Have you ever heard of organic SEO? I bet you have.
However probably not all of you are aware of the true meaning behind this popular term. Actually, you may very well consider this article the first step on your SEO journey.
When people talk about search engine optimization, they usually refer namely to increase in organic traffic. It is probably the most affordable option to the majority of the bloggers and online businesses on the Internet.
In fact, if you are a freelancer, a startup or a small company with a limited budget, you are probably practicing SEO at this very moment. This leads us to our first question:
Why do most people prefer SEO over PPC?
I know what you’re thinking. Because it’s free, right? I mean, with pay-per-click you have to have money in your credit card and pay for every click (visitor) that comes at your site.
Well, it really depends at how you look at it.
You see, even if you don’t invest a single penny, SEO will eat away at your time. And time is money, remember?
But before you close this page and start looking for articles on PPC, let me tell you why natural SEO is the best thing that can ever happen to your company and business.
Let’s begin with some basic definitions, shall we?
What is organic (natural) SEO?
This marketing term refers to all the actions that should improve your Google rankings thus boosting your free (not paid) website traffic.
Here’s a list of things which you need to do during an SEO campaign:
- Finding keywords with a great conversion potential
- Creating well-researched, highly actionable content for your website around these keywords
- Promoting that content to attract social shares, links and organic traffic which will increase your sales
Naturally, each one of these sections includes a list of sub-sections. Although you are free to modify each one of these steps to your liking, the basic mindset remains. As with everything else, the devil is in the details and these small modifications are precisely what makes an SEO expert great.
OK, so how do you perform each of these 3 vital steps? Can you do it by yourself?
Yes, absolutely. I will explain everything in detail in a bit, just keep reading 🙂
What is non-organic SEO?
There’s free traffic and there’s paid one. Any form of paid advertising is regarded as non-organic SEO.
Whether we talk about PPC (pay-per-click), paid advertising or paid affiliate marketing, they all have the same traits. Instead of boosting your internet visibility gradually over time, you pay to be directly placed above everyone else in the paid results.
In Google, these results represent the 4 positions before the organic search results begin. You can easily recognize them by the small green”Ad” icon before each of them.
Non-organic SEO is great for companies with excess money which play big. These paid campaigns can be rather expensive but they can also generate quick profit.
What should you choose?
Regardless of your decision, prepare to invest a lot of resources. Maybe not money, but time and effort.
Like with any other marketing process, there is no limit as to how much you can spend. Nevertheless, SEO is the thing of the future and in most cases; it should have priority over all other marketing efforts.
Let’s make a list of all the pros and cons:
- Doesn’t require a lot of money (can be done even for free)
- A long-term investment
- Gives you a hands-on control of your marketing
- Allows you to tweak things as you go
- Can bring you much more traffic than paid ads
- It does require a lot of time
- If you do not have any other source of traffic, it can starve your website
- Requires a lot of time, knowledge and experience for optimal results
- There are no guarantees
- Instant results
- Great for creating brand awareness
- Brings in guaranteed targeted traffic
- Much less involvement than natural SEO
- Can be really expensive
- Requires constant investing
- Once you stop paying all the traffic disappears
- Usually generates much less traffic
You may be thinking: “Hey, but the dude didn’t answer my question!”
Fair enough. Here you go.
Organic SEO is a good solution if you do not have enough money, if you are able to wait for the results to kick in or if you are a casual blogger. You can also check this simple organic SEO checklist which will get you started.
Keep on reading to learn how to optimize your website by yourself!
Non-organic SEO is great for big companies or for companies that have a revolutionary product/service and just need the initial nudge until their Google rankings improve on their own.
It’s also great if you want to test the traffic volume before you start investing in organic search engine optimization.
Ideally, you will combine two methods using paid campaign for short-term profits while developing organic SEO for long-term existence.
Better now? Good.
I choose natural SEO. How should I begin?
Start with your website. It needs to be quick and responsive providing incredible experience to the visitors.
The first rule of SEO is to try to think like your visitors and to look through their eyes. If your website lacks anything, it will lead to worsen user experience which will hurt your conversion rate and sales.
Basically, there are three things requiring your attention:
- Layout – When building a responsive website always start by creating a non-responsive layout, fixed at the default size. The first thing to do is to paste the following lines within the
</head>tags on your html page.
