In the food world, organic means grown without fertilizer. In today’s cyber community, when used with the word “search” in a marketing context, organic has almost the same meaning. It means that the results discovered in a search are unpaid, or not fertilized, so to speak.
Does that really matter, so what?
About four years ago, some experts proclaimed organic search DOA. Yet, organic search currently is responsible for more than half of all website traffic. It has a 53 percent share. Paid search trails far behind with 15 percent. However, a deeper dig into the data revealed that the retail and travel sectors pulled in less than half from organic searches with 41 percent and 41.4 percent respectively. But in spite of the lower numbers, organic still led paid and channel visits by wide margins.
B2B was the biggest winner of organic searches with 64.1 percent. They were followed by technology with 59.8 percent and entertainment at 53 percent. The fourth part of the equation, social media, has been generally flat since 2014. The only exception was entertainment, which showed a slight increase.
To have organic or paid searches, what to do?
Despite the warnings four years ago, organic and paid search are still very valuable. They are important to a company’s success in getting discovered by potential customers. A blended approach may be the right road to take. Similar to how investors might balance their stock portfolio in today’s uncertain market, marketers can do the same in employing both organic and paid search.
Audit all social media sites and determine how much traffic is being generated from each of them. Ascertain the popular areas of interest being generated from each. Although one may have no control over any changes these sites may make, think about and determine what could be posted on each of these sites to achieve even more popularity.
The most loyal and best customers are usually the organic ones. They are more apt to come back time and time again and have lower bounce rates. Keep in mind the differences in social media sources. Facebook may drive lots of visits to a company’s site but doesn’t build loyalty. On the other hand, Twitter is intended to improve customer loyalty and not necessarily deliver traffic. Paid ads may induce a customer to visit but it doesn’t mean they’ll return unless they had a great experience and love the product.
Up your game—keywords can be the bottom line
If you’re not achieving the results you want from organic and paid searches, sit down with your public relations team and re-identify your keywords. Ensure that the keywords you employ are what customers are typing into their PCs and smartphones. Location, for example, is often a key factor in many searches but omitted when employing keywords.
Most importantly, continue to monitor your keyword rankings. Which ones are generating the most conversions? And even if you’re generating tons of leads, continue to assess and consider which keywords to retire and which ones you should add.
Leverage page optimization when possible, using targeted keyword in the company URL. And do post blogs—search engines love them.