When it comes to getting more sales and enquiries, building mailing lists or adding new users, the most effective source of traffic to your website is often organic traffic. This is traffic that has come to your website through a search term, and your site has been returned by a search engine in response. It differs from the other two main sources of traffic – paid search and referrals – in that you have less control over it. The search engine’s algorithm judges which sites are returned (and in which order) for any given search term, meaning you’re often left wondering what to do to improve your sites’ ranking for relevant phrases.
Although the algorithms of the likes of Google and Bing are always being updated and evolved, it is possible to take steps to improve your organic rankings. Here we look at three simple ways you can improve organic search results for your website:
Links are probably the single most important element in improving your overall rankings, and the authority of your website. In its simplest terms, links are counted as ‘votes’ by search engines, so the more links you have, the better your chances of ranking. Of course, it’s more complicated than this in reality, and there are all sorts of factors that will dictate the impact of link-building for your website. These include the quality of links, the placement on the site, relevancy, where they link to, how many you have and how quickly they’re gained, whether the links are indexed and a host of other features. Despite this however, it’s worth knowing that improving the number of relevant links to your website will likely benefit your rankings.
For example, if you’re looking to rank for branded and generic phrases like ‘designer sunglasses’ or ‘Oakley prescription glasses’, then you’ll want to have as many links from sites that talk about glasses, sunglasses, vision and fashion as possible. These are all relevant to your industry and your products, and having them link to your homepage or to an internal page will show search engines that you’re relevant to that industry and should be returned for related search phrases.
- On-site copy
In general, the more relevant and high quality copy the better when it comes to your website. Search engines can easily crawl and index copy, and it’s one of their main signifiers of what a website is about and what terms it should be ranked for. Make sure you include terms you want your site to show up for in the copy you produce, but don’t stuff them in unnaturally. You should be able to include them a handful of times without the copy feeling odd or difficult to read.
You also want to make sure your copy is original, and written specifically for your site. Don’t copy and paste copy from another website and this can get you punished (in terms of your ranking position) and is easy for algorithms to pick up on.
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘content is king’, and it’s particularly true for search engines. Generally, search engines like Google and Bing want to return the highest quality sites possible to their users, and they’re more likely to consider your site in this category if it contains a lot of high-quality, useful and relevant content.
Consider creating content like videos, infographics, long-form blog posts, presentations and ebooks that are interesting and useful to your audience. Not only will this help you with your organic rankings, but it will make it far more likely that people will share, recommend and link to your site.