- Medias – A responsive layout is the first step to a fully responsive website. The next step is called medias. Simply put those are your videos and images.
- Typography – In the past most web developers used pixels to define font sizes. This is mostly OK in case your site has a fixed width. Nevertheless, a responsive website should have a responsive font. Indeed, a responsive font size should be related to its parent container width, so it can adapt to the screen of the client.
Your website is the basis upon which all other pieces are added. Without good website architecture, everything else will be for naught.
Content Sells Your Merch
The technical aspects are very important but it’s the content that sells your merch.
Ask yourself this: Do your articles solve people’s problems? Are they actionable and easy to follow? Do you lead the user by the hand until they find what they were looking for?
If the answer to even one of these three questions is no then you have work to do.
You see, if your visitors are intrigued by your articles, videos and pictures and find them useful, they will return. User experience is slowly becoming one of the dominant SEO factors.
In that regard, links will no longer do the trick if they are not backed by high click-through-rate (CTR), social shares, high time spend on website (dwell time), etc.
If you think about it, it makes total sense. Why in the world would anyone link to a crappy article in the first place? No way.
Content creation starts by picking the right keyword. OK, but what does “the right” keyword mean?
Usually, by saying this SEOs refer to those words that have a decent amount of search volume but considerably low competition. In a nutshell, these are all the terms that you will have a chance to outrank to enter top 10 results in Google.
How do we pick rankable keywords?
The term Keyword difficulty is the thing that will determine whether or not you even stand a chance of ranking on page one. Have in mind that keyword research is not the only factor important for your SEO but it definitely determines the direction of your campaign.
Here are some quick tips necessary for a well-optimized article:
- Do the research – Article with bad information will affect your ability to promote it and even undermine your credibility
- Make it longer – Shorter articles usually leave worse impression than the longer ones
- Break it into pieces – Article needs to be appealing to the eyes, to have bullet points, pictures and to consist of smaller paragraphs
- Use synonyms and natural language – Google expects synonyms and related phrases in your copy
- Add hyperlinks – Don’t worry, you are not helping your competition. You are helping yourself
- Use words and expressions that will incite curiosity – It improves user experience
You just wrote a perfect article? Time to promote it!
A great article is … well, great. However, great is not enough.
Content promotion is the key!
If you think that quality of your article = SEO success, think again. Behind every successful post and first position in Google, there are hundreds of hours spent in promoting it. In fact, blogger outreach is one of the white hat SEO’s pillars.
I will explain.
Let’s face it, the majority of the websites on the Internet have small audiences.
Even if they had a great article on their hands, most of them wouldn’t know what to do with it. How to bring targeted traffic to it and most importantly – how to monetize it. That’s why they are doomed to stay small.
The solution? Blogger and influencer outreach.
The concept is dead simple. You write an amazing piece of content and you show it to the right audience which will appreciate its value and will be willing to read, share and link to it. That audience would be all the active bloggers and big names (influencers) within your industry.
Here’s 3 awesome benefits of blogger and influencer outreach:
- Creates long lasting relationships with other people with similar interests
- Allows you to use their loyal readers and subscribers for your own benefit
- Gives you the unique chance to generate big amounts of traffic, social shares and backlinks
Here’s a great guide on how to perform blogger outreach the right way.
Social media is the second method for powerful promotion that must be mentioned.
If you have a brand new website, there is not much point in pursuing social media exposure. In most cases, the growth of your social profile will be too slow and even with all that engagement; there is no guarantee you will get any backlinks at the end. And you’ll need links to boost your organic rankings.
Also, don’t forget that you will need great content before you’ll be able to unleash the full power of social media. After all you must have something qualitative to share in the first place.
In that regard, you need to approach social networks as a secondary channel of exposure. Only when your website gains some traction will you be able to utilize your social account to its fullest.
Some people make a mistake by pursuing social media before anything else. Don’t do this!
Not that I don’t acknowledge the benefits behind a well conducted social media campaign.
However, the potential traffic from top positions in Google scales much better and is more targeted than any social network promotion.
So the bottom line is this. Make sure to focus on getting links and making connections with other bloggers before you start with all-out social media campaign.
Organic white hat SEO is the future of digital marketing.
Now, more than ever, people rely on Google to get the necessary information and to do business.
Forget all about billboards, TV ads, brochures, phone calls, leaflets, door-to-door and other types of promotion. All you’ll ever need is first page Google rankings.