Here’s why 90% of web pages get NO organic search traffic

3 minute read

Here’s a vaguely depressing statistic for anyone who’s written web content: more than 90% of web pages get zero organic traffic from search engines.

And, to add insult to injury, another five percent get just 10 visits or fewer each month.

Yikes.

Statistics like that can be enough to make a content marketer want to take a long sabbatical somewhere with no wifi. But what does it actually mean for a business — and why should you care?

What does it mean that 90% of pages get zero organic traffic?

It mostly means that Google is doing its job. The internet is crammed with crappy web pages, and a search engine’s job is filtering the wheat from the chaff to show us the most relevant results for our search queries.

And while those other 90% of pages may show up in search results, as most of us can attest, if they’re not on the first page of results, they’re unlikely to ever get clicked.

We’re not living in 2005, and just cranking out another boring blog post is a waste of time and energy. Content creators need to implement effective search engine optimizations to ensure that their content is part of that high-ranking, top 10% of pages that do pull in clicks from Google.

It also means that businesses need to be exceptionally clear about not just what content they’re creating, but why they’re creating it.

Why should we care about how many pages are getting organic traffic (or not)?

In truth, this statistic may or may not actually affect your content strategy. That’s what we mean by understanding why you’re creating content.

If your blog is used mainly to communicate with your existing audience (as ours is), you may not actually care about organic traffic much. Traffic to your content may come from people clicking links in your emails or social media posts, or from referrals who come to check you out before they decide to work with you. And that may be all you care about.

But if your goal in creating content is to drive organic traffic from search, then you need to be sure you’re optimizing that content for the search engines.

How can my site be one of the 10% that gets organic search traffic?

As you probably already know, SEO is complicated — more complicated than can be fully or adequately explained in a few bullet points in a blog post.

But in our experience, here are some of the things we focus on to get our clients to appear on page one of Google:

  1. Technical SEO factors including Google’s EAT score, site speed, and user experience.
  2. ‘Soft’ SEO, including headings and lists that have search relevance.
  3. Timeliness of content with evergreen content or highly relevant content both being acceptable.
  4. And content support, including linking to it on organic or paid social, in emails, elsewhere on the site, reputable backlinks, etc.

In essence, it’s about creating content that is of excellent quality, actually answers a question people are searching for, and is so good others will want to link to it or share it.

And that is perhaps the most important factor: The best way to get content to rank is to commit to creating fantastic content, contributing to the authentic conversation, and being so good that people want to share it.

So before you (or your marketing team) freak out about a statistic like this, ask yourself a few important questions:

  • Does your business actually rely on search as a demand generation channel?
  • If yes, is your business ready to commit the resources to address SEO properly?
  • If no, what is the purpose of your content beyond driving search traffic? (Answers might include: nurturing prospective customers, educating existing customers, etc.)

SEO can seem like a buzzword, but this complicated field is both an art and a science: good SEO can create that 1-in-10 traffic goldmine, while bad SEO can see an otherwise fine page fall to the furthest bowels of Google’s results pages.

LINKEDIN COPY:

Here’s a vaguely depressing statistic: according to ahrefs, more than 90% of web pages get zero organic traffic from search engines.

It’s enough to make a content marketer want to take a long sabbatical somewhere with no wifi.

But what does it actually mean for a business — and why should you care?

Well, first and foremost it means that the internet is full of crappy web pages — but we kind of already knew that. It also means that Google is doing its job.

If you’re curious how this statistic might impact your marketing plans, check out our latest blog post. We not only share what this statistic actually means, but also why you should care — and 4 best practices you can use to pull your content up into that golden top 10%.

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