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How To Increase Organic Traffic: 18 Actionable Tactics

A solid list of tactics to increase your organic traffic in 2021.

Everyone wants to increase organic traffic to their website.

Whether you are starting at zero or generating tens of thousands of organic visitors each month, there is a desire to keep growing.

You may need a new tactic or merely a return to covering the basics. Figuring out how and where to increase organic traffic is unique to each site, so we've put together a list of the ways we've found success across the creation, optimization, and promotion of content.

What is organic traffic?

Organic traffic describes the website traffic that came from search engines like Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, etc., and did not click on the paid ads. "Organic traffic" or even just "Organic" typically describes Organic Search visitors.

For most SEO and inbound marketing efforts, organic traffic is typically the primary measure of success for increasing the top of the funnel traffic and awareness. It is a highly-coveted traffic source because of its compounding results and high efficiency.

Now, let’s dig in to the 18 tactics to help you create content that drives more traffic, optimize your website for better performance, and promote your content for greater reach - all in the name of helping you increase your organic traffic.

Create content that drives more traffic

Establishing a well-rounded SEO strategy will be a critical guide for your research, blogging, and overall content strategy. Here are some of our tips.

Use keyword research to identify keyword and content gaps

Performing keyword and SEO content gap analyses against your search competitors is a great way to find new opportunities and, specifically, opportunities where your competitors are currently getting traffic that you aren't.

Even if you have done keyword research in the past, it is essential to do the analysis again at least twice per year, if not quarterly. The competitive landscape is frequently changing, and new opportunities for content will always pop up.

Here's a great, detailed guide from Ahrefs on how to do a content gap analysis.

Topic clusters

In recent years, the world of SEO has been shifting away from strategies that involve individual keywords and their search volume and more into topic clusters, aka several relevant keywords that all play a part in rounding out a topic.

For example, the topic 'how to change a bathroom faucet' will likely include a number of relevant keywords related to the necessary parts, the process, the tools required, tips, etc.

Taking your keyword research to the next level and creating content that fully covers a topic and aligns to a number of relevant keywords will improve your ability for that blog post or web page to rank for more keywords and drive more organic traffic.

Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and a few others have built more features to make it easier to research topics in addition to typical keyword research.

Optimize for long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords refer to search queries that are more specific, often 4+ words long, and have less search volume and competition than the shorter queries with higher search volume.

For example:

  • crm has 253,000 searches/month and a difficulty score of 89/100
  • what is crm software has 5,100 search/month and a difficulty score of 62/100
  • why use a crm has 90 searches/month and a difficulty score of 38/100

Optimizing your content for long-tail keywords will typically be done as part of the topic cluster process, or in some cases, still works well as a standalone topic. Understanding the depths of queries and topics that exist outside of the core keywords for your company and industry will be critical for expanding the number of keywords you rank for and driving more organic traffic.

Create an SEO content roadmap and publish consistently

One of the best things you can do to improve performance and build a rhythm for yourself/your company is to create an SEO content plan and focus on blogging consistently.

The SEO content plan should be realistic enough that it can be adhered to and doesn't result in churning out low-quality content in order to stay on schedule. If it needs to start as one new post every two weeks, but you can stick to it and create high-quality content consistently, that's fine. If you have the resources to scale beyond that while creating value for your audience, that's even better.

Blogging consistently every week will show that this is a priority for your company. It will also create a signal for the search engines that your website is continuously producing great content that needs to be crawled.

FAQs, glossaries & help centers

Answering questions is a great way to increase organic traffic while also helping out your audience. FAQ pages, glossaries, and help centers are great ways to create highly-specific and thorough content that answers specific questions people have that relate to your product/service and your industry.

You can find ideas for these in your keyword research, from your customer service team, from the search queries on your site or help center, and sites like Quora.

Sprout Social and Investopedia are two great examples of in-depth glossaries.

Publish videos on YouTube

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More and more, Google includes 3-5 YouTube videos near the top of the SERP for certain queries. If you are creating your video content to add on your site, on product pages, or part of blog posts, consider hosting them on YouTube and optimizing the video for target keywords.

