What is organic traffic?

No, the term ‘organic traffic’ doesn’t mean vehicles made from compost or website visitors comprising of people who consume recycle goods. Organic traffic actually means traffic, i.e., human website visitors, that originates organically, i.e., exclusively from search engines’ queries.

Organic traffic provides a direct pathway to your core audience. Image courtesy of Pixabay

Tell me more about organic traffic

The phrase organic traffic refers to website visitors who go to a particular website by clicking a result on a search engine results page, which is generated when customers launch search queries using search engines. Organic traffic is the antithesis of paid traffic, which is a term used to describe traffic originating from paid advertisements, or referral traffic, which are traffic obtained from URLs referred by third-party websites (including social media).

The prevalence of organic traffic from search engines has even led to proper nouns metamorphosing into verbs, as in the case of Google. How many times have we heard the brand name referred to Googled or Googling? Even Bing tried to popularise the verb Bing by discreetly paying forproduct placement on the TV show, Hawaii 5-0. Unfortunately, ‘Bing it’ has quite caught on.

Why does organic traffic matters?

Humans perform almost five billion web searches daily, and the result of these search queries generate more than a third of internet traffic every day of the year. As you can imagine, that’s a huge deal. When you factor in that organic traffic is free, its importance becomes even more pronounced.

The increasing use of smartphones has also made search engines more accessible. With the autocomplete function on smartphone browsers, web users sometimes take less than a second to launch search queries. This development means the use of search engines will become even more widespread in the coming years.

Organic traffic and businesses

Considering all the factors above, businesses are right to focus their efforts at securing the technically free but extremely valuable organic traffic. Otherwise, they will be handicapping their sales and growth potential. It comes as no surprise then to see businesses, even pure brick and mortar enterprises like tax firms and launderettes, increasing their spending on search engine optimisation and other forms of digital marketing

It’s not uncommon these days for larger companies to hire their own in house SEO and digital marketing specialists. More focus is also given to synergise traditional marketing efforts with content creation and content marketing, since these strategies help to increase inbound organic traffic.