Google PPC Campaigns – 10-Point Checklist: Improve Your Google Organic Search
Paying search engines, like Google, for sponsored promotions and ad placements is the most common strategy e-commerce website owners do when they want to raise brand awareness and increase web traffic and sales.
It’s a common and proven marketing strategy. But, do you know that there’s an even better strategy than a paid advertisement to achieve great sales results? Really!
The answer lies in organic searches. Organic search or more specifically, Google organic search results, is the unpaid list of web pages that appear after Google loads a keyword or query you type in on its search box.
According to a BrightEdge research report, 68% of all trackable website traffic is attributed to both Organic and Paid Search, and 53% of overall trackable website traffic comes from Organic Search.
Moreover, a study shows that organic search generates ten times more website traffic than organic social media. It goes to show that improving your organic search is, without a doubt, the most effective strategy in driving traffic to increase your website conversions and sales.
Google Organic Search vs. Paid Search
Google Organic Search is also known as natural search. It is the Google algorithms’ ranked search results consisting of relevant web pages that answer the query or keywords you entered.
Marketers don’t have to pay Google anything for their webpage to load to an organic search.
Google algorithms crawl through billions of web pages, categorize them in its Search Index, which is a process called indexing,
and rank the webpages by relevance to the keyword or query entered in the search engine. This last process is called ranking. The position that your web page occupies on the list of search results is called the Search Rank.
How high your web page is on the search rank determines the number of traffic and clicks (Click-through rate or CTR) that your page will receive.
On the other hand, Google Paid Search is the search engine result that Google generates when a keyword is entered, paid for by companies who want to promote their sites. Simply put, paid search is the webpage that loads on top of all other search results and occupies the uppermost spot because it is a paid advertisement.
You can easily identify paid searches because there’s always an “ad” tag before the title of the web page. Companies would often pay for an ad spot on Google search results to promote their products and services, although it could be used to fulfill other marketing goals.
Paid searches drive 27% of website traffic. Of the two types of Google search results, organic search brings in the most clicks and traffic.
Why is Organic Search Important?
Investing in paid search is important, especially because 74% of marketers believe that PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads are a huge driver for their business. In fact, 75% of people who go to Google to search for product reviews and other information say that the ads make locating the information they need easier.
However, aside from the larger part of the overall web traffic being contributed by organic search, investing in organic search helps add value to your company and targets your long-term business goals.
It is targeted at consumers who already know what they are looking for, so it has a high close rate. Close rate is the percentage of leads or potential customers you acquire that turn into web conversions.
According to a survey, 70% to 80% of people visit search engines to look for particular information and ignore paid advertisements. A paid ad’s goal is to engage visitors, but these people are already engaged. They would only need additional information to close the deal.
Furthermore, traffic made from organic search is free, unlike a paid search traffic, where you need to pay Google for every customer that clicks on the paid result. It means that organic search gives a higher return of investment (ROI) than paid search.
Importance of SEO to Organic Search
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of improving and optimizing the quality or quantity of the back-end and front-end elements of your website to rank higher on search engine results. Ranking higher on search results means more traffic and more opportunities for leads and conversions on your website.
Google’s search engine results page (SERP) shows results that pass the two main criteria for ranking: authoritativeness and relevancy. SEO helps make your web pages more relevant and authoritative through the use of proper keywords, link building, and many other strategies so you can rank higher on SERP.
SEO targets organic or natural search rather than paid search. It focuses on improving the quality of organic traffic to a web page or website.
10-Point Checklist to Improve Your Google Organic Search
Improving your Google organic search means increasing your chances of conversion.
Conversion is the act of converting web visitors to paying customers. If you’re in the dark about improving organic search, the checklist below will shed some light regarding the ways you can improve it so your web page can rank higher on Google SERP and increase conversions.
- Research relevant keywords for specific content.
Keywords are vital in improving your organic search. They are the words people type in search engines to find answers or specific information. It can either be one word, exact, short-tail, mid-tail, or long-tail keywords.
In the past, marketers repeated as many keywords and stuffed web pages with keywords as they could to rank higher on search results. However, that practice is irrelevant and useless now because Google ranks websites and web pages by their content’s quality, relevance, and authority, including links.
Instead, now, marketers use keyword-targeting. It is the process of using only relevant keywords on your webpage content to match with people’s search queries.
So is the keyword still important? More than ever! Even if it’s not a direct ranking criterion for Google, keywords lead people to discover your web pages on search engines. Using only proper, target-specific, and relevant keywords will greatly enhance your organic search quality, indirectly contributing to a higher ranking.
To identify the right keywords to apply on your website or web page, you can use Google’s keyword research tool Google Trends. You may also use Google Analytics o assess your website traffic and find resources that will help optimize your website.
Moreover, conduct research and comparison with competing web pages to see what keywords work for them and what other keywords can work.
- Optimize your title pages.
An optimized title page includes target keywords and easy-to-understand words. Keep your title target-oriented, brief, and concise. Make sure that it is consistent with the content of your web page or website.
Titles help Google understand the content of your website or web page. It also attracts and engages visitors. It’s always better if your title has a call-to-action, so visitors are urged to click on your page link or URL.
- Create a quality copy or web article.
People search Google primarily for answers and information about certain products, services, or things. It is your job to make your copies or web articles informative and fact-based, so you will gain the trust of your visitors.
Create copies and articles that are readable and consistent with the information that your visitor is looking for. Segment lengthy articles into keyword-targeted sub-topics and answer commonly asked questions so your readers find your website or webpage helpful.
