Organic search engine optimisation/marketing is the art and science behind getting your website to rank as well as possible for key terms that are important for your business. What those key terms are will depend on your objectives and goals.
Whether embarking on your first campaign or evaluating your current approach, it can be a daunting prospect being in the hot seat vis a vis your organic SEM strategy.
Typically, people often think of SEM/SEO as a deeply technical discipline, peppered with jargon and techniques that are inaccessible to anyone without a degree in computer science. In fact, the underlying principals and the key areas of activity required are relatively simple to grasp; they just need to be unpacked.
The organic search channel (e.g. non-paid Google traffic) should be a website’s most cost effective and abundant method of acquiring website visits. Typically, we see 60 to 80% of a given website’s traffic acquired via organic search (if they’re doing it right!).
Types of SEO
Doing well with organic search boils down to being good at three core areas of activity:
1. On-Site Technical
This is where we make sure your website can be accessed by the search engines. They need to be able to find, read and understand your website. There are also various technical aspects of your website (for instance, site speed) that directly affect your website’s ability to rank in search engines like Google. So we make sure that’s all in order as well.
2. Audience Targeting & On-Site Content
The search engines not only need to see which audiences you are targeting, but they want to see evidence of relevance and usefulness. These days, search engines are good at understanding how good a website’s content is at satisfying your visitors’ needs and intentions, and knowing if your visitors are completing tasks on your website.
3. Authority Building
A website that takes advantage of organic search is one that ranks well, and typically ranks well in Google, the dominant search engine in much of the western world. That means ranking well for important key terms.
At its core, Google still processes website rankings based on a type of democracy, which translates as external websites that say you’re good at what you do. Yes, there are a lot of other things going on in Google’s algorithms for rankings, but this is still at the centre of it all. To rank well, you need other websites to agree you’re an authority in your area of expertise and publish editorial on their website to that effect. But they’re only going to do that if they know you, so we need to make sure they do. It is as simple as that. Any on-going SEO campaign MUST have authority building built in to the plan.
A final thought on these three areas; you are only as strong as your weakest part. An effective SEO strategy NEEDS to encompass all 3 areas.
The all-important question of results and ROI. The simple answer is that SEO work does not provide an overnight fix. Technical changes made at the beginning of a campaign are designed to build a solid foundation, but it is dependent on how quickly changes can be made and what changes are required.
“In most cases, the SEO will need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.”
– Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead, Google
Once completed, the promotion of the site begins, and what we need is other websites and publications to take an interest in who you are and what you’re doing. If we can tell that story to the wider web, and some of those websites decide to tell their audiences about us, then that’s great for building attention and the kind of authority search engines take in to account.
So campaign length (in terms of increased search engine rankings and organic traffic) is really dependent on these factors:
- The quality of websites that choose to tell their audience about you
- The rate of increase in websites talking about you compared to your competitors
- Your existing level of authority compared to competitors
This is where budget comes in to play. Quite simply, more budget equates to reaching a wider audience with richer ‘story collateral.’ The level of budget required to move the proverbial needle is dependent on the three factors listed above.
All SEO work that we deliver is supported by our use of Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics is a best in class, German engineered, enterprise level, international SEO platform that encompasses a whole suite of advanced SEO tools.
We ensure that we use best in class technology, and that our people are highly trained in how to use it.