As an executive at a fast-scaling company, you’re constantly looking for ways to grow more effectively and efficiently. Your company may be considering multiple avenues to grow to the next level, from beefing up the sales team to even considering a merger or acquisition.
But what if we told you there was a way you could achieve the level of growth you need without having to go outside of what you already have on hand?
It's possible with a little thing called organic growth.
“The growth a company achieves by increasing output and enhancing sales internally. This does not include profits or growth attributable to mergers and acquisitions but rather an increase in sales and expansion through the company's own resources.”
In other words, it means growing from within your own business and leveraging the resources you already have. According to a study done by McKinsey, 44 percent of respondents from top-growth companies reported focusing on identifying and reallocating resources versus creating new products or just focusing on performing better at what they’re already doing.
This sounds all well and good, but how does one actually do that? Well, the key to organic growth is understanding where your customers are at and how best to meet their needs. And one of the main platforms your customers use each and every single day to find exactly what they’re looking for in search engines.
While leveraging PPC and other paid efforts can work to help you show up on these search engines and on other digital platforms, a sustainable, long-term strategy relies on having an organic search presence that helps your prospects build trust in your company and become a customer.
Let’s dive into five organic search tips for boosting your SEO growth strategy that you can apply today.
5 Tips to Organic Search Growth
1. Understand Your Target Audience
As we mentioned above, the key to organic growth success is knowing where your customers are at and what they need.
This is nearly impossible if you don’t know your audience from the inside out, including what their life/career looks like, what their needs are, and what challenges they are currently facing. Without this knowledge, you can’t show up where your prospects are at or accurately position yourself as the solution.
Who are they? What do they like to do? What do they have to do (for work)? How do those intersect?
What are their needs? What keeps them up at night? What are they most concerned about right now, both as it relates to your products/services and in general.
Where are they doing their research? Are they just using Google, or are they pairing this with social media networks (which ones) and online forums (Reddit/Quora)?
What questions are they asking? What are they actually typing into the search bar and how are they formatting their questions? What are they really asking (intent) and how does it differ from what they are typing?
2. Invest in Your Brand
Some of the most successful organic search campaigns pull heavily from brand value.
Imagine you’re looking for a new bike. You’ve heard of a couple of brands before, but you’re not totally sold on which one you would like to get. So, you decide to start from scratch. You search Google and find the top five results include only two brand names you’ve heard of before.
Because you’ve heard of them before, you’re more likely to click on them and consider them more seriously for your bike purchase. You may still open the other three results in new tabs, but they’ll have to do serious work to a) portray their brand as one that aligns with your needs and b) convince you to seriously consider them for your purchase.
In this example, you can see that investing in your brand value not only makes it easier to show up in organic efforts but also eases the sales process later down the road because the searcher has some familiarity with you.
3. Reallocate Funds to Organic Efforts
Whether you have your marketing budget set in place or you’re still working on one for the upcoming year, it’s important to maintain some flexibility in how things are allocated so you can make changes based on what works best.
At least once a quarter, take some time to review which channels you’re currently marketing on and analyze which ones are performing well.
Scrap anything that’s bringing in the least ROI and reallocate those funds to organic search efforts. These include keyword research, content creation and repurposing, and regular optimization of your organic search campaigns.
With this method, you won’t have to ask for more funds or have to increase your marketing budget at all. Instead, you’ll look like a superhero because you’ll have figured out how to get effective results from what you already have.
4. Continuously Test and Optimize
Because organic search campaigns can often take some time (up to six months to a year) to gain any traction, it’s tempting to use a “set it and forget it” mentality with your efforts. Yet, doing this is a sure way to miss out on opportunities to take advantage of low-hanging fruit.
This is especially true since Google and Bing’s algorithms are unknown and constantly changing, keeping marketers like yourself on your toes. This means the only way to know what works is to test regularly and efficiently.
Form a hypothesis before starting your test. Just like in science, you need to have an idea of what you’re testing before you can get started. Come up with something clear, like, “Blog posts that start with ‘how to’ will get 2x impressions as those without these words.” Then, implement tests to prove that.
Find pages and keywords that already get impressions and test with those for best results. If you have a page that gets fewer than 10 hits, for example, any results you see from changes you make won’t be statistically significant enough to be trustworthy.
Don’t test with more than one thing at a time. Let’s say you change a blog title to include “how to” and also update the meta description to include more of your keywords. After a set period of time, you revisit and see your impressions have gone up — but you have no idea whether it’s because of the title or the description.
5. Invest in SEO Tools to Maximize Growth
In 2021, SEO is not just a matter of making sure you have the right keywords in a blog post, the right title formatting, or even the right number of backlinks to your website. There are a lot of things that go into a successful SEO strategy and many of them are quite difficult to manage or execute without the right tools by your side.