Crevand answers your search optimization questions.

Q: What Is Organic SEO?


The term ‘Organic SEO‘ may sound like an ingredient at your local health food store, but if you have a business or service with an online presence, you should be aware of its true meaning in web marketing.

There are several methods of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, including some that are frowned upon by search engine developers that could actually harm your business, and some that can actually help you business grow and keep your marketing and web traffic healthy.

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What’s Considered Organic SEO Today?

Organic SEO, as you may have guessed, falls into the latter category. It’s a method of building and marketing your website to gain natural web traffic through Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs.) If done correctly, it’s less expensive than its counterpart, inorganic SEO, which includes paid advertising. Many healthy marketing plans will contain a combination of organic and inorganic SEO.

Understanding Organic SEO

Optimizing your website, landing page, or other online project for search engines is a great way to gain traffic from users interested in your products or services.

When a user puts a phrase or keyword into their favorite search engine, they’re shown several pages of results. Most users click one of the first few results, but some do end up scrolling through the dozens or hundreds of relevant listings looking for a solution to their question.

With effective SEO, you can aim to get a higher spot in results listings, beating your competition to the punch and ensuring more users visit your website. Not all SEO tactics are created equally, however.

There are several frowned-upon methods that worked in the past, but that search engines have recently began countering with algorithm changes. This including spamming links to your site on irrelevant sites and forums, and stuffing your articles with thousands of keywords from dictionary lists.

Organic SEO does not use these corner-cutting methods, but instead relies on honest, highly specific and relevant links, tags, and keywords to promote your website and let search engines know when it’s a relevant result for search inquires.

The term ‘Inorganic SEO’ encompasses all paid-per-click advertising methods, which can be effective in their own right, but include the downside of high recurring costs, and lack the sustainability and continuing returns of organic SEO tactics.

Examples of Organic Vs. Inorganic SEO

An example of inorganic SEO is buying ads for your website that sit above standard search results. The link to your site in this scenario is marked as an Ad, and you’ll be charged each time a user clicks it.

Organic SEO, on the other hand, would include building a niche website about a specific product, providing high quality information to users, and allowing search engines to discover the relevancy and importance of your content, increasing the likelihood they recommend your site to users in the future.

Why Use Organic SEO?

There are many benefits of using organic SEO methods, including increasing your natural, unpaid traffic, strengthening your brand’s authority on a given subject, and building sustainable traffic that you won’t need to pay for in the future.

Organic SEO methods allow you to present yourself professionally on the web, and if done correctly, give you a shot at being the first search result people see when they type a phrase related to your business into one of the major search engines.

Are All Organic SEO Methods Good for Business?

As it happens, many web marketers in the past tried to play cat-and-mouse with the major search engines, cutting corners and stuffing irrelevant keywords into their websites in an attempt to unfairly gain high spots in results pages.

Most website owners today recognize that the search engines have won this battle, by improving their algorithms to bar sites using such tactics. These tactics are often labeled Black Hat Marketing, and while are technically “organic”, they can only harm your web presence.

Conversely, “White Hat” approaches to organic SEO allow website owners the same opportunity to gain high search engine results, but admittedly often require more time and work upfront. White Hat methods include tagging each image on your website with alternate text descriptions, using an appropriate amount of keywords, and creating search engine crawler-friendly links.

Organic SEO can help your website receive high-quality, interested traffic, and has a much lower long-term cost than pay-per-click (PPC), inorganic SEO methods. There are some often-overlooked pitfalls in organic SEO marketing, however, such as black hat tactics, which is why an expert should be consulted when creating a marketing plan for your business.