Beginners to digital marketing sometimes find it difficult to understand what organic search is and why it is so important for a website’s long-term success. Many people confuse organic search with paid search, which can make things even more complicated.
In this article, we have compiled what you need to know about organic search and tried to explain it in simple language.
Here’s what you’ll learn about organic search:
- What is organic search?
- Why is organic search important?
- What’s the difference between paid search and organic search?
- How can I appear in organic search results?
What is organic search?
Organic search refers to the results shown for the search query that excludes paid ads. Organic search results are determined by a number of organic ranking factors related to the user’s search query, inbound links, domain authority, device, user location and many other factors.
When you type a search term on Google, you are presented with a number of results. The top section can include paid results (these are displayed with a [Ad] header) followed by organic search results.
Besides Google, other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo use the same display format for organic and paid results.
Why is organic search important?
Organic search is the most valuable form of traffic you can reach with your website. Organic traffic is highly targeted and more likely to convert than other types of traffic.
The reason organic traffic is targeted more than social traffic or other types of traffic is related to user intent.
Users who write a search query to a search engine look for something very specific, and websites that can meet the user’s goals can turn those users into customers, subscribers or return visitors.
To take advantage of organic search, your website must appear in the top 5 positions of the search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords related to your content. This is because most organic clicks go to websites that appear above the results.
What’s the difference between paid search and organic search?
The main difference between paid search and organic search is that paid search results are targeted by paying for the auction system, while organic search results are ranked by search engine ranking algorithms without any payment.
Both paid and organic search are part of the search engine marketing (SEM) channel.
When you want your ads to appear in the top positions of search results, you can use Google Ads (for Google) or Bing Ads (for Bing) to show your ads on relevant searches.
The location where your ads will appear is decided by an auction type system. The system takes into account a number of parameters including:
- User’s location
- Used device (mobile, desktop, tablet)
- Keywords that the ad is configured to show
- Title of the ad
- Relevance of the landing page (the page a user will see when they click the ad)
- The maximum amount you are willing to pay for ad clicks by the advertiser
- Competition – how many top-ranked advertisers are bidding for a particular keyword?
Advertisers pay when a user clicks on an ad and visits the website. The amount of payable depends on the keyword type, competition and a number of other factors. At the same time, paid advertising campaigns can be defined for the maximum amount required to pay for a click.
The biggest advantage of paid search is that the results are almost instant. When you create a campaign, your ads will start showing up in search results and you will start getting search engine traffic.
The biggest disadvantage is that you pay each time a user clicks on your ads, and that cost increases from year to year due to competition.
For paid search to work effectively, you need to have an optimized landing page, an optimized PPC campaign, and high margin products.
As mentioned above, organic search refers to the results shown for a search query that excludes paid ads. Organic search results are determined by search algorithms and can be optimized using SEO best practices.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website to appear higher in organic results for related keywords.
SEO has three main components (On-page SEO, Technical SEO and Off-page SEO) and each component has a set of rules.
How can I appear in organic search results?
To increase the visibility of your website in the organic results of search engines, you need to follow certain rules to make your website accessible to search engines and help them understand your content.
Google uses more than 255 search engine ranking factors when calculating search result rankings.
The most important organic SEO factors for implementing and improving your organic search rankings are:
- Make sure your content can be indexed.
- Make sure your website is fast and accessible on all devices.
- Publish content that fits the user’s intent.
- Optimize your content for search engines.
- Promote your website to get more links and brand interactions.