Welcome to the Being Found Show. We are the local business guide to being found by more buying customers. If you aren’t being found, who is?

Joe: I want to get into this article from Search Engine Journal, written by Matt Southern, “Organic Search Sees Largest Growth Rate in Over Two Years.” It’s about some of the search trends right now, and although they may seem obvious, it is helpful to put some numbers to these ideas.

To begin, I want to explain what organic search is and what this information means. Organic traffic generally refers to non-paid traffic. People found your site organically. They were just looking. They didn’t click an ad or hear about you through an email list or anything. They found you in a search engine, and they clicked on your content and went to your site.

Tips to Increase Organic Search Traffic

  • Find the right competitive keywords for you
  • Plan your content
  • Work with other businesses to get more exposure and get backlinks to increase your domain’s authority
  • Understand your customer’s needs
  • Amplify your content on social media
  • Monitor Performance & Continue to Optimize Your SEO Efforts
  • Google analytics and other tracking software will tell you what type of traffic went to your website and that should be something that you check regularly if you have a marketing company working on your website make sure they are also watching the analytics.

“Organic search just saw its strongest visit growth in over 2 years, according to Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report for Q4 2017. Total site visits driven by organic search were up 6% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2017, which is said to be the strongest rate of growth since 2015. Even desktop organic search visits were up in 2017 following a sharp drop last year.”

Why is that? Chauncey, it did seem like we’re on the way to the end of desktops, kind of like the end of paper once we got computers but what do you have to say about that?

Chauncey: Everybody wants to make their lives easier. We live in this time where everybody thinks they can just do what they love. If you want to be a cobbler for only red shoes, and the idea would be that you just do that and you’d be passionate about it, and you’ll succeed. We all know that is not necessarily true. You do have to be a little bit smarter about what you’re doing. A lot of people I think moved to the idea that they could do everything from their tablets or phone and eventually figured out that they couldn’t. My wife does all of our banking and our taxes and everything, and she goes into the computer room, she closes the door, she sits down at that desk, and that’s where she does the work. She has access to do it on her phone or tablet, but she doesn’t want to.

Joe: I think part of it is that we’re finding we still want to do things with the desktop. I think overall we are spending more time on our laptops or desktops even when we don’t intend to. When I am watching a football game, I still want to Google and maybe find out the stats for a certain player or something. Frankly, a laptop can do that better than my phone, and although the whole world may have made an app for that, I’m still more comfortable doing it on my laptop. I think we are finding more and more reasons to stick with the laptop or the desktop.

Chauncey: As well, people are more apt to watch things on their laptop than a TV when in bed or sitting at your desk. The TV is too big, and the phone is too small.

Joe: I think it’s partly we are finding the device that best fits our specific intentions. That doesn’t mean we are replacing one for another, but each plays a certain role that can’t be taken over by the other.

Now, having said all that, “When looking at mobile organic search specifically, it saw an even greater rate of growth at 15% year-over-year. The mobile search market is primarily dominated by Google, at least in the US. Google accounted for 96% of all site visits driven by mobile organic search in Q4 2017.”

I think this supports what you said there, Chauncey. Essentially, both mobile and desktop grew in percentage, although mobile did grow more. The key idea here is that both platforms expanded and not mobile growing and desktop diminishing.

Chauncey: Another one that is a guess on my part is that this year, Google rolled out new AdWords layouts that dropped the organic results further down the page. But I bet you a side effect of that is people went from not being entirely sure if they were clicking ads to being incredibly sure that they work and maybe they are more apt to scroll past them because they don’t want the ads. They want to feel like they’re getting actual answers.

Joe: Something just struck me when we look at the method that we talk about, which is being available, being found, and then amplifying.

There is there still more to this, right? There’s social, directories, email, paid search, ads, TV; all these different ways that people are finding out about you and your business. But they are all going to or looking for your website when they find out about you. So your website being available in all these places is important to you and your customers. To me, these stats show us what is becoming important.

“Social media platforms produced just 3.3% of all site visits in Q4 2017.”

Everyone puts all their effort into social branding; it is a good way to get your name and your ideas out there. But when you finally think about how it is going to drive traffic to your site, you need to realize that focusing on being found organically through search is far more important. When you have that nailed and firmly in place, you can focus on your social media platforms gaining revenue for your business. If you haven’t made sure you’re being found in search first, you are wasting time and money for only 3.3% of the traffic you could be gaining.

You want to put yourself out there to be found where your customers are looking. The man selling oranges on the side of the road is going to the busiest intersection in town before he goes to the old country road where few people travel.

Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show episode #46 or subscribe to our podcast.