Organic traffic is one of the most important forms of traffic you’ll receive on your site, so it’s even more important for you to learn how to convert organic traffic. It’s essentially free leads you earn from the things you do on a regular basis on your site, such as creating content and posting on social media.
We’re going to go over what organic traffic is and the various methods you can use to encourage users who come from search engines like Google and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to become leads through your email list.
Let’s get started.
What is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic is typically the traffic you receive naturally through Google via the rankings your content receives in search engines. This is known as “search traffic,” to be more specific. Organic traffic can also refer to traffic you receive from social media.
Here are a few other forms of traffic:
- Referral Traffic – Traffic you receive from referrals issued by other sites. An example would be a link someone inserted on their own website that leads to your website.
- Direct Traffic – Traffic you receive from direct visits to your website. An example would be someone typing your domain in the address bar of their browser rather than entering your site through a search engine or social media.
- Paid Traffic – Traffic you receive from advertising, typically PPC (pay-per-click) advertising from ad networks like Google AdWords.
How Exactly Do You Convert Organic Traffic?
The primary way you’ll be converting traffic on your website is through email marketing by encouraging visitors to subscribe to your email list. You can encourage them to purchase products or follow you on social media, but email marketing remains to be the most effective way to acquire new leads through organic traffic.
Specifically, you’ll be using lead magnet ideas paired with email opt-in forms you insert across your site to encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list. Lead magnets are free content or resources you create and offer as incentives for subscribing to your email list.
Here are a few examples:
- PDF Documents
- Resource Lists
- Email Courses
- Downloadable Items
- PSD Templates
- Icon Packs
- Free Trials for Applications
- Email Challenges
Where can you place opt-in forms? Everywhere, but more specifically:
- After Posts
- In the Middle of Posts
- In Links in Posts
- Sticky Header
Place them on blog, your homepage and your About page at the very least.
Optimizing Your Top Pages
Finding out the top pages the majority of new visitors use to enter your site and optimizing those pages for conversions is an easy way to increase the amount of organic traffic you convert without having to spend time creating a ton of new content.
Use a tool like Google Analytics to accomplish this task. If you’re not already using an analytics tool, create an account with Google Analytics, add your site, and give it a few days before you implement the strategies in this guide.
Once you have enough data to go by, view the Google Analytics dashboard, go to Behavior → Overview.
You can also go to Behavior → Site Content → All Pages as well as Behavior → Site Content → Landing Pages.
Use the Show Rows feature to set the number of rows shown to a number higher than 10.
What you’re looking for are blog posts and main pages. Exclude ecommerce pages for now, such as your shopping cart page or checkout page.
Add as many email forms as you’re comfortable with on these pages (some users dislike sticky headers and pop-up forms). You should also integrate them with lead magnets that relate to the content on the page. For example, a fisherman’s About Me page could feature email opt-in forms that contain a lead magnet for a free, short ebook called “A Day in a Fisherman’s Boots” where he depicts his fishing routine from the moment he sets up his gear at home, to the actions and decisions he makes when things go awry during a trip, to when he finally reels in a catch and more.
The users on his About page are already reading more about him, so they’re more likely to want to read more about his fishing routine.
By converting these popular pages into proper landing pages you will capture more leads to add to your mailing list.
Optimizing Your Exit Pages
This is similar to optimizing your top pages, except it may take a little more effort than simply adding a few opt-in forms here and there. Exit pages are the pages visitors were on when they left your site. These are indicators of pages that don’t perform well, so it may be time to analyze and optimize a few.
You can use Google Analytics to find your site’s exit pages. Simply go to Behavior → Site Content → Exit Pages.
Analyze these pages, and optimize them where possible. You may even need to rewrite them completely.
Creating Cornerstone Content
One new method you may want to consider adding to your SEO and content marketing strategies is cornerstone content. A cornerstone content strategy involves creating around three to five main content articles on your site that target the main keywords you want your site to rank for. You then ensure the rest of the content you release on your site relates to one of your cornerstone articles and insert links back to them.
Your cornerstone articles should be of higher quality than any other content on your site. You should spend more time and resources creating these pieces of content than you do on regular blog posts. Having all of these internal links point to these main pieces of content tells Google’s algorithm they’re important, giving you a higher chance of ranking for the keywords that relate to your niche the most.
There are a few rules to regard when it comes to creating cornerstone content:
- The articles should relate to a main topic that surrounds your niche.
- Use one unique keyword per cornerstone article.
- No other post or page should target the keyword you choose for a cornerstone article.
- Only create three to five cornerstone articles.
When you’re deciding what topics to focus on for cornerstone articles, think of the main concepts a member of your niche needs to know to get the hang of things or the main pages you want visitors to read when they visit your site. For example, we discuss WordPress-related topics on this website, so our cornerstone articles may look like this:
- All About WordPress Hosting
- What are WordPress Plugins & What are the Most Essential Plugins to Have?
- What’s a WordPress Theme & What Types of Themes are There?
- How to Succeed at Blogging with WordPress
- All About Email Marketing & WordPress
These are all concepts new and inexperienced WordPress users should learn. You can also take the keywords you already rank for into consideration and create cornerstone articles for them. You can find out this information by navigating to Behavior → Site Search → Search Terms in Google Analytics.
A couple more things to note. When you’re brainstorming new topic ideas for your blog, try ensuring they relate to your cornerstone articles as much as possible so you can insert links to them. You should also ensure the lead magnets you use on cornerstone article pages are of higher quality than the ones you use on your blog.
Run a Content Audit on Your Site
Okay, so you know you need to add opt-in forms to your top pages, tweak a few things on your exit pages and start creating cornerstone content, but what about the rest of your existing content? There’s still a lot of optimization you can perform without having to create entirely new pieces of content.
For example, you can take those exit pages a little deeper and go through all of your content to see if anything needs an update or rewrite. While you’re doing this, you should also see if you can combine a few posts into single “mega” posts that are more likely to rank higher than each of the smaller posts, coming up with a solid content marketing plan will help you plan content for the future which will help increase your organic traffic further.
Run an SEO Audit on Your Site
All of this information is great to learn, but it’s meaningless if the SEO strategy on your site isn’t up to code.
Here’s a short list of things to check:
- User Experience – Visit your homepage on desktop (laptop) and mobile, and go through your main pages, blog page and a few blog posts. Click on menu items, links and buttons to ensure everything looks and functions well.
- Broken Links – If you aren’t using Google Search Console, create an account, and add your site. This tool reports crawl errors, which indicate broken URLs and HTTP status codes that may prevent Google’s search crawlers from accessing and analyzing your site. This tool also allows you to submit a sitemap to Google.
- Site Performance – Test your site with tools like Pingdom and GTmetrix to see if they’re performing well and loading in a few seconds or less. Pingdom even offers a service that allows you to monitor the speed of your site over time.
Converting organic traffic is mostly about creating content that resonates with the type of customers you want to target. They need to find the posts you publish relevant and useful, else they won’t finish them or be interested in any of the free opt-in incentives you offer. No matter what way you choose to go about this, ensure the content you create is as high of quality as it can be.
While you’re learning about this topic, check out a few related posts we’ve published:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Building an Email List
- A Guide to Email Marketing Service Providers
- Top Pop-Up Plugins to Use for WordPress