Ranking on Google is becoming more competitive by the minute. And that is no wonder. As a user, Google is the number one place to go for answers to your queries. And not just you! As of 2021, statistics show that Google accounts for over 90% of all search engine traffic. Further research show that Google processes over five billion searches each day.
As a firm, no doubt you understand the benefits of reaching out to this large number of people. It means more traffic. And more traffic means more potential clients. But as seen earlier, Google's SERP is getting more competitive. Many businesses out there are trying to rank as you. As a result, some have opted for strategies other than the common Organic SEO.
Organic SEO? If you're new in the SEO industry, you may wonder what that is. If so, you don't have to worry. Here, you'll get to know what it is and how you can optimize for organic traffic. What's more, this article compares Organic SEO with other common strategies used by web masters to attain top rankings on Google's SERP. Without any delay, let's get started.
What is Organic SEO?
Organic Search Engine Optimization refers to the act of generating traffic for your site on unpaid SERPs by using the standard White Hat techniques.
How's that any different from the normal SEO, you may wonder. Well, there's no difference. However, Organic, in this context, helps to differentiate between unpaid search results and Paid search. Paid Search refers to the process whereby businesses pay for a top spot on Google's SERP.
On the other hand, Organic SEO (Unpaid Search) involves you optimizing your site for high positioning on Google's result pages.
Importance of Organic SEO
As seen above, ranking on Google is necessary and competitive. Trying to do so without SEO is like traveling without any car or transport fees. So, just like how you'd sit and calculate how much to spend on transport, you need to sit and analyze your SEO. And since SEO works on SERPs, you need to understand how search engines (especially Google) operate.
Well, here's the gist: Google employs bots to scan the web and understand the structure and content of a webpage. All info the bot gathers is indexed. Then whenever a user makes a query, these bots will bring out those pages that it views are most relevant to the query at hand. This makes up the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). The way it ranks these pages are all determined by several factors.
With SEO, you'll be able to optimize for these factors. And this, in turn, helps you create high-quality content that's valuable to both users and search engine bots. And by so doing, you'll be able to compete on this internet giant. This is what organic SEO generally involves and why it is important. But as mentioned earlier, some have opted for strategies other than Organic SEO. What are they?
Organic SEO VS Paid Search
Generating organic traffic is essential. But it has a major downside: time. It takes a lot of time to rank on Google's top result pages. Many businesses are aware of this. And so, they have chosen to implement paid search into their ranking strategy.
As defined earlier, Paid search allows brands to rank high (even higher than those who implement Organic SEO) by bidding on keywords and paying for advertisements on programs such as Google AdWords. But how does it work? Do you have to keep paying a regular fee for an extended period? Of course not. Paid Search generally follows the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) pattern. This means that you pay only when a user clicks on your Advertisement.
Since Paid Search generates instant results, you may wonder whether there's any need to delve into Organic SEO. The simple answer is yes. Whether or not you're looking to opt for paid search, having an Organic SEO strategy is essential. And for many, it's the better option.
As a beginner, you may be wondering which is best for your brand. To help you decide, let's see some areas in which Organic SEO wins against paid search and vice versa.
Advantages of Organic SEO
Credibility matters a lot in marketing. It affects the way users view your brand. The more they see you as credible, the better. This can help to promote your brand, increase traffic, and generate more clients.
When speaking about credibility, Organic SEO has paid search defeated. How? From a user's view, webpages that put in the effort to rank high on Google's SERP appear more reliable. More so if your website is ranking high for different keywords.
What's more, brands who are involved in paid search tend to target transactional search intent. And that's no wonder because it has a higher chance of purchase when compared with informational intent. That said, informational search intent is best when aiming for credibility. It allows you to promote awareness of your brand.
And since SEO is the best method for creating informational content, it all fits. Organic SEO wins against paid search when boosting credibility.
2. Quality Content
Content is king when reaching out to people. High-quality content provides value to users. And this, in turn, makes search engines view your website as reliable. And creating quality content without SEO is just not possible.
Copywriting and backlinking are just some of the many SEO practices that help users optimize the value of their content.
So, it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that Organic SEO allows you to reap the benefits of high-quality content. These benefits include an increase in traffic, leads, rankings, and even revenue.
There's no need to dwell much on this. Paid Search involves cost, while SEO does not. All its practices ranging from content creation to link-building costs nothing at all. If you even have to pay for anything (such as a subscription to SEO tools), it doesn't add up to paid search. And it'll benefit you in the long run.
So if you are looking for a cost-effective way of ranking on Google, Organic SEO is for you.
