What Is Organic SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained

In this guide, you’ll get a complete answer to the question, “what is organic SEO?”

You’ll also find out how does organic SEO work to drive traffic to a website.

The purpose is to give you a good understanding of what is organic search engine optimization and how it can work to benefit a business.

By the end, you’ll also know the key elements of a good organic SEO strategy so know what to expect when using this type of search engine optimization to increase visibility for a website.

What is Organic SEO

What Is Organic SEO?

Organic SEO is a type of search engine optimization that uses organic strategies to obtain high search rankings on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Organic SEO refers to unpaid methods of search engine optimization that include on-page and off-page SEO tactics.

That’s the basic definition for what is organic SEO (also known as natural SEO). Next, we’ll cover how does organic SEO work, why it’s important in Internet marketing, and how organic SEO compares to paid traffic.

How Does Organic SEO Work?

Organic SEO works by optimizing a website to rank for specific keywords. Organic search optimization consists of on-page and off-page SEO strategies that improve the relevance for search queries to get ranked higher in the search engines. The process of organic SEO can work for any website to increase rankings.

The basics of an organic search marketing strategy include:

  • Keyword research
  • Creating content based on relevant keywords
  • Optimizing the content with on-page SEO
  • Linking internally with target keyword phrases
  • Optimizing the meta tags and URL
  • Optimizing the headers inside the content
  • Adding keywords to the page content to increase organic traffic
  • Optimizing images for SEO
  • Using off-page SEO to get links to the website and individual pages
  • Getting brand mentions on other websites
  • Improving page speed and performance
  • Adding expertise, trust, and authority signals on the website

Why Is Organic SEO Important?

Organic SEO is important because it generates more clicks to your website from search engines. Organic SEO traffic is also unpaid traffic, so it has a higher ROI than other marketing channels. Therefore, organic search engine optimization is important for any business with a website.

Now, you may be wondering, what is organic search engine optimization going to do for your business specifically?

Here are the top benefits of organic SEO you can expect to receive:

Increased Search Visibility

Organic SEO can increase the search engine visibility of your web content on sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing without paying for pay-per-click advertisements. This is important for increasing the number of free qualified leads, customers, and sales for your business.

A BrightEdge study found that organic search drives 53% of all visitors to websites. And according to Hubspot, “75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.”

As you can see, organic search engine ranking is the dominant source of traffic for most websites and continues to be the most dominant Internet marketing channel for businesses

By focusing on organic SEO, you can put your business in a better position to get found online through search. And this works for global, national, and local SEO.

However, mobile SEO is a bit different than desktop SEO. So read my article on what is mobile SEO to learn more about optimizing for mobile devices.

More Brand Awareness

Organic SEO is a great strategy for enhancing brand awareness.

The more times your brand appears in the organic search results pages for topically relevant keywords, the more people will come to know and trust your business.

According to a study by Pew Research Center, 81% of respondents say “they rely a lot on their own research to make a decision.” And, “they cited a host of sources that often start – but do not end – with searching on the Internet.”

Therefore, websites that rank on the first page of Google, Yahoo, and Bing are considered to be the most authoritative brands in their industry. And that makes it easier to acquire customers for your business through both online and offline interactions.

Long-Term Results

You may be wondering what is organic SEO going to do for your business in the long term?

With organic SEO, the results you get for rankings and traffic can last for many years if done correctly. If your on-page and off-page SEO strategies are done well, it’s not uncommon for your web content to rank high on the search engines for relevant keywords for several years in a row, if not forever.

Also, if the content you publish provides value and meets the needs of searchers, then Google, Yahoo, and Bing are more likely to increase your position on the search engine results pages (SERPs). [See my post on what does SERP stand for a more in-depth definition]

So the organic SEO efforts you put in today can essentially last a lifetime if done correctly.

But with pay-per-click advertisements, your rankings on SERPs stop as soon as you stop paying for them. And to increase your ranking positions with paid ads, you have to pay more money for the cost-per-click (CPC). Therefore, results are not long-term and cost you more money than organic SEO.

One thing to keep in my is that you want to make sure that your site is optimized well from a technical perspective. If it’s not, you could suffer a ranking suppression without knowing it.

See my guide on how to do technical SEO for more details.

High ROI

According to Search Engine Journal, 40% of business revenue is captured by organic traffic, which has no financial cost. Compare that to this statistic reported by Higher Visibility: “the average cost per conversion is $56.11 on the Google Ads search network and $90.80 on the display network.”

It’s no debate that organic SEO has the highest return on investment (ROI) for businesses of any kind that have a website. Which is a major reason for why is SEO content important for future growth.

Is SEO Paid or Organic?

SEO is an organic strategy that does not use paid traffic. Ranking a website in organic search with SEO is a free way to get visitors to a website. In contrast, paid SEO refers to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which costs money to appear in the search results.

With organic search, businesses use SEO to optimize their web content for increased visibility and rankings in search engine results pages. Some businesses choose to do this organic SEO work in-house with their own team, while other companies pay for organic SEO services.

So organic SEO is not paid traffic, but it can come with a cost if you’re outsourcing this type of SEO work. However, progress can be tracked for free with Google Analytics and Google Search Console by Webmasters. Check out this related guide on how to see organic traffic in Google Analytics to start tracking and measuring your search engine optimization efforts.

Organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Summary

I hope you enjoyed this guide on what is organic SEO.

As you discovered, the basic definition for “what is organic search engine optimization” is that it includes both on-page and off-page SEO methods. And when you combine them, you can increase the SEO visibility of your business through search engines and get more traffic to your website.

Now that you know the process for how does organic SEO work in the real world, you can make better choices on how to use this search engine optimization strategy to grow your business online.

What is Organic Search Engine Optimization

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