Organic search results are unpaid – the kind everyone craves – and organic SEO means the practice of gaining rank in the natural search results. But today I am suggesting that there is a deeper meaning to organic SEO that is much closer to organic growth – growth from within the organization that results in more productivity and sales.
In an ideal business, effective SEO and online marketing takes place when the people within the organization take ownership of the project. You may have heard of those companies whose people enjoy their jobs, work well together and when they decide to do something together, it gets done!
For instance, they may adopt the responsibility that everyone is involved in sales, meaning every employee gladly drops everything when a customer needs help and genuinely does their best to point them in the right direction.
I’m suggesting that organic SEO and online marketing takes place when the people in the organization do everything they can to present an authentic, attractive representation of their business online.
Now before you blow me off, hear me out; I know you aren’t running an ideal business and I know everybody is “maxed out” with stuff to do, but here are the challenges and how to begin to make changes that will get your biz closer to adopting organic online marketing.
Challenge #1: An outsourced copywriter cannot produce authentic, in-depth content
It used to be easy to produce content that resulted in a good ranking in Google. Create lots of content about your topic, it didn’t matter whether people liked it or not as long as G indexed it because the purpose of the content was to get the site to rank high. Then in February 2011 Google rolled out its famous Panda update and changed all of that.
Panda is programmed to rid the search results of low quality content which includes duplicate content, scraped or copied content (even if it’s a paragraph), and thin content (content that doesn’t help people much). If your content isn’t created to engage people, it’s possible that it will be filtered by Panda, so it’s a good idea to watch how users engage with your content.
Speaking of Panda, Google continues to roll out new updates from time to time, Panda 4.0 came out in May 2014 and it’s almost certain that Panda 5.0 will be out in the future.
For those businesses that don’t care about search engine traffic, Panda tends not to affect them because they usually keep up with what their online audience wants and do a good job of feeding their addiction with every single thing they publish. However, these creative types need help with the technical side of SEO.
There have been numerous Panda updates and one way to recognize the effects of Panda is to look at your site’s traffic from Google on these dates, compiled by Moz, for a clear drop or increase in traffic (the major updates are in bold):
- February 23, 2011
- April 11, 2011
- May 9, 2011
- June 21, 2011
- July 23, 2011
- August 12, 2011
- September 28, 2011
- October 5, 2011
- November 18, 2011
- January 18, 2012
- February 27, 2012
- March 23, 2012
- April 19, 2012
- April 27, 2012
- June 8, 2012
- June 25, 2012
- July 24, 2012
- August 20, 2012
- September 18, 2012
- September 27, 2012
- November 5, 2012
- November 21, 2012
- December 21, 2012
- January 22, 2013
- March 14, 2013
- June 11, 2013
- July 18, 2013
- May 20, 2014
Whew! That’s a lot of Panda updates, but don’t miss the take away: Google is committed to providing “in demand” content to searchers.
Make the transition to organic SEO
99% of the time the real value of a business is an internal expert, process, mission or team. Essentially this is what makes a business unique and attractive to customers – it is the core reason why the business is making money.
Sometimes the content that is created by an inorganic copywriter does little to reveal the true value of the business, and so people who visit the site fail to come away with clear, unique messages that won’t soon be forgotten.
Find a way that works for your business to bring your most valuable internal people into the online marketing creative process so that the web professionals and subsequently prospects completely get what makes the business unique and great.
Sometimes an outsourced copywriter does better by being a copy editor with one on one communication with the internal people about the content before it is published.
Or, find a copywriter who has a background in your industry.
Or, bring someone in who has a deep understanding of your business and is a good communicator, perhaps a loyal customer or a business partner and give them the task of critiquing your website communication and identifying your uniqueness in the marketplace.
A client making the transition to organic SEO learned that one of his loyal customers who happens to be a great communicator was available. The CEO reached out and asked if he would write up a piece on what makes the business unique. What he got in return was truly outstanding and opened the door to a new positioning statement. Now the existing content will be upgraded to better reflect the unique value of the business from the perspective of an ideal customer. And it feels like a breath of fresh air has just swept over the organization.
The uniqueness of the business has always been there, but never communicated so clearly as expressed by this loyal customer!
Step 1 in the transition to organic SEO: lean less on outsourced (or inorganic) copywriter’s and seek out those individuals within your organization who know your business well and are good at communication.
In part 2 of this series, I’ll be discussing another challenge: organic link building is about building key relationships, not lots of links.