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How to Increase Organic Traffic: 12 Tried & Tested Tips

Need more organic traffic? We get it—it’s one of the best kinds.

In this article, we’ll share tactics that helped us at Ahrefs increase organic traffic over the years. Nothing too complicated. Only practical stuff anyone can master. 

We’ll start with things that can squeeze more traffic from your existing content and then move on to creating new content. 

2. Consolidate pages with the same target keyword and intent

If two or more pages target the same keyword and the same search intent, they may hurt each other’s organic performance. A situation like this is called keyword cannibalization. 

If you solve any possible cannibalization issues, your content may rank higher and, as a result, you get more visitors. 

The fastest way to uncover cannibalization issues is to perform a sitewide check with Ahrefs’ Site Explorer

  1. Enter your domain
  2. Go to the Organic keywords report
  3. Switch on the Multiple URLs only toggle 
Ahrefs' Site Explorer showing potential keyword cannibalization issues

What this shows is a list of potential keyword cannibalization issues. To investigate further, look at each keyword and find pages that meet these criteria:

  • Are at least 6 months old 
  • Intended to rank (don’t use pages like “About” or otherwise valuable to the user)
  • Rank 4–20
  • Are not targeting a unique keyword 
  • Are not targeting a unique search intent 

Pages that meet the above criteria are the pages you should consolidate with your better-performing content. We did the same thing for two of our guides that were “cannibalizing” each other. We combined both articles to make a better one, deleted the worse-performing guide, and redirected it to the better-performing one. 

Fixed keyword cannibalization: before and after

As a result, we had one guide instead of two, but that one guide got more organic traffic than both before.

Organic traffic compared after cannibalization
Historical estimated organic traffic to these two pages before and after consolidation.

Learn more: Keyword Cannibalization: What It (Really) Is & How to Fix It

3. Rewrite pages ranking below the top 10

Pages that don’t rank on the first page of Google get very little traffic. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end for them. 

They may just need a rewrite as this article did: 

Results of rewriting an article
Results of rewriting one of our articles. Before, it was ranking #12; after, #3. That change in ranking caused the spike in traffic you see on the graph.

If you’re using WordPress, you can use our free SEO plugin to find rewrite opportunities for you.

Content audit in Ahrefs' SEO plugin

Alternatively, track your main keyword targets in Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker, then filter for pages in positions 11+. 

Keywords we rank in positions 11+ for, via Ahrefs' Rank Tracker

Once you’ve found a page, watch this video to learn the process for rewriting:

4. Update pages ranking in the top 10

If you’re ranking on the first page of Google, even jumping up by one position can make a huge difference in traffic.

For example, based on our estimations, jumping from position #6 to #5 could double organic traffic from this keyword.

Estimated traffic by SERP position

But rewriting content entirely can be too risky in such cases. Here, we should tread lightly and bet on small, incremental changes. 

Here are some ideas that worked for us: 

  • Adding missing subtopics
  • Refreshing outdated information
  • Adding an FAQ section (with questions mainly from Google’s People Also Ask box) 
  • Making the content easier to digest (cutting irrelevant content, simplifying language, adding visuals) 
  • Adding free resources (templates, checklists, etc)
  • Adding internal links (more on this in the next section) 

We usually start by comparing our and our competitors’ content in our Content Gap tool. This tool shows us keywords they rank for, but we don’t. It’s an indication of what topics we may be missing.

Content Gap analysis
A content gap analysis from my colleague, Si Quan Ong. This told him that he could add “evergreen ads” and “evergreen content on social media” as subtopics.

Learn more: Content Refreshing: A Step-by-Step Strategy (Based on Updating 50+ Posts) 

5. Boost important pages with internal links

Internal links are links from one page on the same domain to another. 

Since internal links can pass PageRank (also referred to as “link equity”), you can add them from “stronger” pages to “weaker pages” to boost them.

How do you know which pages have strong link profiles? Unfortunately, there’s no way to check PageRank anymore. But there is a similar score in Ahrefs called URL Rating (UR). 

UR metric in Ahrefs

To find pages with high UR:

  1. Open Site Explorer and enter your domain
  2. Go to the Best by links report 
  3. Look for the UR column 
Best by links report in Site Explorer

Now it’s just a case of skimming this list for pages about similar topics to the one you want to boost.

