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Organic Traffic Defined; and Why You Want It

Aug 27, 2008
New website owners and marketers often ask what organic traffic is. The simple answer is: organic traffic is visits to your web page that do not originate from a paid advertisement.

It's referred to as organic because the owner did not pay for the visitor to be directed to his site. Rather, the visitor discovered the website via a search engine or a link from another site.

Good organic traffic is desirable because it requires no incremental cost or effort.

There are a couple basic strategies obtaining organic traffic.

The first of these is getting incoming links, also known as backlinks. These are simply links on related sites that point to your site. This strategy assumes that people in your target market will stumble across the link to your site and click it. The link may originate from a website directory, blog, forum, or static website.

The second strategy is SEO; that is, Search Engine Optimization. With this strategy you take steps to rank as high in the search engines as you can using the keywords that are still important to your business. There are many search engines, but it's commonly a good idea to focus on Google, Yahoo, and MSN; in that order too, seeing as they're the top three search engines nationwide.

SEO strategies may change a little from search engine to search engine, but the steps taken are usually the same: keyword density, obtaining backlinks(a seperate strategy, but still relevant to SEO purposes), proper page names, and a proper site map.

There are many benefits of good SEO implementation. There's free traffic, the traffic doesn't require pay-per-click account management, and if it's consistent it can form the foundation of a revenue stream that can be sold.

There are drawbacks, too. Organic traffic may be unpredictable, the search engines may alter their ranking procedures, rending up to months of work useless, and the time it takes to draw in a decent level of traffic may be a long while.

Regardless of your business model, if you intend to keep your website for any length of time, you would definitely consider seeking organic traffic through search engine optimization.
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