Organic traffic is desirable for many reasons. It’s cost-effective. You aren’t spending advertising dollars or buying traffic. You’re optimizing your impact on search engines by earning backlinks and through your social media efforts. Organic traffic also tends to be high-quality traffic.
The eight tricks below can help you drive natural traffic to your e-commerce site.
1. Earn quality backlinks
Backlinks are links to your website from external pages. When it comes to SEO, these are exceptionally important. In essence, a backlink is an endorsement from a third party that your content is worthy of using as an example or reference. Google and other search engines pay close attention to that and reward pages that earn backlinks with a higher ranking.
Of course, not all backlinks are the same. Organic links are always more valuable than paid. Links from trustworthy, respected sites, are better than those from questionable ones. In fact, low-quality backlinks can lead to penalties, leading to a negative impact on SEO and less traffic.
To earn quality backlinks, you can reach out to bloggers and industry influencers to get them to read your content, and consider linking it in their own. Of course, you must also create quality content that people find worth linking to.
You can also work to have low-quality backlinks removed. There are several tools that will help you monitor backlinks. These include Ahrefs, Google analytics, Testomato, and Backlink Watch. You can use these to find spammy links, broken links, and other issues. Then, you can reach out to other webmasters, and ask them to remove low-quality links. If that doesn’t work, Google has a link disavow tool. You can’t force people to remove links, but this tool allows you to make it clear to Google that you don’t want your content associated with the website that links it.
2. Find relevant industry sites and publications and become a guest contributor
If you can connect with trustworthy, relevant publications and websites, look into contributing your own content as a guest blogger. The key here is focusing on sites that are popular with your target audience. You’ll want to avoid sites that are designed to appeal to general audiences, private blog networks, and low-quality article directories where content is published just for link building purposes.
There are a few ways that this works, directly and indirectly, to drive organic traffic to your e-commerce store. First, it builds thought leadership. Content with your name and your company’s name associated with it helps your audience see you as a source of valuable advice and insights. In addition to this, you’ll often have the chance to link to your own content in your posts, or at least in your author bio. Guest blogging is also a great way to gain name recognition with industry influencers.
3. Optimize your tags and keywords
There’s a technical side to SEO as well. By using techniques that improve Google’s ability to index your web pages, and rank them for the right keywords, you improve your rankings. This increases your chance of getting page one, ‘above the fold’, positioning. That leads to more natural traffic. You can do this by:
- Using target keywords in the first paragraph of your content
- Avoiding keyword stuffing
- Adding Meta Tags and Descriptions
- Tagging and Optimizing Images
- Creating an XML Sitemap
4. Use internal links to improve SEO
If search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your website, they have an easier time indexing it and understanding your site’s architecture. This can lead to improved rankings and more traffic.
One way to accomplish this is by using internal links. Just like the name implies, internal links are links from one page on your website to another. These allow Google and other search engines to better understand how the content on your website all interrelates.
For example, if you write a blog post that focuses on the keywords, ‘shoes for distance runners’ and ‘trail running shoes’, and that post contains links to a running shoe sizing guide, and a product page featuring running shoes, that gives Google’s indexing software some helpful insights about your e-commerce store.
5. Revisit your audience personas
There are no tricks for driving natural traffic that will work if you aren’t creating and sharing content that is relevant to your target audience. The problem is that as businesses grow, marketing teams often fail to take a new look at their target personas. That’s a shame because you may have entirely new audience members, especially if you’ve begun selling your products globally.
Every time you begin reaching out to a new audience segment, it’s important to create a new target persona. This means taking the time to understand that audience’s interests, values, culture, and traditions.
6. Write content that answers questions and solves problems
Voice and mobile search are becoming more and more popular. Because of this, natural language search is becoming the norm. Search is often done while customers are on the move, and in need of immediate answers and solutions.
By writing and publishing content that anticipates user’s questions and problems, then provides solutions, you have a better chance of earning organic traffic. Use commonly asked questions as target keywords, and consider formatting pages in question and answer form.
7. Do thorough keyword research
Keyword research is the process of identifying the keyword phrases that are most likely to be used by people who are interested in your products, services, and knowledge. You can conduct keyword research by identifying topics that are of interest to your customers, researching the content that your competitors are producing on those topics, learning which keywords are being used most frequently, then creating lists of keywords that you can use in your own content.
As you do this, focus on long tail keywords. These tend to drive better quality traffic that is often more specifically interested in your products.
8. Consider long form and other ‘big ticket’ content
A few years ago, you couldn’t spend more than five minutes on the internet without running into an infographic. These taught us what happened to us if we drank an energy drink, educated us about the relationship between various movie franchises, explained the history of life, even showed us how hip hop artists are all interconnected.
So many of these infographics were shared far and wide that they became linkable assets. A linkable asset is a page on your website that contains content that is so compelling or so valuable that it earns an exceptional number of links. Infographics are a popular linkable asset. So are videos, whitepapers, eBooks, guides, and expert roundups.
When you create a linkable asset, you are building something that will be considered the ‘gold standard’ of information on a particular topic. If it becomes popular enough, you’ll earn high ranking, and plenty of backlinks.
There’s no doubting the value of organic traffic. To get the most visitors to your online store without resorting to paid techniques, try implementing the steps above. You’ll see better rankings, an increase in traffic, and ultimately more conversions.
**About the Author: Kristin Savage is interested in writing and planning to publish her own book in the nearest future. She has been a reviewer at Pick Writers for a few years and is known for her thorough approach to accurately assess newcomer translation services. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.