Search.. but from like Whole Foods? 🥬🥬
Organic search refers to search engine listings that appear on a search engine results page (SERP) for free. They’re unpaid listings that have been identified by Google (or other engines) as being relevant to a given search query.
The results in organic search are ordered based on a couple of factors, with Google’s algorithm carefully deciding which page is the most relevant. Incoming links, genuine ‘white hat’ SEO efforts, and domain authority are a few of these factors.
Organic vs. paid search
Organic search results do not contain sponsored posts or paid search results placed via pay-per-click advertising. You cannot buy organic search results – otherwise, they would not be organic.
When a site appears organically on the first page of Google for a search query, it is often not by accident. A considerable amount of optimization work went into ensuring that a page would do just that. These results are often in the middle of the page, below paid search results, but are ultimately more effective. They cost nothing to invest in, but require regular SEO maintenance.
Paid search results place a specific page at the very top of a search result almost immediately. While it does require upfront investment and maintenance costs, it’s great for short-term results. With paid search, the focus is on improving paid search results alone, and it often only increases organic traffic for other pages on the site tangentially.
Why is organic search important?
Paid search is best thought of as instant gratification. When a campaign kicks off, a brand will instantly see its page at the top of search results, but traffic will screech to a halt when the payment period ends. Organic search takes longer and requires much more effort, but the long-term results are much more favorable for a brand as a whole.
Organic search offers a competitive advantage; if done right and carefully pursued, the traffic that organic search results draw in can heavily outweigh what is brought in through PPC. It can also help a brand gain a leg up over its competitors while remaining scalable, cost-effective, and highly targeted.
What goes into good organic search rankings?
It’s no secret that any business would vie for its content to appear in the top ten – or even top three- results on a SERP. However, not every page can, which is why Google, in particular, is extremely picky about deciding what gets that coveted spot.
Backlinks help a search engine understand a site or page’s overall relevance to particular keywords and search queries. In Google’s eyes, good websites link to good websites, meaning that if one site links to an informative blog post from another, Google considers this almost like the first site ‘vouching’ for the other – it says that this blog post is worth linking to.
User experience is critical to SEO. Page speed, mobile-friendliness, and even URL length are all considerations in whether or not a website will see those first-page rankings. Google provides a free tool that brands can use to help determine how well their site performs and make adjustments accordingly.
Quality of the content
Especially with previous updates, Google is putting a hard emphasis on ‘helpful’ content that it considers ‘high quality.’ It only wants its users to see ‘the best,’ which means well-written, informative, engaging content written by experts. Low effort, spammy content will result in penalties from the search engine.
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