From marketing gurus to business owners to the college intern next door, everyone seems to be using the terms natural SEO and organic SEO these days. However, the words “natural” and “organic” are practically synonymous in some aisles of the grocery store and have minor – but significant – differences in others (think natural produce vs. organic produce). So, what is the difference between the two, and why should you care
Natural SEO vs. Organic SEO
For starters, both natural SEO and organic SEO mean the exact same thing. It’s like the old tomato/tomato analogy – whether you call it a tomato or a tom-ah-to, you’re still getting the same juicy red slices for your burger. Similarly, when it comes to natural and organic SEO, whichever term you prefer, they both refer to getting yourself to the top of the search results by optimizing your content and website copy. You’ll be using engaging blog posts, appropriate keywords, and properly placed backlinks to rank higher and draw users to your website instead of simply paying for the prime real estate using a service like Google Ads.
That being said, organic SEO often doesn’t exactly come for free – unless you are an SEO expert and a skilled writer, you are probably going to have to pay for something; it just won’t be in the form of Google Ads or the like. Instead, you’ll likely need to pay an SEO company a minimal fee for content creation, keyword research, linking strategies, and more. So, if you have to invest money either way, why should you even worry about incorporating organic SEO into your website? Here are a few key reasons:
Natural SEO Provides Long-Term Results
If you have the money in your budget, it can seem pretty tempting to just give Google a share of your earnings to continually see yourself at the top of the results. There’s just one problem: When you stop paying, you will essentially be invisible to the millions of internet users because you have ignored the value of organic SEO. In contrast, when you invest the time (and money) into creating quality content – whether it’s a blog post or video SEO – it will stay on your site forever and continue to add the coveted expertise, authority, and trust that is so highly touted by Google’s search engine raters. While you need consistent and relevant postings to keep up your rankings, that informative YouTube video your YouTube SEO service helped you craft last year can still earn you visitors if the right keywords are searched.
It’s More Legitimate to the Searcher
Have you done a natural search on Google lately? If not, open up a new tab and give it a go – enter whatever you want, it doesn’t matter (like electricians in Colorado, or plumbers in California). The first few results you see are going to be tagged as ads (if there are paying customers with these keywords), as are the results showing up on the right-hand column. Sure, people do click on these (otherwise Google Ads wouldn’t be in business), but because these paid results are clearly labeled as such, many people skip right over them and go to the first organic listing. Why? Because in their mind, it is more likely to offer the value they are looking for; strategies like local SEO capture users entering searches for products and services in your area. Such users are much more likely to click on a local company than a paid ad that’s likely much less relevant.
It’s Google’s (and Every Other Search Engine’s) Staple
To continue with the grocery store analogies, if you take a moment to view Google (as well as YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon) as the supermarket of web search, organic SEO is a staple – Google’s bread and butter as compared to the fancier, but not as essential, toaster pastry. Simply put, it’s what Google does best. Google must interpret what users intend to find with an organic query and supply relevant pages that adhere to SEO responsive design (i.e., a design that ensures a webpage renders correctly whether people access it via desktops or mobile searches). In other words, taking the time to show Google (and, by extension, its users) precisely what you have to offer will return you more, relevant traffic composed of users who will stick.
It Can Offer a Better Conversion Rate (Sometimes)
In order to achieve a top ranking using organic SEO, you have to fill your webpage full of valuable content. Why? It’s not enough to attract users and page views – you have to keep them there long enough to convert, and to do that, you have to relate to the reader on a human level and inspire them in some way. While this does take more time than merely paying Google, it also makes your website a lot more likely to have repeat visitors. Paid clicks only guarantee a one-time visit, but it’s your efforts to build backlinks, hone keywords, and create amazing content that earn organic clicks and keeps them coming back time and time again. Your organic SEO techniques will gain your readers trust while building your brand, resulting in loyal customers for years to come.
In an ideal world, you would employ both paid and natural SEO techniques. This way, you can get the benefit of immediate results while building up a strong foundation for the future.
Need it broken down SEO For Dummies-style? Check out these organic and natural SEO FAQs:
Q: What is organic SEO?
A: Organic SEO (or natural SEO) is a method of garnering a top position within a search engine results page (SERP) by providing the best answer to a user’s query (thus meeting their search intent).
Q: How can I improve my organic SEO?
A: While you can improve your search ranking in many ways, the best place to start is by identifying keywords that users searching for your products or services often enter. Then, you’ll use these terms throughout your site in the form of quality content, links, and meta tags to appear prominently on the SERP.
Q: How does Organic SEO compare to paid search?
A: While you may ultimately need to provide some sort of payment for an SEO company’s services, organic SEO is not pay-to-play. Paid Google or Facebook Ads requires payment for each click or impression, while organic SEO aims to earn natural traffic through content creation.