Doing this will still let you include the video on your site, but you can also gain traffic from searches on YouTube and additional rich results on the main SERPs by having your video content pulled in.

Allow guest posting from other bloggers

A great way to increase the amount of content you are creating is to invite bloggers and other subject matter experts to write guest posts for your site. Marketers can always use more help and accepting guest posts is not only a way to get more content for your site, it also has additional benefits.

  • It is common for guest bloggers to promote the content they wrote for your site
  • Many guest bloggers will also link to the post on your site that they wrote for you
  • You give your audience a more diverse set of experiences and viewpoints

Optimize your website for better performance

Google's algorithm includes more than 200 prominent ranking factors and search engine optimization is an extremely broad topic, so we focused on several of the optimization factors that we know can help increase organic search traffic and other important metrics.

Get content structure and on-page SEO tight

For any existing content and the new content you are creating, it is vital to make sure that the content is structured correctly so that search engines can effectively crawl and process your content. As you review old content or crawl your site, it may surprise you how many pages are missing critical SEO data, share duplicate info with dozens of other pages, or have very little structure.

Make sure your title/headline uses the H1 tag, your page or post has clear sections that use H2s and subsections use H3s and H4s respectively.

Additional on-page SEO factors:

  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • URL
  • Rel=canonical
  • Image alt tags

Check out this in-depth guide from Hubspot on on-page SEO.

Keep getting more backlinks

Increasing the number of referring domains and backlinks to your site and to specific URLs continues to be an effective way to increase rankings and generate more traffic.

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One of the best ways to understand how many new referring domains you need to be gaining each month to gain ground is to:

  • analyze how many more referring domains your search competitors have than you
  • calculate how many new referring domains they are getting each month
  • then calculate how many you would need to add each month to begin closing that gap

Building backlinks to your site can be accomplished by creating good content, link building outreach campaigns, PR, and a number of other tactics.

Moz has an incredible resource with everything you need to know about link building.

Remove low-quality, low-performing pages

Just as you prune a tree or plant to maximize the flow of nutrients to the most critical areas, so should prune your website. Removing thin content, old pages, and anything else that isn't critical to performance helps preserve more of your crawl budget for search engines to spend on your most relevant content.

Crawl your website and include both Google Analytics and Google Search Console data. The resulting data will make it easy to figure out all of the pages on your site that are not performing and within those, audit to understand which ones are no longer critical to your overall website and SEO strategy.

If the URL doesn't have any backlinks, simply delete the page and let it 404. If it has a history of performance and has backlinks but isn't relevant anymore, consider redirecting it to a relevant page.

Check out this interview where Britney Muller explains the positive impact Moz saw from deindexing 75% of their pages.

Fix keyword cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization happens when you create several pieces of content that are all roughly on the same topic, resulting in multiple URLs competing with each other to rank for specific search terms.

The most common examples of this are when your homepage, a product or solution page, and a few blog posts are optimized for the same search term and compete with each other.

The most common solutions to this are to combine multiple pages into one or to modify how each page is optimized to decrease or eliminate the overlap.

SEJ has more in-depth details on keyword cannibalization.

Improve click-through rates

CTRs are often a lower priority on the list of ways to lift traffic. However, in some cases, there can be pages that rank well and get a lot of impressions, but the title tag or meta description doesn't stand out or aren't entirely aligned with the search intent. It is important to optimize these to ensure you miss out on a lot of clicks.

Take a look at Google Search Console at the URLs that rank in the top 10 but have a low CTR. Review the title tag and meta description and compare them to the search intent and other competitors near you.

Finding a way to rewrite these to get more traffic without impacting keyword optimization can sometimes result in significant traffic gains with minimal effort.

Combine multiple short posts into one big one

Writing blog posts on specific topics can be a great way to get something published quickly that is complete and helpful. However, over time you'll find that you have a lot of content that kind of ranks for keywords but simply can't compete with others for those terms.

