organic search

What Organic Search Means in Google Analytics

Organic traffic is the most important type of website traffic for any business. This is because about 51% of all traffic to a website comes from organic search. Also, over 40% of revenue is earned through organic search. Organic traffic is the product of an organic search performed on search engines.

In this article, we’re going to look into organic search and what organic search means in Google Analytics. Further down we’ll explore organic search traffic versus paid search traffic and find out how to improve organic search traffic.

Let’s go!

What is Organic Search?

Organic search is a method of entering one or more key phrases for a search engine query. The result obtained from an organic search is known as organic search results.

Organic search results are the unpaid results that show up on a search engine result page (SERP) after a query is performed on the search engine.

Apart from organic search results shown on SERPs, paid search results also known as display or pay-per-click ads are also shown. The top left corners of display ads are marked by the letters “Ad” to differentiate them from organic search results.

Organic Search Result
Organic Search Result
Paid Search Result
Paid Search Result

Organic search results are ranked based on SEO factors like domain authority, backlink profile and especially keyword relevance. Organic search results are typically displayed below paid search results

What Organic Search Means in Google Analytics

Organic search traffic in Google Analytics means traffic that has come to your website through unpaid search results on SERPs. You can track all your traffic sources in Google Analytics by navigating ACQUISITION > TRAFFIC > CHANNELS. There you can find the amount of sessions and percentage of traffic from each traffic source.

Organic Search Traffic Vs Paid Search Traffic

Organic search traffic comes from people who find your website by clicking on organic results on a SERP.

Unless you’re one of the 19% netizens who use either Yahoo or Bing search engines, there’s a great chance you’ve clicked on one of those Google search results marked with the letters “Ad” at the top left corner. By clicking on one of those paid search results is exactly how paid search traffic is generated.

Paid search traffic comes from people who find your site by clicking on a display ad results on Google.

Organic search traffic is influenced by search engine optimization (SEO). Paid search traffic on the other hand is made possible by search engine marketing (SEM). The major difference between organic search traffic and paid search traffic is that the former is free while the latter is paid for on a pay-per-click basis. Every time someone clicks on your paid search result on Google, you’re charged per click.

Does Paid Search Help Organic Search?

Have you ever wondered “Does paid search help organic search”? The short answer is yes and no. The long answer is paid search can help your organic search traffic but not because you paid for Google Ad. Google algorithm does not favor advertisers to rank higher than others.

Advertising on Google will make your presence more visible on SERP. The rest thing that happens can be summarized as human behavior. People tend to respond better to your organic results on Google from seeing you on paid search results. The outcome of this human behavioral pattern is a bump in your Google ranking.

To further understand how paid search can improve your organic search traffic, you must first understand how CTR improves with ranking.

For example, a page ranking 4th on Google gets a 5.5% click through rate (CTR). If such a page were to leap to position 3, its CTR will also leap to 8%. That is a helpful 2.5% bump in CTR.

If we look at this stats a little bit more critically, assuming there’s a 5000 search volume for a relevant keywords this page ranks for in a month. At position 4, it generates 275 clicks and at position 3, it generates 400 clicks. This improvement from 275 clicks a month to 400 clicks a month is a 45% increase in clicks!

Caveat emptor? Paid search can improve your Google ranking which will in turn help your organic search traffic.

How to Improve Organic Search Traffic

Improving your SEO strategy will in time improve your monthly organic traffic. That will in turn  increase your long term traffic. See these 21 steps for thorough on-page SEO to get some pointers.

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