Netflix is the 43rd-ranked website in the Semrush Domain Rank during this audit. Netflix.com has an organic search traffic of 300 million visits per month. (Source: Semrush.com) The organic search volume was much higher in 2021, but the decrease in organic traffic after 2021 is common for many websites.
Thus, looking at the volume of organic traffic generated monthly, it would be theoretically challenging to find opportunities to generate even more organic traffic and customers. However, here are the opportunities I found:
1. Having separate pages for the actors
While analyzing the Netflix website, I noticed they don’t have separate pages where the actors are presented. Imbd.com does have these separate pages and generates 148.9 million organic visits per month (from the US alone; therefore, the organic traffic generated globally can be more than 500 million per month).
What are the benefits of having these pages?
- Visibility. They can generate tens or hundreds of millions of visits per month.
- They are creating value for customers and potential customers. Netflix can help customers or potential customers find movies more easily.
- Free backlinks. These pages can get more links from other sites, which would promote Netflix for free because these websites would want to show their audience information about the actors in question. Moreover, these backlinks are essential for SEO and can boost the organic traffic of Netflix for the newly created pages.
- Sales. Netflix would get more sales from the increased visibility they got. People may search for an actor’s name precisely to get to a movie they are looking for ->, which can translate into new customers or even a higher retention rate of existing customers. This can establish Netflix as a hub where people can find all the information about movies and actors.
For example, this is what a page about Morgan Freeman and the films he has starred in looks like on imbd.com:
A total of 1.6 million people search for his name on Google every month, with imdb.com consistently ranking first for most actor names.
2. Movie cast section
Netflix already has a section with the film’s cast, but here’s what’s missing:
1. Actor image (Probably some people want to find the name of an actor they don’t remember, but they remember what he looked like. Pictures in this case are handy)
2. You can’t click on an actor’s name to access their page -> Back to what I mentioned earlier in the first point. Why is it essential to access actors’ pages from the film’s page? Because many people want to see what other movies the actor has been in and maybe even watch them. In addition, people can search for a lot of helpful information about an actor, such as date of birth, personal social media pages, actor’s relatives, awards, interviews and more. This information can appear on the actor’s page and generate a lot more organic traffic for Netflix.
Thus, if we Google “Wednesday cast,” we’ll see that Netflix comes up in position 3, while IMDb is in position 1. The reason for this is that IMDb better satisfies the “search intent”, while Netflix doesn’t satisfy it well.
This is confirmed by the amount of organic traffic generated by Netflix compared with IMDb.
IMDb generates twice as much organic traffic as Netflix for this topic.
366k organic traffic – IMDb
180k organic traffic – Netflix
Note: The data has been filtered to exclude branded searches that would have landed on the brand’s page anyway, regardless of the SEO optimization.
3. Separate pages for each different season or episode
Netflix most likely has a paid partnership with Google to be recommended in search results. Google displays a “Watch show” section when searches are related to a movie from the Netflix library and only displays Netflix as a viewing option.
This is also the case for more specific searches. For example, for a season or episode of a series, Google displays a list of episodes from the searched season alongside a “Watch” button that leads to Netflix. I wouldn’t call this SEO, as it’s likely the result of a paid partnership. It’s also important to note that users can skip this section and look directly at the following Google results.
Thus, Netflix only appears in the section that displays a list of episodes but not in the top organic search results because they need a dedicated page for each season or episode.
Here’s what Netflix’s organic traffic looks like compared to Amazon for the keywords related to “Suits season 9”:
Note: The data was filtered to exclude branded searches that would have landed on the brand’s page anyway regardless of SEO optimization (except for Netflix, where it wouldn’t have mattered much anyway since there are 28 organic visits in total).
4. Movie rating system
Nearly everyone looks for the IMDb rating. This helps IMDb be more popular and get more traffic on the website. There would be little reason why Netflix couldn’t create a movie rating system on their website. Many people look for ratings or reviews of a movie before they pick it up. Below, we can see what the movie rating system looks like on IMDb:
5. Technical and Basic On-Page SEO
Many SEOs stress the importance of technical SEO. Still, I’ve always told my clients that the significance of the technical aspects can be limited. (I am not referring to the very basic elements). Netflix is ranked within the 50 Semrush websites. Still, below, we can see that they neglect elements assumed to be very important for SEO:
1. Headings structure
2. Meta title
In this case, having a featured snippet, Google no longer displayed the meta description explaining what the page is about. Thus, the page was left with the vague title “Global Top 10”.
3. Canonical tag
I wouldn’t say that, in this case, the technical part would make a significant difference. Still, I would highlight the importance of watching if the SEO settings provide a good user experience.