If you are reading this article that means you don’t live under a rock, which means you’ve probably heard the term “organic SEO”. But just because you’ve heard this term before, doesn’t mean you know what it means. Don’t panic, there are a lot of people just like you. The term “organic SEO” or “organic search engine optimization” refers to the organic methods and strategies used to obtain high search rankings on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The word organic is used to delineate between non-paid methods of SEO and PPC, the paid methods of SEO.
The Benefits Of Organic SEO
Right now you are probably thinking, “okay so businesses are engaging in organic SEO, but what are the benefits and is it worth it?”. I don’t even have to know what industry your business is in to say, yes, absolutely it is worth it. I also don’t expect you to take my word for it, so let me explain why I know organic SEO is worth engaging in.
Sure, television commercials and radio ads are still being used today, and they are still viable marketing mediums. As of December 2018, there were 4.1 billion internet users in the world. With that statistic at hand, it would be difficult to argue that the internet is quickly becoming the top marketing medium available. By increasing visibility for your website, you are putting yourself in the best position to increase qualified leads. This will allow your business to gain an advantage on the competition without an online presence and will even the playing field against the competition who do have an online presence.
To show the importance of increasing visibility online, here is a graph depicting the increase of one of my clients website traffic after a few months of performing organic SEO.
Enhancing Brand Awareness
Enhancing brand awareness means that users are becoming increasingly familiar with your business and/or services over time. Building brand awareness will increase the likelihood that users who are seeking products or services your business offers, will remember and visit your site. The more frequently a user sees your brand, the better the chance of acquiring their business becomes.
Increased Value Over Time
With paid ads, your rankings on SERPs will cease to exist once you stop paying. With organic SEO, the keywords you start to rank for will remain and can possibly increase with maintenance and adjustments over time. If the content you produce provides value and drives traffic over time, the more likely it is that Google will increase your positioning on SERPs.
Far Less Expensive
It doesn’t matter what kind of digital marketing strategy your business is involved in, saturation among industries will always be an obstacle impeding success. Having to compete against huge marketing budgets no longer has to play a factor in the ability to achieve success. You know what I find great about organic SEO? It is the most level playing field related to marketing and anybody can perform it! Paid ads quickly disqualifies the smaller businesses by corporations who are able to outbid them. With organic SEO, even the smallest business can compete with the fortune 500 companies through strategic organic SEO campaigns.
To get a better idea of how expensive the CPC game can be, here is a list of the top 5 highest paid technology related keywords in 2018, according to seotipsit.
|Cloud Computing Technology||$38.86|
|Call Center Technology||$37.53|
|Information Technology Degrees||$35.01|
|Technology Credit Union||$32.42|
|Information Technology Degree||$32.38|
Categories Of Organic SEO Techniques
Techniques and methods related to performing organic SEO can be divided into 3 categories:
- White Hat SEO
- Grey Hat SEO
- Black Hat SEO
It is very important to know the difference between these methods and techniques, as some of them come with highly negative repercussions.
White Hat SEO
The category deemed as “white hat SEO” refers to the techniques and methods that are widely accepted and match the terms and conditions set by Google and other major search engines. These techniques that currently fall under the white hat SEO standard are very rarely adjusted and are considered the safest and most compliant form of organic SEO practices. Here is a list of broad guidelines to follow to ensure you are meeting white hat SEO standards:
- Original and information-rich content generation
- Alt text and Meta-descriptions void of keyword stuffing
- Fast website loading with easy user navigation
Grey Hat SEO
Grey hat SEO techniques and methods are a little tricky to categorize because well, they’re in the grey. There’s no doubt that performing grey hat SEO techniques are riskier than white hat SEO, but I wouldn’t categorize them as black hat SEO either. This is because they balance between what is acceptable in regards to the terms and conditions of Google and other major search engines. These methods are risky because some methods often fall between what is acceptable and what is not. If you do perform grey hat SEO techniques, you must consistently check to see if Google has deemed them acceptable or not. Here are some of the most common grey hat SEO techniques used today:
- Purchasing & acquiring old domains
- Duplicating content (using content spinning tools)
- Purchasing links
- Automating social media
In my opinion, it is best to avoid any of these techniques when able.
Black Hat SEO
After reading white hat and grey hat SEO techniques and methods, it should be pretty apparent as to the dangers of black hat SEO techniques. These techniques strictly violate the terms and conditions set by Google and major search engines. Engaging in black hat SEO can result in your website being banned from search engine results. To ensure that your organic SEO strategy does utilize any black hat SEO techniques, review this list of banned practices:
- Automating content
- Keyword stuffing in content
- False reporting of competitors
- Purchasing links
- Spinning content
- Link farms
- Creating domains or subdomains with duplicate content
I advise reviewing Google’s terms and conditions when you are unsure if the SEO techniques you are performing are acceptable.
Foundations Of A Successful Organic SEO Campaign
There are a litany of methods and strategies used when performing organic SEO, but overall, it is the optimization of the website build, original content generation, and the dissemination of the content throughout the web. For more information about how you can plan and execute an organic SEO campaign, read my blog “Planning & Executing A Successful Organic SEO Campaign”.