Organic search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so it ranks as highly as possible in the organic search results.
Also known as natural SEO, when done properly, organic SEO is an incredibly effective means to increase search traffic to your website from Internet users who are interested in your product or service. Earning high rankings from an organic search strategy is a process that can take several months to accomplish, but the dividends from making this investment are substantial!
In a nutshell, natural SEO works to build rankings for your website by using a mixture of on-site and of-site optimization techniques. The on-site search optimization strategies include making your website more relevant for highly searched keyword phrases that users are searching for online. Off-site strategies work to build your website as a credible source for information on the keyword phrases users are searching for.
On-site and off-site strategies work in synergy to move your website up the organic rankings all while increasing traffic to your website and providing you a great return on your investment.
Below you’ll find several organic search strategies – both on-site and off-site – you can use to help boost your relevancy and authority for your website.
On-site Organic SEO Strategies
- Optimize Your Meta Tags to include your targeted keywords. These Meta Tags include your Title Tag, Keyword Tag and Meta Description Tag. Each of these tags is significant in its own way because they tell the search engine spiders what the web page is about that they’re crawling. These tags also have a similar use for searchers, as they navigate the search engine results page (SERP) to find the most relevant content for their search. Getting your targeted keywords in these tags is essential for your organic strategy.
- Strategic Use of Keywords throughout Your On-Page Content. By using a professional SEO copywriter to develop the content on your web pages, you’re setting your website up for maximum organic SEO value. A seasoned SEO copywriter will know how to strategically utilize your targeted keyword phrases throughout your on-page content. Your copywriter will use your targeted keyword phrases in your header tags (h1, h2, etc.) as well as in the main body text so that your web copy flows and reads well for both search engine spiders and for site visitors.
- Use Search Engine Friendly URLs With Keyword Inclusion. Page URLs that are optimized for organic search will also include your keyword phrase targets. For example, if your web page was targeting they keyword phrase “organic SEO tips” you would want to use that as your page URL: yourdomain.com/organic-seo-tips. This helps boost relevancy and triggers your keyword phrase to display as BOLD to users as they look at the SERP.
Off-site Organic SEO Strategies
- Intense Keyword Discovery through Research: This is actually one of the very first steps you’ll need to make to ensure your organic SEO campaign is optimized for success. Identifying the most relevant keywords to target for your organic campaign by utilizing Keyword Research tools such as the Google Adwords Keyword Research tool will help your campaign target the most profitable and beneficial keyword terms that users are searching for. Your keyword targets can be on a general or local segment, where you may have geographically specific keyword terms such as “Atlanta Real Estate” rather than simply just “Real Estate.” When conducting your keyword research, two key factors to consider are the exact amount of searches done for that keyword phrase each month and how competitive that keyword phrase is. Selecting the most competitive, highest volume keywords isn’t necessarily the best strategy for your organic campaign, as it will be very difficult to achieve success. Choosing keywords that have nice volumes with moderate/low competition is usually a better strategy, especially when you’re just starting out.
- Devise a Diverse Content Marketing Strategy. Content marketing is an essential ingredient for a successful organic SEO strategy. But what’s even more key is creating great content. Content that is compelling. Content that users want to read (and share!) The content you produce for your SEO strategy should be diverse and utilize many different channels including videos, articles, press releases, infographics, podcasts, etc. The better your content strategy, the better your chances of getting links from other sites, and the better your chances of achieving top rankings.
- Share Your Content Socially, Consistently. Social media has greatly increased its importance in organic search success. Google’s algorithm now incorporates social media signals into its ranking equation for organic search. So it’s highly important to share your web content on a variety of social media outlets including StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Google+ because once you share your content it’s far more likely to be re-shared by other social media users (especially if it’s great content!) This increases the social value of your content, and increases the likelihood of another user linking to your content which boosts your authority (and rankings.) Aside from manually sharing your content on social media, you can also integrate social sharing icons on your website so others who are reading your content can easily share with their personal network.
About the Author
Chris Everett is the Principal of Captivate Search Marketing, an SEO firm based in Atlanta, GA. Chris has over 5 years of experience working in search engine marketing and Internet marketing. As a SEO consultant, he is most passionate about local and organic search optimization strategies.