For example, we’ve linked from our free backlink checker tool with a UR of 40 to some of our content on link building. 

Best by links report showing UR of a page
Links to link building guides placed in the footer of a tool for checking backlinks

Further reading

6. Get more backlinks 

Backlinks are links from a page on one website to another. They remain one of the most important ranking factors for Google. 

Generally, the more high-quality backlinks a page has, the more likely it is to rank #1 on Google (of course, other factors come into play too).

This means if you manage to get more backlinks to your pages, you can boost their rankings. 

To illustrate the effect of backlinks, here’s how the ranking for one of our articles shot up after a successful outreach campaign (we’ve documented the entire process here): 

Results of link building

There are many link building tactics out there. We think these four are the best (they’re white-hat techniques that bring the best results): 

  1. Pursuing competitors’ links – This is where you find out where your competitors got their backlinks and try to get the same pages or websites to link to you.
  2. Creating linkable assets – The so-called link bait—stuff so good that other content creators on the web will want to link to it. 
  3. Content promotion – You guessed it. It’s telling other people about your content using advertising, outreach, or communities. 
  4. Guest blogging – This is when another website agrees to publish your article. One of the things that you get in return is a backlink.

Learn more: Link Building for SEO: The Beginner’s Guide

7. Organize existing content into topic clusters 

Topic clusters (aka content hubs) are interlinked pages about a particular subject designed to cover the subject in full and rank. 

They’re good for SEO because:

  • Grouping content can make it easier to find for crawlers.
  • It may help to build topical authority.
  • They create relevant internal links naturally. 
  • The pillar page for the cluster may bring additional traffic (see example below).

Plus, they’re great for user experience since they make it easier for visitors to find your content.

But before creating topic clusters from scratch, which can be pretty time consuming, try browsing through your existing content to see if it can be repurposed into a cluster. 

It’s something we did for our SEO guide. We took existing articles (cluster pages) and linked them together via a new page (pillar page). 

Headings of the pillar page show linked cluster content
The chapters you see here are links to already existing articles.

By doing this, we were able to attract more traffic easily with mostly old content.

Organic traffic to the pillar page

Here’s the gist of the process:

When to organize existing content into a cluster

Further reading

8. Use schema markup for more visibility 

Schema markup is code you add to your pages to make them eligible for rich results in Google. 

For example, this code…

"review": {
    "@type": "Review",
    "author": {
      "@type": "Person",
      "name": "Alex Wawro",
      "url": "https://www.tomsguide.com/author/alex-wawro",
      "image": {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/3ByKfc678e7yx6pMNNhCf5.jpg"
      },

… allows Google to display this on the SERPs: 

A page with rich results

While not a ranking factor, rich results can lead to more clicks because they make your pages stand out. 

The process is as follows. You can:

  1. Check available properties for your type of content in Google’s documentation.
  2. Deploy the code (probably best if you use a schema markup generator). 
  3. Test the code using this Rich Results Test tool.
  4. Use the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console to see if things look OK. Google also recommends requesting indexing in Google Search Console to let it know about changes.

Learn more: Rich Snippets: What Are They and How Do You Get Them?

9. Find new content ideas with keyword research

Up to this point, we’ve covered tactics that can get extra mileage from your existing content. Let’s talk about creating new content. 

Content designed to attract organic traffic needs a good target keyword. To find that, take a keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and look for keyword ideas that: 

  1. Have search traffic potential.
  2. Have search intent you can match.
  3. Can bring valuable traffic. 
  4. Are within your capabilities to rank. 

Let me explain with an example. 

Since our main expertise is in SEO, we often write about this topic on our blog. To find SEO-related topics, we turn to our very own Keywords Explorer. Here is an example of such a keyword, along with its key SEO metrics: 

A keyword example with key SEO metrics

And here’s why it ticks all four boxes for us:

  1. It has traffic potential – Ranking #1 for this keyword will bring us an estimated 150 monthly visits.
  2. Search intent is guides – We know this from looking at the results in Google. Definitely within our wheelhouse to create.
  3. It’s about SEO – There is a high probability that people interested in the topic will also be interested in our product. In other words, it has business potential for us because we can feature our product naturally. 
  4. It’s not that hard for us to rank for We’ve had continuous success ranking for keywords with Keyword Difficulty (KD) scores lower than 50, so this fits the bill. 

