This SEO article has been published by Jason Smith
To start with let’s just make it clear that there are two types of search results presented to the searcher – Organic and Sponsored Links (PPC adverts). PPC is a great way to get visibility in the search engines for keywords but its lifecycle is only as long as your budget. Run out of many and hey presto you have disappeared.
Organic (natural) search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms. Organic search listings are FREE and you get better conversations from traffic that comes to you organically because there is greater trust. Ok Ok technically there is a cost which is incurred as a result of outsourcing to an SEO consultancy or training staff internally to perform SEO. But that aside you don’t actually pay for your natural ranking in the main search engines.
Most web users nowadays are totally web savvy and are aware that people using PPC are paying to be where there are and those that rank their organically are deemed most relevant to your search query by Google. So if Google thinks the website is the most relevant then most people take this advice. In fact it is said that roughly 70% of all search traffic use organic search to find what they are looking for. So a good position in organic search results is totally critical to a websites success online.
The number one spot on Google is the place to be and what all website should strive to achieve. The lower down the page you go the less traffic you will attract. Fall off first page and you will lose an ever greater number of traffic. This is because if people don’t find what they are looking for on the first page of Google they will not go to page two, they will simply change their search term instead.
Data from iCrossing which analyses natural search referrals shows this very fact. Only an extremely small volume of traffic comes form people using results that are not on the first page of the main search engines. From their results we can see that first page organic listings get at least 95% from the major search engines. Where as 2/3% of traffic comes from the second page. This just goes to show the power and importance of being on the first page of all the major search engines for your main keywords. SEO should be high on your list of things to do if you want a successful business.
The Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) have found that SEO was actually the third biggest priority of senior marketers worldwide, after social networking and improving the digital infrastructure of their website. A report from Econsultancy and ExactTarget indicates that organic search would see substantial increase in investment by business owners worldwide. The report shows that nearly two-thirds of businesses planned to increase their financial outlays on SEO.
In terms of organic search whom is the biggest referrer – do I need to ask, Google of course. In June 2009, comScore reported that Google accounting for 65.0% of the search market share. Yahoo! accounted for 19.6% and Microsoft grabbed 8.4% market share after introducing its new search engine, Bing.
Are there any drawbacks to organic search…yes…. it takes time to build a natural organic search listing within the search engines. There are specific SEO techniques that can help get a website naturally indexed in search engines fairly quickly with a good ranking, but there are essentially no short cuts. Unless you use PPC but again we come back to the fact that it is less trusted, brings less traffic and costs you money to get listed.
Personally I have seen many success stories as a result of using SEO to gain organic search listings. Whether it’s to promote a brand, sell your product, educate people or simple get your opinions out there then organic search is a cost effective way of marketing yourself in the online world. If you not one the first page of the major search engines then you are quite simply missing out on a lot of potential traffic to your website.
A good SEO consultancy will use genuine best practice SEO techniques where possible to improve your organic search rankings. An ethical SEO consultant will know how to implement these SEO techniques without facing the wraith of the search engines who don’t take kindly to unethical optimisation techniques.
If you haven’t thought about an organic search campaign you should so get in touch with Jason Smith