For most beginners, getting your website on the front page of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) can seem like an impossible task. Luckily, there are many SEO techniques available to boost your search engine rankings. In this article, we’ll be talking about a beginner-friendly SEO strategy, targeting organic search results. But what is organic search anyway?
What Does Organic Search Mean?
Organic search results are natural, unpaid search engine results. They show content favoured by the search engine’s algorithm itself. High-ranking organic search results are the results that search engines deem most helpful to readers, so they are bumped to the front page of a SERP without any advertising.
Search engine algorithms look for certain qualities in a web page to determine its relevancy, and this directly relates to your organic search ranking. Some of these qualities include keywords, links, and domain authority. Let’s take a look at each of these.
Keywords have a huge impact on where your web page appears in the organic search results of a SERP. Anytime a user types in a search query, they will receive organic search results. This means that when you’re attempting to rank organically, you’re not trying to rank your website itself. Instead, you are trying to get your content ranked relative to a specific search term.
This is where keywords come into play. Emphasising popular search terms (keywords) in your content helps search engine algorithms identify your content as relevant to the search query you are trying to rank for.
You may have realised that some blogs have highlighted, clickable words or phrases, which take you to a different web page. These links can be internal, leading to other web pages on your website, or outbound, which send users to external websites. These two types of links help your website in different ways.
Internal linking establishes a hierarchical structure within your website, letting algorithms know which is your most important content. Outbound links to authoritative websites give your content more credibility and make your information more trustworthy. Incorporating both in your content helps boost your web page’s ranking in organic search results. You can learn more about the importance of linking in this article.
Domain authority measures how relevant your website is to the industry you’re covering. Websites with strong domain authority and an established reputation in a niche generally rank highly for the content they produce.
So, for beginners, it’s good to pick an industry or a niche and start building your domain authority. By publishing more content in your niche, algorithms recognise your content as high quality, improving your rankings in organic search results.
So, we now understand what organic search results are. But why is it important to target them as part of your SEO strategy?
Why Are Organic Search Results Important?
Ranking in organic search results is not an exact science. While SEO techniques like having the optimal content length and intuitive website design have guidelines to follow, organic search results depend heavily on your content and audience.
While this may not sound like a good thing, the vague nature of organic search results is exactly why beginners should target them. Even SEO specialists cannot produce a piece of content guaranteed to rank well in organic search results. This gives you a better chance of competing with more well-known websites.
Targeting organic search results is also a passive SEO strategy, which means you won’t have to constantly update your existing content. Once you’ve published an article or blog post, it’s on the internet forever and has a chance of appearing on the front page of Google’s SERP at any time.
Finally, targeting organic search results keeps your web pages relevant and maintains your website’s focus. Particularly as a beginner, it’s easy to lose sight of your website’s mission, and this can heavily affect your site’s domain authority in the long run. Sticking to targeted organic search queries ensures that you’re on the right track and it can help you build a niche subscriber community for your website.
In addition to an organic search strategy, you might consider also implementing a paid search strategy for your website.
Organic Search vs Paid Search Strategies
In contrast to an organic search strategy, a paid search strategy targets advertisements on the front page of SERPs. On search engines like Google and Bing, website owners can bid for ad spots to increase the visibility of their products or services. These ad spots directly relate to specific search queries. More popular search terms are usually more expensive, while less common search queries don’t usually attract as many (or any) advertisers.
There are two main factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use a paid search strategy. These are price and the type of marketing campaign you want to run.
Paid searches typically work on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where advertisers pay a sum to Google every time a new user clicks on their advertisement. A common PPC rate is $1-$2 per click, but some expensive ad spots can cost more than $50 per click!
This means that a paid search strategy may not be a realistic option for some websites, particularly if you’re a beginner. On the other hand, an organic search strategy is completely free, but it takes more time and effort to rank on the front page.
Marketing Campaign Type
A paid search strategy is usually a one-off or short-term marketing campaign. Simply put, keeping an ad on Google’s front page for a long time is way over most businesses’ marketing budgets.
In contrast, with an organic search strategy, the content you publish usually stays on your website for years. This means that, if you have an effective SEO strategy, there’s a good chance of one of your posts ranking highly, even if it does take some time.
While organic search and paid search strategies are starkly different, they are also complementary. You could advertise a piece of content that you’re also trying to rank as an organic search result. Boosting views with PPC ads may give the web page a smoother run to Google’s front page organically. However, we always recommend putting quality first. There’s no point paying for a page to rank if it doesn’t offer value for the reader!
3 Tips for Boosting Organic Search Traffic
1. Focus On Relevant and Quality Content
For beginners, focus on making sure your content is relevant to your intended audience. It must also be quality content that helps readers solve a problem. Use keywords that you have identified earlier from your keyword research, make an outline, and follow this with all the content you publish.
It’s impossible to attract consistent organic search traffic with irrelevant, poor-quality content. Just remember, always prioritise relevance and quality over quantity.
2. Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals refer to content loading speed, website interactivity, and stability of visuals. These metrics all contribute to an effective organic search strategy.
First, you should have a fast website. WordPress or other website-building tools offer widgets to help increase your loading speed. If possible, delete images that slow your website down, and look into ways you can optimise your website’s code.
Next, go for an engaging website interface that also works fast. Whether you have a chatbot, website game quests, or login screens, these need to work fast to stay in line with Google’s Core Web Vitals. If you hit the mark with this, it enhances the overall user experience (UX) of your website and attracts organic search traffic.
Finally, ensure that your visuals are stable. Some large images or incorrectly placed code can mess up the content placement when you publish a web page. Sometimes content that looks fine on a desktop becomes jumbled when viewed on a mobile device. Be sure to optimise your web page for both, so your content is readable and enjoyable no matter how your readers are consuming it.
3. Target Unpopular Search Queries
This is an unconventional method of ranking higher organically, but it’s also a more realistic one for beginners to target. The big websites out there have teams of SEO experts working on SERP rankings, so competing with them for the same spot can be very challenging.
The solution is to just avoid competing directly with them. Since established websites have a larger target audience, their SEO strategy targets the more popular keywords. They usually won’t try to rank for more specific search terms. So, these are exactly the queries you should target.
By targeting “unpopular” search queries, you increase the chances of appearing on the first page of organic search results for those terms. You’ll still be able to attract a decent flow of traffic from a more niche audience. From there, you can build domain authority and eventually rank for higher volume search terms!
Organic Search Should Be Part of Your SEO Strategy
Targeting organic search results is undoubtedly an important SEO strategy, one that beginners should definitely adopt. Search engine algorithms allow even rookies to have a chance of increasing their site visibility and website authority this way.