You must be thinking “what the heck does organic have to do with SEO?”. The term organic (or natural) when it comes to search engine optimization refers to listings in the search results that nobody can control except for the search engine itself. With Local SEO, you can be the only provider in a given area and have great placement. With Paid Search (Pay-Per-Click Advertising), you can bid for top placement (with a little landing page optimization) and even ask Google which position you would like to be seen in.

However, with Organic SEO you can’t do anything except everything to try and influence better positioning.

On-Page Organic SEO Enhancements

A strong Organic SEO campaign involves an initial overhaul of your current website, making your website “search engine-friendly”. This only allows your website to be crawled and indexed appropriately, it has nothing to do with keywords.

After the website has been optimized with all the website-level search engine optimization best practices, you then have to make your web pages “optimized for search.” You do this by taking the keywords you already know convert well in Paid Search, but might be costing you more than you’d prefer to pay, and create independent pages within your website specifically targeting one to two search terms (maximum) per page. In other words, if you have 10 terms that perform well on PPC but cost an arm and a leg, you’ll want to create 10 pages on your website specifically targeting those 10 search terms. You’ll also want to allow a way for users to quickly link to your web pages (such as a widget from www.AddThis.com or www.ShareThis.com).

Off-Page Organic SEO Enhancements

The term “Link Juice” is likely to get this page filtered from Google eventually. The “Goog” doesn’t like it when Search Engine Optimization Experts exploit the fact that links play an important role in the ranking of websites. Take a look at Adobe.com as a case study. Search Google for the phrase “click here”. What do you see? Yes, Adobe.com’s Adobe Reader download page. Go ahead and view the source code on that page (right-click off the side and select “View Page Source” or “View Source Code”). Nowhere will you find the phrase “click here.” So why does that page rank so high for this term?

Think about all the millions of websites that link to the Adobe Reader’s download page. What’s in all those links? If you haven’t got it yet, it’s the phrase “Click here to download Adobe Reader.” Thousands upon thousands of websites that share Adobe PDFs are linking to Adobe’s download page for the reader. Googlebot calculates the number of links and the text (or image alternate text) contained within those links to help determine what a web page is all about.

That means that you actually can show up at the top of Google without doing ANY On-Page Organic SEO. However, it would take dozens of high quality links gathered from other websites over time (not all at once, an obvious red flag for spam).

Understanding what makes a link a high quality link is the magic behind good Organic SEO strategies.

The Principle of Organic SEO Strategy

Coupling quality content, SEO, and being chosen frequently in Google search results with quality inbound links pointing to your website over time is the key to good organic search engine optimization campaign. Don’t try to game the system. This principle is unbreakable, well it has been for at least half a decade now. You might have to re-engineer your website or start a completely new one. You may even have to scrape out some of that newspaper ad budget for awhile to pay someone to help you encourage other website owners to link to yours (no reciprocal links please), but NEVER buy links.

Think with the end in mind and build a one-year strategy around the above principle and you are guaranteed to see an improvement in traffic from the search engines.