Organic Search: What’s In It For You? Part One

By Jody Nimetz – July 28, 2006

Having been in the search marketing industry for a few years now, it still amazes me how organic search just does not get the respect it deserves. Many people still do not get search at all. That in itself is somewhat of a phenomenon to me. Here at Enquiro we have conducted some very interesting research projects as to how people use search. For those of you that don’t get search now… you will… it is only a matter of time.

So what is Organic Search?

Organic search consists of listings that are not sponsored or paid. Organic search is also known as “natural” because the site owner does not have to pay for it. You cannot pay for your organic position. You have to earn it. You do this by optimizing your site’s content for various key phrases so that you are found in the organic (unpaid) listings of the search engines. To clarify, organic search is the portion of search that returns results by indexing pages based on their content and keyword relevancy. The key term here is relevancy. Organic rankings are accomplished through search engine optimization.

Search Engine Optimization, which can be considered a subset of search engine marketing, is the process of maximizing the visibility that your web site has in the organic search results. To be successful online, an organic campaign should be a part of your overall search engine marketing strategy. You might be asking yourself, “why is organic search important?” We will get into more detail on this in the second part of this series, but for now here is some food for thought.

The Click Through Factor

Just how important is organic search? Well, you’ve probably heard about the 70% organic vs. 30% sponsored rule re: organic click throughs vs. sponsored click throughs. Recent data suggests that with Google this may even be higher, at about 85% organic and 15% sponsored. So why is it then that you continue to pour money into elaborate sponsored campaigns and often ignore the importance of the organic click through?

This stat alone should make you think about organic placement in the engines. Now do you see why I am amazed about organic search being overlooked? Here’s a second item to consider. Another benefit that is often overlooked by many with regards to organic search is that organic is free! With the exception of paying a search engine marketing firm, organic rankings can be accomplished by site owners with limited budgets. The only thing that you need is time.

So where does that leave you? Well in the second part of this series we will examine the pros and cons of organic search and how you can benefit from ranking well organically.

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