Published on December 15th, 2014 | by Kim Stiglitz1
Three Ways to Rock Organic Search Results
Every business could benefit from more website or brick and mortar visits. To achieve either of these things, a solid organic online presence is vital, especially when it comes to search results.
When someone conducts a search online and uses keywords related to your business, or searches branded terms (like the name of your company), it’s important your business appears high on the SERP (search engine results page). After all, results that appear on the first page enjoy a whopping 95% of all search traffic.
In addition, the very first organic result on the SERP (not including ads) receives about 32.5% of overall search traffic in terms of clicks. The second search result or domain receives 17.6%, while the seventh only gets 3.5% of search traffic. However, the total click through rate average for the top 10 queries is 208%, meaning, users click more than twice on the first result page, according to Digital Synopsis.
In this post, we spotlight three ways your business can rock organic search results, as opposed to paid search efforts (SEM), which largely depend on budgets that may not be realistic for a small business.
Organic vs Paid – A Quick Explanation
When someone conducts a search using keywords or branded terms, search engines return what they determine to be the most well matched results based on their algorithms. These results are called SERPs. When looking at SERPs, the results at the very top and on the upper right-hand side of the page are paid search results (you’ll see a small “ad” next to these results so you can tell the difference).
The results that appear directly below paid ads are unpaid, or organic. These results are served up by search engines based on what they determine to be the best match for the entered search terms. In the example below, we illustrate this based on the keyword terms “email marketing services.” The purple box on the right highlights paid results (display and pay per click), and the results in the purple box on the left display organic results.
When your business appears in organic search results, you directly benefit from increased brand awareness, as well as more website and in store visits with no associated cost, as we discussed above.
Three Ways to Rock Organic Search Results
Before you get started, take a look at where your business currently appears on SERPs. Do a simple search based on your best business or industry-related keywords. Log out of your browser of choice, and make sure you’re in incognito mode. Search results are also based on your own personal and prior searches or browsing history. Logging out of your browser and removing prior history will ensure results aren’t affected by your own online behavior.
Now that you know where your business currently appears, let’s look at three simple and free ways you can rock organic search:
1. Optimize your website – We recently discovered a cool SEO tool called WooRank, which provides a comprehensive overview of your website. It also gives you actionable tips to better optimize your site for search. WooRank provides a checklist that doesn’t require heaps of technical expertise to execute.
For instance, when we did a scan of VerticalResponse, it recommended 79 action items to improve upon ranging from mobile load time to text to HTML ratio. Improving any of these items will help us appear higher in the organic SERPs.
You can pick and choose which items you want or need to change at your own pace. WooRank provides this information during a free 7-day trial, and for a small fee, you can get other features.
2. Link to success – Search engines look for signals when recommending your site to searchers. One of these signals includes quality inbound links from sites like yours that have authority in your industry or space. When your site or blog has valuable information on it, other sites will want to link to it as a resource or source of information.
A page on your sight containing frequently asked questions and answers is an excellent example of valuable information. If these FAQs answer wider industry questions as well, other sites may also link to them, and your site gains more authority. Google and other search engines like Bing, look to sites with authority and rank them higher in SERPs.
3. Create killer content – Like having a site with authority, having a site chock-full of killer content that provides value and benefit to searchers can help your site rule SERPs. How? When your content provides useful information, searchers gain value from it and spend more time consuming your content. This is also a signal that search engines use to assign value to your site, which determines where you rank in SERPs.
Do some quick research to determine which content on your site may be lacking. Then, use services like BuzzSumo or TrackMaven to garner ideas for adding more valuable content to your site. These services allow you to see popular content (based on social media shares and likes) from your business, as well as other businesses. Having this information provides valuable insight into current content you may be able to capitalize.
Say you have a popular blog post – turn it into an infographic or a video that can be shared on different channels to reach a whole new set of people. We did this with a post about how to compel, not repel customers on Facebook.
None of these tactics is guaranteed to get your business to the top of SERPs, but all three can certainly help your biz rock its way up the organic search results without having to spend a dime, and that’s always a good thing.
What other tips would you add to our organic search advice? Share in the comments.
© 2014, Kim Stiglitz. All rights reserved.