8 ways to double organic search traffic

Digital Media & Advertising

Outperform the competition by addressing Google’s key factors in determining search results. Here are eight ways to do it.

Optimising your site for organic search can be a daunting task. This post reveals techniques that can potentially double, triple or even multiply your traffic by ten, from organic search

Google makes use of a series of algorithms to ensure each search query gets populated with the best possible results. These algorithms take many factors into consideration, including the words in the query, relevance, page usability, location, source expertise and settings you use.

Furthermore, these factors each carry a different amount of “weight” which changes from query to query. For example, for current topics (relevant to what’s happening today), freshness carries a lot of weight. For a dictionary type search, the page trust and page authority play a larger role.

To make sure the algorithms are functioning as intended Google has hired an army of Quality Raters. They follow strict guidelines developed by Google to ensure the algorithm matches the standards established for Page Quality and Needs. These guidelines are a must-read for anyone serious about building a top-performing website.

According to Google, there are five key factors their search algorithm looks for to determine which results should appear at the top of the Search Results:

  • Meaning of query (search intent)
  • Relevance of webpages
  • Quality of content
  • Usability of webpages
  • Context and settings

By addressing and focusing on these five factors, you will be putting yourself in a position to easily outperform the competition. Here are some specific tips on how to do it:

1. Claim Your Business Listing

Google-My-Business-Feature

Google business profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a free business listing you get in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

Business Profiles show up in Google Search, Maps, and Google Shopping. If you have a business that has a physical location or travels to customers to work, you can create a Business Profile on Google and claim a free listing!

Five Google Business Profile Benefits

  1. Customers can easily interact with your business (ask questions, leave reviews and find contact information)
  2. Google Maps favours geographically relevant businesses.
  3. A good star rating builds trust and social proof
  4. An optimised Google Business Profile makes a good first impression
  5. Its free advertising

As Google is heading towards a more localised search, it is crucial to have complete and accurate data in your Google Business Profile to ensure it is up-to-date and relevant.

This continues to be an easy win as many businesses haven’t even claimed their Google listing yet.

2. Do Keyword Research

Yep, keyword research is still crucial to increase organic traffic.

With Google providing less and less keyword data, third party tools like ahrefs and SEMrush have developed their own keyword tools to help fulfil the needs of webmasters.

However, how one conducts keyword research and makes use of it for the results have changed, thanks to RankBrain and BERT.

At its core, RankBrain is machine learning. This gives Google the ability to put things into context rather than relying on metadata. RankBrain now allows Google to understand language nuances like synonyms, answers and stemming.

BERT is an acronym for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (woah what a mouthful).

When BERT launched in October of 2019, Google projected that BERT would impact nearly 10% of all searches in the US alone.

The primary goal of BERT is to deliver better search results for longer, more conversational queries (for example: “how to make a pizza base”)

New keyword tools (and highly popular ones like SEMrush and ahrefs) takes this into consideration by providing relevant data like keyword groups, search intent and parent topics.

Armed with all this information, we can create content that is relevant to the search query and optimise it to become the top result in the SERP.

3. Mobile First

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In April of 2015, Google made an update to go for a “mobile-first approach”

Today Google is all-in on mobile. If you aren’t certain as to whether your website meets the criteria for being mobile-friendly, head over to your search console account and view the mobile usability report. Google will summarise any mobile issues in the report so you can take the right steps to fix it and come into compliance

4. Focus on On-Page Optimisation

Fun Fact – Google published its own Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

Despite the name, this guide is a great resource for anyone looking to maximise their chances of appearing highly in Google search results.

The guide goes through all the important on-page basics, including best practices for optimizing:

  • Headers
  • Page Titles
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Image Alt-Text
  • Schema Markup (Structured Markup)
  • Page URLS Best Practices
  • Internal Linking

Some additional resources for on-page optimization:

5. Improve Page Experience

Google Page Experience is defined by a set of signals which measure how users react to a webpage. This measurement goes beyond basic information.

It utilises Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics that measure page loading times, interactivity, and visual stability, as well as mobile-friendliness, HTTPS and intrusive guidelines

Does Page Experience Affect Rankings?

Page Experience can be seen as a tiebreaker in SERP. In cases where several pages may satisfy the search criteria for relevance, Page Experience carries more weight.

But a page that delivers sought-after information still outperforms a page with less relevance but a better Page Experience.

6. Focus on User Experience (UX)

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Google has always recommended webmasters to focus on providing a good User Experience. As the algorithm learns and becomes more advanced, websites that provide a good UX will stand to benefit the most. A good User Experience goes much deeper than writing clean code.

According to a study from the Oxford Journal, “The goal of UX design in business is to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.”

In our case, the website is the product. And the objective is to first determine the user’s intent, then develop a strategy for smooth navigation. A strategy that leads to an overall good experience.

There are several best practices to follow. The web is filled with templates and advice. What separates the good sites from the bad sites is A/B Testing.

Each one of us has our own opinion and personal experiences that will influence how a webpage is built out, however, by running a series of split tests, you will be able to see what is working and what isn’t, and then continue until you get it right for your website.

7. Have a Well-Rounded Marketing Plan

Since content is one of the top Google Ranking factors, it’s important to get it right. Content represents a huge opportunity for those willing to invest the time and effort to make sure it’s on point.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 51% of advertisers report that it’s increasingly more difficult to capture audience’s attention today than it was a year ago.

Everyone talks about creating great content, but what does that even mean?

Great content really comes down to content that is useful, finds the right audience and then reaches that target audience.

This isn’t necessarily difficult to achieve. It all comes down to understanding your customers/prospects. Ann Handley created the following formula to sum it up:

Useful x Enjoyable x Inspired = Innovative Content

Great content can be created in several forms, A well-planned out content marketing plan can include a combination of the following:

  • Blogs
  • Data-driven visuals (graphs and charts)
  • Images
  • Infographics
  • SlideShare presentations
  • Videos

These are some of the best ways to create meaningful content that will resonate with your target audience.

8. Link Building Boosts All Other Efforts

The last point is Link Building. Links are still a crucial for good rankings. However, you need to get the right kind of links.

Links that are relevant to your site and, links that require someone to check your work are the kinds of links that are earned and will increase your site rankings.

One way to earn relevant links to your site is by creating a page where you can organise and publish your content in a way that makes it easy to find and share. In addition to attracting links, this will also help your site build brand trust and authority.

There is a great guide on link building from Search Engine Journal. Check it out

Our take:

Organic search and SEO are a slow game to play. There is no single best way that everyone could use to increase their traffic tenfold, but it does not need to overwhelm you.

SEO is all about creating niche content for your target audience that’s catered to their needs.

If you focus on these eight areas, you may easily see an increase in your traffic.

written by:

Neill du Toit

Neill’s appetite for anything related to technology is ever-growing. Fresh out of school, and straight into the workforce, Neill was thrown into the deep end, having to learn terms like “SEO” and “PPC”. Thankfully he’s a sponge for information, and it wasn’t long before he was moulded into our SEM guru. Neill has a dream of flying a plane, and would love to travel the globe one day.

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