When it comes to driving organic traffic, a poorly planned approach to search engine optimization only yields insubstantial results. I don’t want a substantial result and certainly, nobody wants that. So you’ve got to put a working system in place if you want to increase organic traffic.
You must have heard that relying on organic traffic is like playing the lottery and it’s a win or loss with the loss chances higher.
Come on! Without relying to some degree on search engines, especially Google, no online business could exist. The people in your audience use search engines to look for information. 70% of the links searchers click on have been found to be organic according to Search Engine Journal.
You will surely need Google one day, no matter how much traffic you decide to buy through either native advertising or other media channels. Combining search engine optimization with your content marketing plan the right way produces great results.
Optimizing for search users is one aspect of content marketing that just works because search engines exist because people need the right information. Even new bloggers are using content marketing to improve their organic search traffic and rankings.
Many experts believe that search engine optimization no longer works more especially those who had terrible experiences with Google and its algorithm updates. But that is not true, it does work. You just have to approach modern SEO the right way.
Below are 5 steps to follow and successfully increase your organic traffic
- Hack user questions that you can use for keyword research.
- Research and target long-tail keywords.
- Find winning headlines and make yours better.
- Research your topic, then approach it from a unique angle.
- Consistently produce engaging and shareable content.
Hack user questions that you can use for keyword research.
To increase organic traffic, questions and answers are paramount.
Have you not observed that most conversations between strangers begin with a question? This is because questions and answers are the hallmarks of social living.
A great place for content creators and marketers to access questions that they can use for keyword research is Quora. Adam D’Angelo the former CEO of Facebook in 2009 started Quora and it has over time become quite popular. Thousands of people go to Quora to ask questions every second.
Quora has a global rank of 146 according to Alexa and it’s this popularity that makes it a great asset for marketers and content creators to hack user questions and leverage them in their keyword research.
To find trending questions on Quora, follow these simple steps:
Go to quora.com and type in your main keyword (e.g., make money online) into the search box and hit the “enter” button on your keyboard. As the results appear, check for posts that have not less than 10 answers.
Traditional keyword research might not show you an exact keyword like the question above. But a lot of people are interested in the question based on the search results so answering it will probably help your readers.
You can also find keyword variations using that question by just copying the question as it appears and plug it into the Google keywords tool or any other keyword research tool:
Notice what we just did: we used one question with more than 10 answers on Quora to research some keywords. Increasing organic traffic boils down to answering users’ questions.
So having gotten these keywords, you now have to create compelling and keyword-rich titles with them. Ideally, you just have to combine the Quora question with the keywords gotten from the Google keyword tool to get the best of both words. This will make those people asking the question on social media and search engines happy to read your content.
You also have to produce high-quality content with those keywords you have. You will consistently drive organic traffic if you focus on creating content around questions that users have actually asked.
Questions provide evergreen topics that you can address. Questions like “best ways to make money online” will never stop being asked because there will always be newbies who will need to know the best ways to make money online.
It’s a good idea to use Quora to find the question-based variations of any keyword you find using any research tool because Quora offers a unique advantage for your content by helping you find new angles to take.
Quora has a targeted audience that you can use in turn to drive organic traffic because the vast majority of those who ask questions on Quora are not experts but entrepreneurs seeking solutions.
You can easily use Quora to find questions that you can answer and generate blog posts that will boost your search results if you are a blogger or content marketer.
From the questions above, you can pick them one after the other or choose any one of your choices and form compelling blog titles with them. For example
Quora: What are some common beginner mistakes in Content marketing?
Compelling blog title: Common beginner mistakes in content marketing: 7 ways to avoid them.
By leveraging on Quora’s user questions to write high-quality content, you can stay ahead of the game while others struggle to rank for their main keywords due to intense competition.
Remember that Quora is one of the most valuable resource sites for search engine optimization consultants, writers, digital entrepreneurs, and researchers and not just a question and answer site.
Research and target long-tail keywords
Getting thousands of organic traffic is much easier if you target long-tail keywords. You must have heard or read content telling you that by just writing great content, people will visit your site and you will see a boost in organic traffic. Well, it is actually true to some extent, but if you just sit around waiting for that organic traffic to arrive, you will definitely wait forever.
Long-tail keywords are phrases not less than four words that typically indicate that a user is close to purchasing or deciding on an action. That could be “best shops to buy computers in Atlanta” or “best schools in Boston”.
When properly integrated into your blog posts, long-tail keywords help you connect with customers. Bloggers and search engine optimization experts embraced long-tail keywords because they drive the right kind of traffic (organic traffic) after Google rolled out its Panda update.
Long-tail keywords perform better than the popular keywords when you consider the top 100 – 500 keywords including the ones that major brands target.
Long-tail keywords may not give you tons of traffic because they do have smaller search volumes when compared to head keywords. But you will definitely generate targeted traffic. Mind you, “targeted traffic” is better than “generic traffic” in search engine optimization.
