What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/Organic Referencing?
Last modified: 2018/11/19 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), organic referencing, website optimization… What are these expressions referring to? For any company that wishes to attract as many visitors as possible on their website and to increase their visibility, it is essential to find an answer to this question. Without further ado, here is a general presentation of SEO as well as information about how it works.
What is SEO / organic referencing?
Website optimization (often called SEO or Search Engine Optimization) incorporates the different techniques that are implemented organically to allow a website to earn a higher ranking on search results for a given subject. The more a website meets certain criteria set by the search engines and their algorithms, the better its position will be within the ranking.
Organic SEO compared with paid referencing
Organic (or natural) referencing is opposed to paid search advertising (Search Engine Advertising, Google Ads (Adwords), which implies having to pay a certain amount to appear within the first search results. Those that opt for paid referencing will see their site being prioritized by the search engine results (SERPs). In turn, for a new company that wishes to obtain short-term visibility, paid referencing can be an interesting option.
Despite this fact, paid referencing has one major inconvenient that does not make it as interesting and essential as organic referencing. With paid referencing, when you stop paying to maintain your position, you will automatically lose your spot in the search results.
Therefore, it is not as much of an interesting option in the long run, contrary to organic optimization which ensures its spot by applying a large number of strategies. These strategies fit into two categories: on-site SEO and off-site SEO.
The two faces of organic SEO
Far from being unilateral, organic referencing causes several variables to interact, each one playing a different role in the way your website ranks on search engines. On-site referencing regroups a set of actions that you will be able to carry out on your website to increase the number of visitors, which include perfecting the content and improving the structure of the website.
Concerning the first point, the quality and the quantity of the content will be crucial, much like the titles, which should be evocative, and the presence of sought-after keywords and photos in the articles. With regards to the quality of the content, backing up your information with sources that are known and reliable will bring credibility to the information you are sharing.
However, it has not been proven that integrating hyperlinks to the websites of these sources will improve your optimization. Keep in mind that internal links help ensure that readers stay longer on the website, as does using the proper tags in the headings within the content. Both are important aspects to take into consideration.
The structure of the site must not be neglected. When a site is hard to navigate and users don’t know where to click to find the information they are looking for, or have access to too many or too few tabs, this will adversely affect your website’s SEO.
Always put yourself in the visitor’s shoes when they arrive on your site. Much like them, you probably don’t want to spend a long time searching for the information that you need.
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Off-site optimization, for its part, is based on the presence of links to your website on other pages or on several platforms. Through partnerships, it will be possible for you to put a link towards your site on other websites in order to increase the number of visitors (and therefore, the referencing).
Another tip to take into account is that you should be very present on social media in order to reach a broader audience and to attract a large number of individuals to come visit your website.
As underlined by Michel Jodoin, president and founder of RenoQuotes.com, these two types of optimization are complementary and both equally influence your capacity to reach a higher ranking in the search results. As a consequence, the best strategy to adopt is to put as much effort on both organic and paid optimization.
Choosing a proper domain name
Your site’s domain name should be carefully chosen. Before going forward, it must be noted that the domain name refers to the central part of the URL.
Although it must be relatively concise, the most important aspect is to make sure that it is relevant to the main subject of your site. Note that addresses ending by .com are often more popular. Therefore, you will probably have to pay more money for this type of address.
For better organic SEO: choose the right keywords
Every writer has their own style and they will tend to use certain terms instead of others but they need to be careful with this. The keywords that they include must reflect the type of vocabulary that is used by the average person.
Even if you would rather talk about a “property” instead of a “house”, know that you should go for the second option if your main goal is to write content that will be optimized. Therefore, words and expressions that are not widely used will not help with organic referencing even though you may prefer them as a writer.
Sources of information about organic SEO
Several tools are used to guide website owners as they work to optimize their website with organic referencing. Tools such as Google Search Console provide valuable information about keywords that lead a search to a website.
As explained by Michel Jodoin “knowing more about the intentions of web users will help you determine which subjects could be covered in future articles”. This information is essential if you wish to attract as many people as possible on your website.
Once the person has arrived on your website, what happens? This is where Google Analytics comes in to help you find answers to this question. Using this tool, you will be able to identify which pages on your website lead visitors to contact you, which pages got the most visitors and what is the global conversion rate of the site.
These markers will give you an overall view of the amount of interest aroused by your website and you will find out which aspects need to be improved.
Organic SEO: it’s all about patience and constant efforts
It is normal to want to reap the benefits of your efforts, but know that you will have to be patient to notice the first signs of positive impacts. During our interview, Michel Jodoin asserted that “six months and more will have to pass before your site starts climbing up the search result rankings if you are working on the organic referencing of your website. However, since this ascent will create a long-term presence, your efforts will have big returns.”
Building upon these efforts that are implied by organic referencing, he also states that “a website must constantly be updated and refined, as perfection will never be reached”. No matter the field in which you are doing business, you will see it change and evolve over time. Thus, it would be best to roll up your sleeves instead of crossing your arms, if you don’t want to lose your place at the top.
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