Organic. Is it better? That seems to be an ongoing point of contention in the foodie world. But in the SEO world, hands down, organic traffic is not only better, it is necessary to ensure that your website gets the attention it deserves, which comes in the form of higher search rankings.
Organic traffic is any traffic that comes to your site naturally, through search criteria rather than someone clicking on a paid advertisement for your site. Most large companies spend a lot of time and money optimizing their website content with the goal of gaining high organic search rankings. While there is no tried and true strategy to ensure that your website can get on the first page of the search engine results, there are a number of agreed upon tactics in the industry that can help you get off to the right start.
Everything goes back to keywords. One of the primary ways a search engine finds your site is by taking into account the keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, and URL. When you pick the domain name for your site, try to use a name that includes your main keywords. If you are an independent plumber in Los Angeles, you might get a lot of competition from big companies with keywords like “plumber Los Angeles,” but having a domain name like laplumber.com or losangelesplumber.com will give you a huge advantage from the start. Of course, the hardest part will be getting a domain name that is not already taken. If necessary, you could also try adding hyphens between the keywords in your URL to see if it is available.
Nearly as important as using the keywords in your URL are the keywords in your title tag. The title tag is the clickable headline that comes up in blue in the SERPs (search engine results page). It’s the first thing that visitors see about your page before deciding whether or not to click on it. Use your main keywords towards the beginning of the title and try to create an enticing title that will draw visitors to your site.
Under the title is the description of the page, which is pulled from the pages meta description. This is also a great place to use keywords and descriptions that will help convince users to click on your listing once it comes up in an organic search. In this section, you should also include a call-to-action, such as “Buy today!” or “Learn more!”
Google has been doing a lot of work over the past year to clean up the SERPs and ban sites that have low quality content. A few things that can get your site penalized is using duplicate content, having a high bounce rate or not having links or mentions of other social media sites on your page. Because of this, it is more important than ever to provide unique, quality content that keeps visitors on your page and wanting to read. Three opportunity areas to add original content to your site are a blog, a press information section, and an FAQ section.
Backlinks vs. Engagement
While it is important to have links from other sites to your’s, to establish legitimacy for your website, the nature of higher search rankings are shifting to a more social focus. Some companies will spend hundreds or thousands of dollars buying backlinks for their site. A more cost effective idea is to focus on building up your site’s social engagement. Add Google’s +1 button and Facebook’s Like button to your site and encourage visitors to click it. This is a signal to Google and Bing that people like your page and it contains useful content, which will increase your organic rankings.