nature of searching. Search volumes for topics relevant to your business will remain relatively steady year over year. Maintaining your organic presence builds sustainable long-term growth not reliant on advertising budgets.

In many cases, earned organic traffic represents 50-80% of a site’s total visitors. Given the volumes and quality, no marketing strategy is complete without an organic search focus. When earned through best practices, organic traffic is profitable, scalable, and enduring.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Organic Traffic?

The disadvantages of organic traffic are that it requires continual effort to maintain rankings, takes time to build initially, and is impacted by search engine algorithm changes that are outside of your control.

What Influences Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic levels are influenced by factors like keyword research, on-page optimization, link profiles, technical SEO, site speed, content marketing, competition, and search engine algorithm updates.

Does SEO Increase Organic Traffic?

Yes, SEO increases organic traffic because optimizing pages for search engine ranking factors positively influences search visibility and visitor volumes.

Core SEO Strategies to Increase Organic Traffic

While search engine formulas are complex, these core strategies form the foundation of effective organic search optimization:

1. Keyword Research

Thorough keyword research identifies opportunities to rank for queries aligned with your products, services and content. Tools like Google Keyword Planner reveal:

  • Volume – Number of monthly searches for keywords
  • Competition – How hard it is to rank
  • Relevance – aligns with your offerings

Analyze keyword data to select targets providing enough search volume at a difficulty level you can reasonably rank for. This guides SEO efforts towards achievable organic traffic goals.

2. On-Page Optimization

On-page SEO means optimizing website pages to improve organic rankings for target keywords. Primary on-page factors include:

  • Page titles – Include primary keywords near the front of title tags.
  • URLs – Format URLs with keywords that identify the page topic.
  • Headings – Highlight keywords in heading tags H1-H6.
  • Content – Use keywords throughout the content in a natural, readable way.
  • Media – Optimize images and videos with alt text and file names containing keywords.

On-page best practices demonstrate relevance to keywords while crafting pages for ideal user experience.

3. Technical SEO

Search engines prioritize websites with fast load speeds, minimal errors, and mobile responsiveness. Core technical areas to optimize include:

  • Site speed – Compress images, enable caching, and optimize code to accelerate page loads.
  • Mobile optimization – Ensure a responsive design and mobile-friendly experience.
  • Structured data – Implement schema.org structured data where applicable to enhance snippet displays.
  • Sitemaps – Submit XML sitemaps to provide search engines a list of all pages to index.
  • Page performance – Fix broken links, display errors, infinite redirects or other issues negatively impacting crawling and indexing.

Technical SEO establishes the site infrastructure for reliable indexing, which directly improves organic rankings and traffic.

4. Link Building

The number and authoritative of external websites linking to pages on your site (backlinks) is a primary ranking factor. Link building aims to earn backlinks from reputable sources like:

  • Industry websites
  • Online magazines/blogs
  • Business directories
  • Social media platforms

Links signal search engines that a page offers value worthy of endorsement. Content generation and outreach are common tactics to build links. But focus on earning links naturally vs. buying links or using manipulative tactics.

5. Content Creation

Creating robust, useful content that answers searcher questions and establishes your expertise is tremendously valuable for organic search. Different formats like articles, blogs, videos, and infographics allow you to target various keywords and ranking opportunities.

Focus on producing in-depth content on topics aligned with your products, services and brand. Optimize each piece of content for specific keywords you want to rank for. Promote your content through marketing channels to drive engagement and link building opportunities.

How to Track and Measure Organic Traffic

Analytics platforms like Google Analytics are essential for tracking and measuring organic traffic performance. Key organic search metrics to monitor include:

  • Organic sessions – Total visits from organic search.
  • Organic keywords – Specific keywords driving traffic.
  • Pages/session – How many pages visited per session.
  • Bounce rate – Percentage of single page visits.
  • Goal conversions – Sales, leads or other goals from organic.

Analyze metrics over time to see organic growth and optimization opportunities. traffic changes. Short drops are normal but consistent declines require investigation.

Google Search Console provides additional organic data on indexed pages, top performing content, manual penalties, and keywords ranking positions. Review Search Console alongside Google Analytics for a complete view.

Driving More Organic Traffic with Search Intent Optimization

Beyond core SEO, you can dig into search intent optimization to further improve organic rankings and traffic. Searcher intent looks at the context behind queries to categorize and align content accordingly, such as:

  • Informational – Early stage research queries to learn more.
  • Navigational – Seeking a specific business website.
  • Transactional – Ready to purchase products or services.

Optimizing content for searcher and keyword intent demonstrates greater relevance to search engines. You can segment keywords by intent type then structure pages and content to match.

For example, conversational long-form articles work well for informational searches, while concise product/service pages better fit transactional intent. Aligning content with search intent boosts engagement and conversion potential from organic traffic.

Why Would Organic Traffic Drop?

Organic traffic can drop due to Google algorithm updates devaluing certain optimization tactics, new competitor content outranking your pages, technical problems on a site, or shifts in consumer search behavior.

Organic Search Optimization Must Be Ongoing

Gaining organic traffic requires an ongoing optimization commitment. Search algorithm updates, new content from competitors, trends in searcher behavior, and website changes can all positively or negatively impact rankings.

Set goals to aim for specific organic traffic levels each month. Track rankings and metrics in analytics to spot drops or surges. Fix technical issues as they arise. Refresh existing content and add new content continuously. Seek new link building opportunities.

Staying on top of organic search is challenging. But the long-term stability and qualified visitors it provides are well worth the effort for overall business growth and revenue.


Organic search engine traffic refers to visits coming from unpaid search engine results, as opposed to paid ads. Due to its volumes, high-intent nature, and “free” cost once earned, organic traffic is hugely important for long-term business growth.

Core SEO strategies involve keyword research, on-page optimization, technical SEO, link building, and content creation. By mastering these areas, you can gain visibility and website visitors through organic search. Analyze your progress through Google Analytics and Search Console.

Ongoing optimization and alignment with search intent improves organic performance over time. When made a consistent priority, organic search provides sustainable qualified traffic to support sales, leads, and branding goals.

If you need help increasing your organic traffic, contact 427 Digital today!