Organic SEO (Search engine Optimisation) is the use of methods used to gain a high placement (or ranking) on a search engine results page in unpaid, algorithm-driven search results produced by search engines such as Google and Bing.
Organic SEO helps you to strengthen the pages and articles on your website, making them more relevant to what users are searching for.
In 2017 there are many, many more websites online than at any time in the past and the likelihood is that the number is going to continue to grow as more and more businesses move their marketing efforts online.
Subsequently, we speak to many businesses who have had a web presence since the late 1990s complaining that their influence in their sphere has begun to diminish as new players enter the market. As each niché becomes more and more crowded you will have to take steps to make your business stand out from the crowd.
“Organic SEO” is essentially comprised of technical SEO, on-page SEO and Off Page SEO. These three elements all help to improve your rankings and the health of your website.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO issues are missed by so many webmasters. They do not announce themselves, they are not obvious, and they sit in the background accumulating quietly dragging your website down. By auditing your website regularly we can detect errors before they escalate and become a major issue.
Some Technical SEO Errors That Might Affect Your Site.
Crawl errors occur when the search engine crawlers or robots, (bots) cannot access a part of your website that is either linked to from another website, listed in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The missing pages may have been removed from your site, or perhaps just slow to load.
Getting your pages indexed
Getting your pages indexed is important but many websites either have too few pages indexed by search engines or they have too many. Both issues can be a problem for different reasons.
Managing your Crawl Budget is essential for large sites, if your site architecture is poor, then web crawlers could miss visiting key pages of your site. If they are not crawled, they won’t be indexed, meaning that users won’t get the chance to choose your listing in the search engine results pages.
When we have broken pages on sites, it pays to redirect the traffic coming into the site to a new and relevant page, this prevents potential customers being annoyed and holds on to pages rank, a metric that search engines use to measure the relevance of websites. If you don’t redirect broken pages or links you could see a large upturn in 404 errors being served to your visitors. Search engines don’t mind a few but frown upon a lot of 404s, as this is seen as a signal of a poorly maintained site.
Your preferred domain
Having a preferred domain and declaring it to the search engines is key. If there are multiple versions of your site available to the search crawlers how will they know which one to prioritise? If you are tracking your site using an analytics package, and you have multiple versions of your site, the data you see on visitors, and conversions could be completely inaccurate. Use Google search console to set your preferred domain.
Page speed is a ranking factor. That means if your page loads slowly, be sure that the search engines will be penalising you. Speak to your developer about running speed tests and ensure that the site loads as fast as possible.
Your site must look good on mobile devices or you will be losing money and customers. Every year mobile traffic grows and grows. In 2016 we saw combined mobile phone and tablet views surpass views from desktop computers for the first time. This will continue to change as phone screens get bigger and tablets get faster. If your website renders poorly on these screens and doesn’t fit the screens properly, is hard to read or click, you will be penalised by the search engines.
Your Robots.txt file
Your Robots file tells search engines about your page, where your sitemap is and which pages it is allowed to visit. Making a mistake on this file can be costly. We’ve seen whole sites that weren’t being indexed for search because of errors in the robots file.
Sites without sitemaps are just making life difficult for themselves. Make sure you have an XML sitemap for crawlers. Your Sitemap should update automatically, make sure it’s listed in your robots file. Make sure you let search engines know about your sitemaps. You can also add an HTML sitemap for users.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page seo is an important part of organic seo. On-page seo is all about improving the content on your site and making it relevant. All too many sites are full to the rafters of thin content, page after page of short-form content with little relevance to what users are actually searching for.
Build a strong site architecture
Before you build your site plan it. Make sure that every page is necessary, that it’s linked to from other pages and that it’s easy to find and not duplicated. Avoid going too crazy with subcategories. A well-planned site makes your organic seo work so much easier in the long run.
Remove thin content
Thin content is when a page just doesn’t have enough content on it to make is deemed as relevant to search terms. A good example of where we see thin content is e-commerce sites who sell for example 20 versions of the same product, each version has a tiny difference, very often webmasters don’t make the effort to highlight the differences and benefits of each variation. Leaving just a very brief description of the product.