A long-tail key phrase probably simplifies search engine optimization and improves organic traffic so therefore, if you want to increase organic traffic, long-tail keywords are important.
Several tools can be used to research long-tail search terms, but I will be showing you how to use Ubersuggest for that.
First step: Visit Ubersuggest and plug in your main long-tail keyword (e.g., make money online). Then click “search”.
Second step: Look at the left sidebar and click on “Keyword ideas” to reveal all the keywords related to your main keyword.
Third step: Now pick the long-tail search terms (keywords in the list that contain 4 or more words) they are the ones you can rank for easily.
In the above example, the second keyword suggestion contains more than 4 words, making it a good long-tail keyword unlike the first that has 3. But the search difficulty (SD) is higher than 50 showing that it is difficult to rant for it.
Google is not very much concerned with keywords as it is with user intent, so don’t just stuff keywords into your blog post, just focus on providing useful and engaging content for the users. Keyword stuffing is an outdated search engine optimization practice.
Find winning headlines and make yours better
Your headline has the ability to either attract readers or repel them. Therefore, you need to learn how to write irresistible headlines that people would like to click on, shear on social media, and eventually increase your sites’ organic traffic.
An estimated amount of 294 billion emails are sent daily, 860 hours of videos made daily, 400 million tweets made daily, and 2 million blog posts made daily. This explosion in content is competing for your readers’ attention so you need to make our headlines captivating.
It is estimated that 80% of people will read the title of your blog post and only 20% will read the rest. A user-optimized title can increase conversions by 500%. This how vital a headline is.
It actually doesn’t make sense optimizing blog post headlines with keywords when it doesn’t offer anything useful to the actual reader. This is indeed a bad search engine optimization practice.
You need to always bear in mind the fact that Google is just a search algorithm, although it is an important one. But your customers and prospects are humans who want to find web pages that will help them not boost your search traffic.
You have to always write for the people because they are the ones who will click your links, subscribe to your list, buy your products and help spread the word about your brand on social media. While none of those things can be done by search engine bots.
You may not be a professional copywriter, but don’t let that stop you from writing headlines that grab attention. Simply find winning headlines, i.e., those that have gone viral in the past, and model them. When you understand your audience better than your competitors do, then you can craft a better headline.
You can get unbeaten titles for your content in lots of places. Here I will be sharing with you how to use BuzzSumo to find headlines that people would like to click on and shear.
Open BuzzSumo.com in your browser. On the home page, input your main keyword phrase (e.g., Email Copywriting) into the search box and click the search button on the far right.
The viral blog post titles are:
- 5 Smart shifts to boost sales with your email newsletter: The Impact Copywriter
- A Quick Copywriting Lesson Taken Directly from an Email Marketing Fail: Copyblogger
Let’s create better headlines for our blog posts by modelling these viral headlines
- 7 great ways to increase sales with an email newsletter
- Email marketing mistakes you should avoid
Note that there are simple things that you can do to improve the value of a headline when writing it. they include:
- Adding odd numbers to your headlines. A study shows that you will get a 20% higher click rate when your title contains odd numbers.
- Try to begin your title with the main keyword and it should not exceed 60 characters.
- Ensure that your long-tail keyword flows smoothly with the rest of the title.
- You can also use online publications (e.g., journals, newspapers, and magazines) to hunt for winning titles you can model.
Magazine covers are filled with compelling titles written by professional direct response copywriters. These titles have been tested and proven to draw people into the content.
To find title ideas from magazine covers, follow these simple steps
First step: Go to Magazines.com, and input your main keyword (e.g., weight loss) into the search box on the right side.
Second step: From the list of weight loss magazines, select your favourite and click on it. Now study the magazine cover and find title ideas.
Third step: Study and find out the strongest title(s) on the cover. Magazines usually contain strong and captivating titles. Your task is to study them, figure out what makes the titles attractive, and create a better one.
In this case of “eat well lose weight”, let’s identify the strongest titles and create better ones.
The strongest titles above are:
- Unprocess your diet!
- The best things you can eat for breakfast
Since these headlines have generated lots of subscriptions, you can improve the results from your content by using them as models, then integrating the right keyword phrases.
Research your topic, then approach it from a unique angle.
One way to utilize content to increase your organic traffic is to research your topic before writing your content, then put your own unique spin on the topic.
According to a study, 57% of marketers struggle to produce enough content that engages people, and yet it is one of the driving factors for increasing organic traffic.
Am facing a lot of competition in my niche and I know you are having the same experience. The truth remains that consistently writing useful and practicable content is not easy. But if you learn how to write content in your own voice, you can build a successful online business and boost your search traffic.
I will not be wrong to say that there are thousands of articles, blog posts, videos, ebooks, podcasts, and online courses that have been created already on any subject matter you have in mind so to excel you have to approach your topic from a fresh angle.
