What is organic traffic?

Dealing with website performance and search optimization we should first of all learn how to distinguish organic traffic from other types of traffic:
- paid traffic;
- social traffic;
- direct traffic, etc.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is dedicated to increasing organic traffic in the first place. In this article, you will learn how to tell it from the other types, and later we will discuss how to get more of it.

As a definition, organic traffic means all visits your website gets from search engines like Google or Yahoo! except for those generated by paid search (which also works through search engines but is drawn by ads).

How do you get search traffic

In general, you have two ways to get visitors from search engines:

  1. Pay for ads and appear as an “Ad” on top of the list (or its bottom, which also works);
  2. Do some SEO and be ranked among the first organic results.

The combination of these two activities is called SEM, i.e. search engine marketing.

Every time a surfer googles anything, the search engine provides them with a ranked list of links. Some of them are labeled “Ad”, which means they are paid, and the rest are organic, which means the search engine considers them useful and relevant to the query.

Once the user clicks on an organic link leading to your website, this is counted by Google Analytics as an organic visit.

What are the advantages of organic traffic

#1. It is free

Unlike paid traffic, organic is free. You can regularly get plenty of visitors for $0, although it usually takes some time to get your website easy to find through organic search.

#2. It is continuous

If you want instant results, you need pay-per-click (PPC) traffic, meaning you pay the ad system for every visitor. This is a way to get many visitors quickly, but its drawback is that as soon as you stop paying you stop getting visitors. At the timeline, it would look like an instant drop. Relying on organic traffic, you get free visitors as long as search engines rank your website well. Any changes driven by seasonal fluctuations and competition with other websites will be smooth.

#3. It is targeted

When a user voluntarily googles something, the query manifests his or her problem, question, or desire. If the search engine offers the user your website, they enter it and find the solution to their problem, your chances to get a new follower, subscriber, or customer are very high.

This makes organic traffic more important than any other of the above-mentioned types.

#4. It is trusted

Google and other search engines are very busy delivering the best possible results to users worldwide. Just imagine how quickly Google finds useful websites according to query out of billions of web pages! That is why users rely on it and trust the websites it organically ranks high.

Google, in turn, trusts websites that look like engaging users, i.e. where users spend relatively much time, click through many pages and don’t often leave right away.

If you make Google believe your website can help users with what they are looking for, it will drive lots of highly convertible organic traffic. Coupled with the zero cost, this makes organic traffic highly valuable and worth taking care of.

Key takeaways

Organic traffic equals all website visits from search engine minus paid search. It is free - it costs efforts, but each visitor is free.

It is continuous, meaning it does not stop as soon as you stop taking care of it. Quite the contrary, organic traffic can be eternal and even ever-growing, if your website is really useful and the problem it helps with is popular.