Also known as Organic SEO
So what is Organic SEO? Let’s use a tortuous analogy to explain it. Back in the 1970s and 80s processed food was in a dark place. Not literally dark, because everywhere was lit by garish florescent lighting. Food was in a dark place in terms of sustainability and how far food had wandered from something our ancestors would have recognised as being food.
Food manufacturers in the 1980s wanted to make their food brighter so it stood out more than their competitors’ products on supermarket shelves. They pumped food full of colourings, flavourings and many unnatural chemicals to try and convince the consumer that the food they had purchased, masticated and were attempting to digest was good for them. Food was far from organic.
The result of all this buggering about with food was a marketplace full of processed food products that shunned the organic and embraced the artificial. In the worst cases, food manufacturers were becoming wholly reliant on food that boasted wholesomeness but only delivered empty calories.
Then in the 1990s, things started to change. We started to notice that the hyper-processed food we consumed made us feel bad. Eating brightly coloured, unnatural food gave us acne, disturbed our bowls and ultimately left us unsatisfied.
From the chaos of the world of 90s gut rot emerged a brave new organic world. A world where the consumer embraced the wonky carrot, celebrated the dirt on a spud and shunned mass-produced artificiality. Organic producers turned their back on the fast-growth, high-yield disease-resistant strains of chemically enhanced foods and tentatively offered the marketplace organic foods.
By the mid-2000s, food grown organically was not only accepted by the masses, but it was also demanded and expected. Even Mcdonald’s changed their colour schemes from bright yellow and red to a more earthy green and dark brown.
Organic food has become a product that consumers will pay more for. Authenticity and provenance builds trust, and trust is valuable.
So how does all this talk of organic food relate to SEO?
Taking this analogy to its extreme (and fun) conclusion, a website that is over-optimised and created entirely to appeal to search engine crawlers is like the ghastly food of the 1980s. A website built to serve human beings is the organic, and often more valuable website.
The importance of organic SEO
One of the joys of SEO is that it’s entirely possible to rank at the top of Google even if you know nothing about search engine optimisation. In fact that’s the whole point of SEO; Google is trying to see through the mists of hyper-optimised nonsense to figure out what websites deserve to be at the top of search results.
Create a website with a brilliant content strategy that naturally and organically showcases your deep understanding of a topic. You will be on the right path towards great rankings.
If your website is brilliantly coded so that it is fast and easy to use, well, that will help a lot too. If your website is so packed with information that your peers talk about it all the time and link to it from their own brilliant websites, then you’re likely to find yourself at the number slot in the SERPs.
Building the perfect website is difficult if you don’t know what Google considers perfect. The good news is that Google makes it very clear what they consider good practice. Have a look at the Google Search Essentials website.
Knowing what Google considers the peak of website excellence is a large part of good organic SEO practice, but it’s by no means the biggest part. That mantle belongs to content.
So how do you find out what content you should create? Keyword Research, that’s how. Knowing what people search for, what terms are semantically connected and what type of article best suits your target audience is essential to good SEO practice.
You may have heard the phrase ‘content is king’, but the crown should really be worn by keywords.
Here are a few aspects of Organic SEO to help you get started:
How integrated is SEO in your overall marketing strategy? For SEO to work well it needs to be a natural part of your marketing strategy, not a ‘bolt-on’ or afterthought. Everyone in a marketing team can make a positive impact on an SEO strategy.
Keep an eye on the organic search results
Who is ranking above you for the terms you are targeting? What sort of articles do they create? What topics do they focus on? You don’t need expensive SEO tools to do organic research, just use your eyes, your brain and the excellent knowledge you have of your niche.
Monitor your website traffic
A good judge of how well your organic SEO campaign is working is an increased amount of organic traffic being shown in your website analytics. Google shows everyone slightly different search results, so the only true way of measuring success is by keeping an eye on your website traffic.
Make sure your website adheres to excellent standards.
This sounds like a crazy technical challenge, but the list of excellence below can be achieved with WordPress or almost any other type of website.
- Make sure your images all have alt tags
- Write good meta descriptions for all your pages
- Reduce the filesizes of the images that you add to your pages
- Avoid keyword stuffing – don’t overuse your target keywords
- Avoid re-using the same chunks of content through your website
The final tip is so important we’re going to write it in a huge font, just so you don’t miss it:
Create your website for humans, not search engines.
To summarise, good SEO is all about putting in good stuff and getting good stuff out. In fact that’s why we chose IO as the domain extension for the Yeseo website, because it means ‘input-output’.
Organic SEO is the farmer who plants his crops in the correct type of soil and cares for them lovingly and in sympathy with the environment around his farm.
Bad SEO is the farmer who grows his crops under hairdryers in plastic tents and feeds them harsh chemicals.
Organic – explain it to me like I’m five years old, please!
Organic SEO is a way to make your website show up better on search engines. You do this by making your website easy to use, having good content, and using keywords that people might search for.