Organic optimization of pages

Now that you've created your page(s) to have relevant content and user interest it's time to make the site attractive to search engines and keep it attractive over time. This is accomplished by something called organic optimization, a process of targeted changes from small to substantial that acts as a series of hooks to grab search engines' attention. Not surprisingly, as with other search engine related topics in Getting found by search engines, there is information you'll need to know before proceeding with this phase of your optimization work.

What does organic mean?

In the same way that organic food is home grown and clean, "organic" optimization of a site refers to changes made directly to your website, work that is as much cleaning it up as it is adding deliciousness by tending to it frequently to make sure its desirable, in this case, to search engines and human users. Solid organic improvements to your site can require as little as 10 minutes a day.

What attracts search engines' attention?

  • Unique content ranks higher than that copied from elsewhere.
  • The higher on the page content appears, the higher it ranks. That includes keywords appearing at the beginning of the headline or text block in which it appears.
  • Linked content ranks higher than unlinked content. There will often be no end to the amount of linking keyword instances in your content to other pages on your site which provide supporting information. Chipping away at this work is well worth your time.
  • Selectable text ranks higher than correctly linked and alt-tagged images.
  • The closer your page content matches your main keyword, the higher it will rank.
  • The closer your page content and main keyword matches actual searches being performed, the higher you rank.
  • The stickier and sharable your content, the higher it will rank by virtue of time spent on your page, time spent on your website and backlinks created from its being shared. Though keywords should appear in key areas of the page, the impression should never be that keywords are forced into place for the purpose of search engine optimization. The temptation is great and some so-called experts may argue the opposite, but all verbiage should read naturally as if you were conveying information to another human — search engines are simply becoming too smart for this strategy to be effective.

Sound like a lot. The truth is, yes, it's a lot, but the more you work on organic optimization, the more you realize that your work has more to do with the previous section, Creating quality page content, than it does anything else. Basically, if you have solid, legitimate, interesting content linked appropriately and naturally to supporting content -- both on and off your site -- your page will rank high. Sure there are tricks in there like placing a keyword closer to the beginning of the element you're working with but you're not forcing the keyword into place. Instead, you're just choosing between two natural ways of wording where one way just happens have the keyword closer to the beginning of the phrase or sentence.

For example:

The phrase, "Search engine optimization tricks from 111 Web Studio," would rank higher than "111 Web Studio's search optimization tricks" for the keyword "search engine optimization tricks" but both phrases sound perfectly fine. It's not a trick as much as a choice based on knowledge.

Things to remember during your organic optimization work:

  • Note the level of traffic to your website before and after making any organic modifications so you can know with certainty if the modification was effective and the degree to which it was. This is where Google Analytics is an invaluable tool.
  • Always try to evaluate optimizable areas of each page with a fresh eye. Often it is beneficial to go a couple of days between working on a given page to better insure distance for your work. Doing so can make it easier to spot simple errors or opportunities for better optimization.
  • Pay attention to and follow major search engines' best suggestions for crafting page titles, META keywords and descriptions, etc. Every major search engine freely lists their preferences for how a page should be optimized. And note that this information changes with a certain frequency.
  • Schedule your optimization work as possible to ensure that you don't either leave work undone because other matters arise to distract you or spend an inordinate amount of time on optimization, leading to burning out or neglecting your important day-to-day money making tasks.

Now that you have a roadmap for optimizing your pages, proceed to Strategies for link building.