Organic SEO: The Lynchpin of a Winning SEO Strategy
To recap from our first article: to win the game of search engine optimization (SEO), you must first understand what keywords your target customer is searching for when they’re on the hunt for your product or service.
How do you know what keywords your ideal customer types into the search engine when they’re looking for what you have to offer?
Conduct keyword research. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner provide helpful data insights, including historical search volume, competition, and related keywords to help you understand how customers and prospects are looking for your services or products online. Be sure to carefully consider search intent, or the purpose for the search, as some search queries may be relevant to your business but also a host of other things, or may indicate someone without intent to purchase.
Once you have identified your target keywords, your next step is to position your business to appear at the top of the first page of organic search results for these search queries. On the first page of results, there are 9 or 10 organic spots. You want to dominate here, taking up as many of these spots as possible for as many of your keywords as you can. If you can do that, you’ll drive massive organic traffic to your website. In fact, a recent study of 12 million search queries showed that over 85% end up clicking on one of the first 10 organic search results.
How do you occupy the top spots in organic search results?
By creating helpful content. The key here is “helpful”. Google is all about the user experience. Their aim is to provide the best information for the querent so that person continues to use their search engine to browse the internet.
What is helpful content? Helpful content provides the information, answer, product, or service that your target customer is looking for online – and it communicates it clearly and simply. As an expert who provides this product or service through your business, you’ll undoubtedly have some experiential insights into the types of questions people tend to have, what factors they may overlook, other products that may be of interest to them, and more. This type of insight is key to providing the most helpful content for your target audience.
Other content considerations to keep in mind when writing helpful content:
- Readability – Keep the vocabulary of your content on par with your audience, understanding that the majority of internet users are reading at a middle-school grade level. Depending on your industry and business, your audience may be more sophisticated, so market research is recommended to understand how best to communicate with your audience. Other factors that boost readability are avoiding run-on sentences and varying the sentence structure used.
- Keyword stuffing – It can be tempting to jam your target keyword down the reader’s throat to really drive home on page SEO, but it’s critical to avoid keyword stuffing. Not only does it make your article more difficult to read, it’s also dull for the reader and they’ll likely spot your tactic pretty quickly – and potentially bounce from your site. Don’t forget, user experience is key for organic search engine optimization!
- Link building – Consider what other content on your site may be relevant to the piece at hand and include internal links for further information or deeper browsing before making a purchase decision. You can also link to external resources like other supporting articles, information you have referenced, or outside authorities on the subject. Both internal and external links are a boon for SEO.
- Media – Incorporating other media like images and video help to keep the reader engaged. Not only do they attract our attention and break up blocks of text, they also accommodate visual learners and help to explain complex ideas.
- Sections – Break up text blocks into sections with optimized headings and subheadings for improved readability and SEO. Sectioning your content makes it appear more organized and easier to digest, and each heading is an opportunity to further optimize your piece for your chosen keyword.
- Metadata – Use meta tags to further optimize your content. Include an optimized title tag and meta description
Pro Tip: Are you using Google Search Console? Get set up with a free Google search console account and submit your site map to help crawlers find and index your web pages. You can also monitor your site for any indexing errors and receive an email notification whenever one is discovered.
Is organic SEO strategy all about content?
It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that there are other elements at play when it comes to organic search placement – and that’s because the user experience is impacted by a variety of factors, including:
- Site speed
- HTML markup
- Security (SSL)
- And more!
To dominate page one of search engine results in a competitive playing field, you’ll need to ensure your website is buttoned up across the board – from content to technical SEO.
Is that all it takes? Of course not. As a business owner, you know you can never stop working and expect to stay on top. You’ll need to continue to produce helpful content moving forward. With a winning organic SEO strategy and solid foundation in place, you’ll begin to measure an uptick in organic traffic, and if you keep at it, this will continue to grow over time – possibly exponentially.
Next in this series, we’ll be diving into strategy and considerations for appearing in the ad spot placements on the first SERP. In the meantime, check out our blog for more digital strategy tips or learn about our search engine optimization services.