Organic SEO: What Is It and How Does It Work?

The term “organic SEO” or “organic search engine optimization” refers to the natural methods and strategies used to achieve high search rankings on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. The word organic is used to differentiate between non-paid SEO methods and PPC, the SEO payment methods. SEO affects how your business appears in organic results. When you use a search engine like Google, there are different types of listings.

The first results on the page are paid ads, which are usually marked with the word “ad”. Companies come here bidding for advertisements. SEO techniques won't affect these paid results, but rather will determine your ranking in the organic listings below. Organic SEO is a natural way to rank a site on the first pages of search engine results (SERP) without paying for it.

It is considered a reliable and better way to ensure a high rank in SERPs. Organic SEO is the process by which companies seek to reach the top of Google's search rankings in order to drive traffic to their website. There are on-page SEO practices you can focus on, from keyword research and SEO content creation to metadata, that can transform your website into a valuable resource for search engines and users alike. Shopify's CEO of SEO Kevin Indig explains why investing in SEO is worth it, especially for small businesses and early-stage startups. So organic SEO isn't paid traffic, but it can come at a cost if you outsource this kind of SEO work.

Don't confuse this with organic SEO service companies that will help you get better natural SEO results by optimizing your website. You can find Craig offering valuable SEO tips through his YouTube channel, Facebook group, or as a public speaker at SEO conferences or events. James regularly posts thought leadership ideas on his LinkedIn profile and SEO tips on the SEO Sherpa blog. Because of the time and commitment it takes to improve the online search visibility of your business, only 49% of small businesses invest in SEO or make targeted SEO efforts. To effectively evaluate SEO success, you'll need to use Google Analytics and an SEO platform like Ahrefs or SEMrush.

But what exactly differentiates it from local search? And which one will give you the results you need? And what difference does it really make? This blog post looks at the differences between organic and local SEO, and helps you decide which SEO strategy is right for your business. To create a complete organic SEO strategy, you need to know the three fundamental pillars of SEO. Organic SEO pricing depends on several factors, from the aggressiveness of your strategy to the pricing model of your SEO agency. If you're just starting out or have a small business, it's best to start with organic SEO, because apart from the cost involved, it will help you build your online presence gradually and eventually you'll have a solid foundation in your own niche, as long as your SEO processes are done the right way.

Why Investing in Organic SEO Is Worth It for Small Businesses & Startups

Founder of digital marketing agency iPullrank, Michael King has led SEO campaigns for numerous global companies such as HSBC, Etsy and Ralph Lauren. In addition to his SEO work, Brodie writes for Moz, Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal, focusing on topics related to SERP functions and the latest developments in SEO.

Barry Schwartz is the news editor of Search Engine Land and the founder of Search Engine Roundtable, an aggregated SEO post reporting on the most interesting threads on the SEO, SEM forums.

Organic vs Local SEO: What's The Difference?

The Three Pillars of Organic SEO

Organic SEO Pricing: What Factors Should You Consider?