People often ask me to explain organic search engine optimization and how it differs from Pay Per Click (PPC). While search engine placement depends on a variety of factors (which can change from time to time), the key element of organic SEO is that it's content-based.
In other words, a website's structure—from design all the way down to individual articles, categories, subcategories and tags—helps Google determine how relevant it is to search terms and phrases. Imagine the internet is a library and your website is a book. Now picture Google as the librarian. If someone asked a librarian to recommend a book about dinosaurs, which book do you think the librarian would be inclined to suggest: the one with few pages and a sloppy table of contents, or one with many pages and a table of contents that allowed readers to quickly find the chapters that were relevant to his or her research?
I love dinosaurs but that's not what this is about. Nevertheless, I hope my analogy was helpful.
A well-structured website with many pages tends to be more favorable in search results than a poorly structured website with few pages. This is the foundation of any good content-based SEO campaign because, unlike PPC which requires that you spend ongoing fees to rank higher in ads, you own your web content and it can never be taken away. Contrariwise, PPC campaigns end the moment you stop paying for the keywords.
Now let's talk about a few other factors Google considers: domain age, backlinks, page authority and domain authority.
Older domains tend to be given more priority in search algorithms because they're more established. There's no way around this. If your domain is less than a year old, odds are it will be outranked by older domains. Not to worry, though. You can improve traffic to your website by using social media such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
The more high quality backlinks you have, the more likely search engine will perceive your website as relevant, and the higher your domain authority will be.
Building High Quality Backlinks
Think your comments on top websites will give you "link juice" if you add your domain comment? Guess again. This is because most top-tier websites use a "No Follow" tag on their comments pages. The best way to build good backlinks is to encourage others to link to your website. Occasionally, linking to other websites can inspire them to link back to yours. But really, you're going to need to establish a solid online presence in order to get the best links. Bloggers are a good starting point. Choose a blogger who covers topics related to your industry and introduce yourself. Bloggers are often hungry for things to write about and it won't hurt to put your name out there.
Leveraging Social Media and Social Share Buttons
Nearly every organization can benefit from social media. Odds are, you'll need a Google Business page, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Get the word out and send invitations to your Facebook friends to like your page. Tweet about interesting topics that affect your industry or your consumers. Add pictures on your Google Business and Google+ pages. Before you know it, you'll build a following and people will be more likely to share your content.
On that note, be sure your website has social share buttons, preferably on every article worth sharing on social media.
But What About Keywords?
Categories and tags have replaced keywords. Probably because search engines got sick of keyword cramming (that awful phenomenon that became popular in 2010 when online articles grew awkward due high keyword density). That said, excellent content should be built around the search terms people are likely to use to find your website.
Need help or more information? Let me know!
Today more than ever, customers use the internet for everything from shopping to learning about your brand. That's why it's critical to be customer-focused and know how to manage your organization's online reputation. Most companies need a stellar website with excellent content, as well as high impact social media campaigns to thrive in today's market.