Two recent studies from two very big online companies resulted in some very interesting findings that detail pretty much what many of us search engine optimizers already expected. Organic traffic to your website is bigger than you think.
The conversation regarding how much website traffic, on average, comes from search engines is a continuous one that rises and descends overtime like an ocean swell. This summer’s spiked interest in the perpetual debate all began again when Groupon conducted an experiment to test the theory that their direct traffic was being overvalued. Retrieval of this information is so important that they risked de-indexing their site from Google’s eyes which is something that normally occurs when you have violated Google’s quality guidelines. I won’t go into the details of how this de-indexing allowed them to do the detective work as for you, a business owner, the end result is what matters. This result which offers implications for your online business is that 60% of Groupon’s direct traffic was actually organic, traffic that arrived from consumers taking to Google, Yahoo, and Bing (and the scraps) to find what they were looking for. That represents a huge overvaluation and completely alters where marketing resource dollars should be allocated.
But the theorizing didn’t stop there. If you go to Google right now and type in the exact title of this article “how much website traffic comes from search engines?” you will uncover a study from Conductor in the #1 position (until this article overtakes it one day?). This study from over one year ago evidenced that nearly half of all website traffic comes from natural search. After Groupon’s experiment from a few days ago, Conductor, not to be outdone in the theory-testing business, conducted their own similar experiment. Guess what? They found about the same result. It turns out the original reported 47% of website traffic attributed to organic search was severely undervalued. Conductor found that as of July 2014 64% of all website traffic comes from organic search.
“Organic Search is Responsible for a Far Greater Percentage of Website Traffic than Originally Thought” ~ Conductor
While this isn’t exactly an “oops!” moment, considering that no one was really ignoring a source what was still factored as being responsible for half of all incoming traffic, it certainly does tip the scales. On average, organic traffic is responsible for more consumers finding your website than any other channel. So what should you do?
How Businesses Should Respond to the News that Organic Search Brings in the Most Traffic to Their Website:
1. Follow Tried and True SEO Best Practices – Since your consumers are taking to a Google search engine results page (page one!) to find your business online be sure that you follow these 5 steps to get on there.
2. Adjust Your Marketing Budget Accordingly – It’s time to give up the big spends on traditional advertising media (print, TV, radio, billboard) and allocate a far more significant portion towards online marketing that focuses on organic search traffic. This budget adjustment can be used to outsource an SEO company to manage the entire campaign, or split the balance by having in-house complement the strategy (see next point below).
3. Adjust Your Human Resources Accordingly – Even if you go about hiring an SEO company based on this recent news you still want to allocate some of your company’s human resource talent towards online content generation. Nobody knows your business better than those working within it. By having you/them contribute to the online content mix you’ll help generate the goods needed to score a great position in organic search. By having your team become familiar with SEO tools such as apps to help monitor your SEO progress and how to use their own smartphone photos as link bait to building your brand’s Google+ page together, the possibilities are endless.
Invest in SEO for your business’ website and you’ll reap the benefits of organic search above all other forms of traffic – the statistics dictate so.