Based on this assessment, we ended up targeting this keyword. We currently rank in the top three.

Our example article ranking in the top three

Further reading

10. Source content ideas from competitors

Yes, you can target the same or similar keywords as your competitors and get organic traffic. 

If you play your cards right, you can even outrank your competitors. But if not, you can still get traffic if you rank on page #1. 

Here’s how to find your competitors’ organic keywords with Ahrefs’ Site Explorer (in fact, any pages’ organic keywords):

  1. Enter their domain or a subfolder (e.g., moz.com/blog)
  2. Go to the Organic keywords report
  3. Refine the list of keywords if needed (e.g., you can sort by volume or use the filters to see only low-difficulty keywords or keywords that mention particular words like “how.”) 
Analyzing competitor's keywords in Site Explorer

You can also learn a lot from your competitors’ best content. In Ahrefs, we have two reports that help with this:

  • Best by links report shows which content attracted the most backlinks
  • Top pages report shows which pages bring the most traffic
Top pages report in Ahrefs
Tom’s Guide hit the jackpot with daily Wordle answers.

You can also use the Content Gap report to compare which keywords your competitors rank for, but you don’t. This can also help you to find topics to cover.

Content Gap report—comparing to competitors

PRO TIP

If you’re not entirely sure who your “organic” competitors are, check out the Organic competitors report. This shows websites that rank for the same keywords as you. 

Organic competitors report in Ahrefs

Learn more: Keyword Competitive Analysis: How to Find Your Competitors’ Keywords 

11. Invite guest writers 

If you have a blog (and I guess you do), you can invite people outside of your company to publish on it. 

  • They get exposure on your channels, referral traffic, and a backlink from your website. 
  • You get exposure from the author’s promotion, organic traffic, and backlinks from websites pointing to the article. 
Organic traffic to one of our guest articles
This guest post on our blog generates an estimated 2.9K organic visits monthly.

If you’d like a reference point for inviting people to write for your blog, check out how we do it. Key points are to:

  • Have a landing page where you clearly explain all the details.
  • Make it attractive. For example, offer some cool swag, say how many people read your blog, or offer paid promotion. 
  • Have a system for gathering content pitches. The simplest solution is to create a dedicated email and ask folks to pitch their ideas there, but a more efficient way is to set up an online form.
  • Make sure to place the link in some visible place on your website. 
  • Promote the program. Repeatedly. 
  • Aim to find authors with expertise in their fields (good for readers, important for E-A-T). 

12. Find your long-tail keywords that need dedicated pages

Long-tail keywords are search queries that get a small number of monthly searches. They tend to be longer and more specific. 

To illustrate, if “headphones” is the general topic (short-tail keyword, aka head term), then “best headphones for skiing” will be a “long tail.”

Examples of short-tail and long-tail keywords

In this keyword research technique, you find long-tail keywords you already rank for and create dedicated content for them to rank higher. 

Let me illustrate the concept: 

The effect of targeting some long-tail keywords separately

We’ve done exactly this with our post about off-page SEO. We saw that one of the long-tail keywords it ranked (poorly) for was “on page vs off page seo.” Judging by the SERP, it needed a dedicated article—so we wrote one.

Here are the results of our efforts:

Ranking history graph

To find your long-tail keywords with Site Explorer:

  1. Enter your domain or subfolder
  2. Go to the Organic keywords report
  3. Set Volume to max 300 (simplification from our end, but you can put a higher or lower number) and Position to 20–70
  4. Click Show results  

Now it’s just a case of picking keywords that can be targeted separately. To do this, see if the top 10 ranking pages target the keyword directly. If yes, then it’s probably a good opportunity. If not, probably not. 

Long-tail keyword that could be targeted with separate content
Our article about branded search ranks for branded keywords at #25. Looking at the SERP, we see that we probably have a better chance of ranking for this keyword with a separate article.

Learn more: Long-tail Keywords: What They Are and How to Get Search Traffic From Them 

Final thoughts 

How do you know if these tactics are working out for you? 

Besides checking organic traffic in your analytics tool, you should track your rankings in Google. But use something other than Google because it always shows personalized (distorted) results one way or another. So consider using a rank tracker like Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker.

The last ingredient you will need to increase your organic traffic is patience. Sometimes, you may see results in a matter of days. But on average, it takes three to six months (check out our study and learn why).

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter (or Mastodon). 

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