We hear this question more often than one might think and today, we’ll reveal some of the basics. Organic SEO is the process of increasing traffic to your website by making it more prominent in search engine results (SERPs) using specific targeted keywords. It means getting good rankings for your targeted search terms across all search engines without having to pay for placements.
When you carry out a Google search, for example, you’ll see the regular results along with highlighted boxes at the top and on the right-hand side. These are “Ad related to ‘search term’” which means they’re paid placements and you pay Google for every click. Organic SEO search results continue to appear indefinitely while paid search results don’t once payment stops.
In a nutshell, organic SEO results are all those links and descriptions Google ranks and lists according to the algorithm. It’s no surprise that businesses want to appear within these results, and of course, on the first page.
Tips For An Effective Organic SEO Campaign
Although many prefer setting up a good SEO campaign while planning the website, it’s never too late to start, even if all your digital assets are already in place. There are several steps involved for successful organic SEO and we’ve highlighted the major points below.
This involves researching the types of keywords that any visitor to your website is likely to enter into their search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing) when looking for a business like yours. The primary goal is to target keywords that could generate the most hits.
Many businesses make the same mistake basing their keywords only on search volume. This often leads to ranking for keywords that are very difficult and expensive. In some cases, these keywords result in sending useless and untargeted traffic to your website.
Without target keywords, ranking high on SERPs can be very challenging. Imagine trying to use “pizza” as a primary keyword. Unless you’re somehow affiliated with the bigger brands like Pizza Hut or Dominoes, you’ll need to make another plan. One option is to include a location widget as people already search that way, like “Bristol Pizza” or “Gloucester pizza deliveries”.
Implement On-page Optimisation
On-page optimisation could literally mean the difference between showing up on page five or at the top of SERPs. So many local businesses ignore their on-page optimisation either because they don’t know any better or the previous SEO company didn’t do a good job. Below we’ve briefly mentioned a few elements of on-page optimisation.
The URL for each page should always include the targeted keyword when possible and avoid lengthy slugs containing stop-words
Authority Outbound Links
Linking to relevant, good authority websites can help your content rank higher in search engine results.
Page Title and ALT Image Attribute
As far as possible, include your primary keyword in the page title and ideally at the beginning. Search engines can’t read images which means you need to optimise all your images. Use a descriptive ALT attribute that also includes one or more keywords.
Best practice includes the use of videos, images, infographics or charts. These elements offer visitors value and keep them interested.
Always put your target keyword in H1 and H2 tags to fully benefit from organic SEO. It also helps break up your content into smaller, more organised sections making it easier to read and understand.
Although Meta descriptions don’t directly affect rankings, they do increase the likelihood that visitors will click on your listing over a competitor’s. As a result, better click through rates and an increased amount of traffic from search engines.
Social Media Sharing
Knowing which social media channels are most popular among your audience will help focus your efforts in the right place. One of the best and easiest ways to acquire natural links back to your website is through social sharing. It’s so quick to install a social sharing plugin from where you can share every piece of content you produce.
The faster your website loads, the higher you’ll rank on SERPs. Slow load times mean your visitors will have a bad experience and are unlikely to return. Use Google PageSpeed test to see how you match up and see suggestions on how to improve.
Copywriting and SEO
Consistently creating high-quality content is still the best way to rank well on search engine results pages. The emphasis here is always quality over quantity. Copywriting involves generating content for your site that will link to the keywords you’ve created. In other words, produce regular, relevant, quality content optimised for the search terms you want to rank for. Give your potential visitors the information about you that they will need to make a buying decision.
Blogs are more important than many may realise as it provides the perfect opportunity for social sharing. It helps to drive traffic back to your website through all your social media channels. Blog posts should not be overly ‘salesy’ but instead, use it to connect with your audience and provide real value. For more detailed information, take a look at the article Blogging Best Practices: An Essential Guide.
Monitor, Measure, Optimise and Report
Constant monitoring of your keyword rankings will allow you to determine whether or not your SEO efforts are working. Measuring progress is critical to a successful search strategy and detailed reporting can help you make informed decisions.
Doing an in-depth report on your analytics will determine what keywords and traffic sources are producing the most conversions. This information can also help identify additional “buyer” keywords as well as which ones to stop targeting.
A mistake many companies make is taking their foot off the SEO accelerator once they’re at the top of SERPs. This will only result in your competitors overtaking you at pole position. SEO is not a one-off process and needs to be assessed on a regular basis.
Are you ready to take the next step? Get in touch if you need an expert digital marketing partner in your corner. We specialise in SEO, PPC, Web development, Social Media, Marketing Automation and more.