Go beyond personal opinions, especially when you are newly starting out, if you truly want clients to take your content seriously. Challenge every assumption behind your opinions and research extensively. That means you have to find data to back up your opinions and not just to be making assumptions.
You have to be a bit more creative if you are an authority or an influential blogger.
Let’s see another example.
If you have the keyword “Local SEO Strategy”, what would you write about it?
With the above keyword, most people would simply write a blog post on how to develop a local search engine optimization strategy. While others might share some tips on local SEO strategies that work. But in my case I would be more likely to write an in-depth blog post using titles like:
- How to Develop a Local SEO Strategy Fast: 7 Simple Steps You Can Use.
- Local SEO Strategy: How to Drive Local Visitors to Your Website.
You don’t have to worry much about competitors when you look for a unique angle. It is very possible for you to create great and unique content for your customers and increase organic traffic to your site even if every topic or keyword in your industry has been written on extensively.
To do that, what is needed is to research on studies, statistics, trends, and data for references, especially if your topic is related to internet marketing.
For internet marketing-related topics, a great place to start is the list of HubSpot marketing statistics, which has sections for email marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, writing blog posts, and lead generation stats.
If you want to create first-class content that people will link to, reference, and share on social media, then you have to dig deeper for some case studies. Because statistics aren’t enough.
When you are researching your topic, Google is a powerful tool. You can find helpful case studies that walk you through the entire set of specific steps taken to achieve a particular result.
To find helpful case studies, you can simply use this search query – Case study: “your keyword”
Another great way to find ideas for your topic is by watching YouTube videos. Most bloggers don’t do video marketing because it requires a bit more skill and upfront investment to do it well. So a helpful YouTube video can prove a great source of ideas to help you create compelling titles and content.
Consistently produce engaging and shareable content.
Engaging content simply engages the reader. But you have to look at content marketing strategically for you to create it. The word engage means to succeed in attracting and keeping someone’s interest and attention. And that’s exactly what content marketing is about.
If you are not succeeding with content marketing, you are probably missing one out from one or both of these two things:
- You are not creating useful and engaging content.
- You are not creating useful and engaging content consistently.
Engaging content generates more social media shares, better search rankings, and more organic traffic. And that’s exactly what you need but most people struggle to create engaging content.
You could get away with mediocre content in the past, but Google tried its best to weed out low-quality content, which wasn’t completely successful. All for the benefits of search users, the bar was raised when Panda was rolled out, followed by the Penguin algorithm update. This makes it difficult for any half-baked content to rank at the top of SERPs.
The number of comments your post receives, the quality of the links, the social media shares, and brand mentions are the metrics you can use to measure how engaging your content is.
Don’t stop learning from your audience. Don’t just dash off a quick “Thanks” reply when a reader leaves a comment. Study the words used instead. Look beyond the text (the “what”) to find the user’s intent (the “why”).
If you want to create contents that are truly engaging, there are a few things you should aim for. They include:
MAKE IT IN-DEPTH: Longer content’s rank better in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The top-10 ranking contents tend to contain over 2000 words on average. This is according to a study conducted by SerpIQ.
So always research extensively and collect a lot of data to write an in-depth blog post. Search engines may prefer longer articles, and that’s great – but users also value long-form content.
INCLUDE DATA AND VISUALS: If you study viral contents, you will notice that most often, it includes appealing visual assets (e.g., images and infographics). Note that 90% of the information transmitted to the human brain are visual.
If you assert that social media affect ranks on the SERPs, you have to back up that claim. Nothing persuades like hard data. Otherwise, you’ll be perceived as just another “make money online” con artist who makes empty promises in exchange for a quick buck.
INTERESTING STORIES: The fact that everyone loves being entertained, whether through comedy, music, sports, books, or games make entertainment a multi-billion dollar industry.
It’s important to include stories in your content if you want to build interest and get people excited about your topic. Make them informative as well as entertaining, and people will be happy to share your content with others.
Even if you don’t have a story, or can’t think of one, anything that’ll amuse or lift people up will do. Jeff Goins, the bestselling author of “The Art of Work”, frequently used stories in his writing. In addition to being useful for his readers, his blog posts include stories.
INVOKE EMOTION: One of the chief elements of user optimization is the emotional connection with your readers. Simply put, your users want to connect authentically with you. Some may want to just read your content and leave, but most really want to know you – to work with you, in a sense, to solve their problems.
Jonah Berger conducted a study to determine why content goes viral. He and his research partner found that invoking emotions of awe, surprise, laughter, pain, etc. with your content can get you more social media shares.
CONCLUSION: The steps to increasing organic traffic are not very simple. From consistently writing engaging, useful blog posts to adopting a long tail keyword approach, you have to spend a lot of time and energy if you want to see a surge in your search traffic.
To generate organic traffic in the future, creating long-form content is a sure-fire way to go. You may not see much success tomorrow or next week, especially if your blog is new. But, if you keep at it consistently, never sacrificing quality for quantity, it will surely happen.