Organic internet marketing focuses on the long-term goal of attracting traffic naturally, without having to rely solely on PPC campaigns and other types of paid advertising to generate useful, paying traffic to a website.
The goal is lofty, and the competition is usually high. But it is never, ever impossible to succeed if you are here for the long haul.
Here are ten fiery truths about organic internet marketing, in various areas:
On Finding Your Niche:
Fiery Truth # 1: You Need To Know Your Exact Niche Within a Niche
A niche can be defined as a group of people with a general interest. A niche can be broken down to even more specific terms, depending on location, the segment of the consumer market that you want to attract, etc.
For example, if you have a dental office in New York, you certainly do not want to attract queries from people who are looking for dental services in Phoenix, Arizona.
See what we mean?
When we say “specific,” your niche really hast to be as sharply specific as possible, sharp enough to cut cheese.
So sit down and think about it: what niche within your niche can you succeed in, for the long term? What is your business good at? What kind of solutions do you offer people that they would need for years to come? Find that niche and hammer it until it starts to spout gold.
Fiery Truth # 2: This Year Can Be Your Year
The ride has been wild since the nineties, but businesses online are still blooming and killing it in 2018.
Just because naysayers have been waiting for the Google Bubble to pop since the early 2000s does not mean your online business cannot make it anymore.
Nearly all businesses should be online, because people use the Internet for the simplest of needs – including finding “hole in the wall” restaurants serving exotic cuisine.
But getting valuable free traffic from Google requires a process, and this process takes weeks, or months to kick off properly. Some of the things that you have to accomplish are:
– Shifting to responsive Web design.
– Making your website more accessible to both users and search engines like Google.
– Improving the usability of your website.
– Hyper-boosting your website’s loading time.
– Better server management.
On User Experience
Fiery Truth # 3: Google Is Interested In What People Do While On Your Website
One of the “big sticks” that Google is waving around right now is the concept of “user experience,” or the agglomeration of activities that people perform on a website that hints at the quality and worthiness of a website to be highly ranked for a particular keyword/set of keywords.
Quoting John Mueller (one of Google’s top dogs): “…If people are going to your website and filling up forms, or signing up for a service in your area, or for a newsletter then generally that [means] you’re doing the right things.”
So truth be told, ranking high on Google is just step one in actually maintaining your lead over all your competition. Once you are up there in the natural listings, your website still needs to prove its worth to search engines.
Fiery Truth # 4: The Type of Content You Are Showing Matters
Advertising revenue is definitely important, no doubt about it.
But people do not go to websites to view ads. There was never a time that they did. And even you wouldn’t go to a website simply to see banners, tower ads, or whatever variations there are now.
There are over 200 different signals that Google uses to judge the worthiness of a website, but to simplify things: if a person opens your website and it loads only partially, and a large portion of your website contains ads and other secondary types of content that people are not really looking for, your website will be in trouble with search engine rankings.
So now is a great time to evaluate your website’s layout and the type of content you are hosting on your website.
It is time prioritize useful, engaging content over content that’s not very useful to your target users. Of course, in order to know what content really matters to users, you need to engage them socially, first.
On Social Media Engagement
Fiery Truth # 5: Social Media Engagement Needs To Be Strategic
Social media engagement might sound easy, and the best practitioners make it look easy, but it is not.
Let us put it this way: there is a fine line between merely engaging people and engaging socially to help your business. Obviously, the latter is more important because it is one of the ultimate goals of social media marketing.
Effective social media engagement requires the following:
– Meaningful and attention-catching content that people would want to click.
– Being able to give people many reasons to want to seek you out and know more about what you do, and what you are offering.
– Being able to compel people to take action when they see your posts.
– Convincing users to come back to your Twitter profile, Facebook page, or Instagram account for more of your content.
– Finally, convince people that your business is worth their time and money.
Fiery Truth # 6: Not All Social Media Engagements Are Useful
There is an old adage that goes: “all publicity is good publicity.” We cannot say the same for businesses online in 2018.
More than 80% of Internet users now rely on previously written reviews and ratings when deciding who to do business with, and poorly-handled social media engagements can be the death of a business.
And then there’s the general content that we offer to customers and fans from social media platform.
We can say that social media content has achieved its purpose when:
– People share or help distribute your content.
– People are talking about the content (positively, of course).
– People want to know more about the business as a result of the content.
– People flock to your social media platform to follow your future posts.
The level of engagement is so important that yes, if you get thousands of likes and shares on Facebook, or thousands of hearts and retweets on Twitter, you are doing fantastic.
On Content Development
Fiery Truth # 7: Say No To Content Farming
According to a Google spokesperson at SMX West in 2016, the issue of low quality content in “content farms” was particularly bad in the years of 2008-2011.
The other side of the coin was that Google’s metrics kept ranking these content farms high, and that wasn’t the best for users at all, because low quality content is never a good idea.
As a response to the problem, Google changed its algorithms and developed explicit new signals that hit the nerve of the problem on its head. Content farms soon took a hit when Google changed its search engine algorithms.
How can you avoid content farming?
Content farming is an organized effort, one that involves the production of largely uninteresting write-ups, or “fluff content,” that is not useful to target users.
Quality content can be written by you, or professional writers, and needs to be integrally tied to people’s needs when they go online to look information.
Tying up useful, evergreen content is easy, because the content that you provide can be linked to the business that you are offering potential customers.
Fiery Truth # 8: Editorial Links Rock
Editorial links are back-links to your website content from other reputable websites that have established themselves in particular niches.
For example, if your niche is pest control and you have a newly established website, a link back from a blog that has been generating content about pest control for seven years will provide a huge boost to your relevance because authority sites are referring to you.
Basically, the “agreement” between you and Google would be: if you create a lot of useful content (not fluff content) and you are willing to put a lot of effort in social media engagement and other types of online engagement, Google might rank you higher than other websites that do not put the same kind of effort in content.
On Actually Ranking High on Google
Fiery Truth # 9: You Need To Be Patient
John Mueller in 2018 stated that link issues take a long time to clean up, and in the beginning, it is possible that the search engine will ignore links, but after six to twelve months, you may begin to see improvements in your search rankings.
The safeguards put in place allow the search engines to trust the links that serve particular websites later on.
This applies most especially to websites that have tried to game the system by using blackhat SEO methods.
Do not try blackhat methods – just don’t. There is no reward for such efforts and eventually, the giant Google will catch up with what you were trying to do.
Fiery Truth # 10: Fluctuating Rankings Are Normal
Fluctuations in page rankings are always happening. The reason for this is that Google keeps modifying the goalposts, and making things more competitive for top ten searches for highly competitive keywords.
Remember that Google is a business and one of its primary obligations to keep the field as fair as possible to websites, content producers, and advertisers is to make search engine rankings “un-gameable” as possible.
This alone requires lots of adjustments in the span of a year.
But don’t worry: if you are serious about ranking high and staying relevant in your niche, creating quality content and engaging your customers or clients should come naturally to you.