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What Is Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic is a popular term among search engine marketing or search engine optimization firms. But the reality is most people just don’t understand exactly what organic traffic is.

Organic traffic used to be traffic that was sent to your website by major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. And while this certainly still is true, I think in 2011 the term organic traffic has evolved to include so many other types of searches.

People are searching for things online in so many places other than just search engines. From Facebook to Twitter to On-Site Searches to Niche Directories to Online Yellow Pages, there are literally thousands of places people can search for information online and organic traffic is simply traffic generated to your website by these searches.

In the foreseeable future, the majority of organic traffic will still come from search engines, and especially search engine giant Google, so it is safe to assume in most cases that when someone refers to organic traffic, they are referring to traffic generated by one of the 3 biggest search engines. But as time progresses, this certainly could change. Facebook, for example, is playing a larger and larger role in organic traffic. If you search in the Facebook search bar for a product or service and find a company coming up for a keyword, then I certainly consider this an organic traffic source.

So what does this mean for your website and how you should go about gaining organic traffic? Again, we believe the 3 big search engines will continue to play the largest role in organic traffic in the next several years, so we are continuing to engage in search engine optimization to continue to improve our rankings for specific keywords. The best thing to do as a small business owner is engage in a budget-friendly SEO campaign (we outline our silver, gold, and platinum packages on our monthly SEO packages page).

Another important aspect to keep in mind when looking at organic traffic is that once your website ranks for the given keyword, this traffic becomes “free” traffic so to speak. There are absolutely no per click costs associated with organic traffic–the only costs are your initial optimization costs and then your maintenance costs to make sure you stay ranked for that keyword. This is attractive to many small business owners who don’t want to constantly pay $3 or even more per click for conventional advertising.

No matter how you view your small business’ marketing plan, organic traffic should account for at least 20% of your overall traffic. Once a website is properly optimized, organic traffic can account for as much as 60, 70, or even 80% of your website’s overall traffic. If you’re ready to learn exactly how much traffic is out there and properly optimize your website to take advantage of this traffic, simply fill out the free SEO analysis request form directly to the right of this article to receive a free 30 page small business SEO analysis.