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The most traditional, deep-rooted form of search engine marketing is Organic SEO, which is a highly effective method of increasing a website's visibility in the search results by boosting its relevancy for targeted keywords through both on-site and off-site strategies.
This post discusses on-site and off-site Organic SEO Tips for Beginners that work together to make a website more valuable and trustworthy to the search engines and helps lead to higher rankings that are built to last.
On-site Optimization Strategies
On-site optimization techniques are just as they sound. They are tactics you can execute on your website to make it more suitable for ranking on your keyword targets. On-site strategies help build keyword relevancy, all while increasing the conversion potential of your website with site visitors.
Moreover, these tips can help you identify what resources you need to look for in an organic SEO company that will help your business achieve its organic SEO objectives.
Optimized SEO Copywriting
The first on-site optimization tip we have is making sure your website copy is both well-optimized and well-written by a professional SEO copywriter. Your organic SEO marketer should have a stable of talented SEO copywriters who write keyword-rich, easy-to-read content that converts users and promotes top rankings in the search results.
A professional SEO copywriter will know precisely how to structure the content for your webpages so it's highly optimized for maximum SEO friendliness. Your SEO copywriter will develop each webpage on your site to be focused on one primary targeted keyword phrase that has one or two closely related variations of that keyword throughout the page content.
Keeping your webpages focused on one specific topic or set of related keywords is one of the most important organic SEO tips you can utilize because it leaves no doubt in the "mind" of the search engine spider about what your web page content is about.
There are several organic SEO strategies that your SEO copywriter should implement in order to optimize your web copy for the search engines. Some of those are:
- Utilizing your targeted keyword phrases in your page title tags
- These keyword phrases should also be utilized in the page's Meta Description tag so it stands out to users
- SEO Copywriters will also include the targeted keyword phrase in the appropriate page headers (H1, H2, H3)
- For maximum on-site optimization benefits, SEO copywriters should intersperse the keyword phrases throughout the page content so that it reads well, but has an appropriate keyword density to increase relevancy
- Sprinkling in em and strong tags on targeted keyword phrases lets the search engines know that these words are more important than other words on the page, thus increasing relevancy for that particular keyword phrase
You might think to yourself that you can write your web content on your own, but trusting a professional copywriter to help can have many benefits because of the knowledge and expertise they have in their field. They know what it takes to write web copy that ranks well in the search engines, but also captivates site visitors, leading to an increase in conversions.
Internal Linking for On-site Optimization
One of the simplistic organic SEO tips that gets underutilized is internal cross linking. Cross linking is the practice of linking related pages on your website with each other. This is an easy on-site optimization technique that makes it easier for search engine spiders to crawl your website, but also makes it easier for visitors to find related information that could be beneficial to them.
One of the benefits that can come from executing this is that two closely related pages that are cross linked together can appear as a "double stack" or even sometimes a "triple stack" (results on top of one another) on the search engine results page (SERP).
When performing cross linking strategies, be sure to use optimized anchor text for your cross linking.
To further illustrate, if you have a page on your website that's topic is all about Local PPC and another page on your site that talks about the benefits of Local PPC for small businesses, it's a good idea to link those two pages together with the anchor text "Local PPC" or "Local PPC for Small businesses"
This strategy can make a huge impact on increasing the visibility of your website in the search results!
Optimized Sitemap Organization
A website's sitemap is the index listing for your website and is the second most important page on your site (other than your homepage.) Your sitemap links to every page on your website and can provide a valuable boost to the overall topical relevancy of your site to the search engines. Here are some tips you can use to make your website's sitemap further optimized for the search engines:
- Include a couple of paragraphs at the top of your sitemap page that discusses what users will find when they surf your website. This content should come directly underneath your H1 tag.
- Separate your sitemap into themes under specific headers. For example, if you have a set of pages that discusses Content Marketing, utilize content marketing as the header and then list the specific set of subpages under that topic below the header.
