Aktualisiert am 16. February 2024

Visibility in search engines is crucial for the success of many companies.

While there are many marketing channels available, it is often organic traffic that has the most direct impact on sales and brand awareness. But how does this traffic actually influence the growth of a company, and what growth rates are realistic in search engine optimization (SEO )?

In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the importance of organic traffic, its role in business growth, and factors that can influence growth rates.

How are sales and organic traffic related?

Revenue and organic traffic are of course two different metrics, but they can be closely related, especially in the context of online businesses or websites that aim to generate revenue.

  1. Direct connection: Organic traffic refers to visitors who reach a website through a search engine without paying for it. When these visitors make a purchase on the website or perform another conversion-oriented action, this leads to sales.
  2. Quality of traffic: Not every organic visitor becomes a customer. The quality of organic traffic is crucial. If the website ranks for relevant keywords that signal purchase intent, there is a higher probability that the traffic will lead to sales.
  3. Conversion rate: Even with high organic traffic, sales can be low if the conversion rate (i.e. the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action) is low. Optimizations on the website, such as improvements to the user experience or the checkout process, can increase the conversion rate and therefore sales.
  4. Seasonal trends: In some sectors, there are seasonal fluctuations in purchasing behavior. An increase in organic traffic during the peak season can lead to a proportional increase in sales.
  5. Brand awareness: Strong organic traffic can also increase brand awareness. Even if a visitor does not buy on their first visit, they can return at a later date and make a purchase.
  6. Long-term benefits: Unlike paid advertising campaigns, which often deliver short-term results, organic traffic can provide long-term benefits. A well-established SEO strategy can lead to a steady stream of organic visitors that potentially generate sales.

How much do companies depend on organic traffic?

The dependence of online companies on organic traffic varies depending on the business model, industry, target group and marketing strategy. However, search engines play a central role in marketing and organic traffic can be crucial for many online businesses.

There are various reasons why and to what extent online companies depend on organic traffic:

  1. Cost efficiency: Organic traffic is generally cheaper than paid traffic. Once well positioned, sites can continuously generate traffic without recurring advertising costs. This can be particularly attractive for start-ups or smaller companies with a limited marketing budget.
  2. Credibility and trust: Studies have shown that users often trust search engine results that rank organically more than paid ads. A high ranking in the organic search results can increase the credibility of a company in the eyes of users.
  3. Long-term benefits: While paid campaigns often deliver short-term results, investing in SEO can provide long-term benefits. Once achieved, rankings can remain stable over longer periods of time and deliver continuous traffic.
  4. Targeted traffic: Organic traffic is often more targeted, as users are actively searching for specific information or products. This can lead to higher conversion rates.
  5. Industry-specific dependency: Some industries or niches are more dependent on organic traffic than others. For example, information portals or blogs may rely heavily on organic traffic, while e-commerce sites may also invest heavily in paid advertising.
  6. Competitive landscape: In highly competitive industries or markets, the dependence on organic traffic can be greater, as paid advertising costs can increase.
  7. Diversification of traffic sources: Although organic traffic is important, many successful online businesses aim to diversify their traffic sources to avoid being overly dependent on a single source.

Three phases of SEO growth

Companies typically go through 3 SEO growth phases:

  1. First traction: Traffic is growing, but the website is not yet ranking for the most important keywords. The growth rate is between 100 – 300% per year and accelerates over 1-3 years.
  2. Growth: The website ranks for some of the most important keywords, but still has potential for growth. The annual growth rate is constant between 50 and 100% over 3 years and more.
  3. Maturity: The website ranks in the top 5 for almost all important keywords with an average annual growth rate of less than 50%. This phase continues indefinitely, with the biggest challenge now being to maintain the position.

What percentage of sales typically comes from organic traffic

The percentage of sales generated via organic traffic varies greatly depending on the industry, business model, geographical location, target group and many other factors. However, there are some general observations and trends:

  1. E-commerce websites: Many e-commerce websites report that a significant portion of their revenue comes from organic traffic. According to some studies, this can be between 20% and 60%, with some companies reporting even higher figures. However, this depends heavily on the SEO strategy, brand awareness and other marketing activities.
  2. B2B companies: For B2B companies, organic traffic can often lead to high-quality leads that ultimately lead to business deals. However, direct sales from organic traffic can be lower than for B2C companies, as the sales process is often more complex.
  3. Content and media websites: For websites that primarily offer content and generate revenue through advertising, organic traffic can be a major source of page views and therefore advertising revenue.
  4. Start-ups and new websites: For new websites or start-ups that do not yet have a strong brand presence, revenue from organic traffic can be low at first. However, over time and with improved SEO efforts, this percentage can grow.
  5. Industry-specific differences: In some industries, such as technology or healthcare, organic traffic can play a bigger role in sales than in other industries.
  6. Dependence on other channels: Companies that invest heavily in paid advertising, email marketing or social media may have a lower share of sales from organic traffic.

What is a good organic traffic growth rate?

A good organic traffic growth rate depends on several factors, including the industry, the size of the company, the current market position, previous SEO efforts and general market conditions. However, there are some general guidelines that can serve as indicators of healthy growth:

  1. New websites or start-ups: For websites that are just starting out with SEO, a monthly growth of 10-20% or more can be considered positive. This is because they start from a low base and it is therefore easier to achieve higher growth rates.
  2. Established websites: For websites that already have a solid base of organic traffic, monthly growth of 3-5% can be considered good. For very large websites, even growth of 1-2% can be significant.
  3. Seasonal fluctuations: In some industries, there are seasonal fluctuations in organic traffic. For example, e-commerce websites may see an increase during the vacation season. It is important to take these seasonal trends into account when assessing the growth rate.
  4. Industry-specific rates: In some industries, such as technology or healthcare, growth rates can be higher than in other, more mature industries.

Conclusion

Organic traffic is a decisive factor for a company’s success. As the main player among the marketing channels, it directly influences sales and brand presence.

However, the growth rates that can be achieved through search engine optimization (SEO) vary depending on various factors.

Typical SEO growth rates are between 50% and 300% per year.

Über den Autor

CEO at | +49 89 54195608 | alexander.sperber@unitedads.de | + posts

Alexander Sperber ist Geschäftsführer und CEO von UnitedAds.
Seit fast 20 Jahren beschäftigt er sich mit den Themen Google Ads und SEO.

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