While some site owners may not be certain what is meant by “organic”, in terms of search engine optimization (SEO), it would be wise to learn the basics, in order to utilize it correctly.
For those that don’t care what it means, as long as their site is near the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), remember, what goes up, can come down.
If you desire lasting results, then organic SEO is the proper strategy to pursue. Most reputable SEO specialists will tell you that short-term gains are achievable through other methods, but natural rankings, gained through organic SEO efforts, will provide more stable, longer lasting results.
Precisely what is “organic SEO”? It’s the use of techniques that will achieve a naturally high ranking in the SERPs, without attempting to trick the search engines, or purchase links or traffic.
There are two aspects of SEO, whether organic or not. The first is on-page… the work done within the site.
On-page SEO Factors
On-page SEO first involves thoroughly researching ideal keywords and keyphrases. Then, proper structure of the site, with clean, intuitive navigation and no broken links or dangling pages, should be verified.
It also addresses the page title and appropriate meta-tags, proper headers, and an acceptable keyword density, each of which must be properly placed and structured.
These factors can be thought of as road signs, without which, it would be difficult for the search engines to locate your page and match it to a user’s search query.
Quality content is another critical factor in a successful SEO campaign. Without interesting, informative or entertaining content, users won’t stick around long, and other sites won’t want to link to your page.
“Content is king” is a common statement in the SEO community, meaning sites should be built for the users, with the search engines’ guidelines having secondary importance.
Off-page SEO Factors
Organic off-page SEO, means using the tactics recommended or accepted by the search engines, without purchasing links or using any techniques that are frowned upon or can cause penalties.
The main goal of off-page organic SEO is to build backlinks to the site, from other relevant sites, by offering content that they will naturally want to link to.
As your site gains a quantity of such links, of sufficient quality, they will establish your site as an authority site, and your PageRank will increase. Those links will not only bring more traffic, but will also pass pagerank (provided they are not nofollow), depending upon the page rank and number of outgoing links on the source page.
Submission of articles, press releases and blog posts, as well as social marketing and blog and forum comments are perfectly acceptable practices.
Best Organic SEO Practices
A well executed organic SEO strategy will help you avoid penalties or devaluation of your inbound links, and will help build your site’s reputation and pagerank. The following tactics should be avoided:
- Don’t buy links. Get them naturally. Be sparing in reciprocal links.
- Don’t stuff your content or graphics with keywords.
- Don’t use link-wheels or link-slabbing.
- Don’t cloak or mask content. That’s a sure way to get penalized, or even have your site banned from a search engine’s index.
When properly done, organic SEO should provide the most lasting and stable results.