Another example is very short blog posts. Short blog posts are a waste of time, write to engage and enthuse your audience.
Remove Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is bad for your site. All your content should be unique where possible. Try to make your pages focus on a unique topic or idea, otherwise, if you have several pages all focusing on the same topic, your pages will compete with each other in the search results.
You shouldn’t need to borrow or pinch content from anywhere else, paraphrase and quote by all means but don’t use whole chunks of other people’s content. Google will know.
Reduce orphan pages
Orphan pages are pages that live on your site that isn’t linked to from any other pages on your site. They are like sand traps and will confuse both user and search engine crawlers.
Make your pages as relevant to what your target audience will be searching for. To rank highly your pages need to be relevant. Organic seo is about being natural, so think about what words and phrases your audience use to find the products and services that you sell, ensure that you use them appropriately on your page.
What is Off Page SEO?
Off-page SEO isn’t all about online work, it’s a combination of internet related action and real-world actions.
Links from other websites help get you ranked but only go for quality, relevant links, the rest can be more bother than they are worth. Each time your website gets a link from another website, that is seen as an endorsement. But all links are not equal, so a link from an authoritative website is worth more than one from your sisters Twitter profile. don’t EVER be tempted to pay for link bundles, they are rarely worth the money.
Social Media Profiles
Make sure you have all the relevant social media profiles. No point setting up a Snapchat profile if you only sell to the over 65s. Try to be where your audience is. Focus on the ones you can manage, do not over face yourself by launching too many profiles and then neglecting them.
Write Guest blogs on other people’s sites in your niche. It’s not always easy to get these opportunities, but if you can, it provides authoritative and relevant links and the search engines will reward you for it.
Video and Podcasting
The modern generation, called iGens are all about video and podcasting, they don’t want to sit and read articles, they want to watch an engaging video or listen to informative stories on their headphones. Can you see any opportunity from having multiple links pointing to your site from youtube and iTunes? We can.
Infographics and Image search
Images catch the eye. So, if you have a service-specific set of photos, make sure that they are branded. Eg: If you are a chimney sweep in Buxton. Be sure to place your branding and phone number on your work images. That way, if people search for ‘sweeps in Buxton’ and they see the image, you make it easy for people to contact you.
Write articles on Linkedin or for your local chamber of trade and put your presentations up on Slideshare. Professional articles are the old school version of Video and podcasting. Perfect for those who want to read. If you don’t relish the thought of typing long form articles like this one, why not simply make transcripts of your videos and podcasts? They are articles within themselves, are great as an accessibility feature and can only enhance the content on your site and social media profiles.
Professional articles are great for embedding multiple links inside that point to all the great products and services your company provides.
Branding is everything, but get it right. Get your logo, URL, email and phone number on your paperwork, your vehicles, your computers, your email footers and anywhere else that you can think of like Flyers, business cards and billboards.
Try sponsoring a grass verge, a school play or perhaps an annual event in your town or village. When you do, get banners made and be visible, use the opportunity to market your services.
Court Web Influencers
Get people to love you by the things you do for them. Talk to others online, listen to them, empathise with them, share their content and soon you will have friends, sharing and linking your content, over the years we’ve seen famous people retweeting our tweets and liking our posts.
Good customer service is absolutely critical, it’s something that we are pretty awful at in the UK, but if you’ve ever visited the United States, you’ll have noticed that companies there really go the extra mile to ensure you have a great experience with their brands.
If you employ front of house bar staff, restaurant waiters, telephone salespeople or delivery drivers, customers always have a lot to say about the level of service your business provides.
The best advert you can give yourself is to treat every customer like a king or queen, no matter how difficult or irritating they can be. One bad review could lose you potentially hundreds to thousands of pounds so really try to bend over backwards to ensure customer satisfaction.
Bringing Organic SEO together
If your website is poorly organised and difficult to understand, your users become confused and frustrated and search engines will also have a hard time interpreting what your site is about. This is why it’s crucial to have clear merchandising and navigation.