Advantages of Paid Search
As mentioned earlier, Organic SEO takes time. If you're impatient to rank, paid search is the better option. Ads platform like Google AdWords often approves brands' campaigns in minutes. This means that your Ads can appear on SERPs quickly and start generating traffic for you.
2. It draws in potential clients
Brands looking to dive into Paid search usually target transactional search intent. While this may not work great for boosting credibility, it's still necessary. And that's because of one reason: it attracts potential customers.
Since the search is made with an intent to purchase, there's a high possibility that visitors will purchase your services if your page appeals to them. In contrast, the majority of traffic gotten from Organic SEO are people scouring the net for info without any intention of purchasing from you. So, if you're more interested in attracting clients, paid traffic is for you.
When all is said and done, both Organic SEO and Paid Search matter a lot. While paid search helps you start ranking instantly, Organic SEO helps your brand in the long run. Furthermore, Organic SEO helps boost your credibility. So, when visitors come across your Ads, they'll be more inclined to make a purchase.
Rather than debating on which is better, go for both. By so doing, you'll be in a better situation to compete on Google.
Organic SEO VS Black Hat SEO
Consider the above definition. Organic SEO involves White Hat techniques. Did it stop you for a second? As a newbie in the SEO world, you may be wondering "what is white hat?" "If there's white hat, does that mean black hat exists?" Well, guess what? It does!
The terms black hat and white hat SEO are not uncommon any more. And over the years, Black Hat SEO has become a common alternative for the seemingly hard white hat. Before we get down to differentiating between them, let's understand the relationship between Organic SEO and White Hat SEO.
Organic SEO and White Hat
Simply put, White Hat Search Engine Optimization involves those acts that Google agrees with. They align with its algorithms and provide users with valuable and original content. Yes, they are the good guys of SEO. The standard on-page SEO and generating links via guest blogging are examples of white hat techniques. Does it fit now?
Organic SEO generates organic traffic through White Hat practices. This implies that Organic SEO doesn't involve any illegal or underhanded tactics. But if White Hat is acceptable, what about Black Hat?
Organic SEO versus Black Hat
It is not! Black Hat SEO, as you expected, comprises strategies and techniques used by SEOs to manipulate rankings in their favor. And Google severely frowns on such acts. Although they have a brief history together:
Back in the days when Google wasn't much like the internet giant we all know today, ranking algorithms were easier to take advantage of. Misguided SEOs saw this, and well, they took advantage of it. They played the algorithms to increase their rankings.
They loaded their content with tons of keywords (this is known today as keyword stuffing), so much so that their content lost value. Yes, it provided zero benefits to users. But still, search engines ranked it high. However, it was about to change.
Google started updating its algorithms to provide more value to users. Yes, by the time these updates were implemented, content with no reading value became invisible on SERPs. We can say that Google won the war. And till date, Google still makes core updates to its algorithms each year to improve how it operates. But does that mean Black Hat doesn't exist today?
Well, it does. Though unlike back then, many marketers frown at the idea. However, the truth is that it still generates results (though it comes with huge risks). And many firms are aware of this. So, they have taken the time and effort to delve into Black Hat SEO. If you're looking to do so, you might want to check out this article about Black Hat World.
All that said, it is better (and safer) to adhere to Google's guidelines. Doing so will improve user experience, promote your firm, and still help your rank high. And that's why a vast number of web masters stick with Organic SEO.
How to Optimize for Organic traffic
Finally, let's take a quick delve into how to optimize your site for organic traffic. Below are three main steps you shouldn't miss as well as resource articles to go with.
1. Technical SEO
This refers to the technical performance of your site. It enables crawlers to understand your site's content. And its practices can boost visibility and traffic. Check out the following articles on various aspects of technical SEO.
2. On-Site SEO
As the name implies, this involves optimizing various aspects of your webpage's content. These are very important as they practically decide how good or bad your content will be. From the commonly known keyword research to title tags, you need to work on every one of these aspects to benefit from organic SEO. Not to worry, below are vital articles that'll get you started on your on-page SEO.
These practices are implemented off your site. The major off-page SEO practice is link-building. Yes, links boost the authority of your content and improve ranking power. Check out the following articles on Off-page tactics to help you rank easily.
The three steps mentioned above come first in your whole SEO process. So, without delay, get started on your SEO and experience a tremendous increase in Organic Traffic. As the saying goes: the earlier, the better!
As the years go by, Google will only become more competitive. Why? Well, that's because new websites are regularly putting in the effort to rank high on this search engine. An increase in websites will see an increase in the need for Organic SEO. And that's why you, as a firm, should take the effort to start ranking on this ever-growing internet giant now. Not to worry, the effort will be well worth it.