Remember when you worked on SEO and lived and died by your placement in Google? Happy days if you ranked #1 for relevant keywords! It meant increased traffic and increased revenue. Today, however, it’s different. We diversify. We look at more sources for generating traffic and revenue. Now, we use Adwords and create identities across social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Gone are the days where sites are living and dying by their Google Rankings. Organic isn’t one of the cool kids anymore. It’s so 2013.
Or is it?
Undoubtedly, diversification is a must, and – if you are smart with your digital marketing plans, no longer are you at the mercy of Google. However, did we forget about our organic listings and how beneficial they can be?
“Organic search trumps other traffic generators, driving 51% of all visitors for both B2B and B2C businesses.”
BrightEdge, Cracking the Content 2014
Trends, they are a-changin’
At Good Monster, we’ve noticed that companies are getting so much traffic from sites like Facebook that it seems as if there is less urgency about attracting organic traffic and less willingness to change the site to meet organic standards. It wasn’t long ago that sites were diligently paying attention to Google and its standards to court traffic.
Yet, should this be the direction company’s head in? With the shrinking of organic listings and the push below the fold across many SERPs, is organic still even worth it?
Here are 3 reasons why you should NOT overlook your organic listings.
1. Organic is still awesome
It’s possible the chart may have changed slightly since BrightEdge published its report last year, however, the data still let’s organic traffic shine. To put it simply, organic is better for delivering relevant traffic. The only channel that does better in some cases is paid search ads, but that is only for conversions.
We do see that by combining channels we can outperform either channel by itself. BrightEdge states that “research supports that a blended approach is best for delivering high performing content. Not only will combining organic and paid searches to increase website traffic, but it will offer a bigger return on the investment. For example, take retail, technology and the hospitality industry – organic and paid search combined make up more than ⅔’s of their total revenue”
If you are ignoring your organic listings, your paid ads are not doing as well as they could either. You are leaving money on the table in both paid and organic search.
2. Getting them to stay
Paid ads and social media are great traffic generators, however they are not long-term customer creators. The bounce rates are higher and the number of pages visited is sometimes low. This makes sense, think about if you click something on your Facebook feed. If you’re like me, you view the one page and leave.
Facebook is meant to drive article visits, not overall site traffic, and customer loyalty. Twitter is meant to promote customer loyalty, not create post traffic while paid ads are offering the user a reason to come visit, but not necessarily a reason to come back.
Organic on the other hand is quite different. Matching keywords to user intent means you may be present in a number of searches. The user may find you consistently, and once they get to your site, they are more likely to stay. Organic users are the best long-term customers. We have seen lower bounce rates and more pages visited. Not only that, but they are more likely to return.
The issue with paid referral sources is that it’s a “pay-to-play” game. You need to keep feeding the meter. Once you pull your money, you will see an instant dip in traffic. Not only this but keep in mind these users are not seeking you out; you ran across their path and they thought “cool, something I need right this second”. If they have a great experience on your side, they may come back, but the ratio of retained visitors from paid is low in the sites we see.
When you pay for traffic, it’s like renting an apartment. You get an immediate action but there’s no long-term buy-in from most of the visitors you get this way.
Search engine optimization and organic search however, the user’s mindset is quite different. In that case, the user is looking for you (your products/services). When they find you, if you offered a great user experience, they often come back. If you are a smaller, unknown brand, repetitive appearances across results can start to increase brand recognition and brand loyalty.
The different levels
Additionally, the amount you invest in organic search can and should change. While an extended “break” is never suggested, there are times that money can be put towards other resources for a short time. For example, let’s say you are an online retailer. In the few weeks leading up to the holidays, you are not likely to get more organic placement than you already have. Not to mention, there is a very small window for shipping gifts in order for them to arrive before Christmas. Once the holidays are over, you then have your “slow season”.
In this scenario, you might decide to take a break and shift that money into immediate “last-minute” sales through paid advertising. Your organic will not suffer, and your money will generate additional traffic.
Keep Organic Alive!
While you are killing it with paid advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, don’t forget to invest in your organic results. The organic results will help you during those times when you cannot put more money into your paid budgets. Diversification is good, but so is organic search traffic, don’t forget about yours.