The many facets of organic SEO are what helps to strengthen a web page, what helps to make that page visible when users search for products and services. Organic SEO focuses on improving the content on each page of your website. By improving the information you provide to customers, you increase the likelihood that they will continue to browse your site without leaving immediately.
One of the biggest problems that web businesses face is the issue of non-returning visitors. Many visitors will come to your website, judge that it is not for them because it was poorly labelled in the search engines. Then they will leave, there’s a high likelihood that they will never return.
You can combat this by creating good clear titles for each page and write good copy on your web page. Add a good meta description you can help users better understand just what each page on your site is about before they click through to it from the search engine results pages.
To do this you need to understand your audience and what they are searching for.
Do you know what sort of search terms your visitors are likely to put into Google or Bing when searching for the goods and services that you offer?
“I heard Organic SEO is dead, is it?”
In a word, No.
Google is the most popular search engine by far. There are hundreds of other search engines out there trying to copy and improve upon what Google does.
Whilst it’s certainly true that Google has been strengthening the potential of the search engine to generate revenue using paid ad placement, I don’t believe it’s going to give up on organic search results anytime soon, if it did, it would lose all credibility. The public trusts search engines to match their search queries with the most relevant and useful sites. Sites that show up in the search rankings because they are relevant to what the users search for.
Ads on the other hand, are triggered by paid keywords which are entered into an online auction. The advertiser who bids the most and has the best ads will show up first for matching searches. That’s all well and good, but not all sites are quality or truly relevant.
“Any fool can throw money at Google to get clicks, but building a relevant and informative site, that’s a different matter”.
If all we ever saw was paid ads, people would soon turn away from Google and find a new search engine that offered better, more natural results.
I don’t have time to wait for Organic SEO, I need results now!
Time is precious, we understand this but cutting corners won’t save your business. Paid ads are great, but they are not the whole solution.
You wouldn’t tell a construction company to skip the concrete foundations of your new home because they are costly and nobody sees them. No, you’d want the very best foundations so that your house will still be structurally strong in 30, 50 or 100 years time.
It’s the same with SEO. A well-optimised site will continue to bring you good consistent results week after week, month after month and year after year.
We’ve spoken to search companies who report a drop off in demand for organic seo. This is due in part to a growing number of people who are online savvy and willing to attempt their own SEO, and the relentless promotion of advertising services offering “quick wins”.
The problem with “quick wins” is that so often, they are a short-term strategy that doesn’t offer the small business a plan B. Small businesses need to see results as soon as possible, but throwing money at advertising doesn’t guarantee success.
“The best strategy for sustainable growth of your business website is to build customer trust over the medium to long-term”.
The best hope of growth any business website has is to build customer trust over the medium to long-term.
When visitors trust your website, they will stay longer, so offer visitors what they were searching for. They may return multiple times, and hopefully click the call button, fill out the contact form, or buy something that you are selling. If you missed our earlier article about building website trust, you can read it here.
I can do my own SEO, so thanks, but no thanks!
Sure you can, SEO itself isn’t particularly difficult, but it is a discipline. There’s a heck of a lot to learn and you don’t become good at it overnight.
We can all use a hedge trimmer but we are not Tree Surgeons. Attempt the basics by all means, but it makes good sense to bring in more experienced people for the expert stuff, or you risk causing unnecessary damage to your site
That’s why hiring a local SEO company is something you should consider if you’re serious about growing your online business.
We hope we’ve helped you to understand a little more about what organic SEO is now?
Organic SEO will save your business money in the long run. Why? Ultimately because you want the majority of your website traffic to find your site without you having to pay for traffic.
By working closely with SEO professionals you can fix many of the issues that your site faces and enjoy a massive increase in targeted visitors to your website.
Why Choose Peak District SEO for Organic SEO?
Peak District SEO firmly believe that organic SEO campaigns are critical in helping business owners to strengthen the foundations of their websites.
When you choose Peak District SEO you get years of experience and hands-on expertise. We will grow your audience, and increase your leads and sales. We send you a detailed, monthly report showing the progress made.
The first step to take is to signup for your FREE website review. We give your website a health check and tell you what work is needed to make it perform as it should.
So don’t delay, get in touch today!