- Constantly update your website and your sitemap with fresh content that will boost topical relevancy for your site
- Your up-to-date contact information should be included on the sitemap including your phone number, email, fax and address
Off-site Organic SEO Tips
Boosting Relevancy & Rankings Away from Your Website
While on-site strategies are powerful, it's arguable that OFF-site strategies play an even more significant factor in achieving top results in the search engines. Off-site optimization techniques work to develop more authority and significance for your website with the search engines. The most significant off-site optimization strategy is developing links . Before we get into how you can build links back to your website, you must first understand the difference between the types of links because not all links carry the same weight.
- Do-Follow Links - links from other websites that factor into the overall search rankings
- No-Follow Links - Links that are not used to factor into how well a site should rank in the results
For the purposes of organic SEO, you might be wondering why you'd ever want to use a no-follow link back to your website. Here's why. Search engine giant Google rolled out some significant algorithm changes in 2012 that essentially penalized websites that had a "spammy" or unnatural profile of links back to their site.
Websites that were penalized were using unnatural methods of building links such as subscribing to SEO services that published thousands of links on non-valuable spam websites that for a short time produced high rankings. When Google discovered this black hat SEO technique was starting to decrease the value of its search results, it released the Panda and Penguin updates, which relieved these websites of their high rankings, and in some cases booted them out of the results all together.
Because of these significant Google changes, it's critical to generate a natural link profile that features links from both high-authority do-follow links, as well as links with a no-follow tag applied to them. When you invest in SEO services, striving to have a natural link profile will keep your website from being penalized for "over optimization," and will keep your website in good graces with Google.
Part of linking naturally is to have a balanced usage of anchor text for your links. An excessive amount of links on the same anchor text can negatively affect your rankings.
To further illustrate this point, say you're optimizing one of your web pages for the keyword phrase "Atlanta Bankruptcy Lawyer." Instead of continually using the anchor text "Atlanta Bankruptcy Lawyer," be sure to mix in variations of your keyword such as "Bankruptcy Lawyers in Atlanta" or partial linking anchor text such as "Bankruptcy Law."
To build on this introduction to off-site optimization tips, below we offer more in-depth tactics on developing links and content marketing strategies.
Linking Techniques for Organic SEO
To avoid the over optimization penalty, generating a natural link profile is critical to achieving top rankings for your website. Below we highlight some strategies you can use to develop natural links back to your website that pay major dividends for your organic search campaign.
- Anchor text utilizing your main targeted keyword phrase (i.e. Laser Hair Removal)
- Variations of your targeted keyword phrase (i.e. Laser Hair Removal Treatments)
- Partial linking to your web page (i.e. Hair Removal)
- Linking your domain name back to your site (i.e. www.yourdomain.com)
Topical relevancy is also an important aspect of building a natural link profile. For example, if your website is undergoing an SEO strategy focused on ranking highly on keywords related to "Running Shoes," you should work to gain links back to your website from sites related to running or sporting goods.
When it comes to organic SEO tips that have the most significant impact on achieving higher rankings, links would be toward the top of the list. Keep in mind, though, that linking must be done ethically to ensure maximum optimization for your site.
Content Marketing Strategies
The final off-site optimization strategy this post is content marketing. Content marketing is the practice of distributing valuable content throughout the web in various platforms. Content marketing promotes an increase in branding visibility for your website, but also works to develop natural links back to your website. Below are some of the avenues you can use in content marketing to bolster your organic search efforts:
- Content marketing through building an continually updating an off-site blog.
- Offering Guest Blogs to other websites in your industry (they get your quality content, you get a backlink and increased brand exposure)
- Utilizing article marketing websites (Ezine, Go Articles, etc.) to distribute your content to
- Video marketing and video SEO on YouTube, Social Cam and Vimeo
Content marketing is an incredibly effective strategy for building trust with the search engines and in turn developing top rankings for your organic search campaign.
Organic SEO Tips in Summation
We hope you've uncovered some beneficial tips that you can implement in your search strategy. With the continual evolution of search engines, it's important to stay on top of the most recent and impacting organic SEO tips that will keep your website ranking toward the top of the search results.
Be aware of any changes that the engines are making and always be making strides to increase the quality and relevancy of your pitch to both consumers and search engines. Feel free to share your Organic SEO tips and strategies below in the comments section of our lens!
This post was written by Chris Everett, Principal of Captivate Search Marketing. Connect with Chris on Google+