Proofread your contents and check for grammatical errors because it can be distracting and, to be honest, it lessens the credibility of your website. You can use grammatical tools available for free in the market to proofread what you publish.
It is very important to make engaging copies and articles to keep the visitors on your site and turn them into leads or conversions. You should also keep track of duplicate web pages and fix them and update your articles to make them relevant to your audience.
- Improve your Meta descriptions.
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that summarize the contents of your webpage or website. It tells Google and your audience what your content is all about.
When your website or web page matches a keyword, Google shows the Meta description below the highlighted title of the page to help the audience locate whether the link has or tackles their needed information or not.
That’s why you need a compelling Meta description that is consistent with your title and contents. It should also adopt a consistent tone or brand voice.
Meta descriptions, like titles and your search result position on Google, determine your click-through rate (CTR). The more compelling and targeted your meta-description is, the higher will be your click-through percentage.
- Use high-quality images with ALT texts.
High-quality images not only improve the appearance of your webpage or website but also hold the memory of your website or brand in the minds of the target audience. A study suggests that 80% of people remember what they see more than what they read or hear.
Images play a vital role in engaging your audience and making your website or brand memorable. Sometimes, people even use your images to find answers to their queries instead of browsing through lengthy texts.
Also, to improve your organic search, utilize your ALT texts. While metadata is a brief description of your web page’s article or content, ALT text is a brief description of your webpage’s images. ALT texts should contain relevant keywords and show why the image is related to the content of your webpage.
When images in your website do not load or take too long to load, ALT texts are seen by the audience in place of the image. It gives context to the unoccupied space and content, that’s why it’s very important.
- Voice search optimization and mobile flexibility.
Voice search is a growing trend in the way people search on Google. In a 2018 Global Web Index report, 27% of the world’s total online users are using the voice search feature on their mobile devices. As of this year, there are 4.66 billion people using the Internet worldwide. So, imagine the number of people you can reach and turn to leads or convert if you integrate your web page or website on mobile phones.
Because voice search is more convenient to use on mobile phones, and people have their smart phones with them almost all the time, optimizing your webpage to integrate seamlessly on other devices like mobile phones will give your webpage more visibility and traffic.
- Local search optimization.
Local search optimization means yoking your brick-and-mortar business, web page, or website more visible to the audience who conduct a local search.
A local search allows users to conduct location-specific or geographically constrained searches.
Optimizing local search helps your business become visible on the map, making it easier for your audience to pinpoint your business location.
With the high visibility that results from local searches, you’ll gain more traffic.
- Create internal links.
Sometimes, not all the information that your visitor needs can be found in one content. When they finish scanning through your page, they will leave and type another query in Google. They may find another webpage from your website or go to another competing webpage to get the information they need. In cases like this, internal links are important.
Internal links are a type of hyperlink that connects one webpage to another on your website. They maintain the visitors on your page or website until desired actions are taken. They also drive traffic for all web pages on your website and create a website hierarchy. Most importantly, internal links are key factors for Google algorithms to crawl your website and decide your PageRank and rank position on SERP.
- Use header tags.
Header tags are HTML elements that segment a website heading from subheadings. Headings are divided into a hierarchical structure from one to six, with one being the most important.
A header tag contains keywords that are related to the main keyword used in your content and may also answer search engine queries. It provides structure to your web content, optimizes your website, and improves readability.
- Use backlinks or inbound links.
Backlinks are also known as incoming links or inbound links. From the word itself, backlinks are websites or web pages that point back to your website. Think of internal links, but this one is coming from an outside source. Any web resource that links to your website is considered a backlink.
Backlinks are important in Google rankings. Generally, websites with more backlinks acquire more traffic from organic searches and rank higher in keyword ranking. You can put organic backlinks or backlinks naturally placed on a website or your webpage to add value to your website and improve organic search.
Just like internal links, Google uses backlinks to rank websites and web pages. Its sequence of algorithms judges the authority and credibility of outside sources that link back to your website and directly impact your webpage’s rank in Google search results.
For more Google SEO tips, you can read through this blog 15 Secret Ways to Improve SEO Rankings.
What are the common challenges in Google organic searches?
Website malfunction is one of the most common organic search and SEO issues you will encounter. Some other issues or challenges include duplicate pages, “page not found”, or error 404 from deleting your pages, fraud and spam traffic referrals, load time issues, and outdated content and sitemaps.
Can you use paid search and organic search at the same time to boost visibility and traffic?
Yes, but they should target different keywords. It’s not because they are competing, and in fact, they are far from it. Google Research’s study found out that paid search improves click-through for organic search and vice versa.
How do you measure the effectiveness of organic search?
Your SERP ranking in Google will tell you how your organic search is performing. If you search for a keyword that you target in your organic search and do not find your webpage on the first page of Google SERP, it means your webpage needs extreme improvement. You can also use web traffic and ROI in measuring the effectiveness of your organic search.
The current traffic that your website is receiving right now must be from promotions done on other e-commerce channels or a hybrid of both paid and organic searches and ads from other channels. To be certain about whether your web traffic is improving from organic searches or not, simply do a keyword query in Google that is targeted by a specific web page on your website, then see the results.
If your webpage is not part of the first page, there’s a high chance that you’re getting your traffic from other marketing channels. It means you need to take measure in improving you Google Organic Search.
Non-organic or paid search is influenced by advertisements while an organic search is a result of your business’ SEO efforts. The web traffic, leads, and conversions on your website are determined by the efforts you invest and strategies you apply to improve your organic searches.