Ensuring that a website is optimized for bringing in traffic from search engines is crucial. Search engines are capable of providing more traffic to a website than any other method of promotion. Most internet users search for the content they want with Google and the other major search tools, so being able to get to the top of their results pages is crucial for success. Search engine ranking is so important that many different methods have been implemented over the years to boost website ranking artificially; many of these methods violate the terms of service of the search engines. Google has been known to punish sites using these “blackhat” methods by dramatically reducing their rank thereby making them all but invisible to searchers. Organic SEO refers to those methods and strategies that improve ranking naturally and ethically, without breaking any rules. These methods may take time but are known to be effective. They include:
Having Relevant, High-Quality Content
It has long been stated among webmasters that “content is king” and at no time has this ever been truer than it is in the present era. In 2011 Google launched its Panda Update. This update to its search algorithms was an effort to eliminate useless commercial content from the top of its search results. It was largely successful in removing those sites that implemented blackhat tactics like keyword stuffing to get higher rankings. 2012 saw even more changes with the Penguin Updates which eliminated even more spam. The search engine giant has made it clear that what it wants to see is well-written, authoritative content rather than shallow or “thin” content. Organic SEO relies heavily on having solid content that is focused on the topic of the website and that is geared towards human readers rather than to search engine crawlers.
Conducting Keyword Research
Keywords are the words that search engine users type in when looking for content related to a specific subject. For a webmaster to improve a site’s rankings organically, they will need to have these words in their content as they signal the content’s relevance to what searchers are seeking. Many unethical webmasters have attempted to capitalize on this by stuffing keywords into their content, even to the point where it becomes unreadable and useless to human searchers. The goal with organic SEO is to have relevant, readable content that includes the keywords necessary for it to rank highly in searches related to the main topic of the website. To ensure that they have all of the words that searchers use, a webmaster will have to research the popular keywords related to the topic. A webmaster can either conduct the keyword research with a search engine or use any of the many tools and services online that have been designed for that purpose.
Making Sure that Content is Efficiently Organized
Organic SEO requires that a website’s architecture be easily navigable. Search engines take factors like readability and organization of content into consideration when ranking websites. It is important that webmasters make sure that pages on their site are efficiently organized so that it is easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. For example, it is important to find and fix broken links and to ensure that there are internal links that connect related pages within the site’s architecture. Another important reason for proper organization is that it makes it easier for search engines to properly index the site. Sitemaps are important tools for making websites easy to index. A sitemap lists the pages on a website in a clear and easy-to-read format that is useful both to search engine crawlers and human visitors.
Long before the term “organic SEO” ever became a part of the widely accepted SEO lexicon, the importance of having inbound links was known. Backlinks are among the oldest elements in the webmaster’s SEO playbook. Search engines take the links that a domain has pointing to it as a sign of its authority and rank it higher as a result. Unethical webmasters have exploited this with several methods including buying links on other domains. However, purchasing backlinks is strictly against the TOS of the major search engines and will be harshly punished if discovered. Growing links organically with strong content is recommended instead.
Using Meta Data
This is the information aside from the actual content that search engines will use when indexing a website. It is used to describe the content on the website and consists of such elements as a title tag, a description and the URL. All three of those elements should contain relevant keywords. The description will consist of 150 characters or less and is particularly important as this is what shows up in search engine results and will be a searcher’s first indication of the site’s content.
The tips for good organic SEO are not secrets. They are the old and established methods of building traffic that have long been used by ethical content creators. It is important to remember that there are no shortcuts with organic SEO. The methods listed above will require a lot of patience for benefits to be realized.