Tactics for boosting organic traffic and avoiding PPC pain

cactus avoid pain and build sustainable traffic

If you’ve thrown money at Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns and experienced the pain of negative returns, you are not alone. With the number of Facebook advertisers doubling over the last three year, it’s no wonder return on investments are dropping. So how can we escape the budget-destroying PPC campaigns and achieve seriously good organic traffic?

Go organic for long-term success

If PPC advertising is the fad diet of marketing, then organic content is the healthy eating regime. And, just like a long-term healthy eating plan, the returns for organic content creation may take longer. Ultimately though, they will produce a positive, predictable and longer-lasting impact over time.

If you’re keen to build some seriously sustainable traffic on your website and your social channels, this article will breakdown how to use organic content and Google Search to get results and also avoid the pain and unpredictability of paid campaigns.

If PPC advertising is the fad diet of marketing, then organic content is the healthy eating regime.

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1. Plant the seeds of organic traffic

If you’ve been keeping up with current marketing trends, you probably feel like you’ve heard the advice a million times: “Content is king!” “Publish more blogs!!” “Write longer blogs!!!”.

While there is still some truth to these sentiments, with over 1.7 billion websites currently online, it’s getting more challenging to grab – and keep – readers’ attention. 

Live websites from 2010-2019

graph showing increase of live sites over leat 10 years

Source: internetlivestats.com

Google search ranking of your web pages will always be one of your key objectives. When trying to build organic traffic, it’s important to note; we need not tie ourselves to the old ways of Search Engine Optimisation, (SEO). There are always new and improved methods of SEO for your website and marketing content, and it’s crucial to stay up-to-date. User experience has been a basis of Google’s search’s philosophy around page ranking from the get-go. Its metrics and data analysis methods are incredibly sophisticated, making it easy to spot ‘spammy’ content that is stuffed full of keywords, usually with minimal value to the reader. 

If you produce valuable, original content that has meaning to your audience, then you’re halfway to your organic traffic goals.

2. Avoid the trap of writing for Google search

If you’re writing specifically to please today’s Google search algorithm, you might do well initially to create traffic and increase your reach. Let’s not discount short-term success.

You may enjoy seeing the seeds of your content strategy grow into more and more user engagement. Nourishing articles with updates when necessary, using tactics to improve your content’s SEO and the Google search signals. Maybe you’re creating articles slavishly according to these signals. As a result, the Google gods are blessing your content with terrific search results. That’s great. For now. But here’s the facts, engineering content and signals for google search returns does not make a organic content strategy. And I’ll explain why.

Part of Google search’s aim is to provide the best possible experience for its users. This commitment means its constantly improving its page ranking using more sophisticated algorithms. Inevitably an updated Google search ranking algorithm hits town. When the updates come, they will trash your high-ranking party and leave you with the job of tidying up. Your article page ranking will drop and readers will no longer find your content on a search return. Keen to avoid this pain? The future-proof way to avoid the algorithm-update-headache, is writing quality, relevant and interesting content for your ideal readers/clients/customers. A strategic and measured approach to your content is a sustainable way to reach (and keep) your place on Google search returns. 

A strategic and measured approach to your content is a sustainable way to reach (and keep) your place on Google search returns.

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3. Get into Google’s good books 

“Build it, and they will come”, may work for some content, some of the time. Most content will need a helping hand in getting Google search’s attention. Even if your website has loads of helpful client-centric content, it can still result in tumbleweed-central.

Try boosting your organic traffic to articles by looking at your E-A-T (Expert, Authority and Trust) signals.

What the !”#* are E-A-T signals? 

In the eyes of Google search, there is more to traffic than just ‘quality’ content.

Many other factors are high on their wish list for websites including speed, responsiveness and security, to name a few.  

What also matters a whole lot for site ranking are these three factors;

  • Expertise: special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject
  • Authority: power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behaviour
  • Trust: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

Being able to build these attributes into your brand carries weight with search return behaviour. Without these, it will be a swipe left from Google search, and their crawlers will move on to the next article.

Digging a little deeper

Before we dig deeper into the E-A-T factors, we need to understand how Google search applies these attributes and how it will affect specific industries. 

E-A-T will be a factor in sites with content that Google search regards as ‘your money or your life’ (YMYL). 

In plain language, this translates to any page that can influence a reader’s health, wealth, happiness or safety. For example, if your business;

  • offers advice in the legal, medical or financial sectors,  
  • sells online products
  • provides news updates

Expertise 

The Expertise signal has never been more critical in our current environment of citizen publishing. Being able to back-up any written claims or reference official document or research reports is crucial to developing your Expertise brand.

Use these tips to help increase your Expertise signals:

  • make sure any documents, statistics or research is referenced in your articles,
  • hire an editor to review all articles,
  • work with experienced journalist and writers,
  • ensure content is either written or signed off by someone who is an expert.

Authority

Authority is similar to Expertise – but next-level. It’s when others value your Expertise, reference your information, and your name gets associated with a particular subject matter. 

All of these signals contribute to you becoming an Authority. 

Use these tips to help increase your Authority signals:

  • link your expert’s content back to their LinkedIn or personal page,
  • create content that people want to share,
  • conduct and publish your research,
  • encourage clients to give feedback on your brand.

Trust

Just like you do at your letterbox with that pile of printed ‘spammy’ advertising mail, Google crawlers evaluate and assess the legitimacy of all content on the internet. Any pages with a ‘spammy’ flavour to them can expect a lower search ranking.

Use these tips to avoid the ‘spam’ flavour and help increase your Trust signals;

  • add a comprehensive author bio to all of your articles, include any awards you’ve won to your site,
  • make sure your website uses SSL,
  • write a robust about page that features information on all of your team.

Start building your content foundations to increase organic traffic

We’re not saying paid advertising is dead, but it’s clear this approach is destined to become more competitive, more costly with fewer results over time. Investing in quality content now by creating a solid foundation of content will improve the rewards for your business in the long-term.

Get writing, shore up your E-A-T and get improved engagement with your content.

Nicole Watts
Nicole is our co-founder and digital strategist. A qualified Graphic Designer she started her professional life producing magazines and print marketing. Nicole is now immersed in the world of web, providing professional services with digital solutions to escape low-value clients. Always keen to learn more she relishes the prospect of leveraging new trends in SEO, content strategy and automation for client’s success.

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Red Cloud Digital is a Sydney-based team, focused on harnessing the web to help professional service providers improve their positioning and increase their revenue.

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