Organic search is one of the critical elements of any digital marketing success story, along with digital advertising and social media. If you aren’t familiar with SEO, it’s a sophisticated method to increase a domain’s search engine rankings.
Over the years, there has been a debate among marketers about whether SEO is an effective marketing tool or not. Here is the thing, SEO will get you targeted free traffic for sure. The alternatives could be much more costly if you aren’t in the organic search game.
9 SEO Fundamentals to Nail Your Visibility In The Organic Search Results
Understanding search engine optimisation is critical for business owners because, without the basics, you can’t have the courage to hire someone to solve the SEO puzzle for you.
The topic is somewhat technical, but it doesn’t mean it’s complex. There are a dozen key elements in SEO; once you learn these, you will start understanding what it’s all about. This is why we created this organic search comprehensive guide.
Keywords are by far the most essential part of any organic search campaign. These are terms people type in Google and search for any sort of information. Some of these searches are transactional, so the potential buyers are in the market for purchasing products and services. We must discover these terms more deeply as the search terms and intentions can differ. Often we are looking for keywords that are tightly related to our business.
How to find keywords? The simplest way is using Google search or Google trends, as you can imagine. At an expert level though, we use more advanced tools such as Semrush, Ahrefs or Majestic. These tools give us monthly search volumes, ranking difficulty, and CPC per country, making life much easier.
As a general rule, shorter keywords up to 2 words are harder to rank for as they are generic and got a lot of search volume. That’s why focusing on mid-tail, and long-tail keywords up to 3-4 words can bring quicker results at the beginning of an SEO project. Once you figure out your keywords, the next step is optimising your site around them, from your navigation to landing pages and blog posts.
2- Organic search must have: On-Page SEO
Your site must have good on-page SEO to rank on top of search engines. On-page SEO consists of elements on your pages such as SEO title, description, headings, and URL slug. Remember, you figured out your keywords? Now it’s time to scatter it on your pages. Simple as that. For small businesses, on-page SEO is not very complex since there are only a dozen of pages. However, constant on-page optimisation is a must for an e-commerce site with ten thousand product pages. Most On-page SEO can be sorted easily using a WordPress plugin such as Rank Math or Yoast SEO.
3- Landing Pages & Blog Posts
Text-based contents aren’t outdated, especially for SEO. A well-prepared landing page or blog post works for organic search because they send positive ranking signals to search engines. If you repeatedly publish posts based on keywords, you can start ranking in no time. How to structure your site? Take your main business offers and translate them into search keywords. Then create your main pages also called landing pages.
Long pages tend to rank better, but you must be careful as these are your sales pages. So avoid long paragraphs and make a lot of sections. These pages must be easy to read and drive people to take a certain action. But when it comes to blog posts, the longer each article, the better.
Because 90% of Google’s 1st-page results are longer than 2500 words, extensive guides on a given topic. Guess what? People often relate longer content with trust and therefore this kind of content gets a lot of backlinks. This is the exact reason why longer content ranks better. They keep receiving backlinks naturally.
4- Backlinks – great for organic search
Most business owners aren’t familiar with backlinks. Once you understand the essence of backlinks, you will know why backlinks are an important factor organic search. In simple terms, backlinks are referrals from other websites. Once a blog post or a site is heavily referred to, Google takes that as an important ranking signal. Once you have done your keyword research and created a blog post or a page, that’s already good for SEO.
Now, you need others to do so. Once others start pointing fingers at you for a given subject, that’s a huge ranking factor. But how do you get backlinks? Do people start linking to your site out of the blue, or do you have to create backlinks? Well, if you create content that your linkreators love, you can get backlinks somehow organically.
But most businesses focus on their products and services rather than becoming influential thought leaders in their industry. That’s why you might need some link building. That brings us to another topic you should know about, the white, grey and black hat SEO. We want white hat SEO or ethical SEO to avoid Google penalties.
So finding new relevant domains, creating company profiles, or commenting on forums are good examples of white hat. On the other hand, buying backlinks is blackhat SEO, and it will only bring short-term results. Now that you know these concepts avoid getting involved with such activities that can hurt your online presence in the long run.
5- Google Search Console & Analytics
For many of us, the most commonly used search engine is Google. Besides being a search engine, Google has many other products, such as the Google Search Console (GSC) and analytics.
GSC allows you to track the overall performance of your domain, including organic search and site performance. For example, it’s possible to see how many times your pages showed up for a certain keyword, how many times people clicked on it, the current page position and which page ranks for which keyword. This is an excellent tool because you don’t have to be an expert to understand your search performance.
Google Analytics, on the other hand, reports site traffic in all aspects, so it’s more advanced. Nevertheless, it’s also a brilliant tool for tracking the performance of your SEO efforts.
GSC and Analytics are critical for SEO because these tools allow us to measure the performance of SEO efforts and adjust accordingly. Remember, if you can’t measure the channel performance, you can’t improve!
6- Technical SEO & Site Performance
Technical SEO and site performance are often overlooked. We analysed hundreds of websites at Olivetree Marketing based on Google Search Console, and 95% of websites have poor site performance. There has never been any work done in technical SEO. That’s because maintaining a healthy website is usually not in marketing’s job description.
7- Social Signals
We know that you have been wondering if your social media affect SEO. You are not alone. This topic has been in discussion for some time. In 2010, Matt Cutts from Google confirmed that social signals matter, but some experts today disagree with that. Let’s quickly go through how social signals can add to SEO.
First, we can treat a social media post like a no-follow backlink from a high authority site. So if you frequently post on multiple sites and web 2.0s such as medium.com, that will only increase your site or page authority.
Secondly, when you post on social media, you automatically increase traffic to specific pages. That gives search engines some brilliant data to understand if users love that content or not. As user interaction is a key ranking factor, this confirms that social signals are once again helping you rank higher.
8- Digital Advertising
Digital advertising can also affect organic search, and here is why. As we mentioned earlier, Google needs user interaction data to understand if a page is valuable for users or not.
Let’s say that you published an extensive guide on a particular topic, but your site is somewhat new. This page won’t easily rank on the first page of Google, due to your site’s low domain authority. So your page doesn’t even have a chance to rank because there are not enough users interacting with the page.
Here is the trick, if you drive traffic to your pages by digital advertising such as Google ads or paid social, you can start ranking better instantaneously. Because you will get some users to these pages, and Google will have interaction data to rank your page on the top pages.
But here is a note: if you are making targeting mistakes and your ad visitors leave your site right away, that can also negatively affect your SEO. There have also been debates about whether Google favours its advertisers on organic rankings. But that’s not the case; it’s all about whether a page is visited or not. As you can see, combining a few digital marketing methods always works better.
Organic Search – The takeaway
Having a decent amount of organic traffic from search engines like Google can make all the difference for your business. To make that happen, you must get familiar with SEO. Moreover, we strongly recommend you work with a reliable SEO Agency constantly.
SEO and organic search needs some sophisticated work, so you may need to make a certain amount of investment before getting results. It all starts with a proper SEO strategy. Call us today at 1300168311 for your customised SEO plan and get ahead of your competition!
Want to learn more? Read our Growth Tip on the 5 most effective local SEO tools.