A lot of times, there is a collection of small posts that all tie together into one broader concept, and the answer can be to combine all of those posts into one big piece.

Combining multiple posts into one requires some rewriting and finesse rather than combining them verbatim. The result is a more helpful and comprehensive piece that can rank for all the same keywords and more.

Combining existing content is our bread and butter at Ten Speed.

Optimize for featured snippets

In recent years, Google has significantly increased the number of rich snippets, and the impact of "ranking zero" can be substantial in terms of the amount of traffic coming to your site.

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Featured snippets or "rich results" pull structured data from your content and present it at the top of the search engine results page. From recipes and event data to flights and roundup lists, there are many industries impacted by this, and it is essential to make sure you are setting yourself up to be a contender.

To get featured snippets, you need to use structured data to put the appropriate labels on the content within your code. If you use WordPress, there are quite a few plugins that make this easy for you now.

To learn more about rich snippets, check out this guide from Backlinko.

Enable and optimize AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a mobile content framework consisting of HTML, JS, and CDN that significantly reduces the load times on content for mobile devices.

Enabling AMP for your content helps you gain better rankings and more traffic from mobile devices, which make up an ever-increasing percentage of the overall monthly searches.

For more details and resources on enabling and optimizing AMP, check out the official AMP dev site.

Fine-tune your internal links

Internal links are links that you create from one page on your site to another. Each internal link is a pathway for search engines to crawl your site and also signal to crawlers how you prioritize and associate your own content.

Make sure that the most important pages on your site also have the most internal links pointing to them. Just as the volume of backlinks and referring domains pointing at your domain is a signal, so is the number of internal links pointing to specific pages. This tells the search engines that this content is important, so make sure it really is your most important content.

Promote your content for greater reach

Digital marketing and everything from PPC to webinars and landing pages to content marketing can impact brand awareness, SEO, and ultimately, organic traffic. It is critical for you to have a holistic view of your digital marketing strategy and understand the role that content and SEO and how everything else impacts it.

That's why we put together a number of items to help marketers increase organic traffic through content promotion and other marketing tactics.

Cross-post content on platforms like Medium

While this won't impact your rankings and won't come through as true organic search traffic, cross-posting your content on Medium can be a great way to the content you are already creating in front of your target audience at a larger scale.

If you use the Import feature on Medium, it will automatically pull in the content from your post and add the proper canonical tag. All you need to do is drop in the URL, clean up some formatting on the imported content, and hit publish.

Create high-quality open graph images

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A lot of people unintentionally neglect their social media open graph images. Putting in the effort to create high-quality images specific to each post can have a tremendous impact on your shared content's performance on social media.

When visitors share your content on social media (Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook), it will pull in the open graph image as the image in the shared content. When you have high-quality images, it can make the shared content more appealing, which leads to more clicks and more shares.

It probably won't happen every time, but for specific posts, this can lead to significantly more shares and backlinks, which will ultimately help your web pages rank better in the SERPs.

Leverage social media for distribution

Sharing your blog content on social media can be an excellent way to increase your reach and drive more overall traffic to your content. As social media visitors spend more time on your content, search engines will be able to tell that the content is high quality. More social shares of your content can lead to more awareness, more backlinks, and more follow on searches for other content on your site.

Create a content marketing strategy

Content marketing will focus on all content, not just your SEO content created with the intention to drive more organic traffic. Having a well-rounded content marketing plan will help raise overall awareness for your company, generate backlinks to more of your content, establish you and authority in your space, and ultimately create more search volume for your topics over time.

This includes blogging, guides, webinars, case studies, infographics, videos, social media, and podcasts. The better you create and execute a well-rounded strategy, the more content types you will have, the more you will have to promote, and the more brand awareness and demand you will generate for your products or services.

Next Steps

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to increase organic traffic to your website. It is an ever-evolving process, and what works now might not work in the future.

If you are interested in optimizing your content and increasing organic traffic and would like some help, schedule a consultation with us.