You already know that keywords are incredibly important when it comes to successfully utilizing digital marketing to grow your online presence.
But, did you know that there are actually two different types of keywords out there?
That’s right. There’s a difference between organic keywords used in SEO and those you choose for paid advertising campaigns.
To help you understand the process fully, we’ve put together this quick guide with information on what each one does and why it is important to select them carefully.
Plus, we’ll go over a few best practices for ensuring you’re adding the right ones to your website.
Ready to learn how organic keywords can boost your website traffic and make it easier to attract new customers? Let’s get started.
Download this post by entering your email below
What is an Organic Keyword?
An organic keyword is a keyword used to specifically attract organic traffic through search engine optimization.
Sounds simple enough, right?
If you’ve ever written a blog post around a set primary keyword or added specific search terms to the meta description of a page, you’ve worked with organic keywords.
In most cases, any on-page SEO you do surrounding a particular topic or phrase uses organic keywords.
Why Are Organic Keywords Important?
Besides being a key component of the content you’re providing visitors, organic keywords are important for telling search engines what a specific page is about.
For example, if you’re adding a section to your website about zero-turn lawn mowers, then you would want to add words that talked about what they can do and why it is valuable to own one.
When search engines check out your page, they’ll notice those organic keywords and add you to the mix for ranking in the SERPs.
(Hopefully. We can always stay positive that this will happen, right?)
Then, when a potential customer searches for information about zero-turn lawn mowers, your content will come up.
This is really the whole point of search optimization anyway.
While one or two keyword uses might only bring in a little bit of traffic, over time a whole website optimized with rich organic phrases can become a real catalyst in growth for your business.
This is why choosing them carefully and selecting the right ones can really boost your results.
Organic Keywords vs PPC Keywords: What’s the Difference?
Again, not all keywords are alike.
There are the organic keywords that we just discussed and then there are pay-per-click (PPC) keywords.
While similar to organic keywords, PPC ones are different because you’re using them as a trigger for when your paid ad shows up on Google.
That means you’re paying a specific amount of money each time your ad is shown (impressions) or when it is clicked.
In contrast, organic keywords are free. You’re not charged anything when your page shows up in the SERPs.
Now, here’s where a lot of digital marketers get confused.
It is possible to target the same keywords in your PPC campaigns as you do in your organic content.
After all, people are searching for those terms to find specific information or products.
The big difference is where your link shows up on the SERPs.
With a PPC campaign, your paid advertisement will be near the top of the results with an ad designation. For organic, it could be anywhere in the listings.
Simply put, the difference between organic keywords and PPC keywords is the type of traffic you’re getting and whether you’re paying for it.
Doing Organic Keyword Research
If organic keywords are so important, how do you find the best ones to use for your content?
Realistically, it comes down to two aspects:
- Knowing your target audience.
- Thinking about where they’re at within the customer’s journey.
Before you can create content specifically tailored to their needs, you’ll want to first decide who you’re looking to reach and how the product or service you’re offering fulfills their needs.
If necessary, create a buyer persona or two to determine the frame of mind and demographics of these people.
Then decide where in the buying process you want them to enter.
Are they still researching a purchase and need information, but aren’t ready to become a paying customer? Or are they ready to go and want to take action right away?
The reason these two factors are important to organic keyword research is that they help you narrow down which keywords to consider when doing the actual research process.
From there, you can use virtually any keyword research tool you prefer.
Google Keyword Planner is a free option that a lot of digital marketers swear by. But other platforms, like SEMrush, are also good alternatives.
Just be sure that there is a fair amount of traffic for each keyword you select and that any related terms are analyzed, too.
For instance, using our lawn mower example from above, if you’re targeting buyers of zero-turn mowers, you might want to use keywords like gas zero turn mower or electric zero-turn lawn mower to see which is better in terms of organic traffic.
10 Best Practices for Optimizing Your Site with Organic Keywords
Still not sure how to use keywords to improve your web traffic?
Here are five best practices for optimizing your site with organic keywords:
1. Create Stellar Content
A lot of digital marketers seem to drop the ball when it comes to creating content with organic keywords.
They become too focused on how many they can squeeze in and forget that real human beings will eventually read it.
That said, it is always good to place an emphasis on quality content.
Make sure you’re actually putting time, effort, and thought into what you’re writing.
Then — like the frosting on a cake — sprinkle the keywords in as a little bit of a bonus. In the end, you’ll gain a reputation for being a knowledgeable resource and help improve your rankings in the SERPs.
You can get some extra help from our professional freelance writers to create and publish high-quality content. Get started with WriterAccess for free and find the perfect writer to match your brand.
2. Understand When to Target Big Keywords and When to Use Smaller Ones
In every industry, there are certain prime keywords that everyone wants to rank on the first page for.
Of course, you want them. But so does your competitor, with a huge ad and content creation budget. Yikes.
That’s why it is important to know when to target big organic keywords and when to go after the smaller ones that get less monthly traffic, but aren’t nearly as competitive.
Creating a solid mix between the two is a good way to attract the sub-audience that most major corporations and businesses are too busy or big to go after.
After all, these customers and users are just as important, making it easy to fulfill their needs without having to compete with major conglomerates.
3. Start Blogging
If you aren’t adding content to your website at least once a week, then you’re really missing out in terms of organic traffic.
The more content you have, the easier it is for search engines to find your organic keywords.
In fact, more posts and pages mean you have more opportunities to use keywords to attract your target market.
And a good way to do this is with weekly or even daily blog posts.
Plus, creating a knowledge base of content is a good way to position yourself as a trusted source in your industry, which is better for sales overall.
4. Don’t Do Keyword Stuffing
When you start getting into doing organic keyword research on a regular basis, it can be tempting to try to use as many search terms as possible in your content.
The truth is that sometimes too much of a good thing is not a good thing.
Try to keep usage of primary keywords to no more than once or twice per every hundred words of copy.
In addition, use secondary keywords somewhere around once every two to three hundred words.
By keeping this ratio as a rule of thumb, you can ensure your content doesn’t look spammy and keeps you from getting blocked by Google.
5. Create Fresh Content and Don’t Use Existing Copy
Organic traffic is important for growing your business.
That said, it can be tempting to copy existing text from elsewhere on your website or even in product descriptions from a manufacturer.
This is not a good idea, as it can lead you to receive a duplicate content penalty from Google and hurting your rankings overall.
Instead, make sure you’re writing new content with fresh keywords whenever possible.
And don’t forget to update your meta descriptions and titles to include your primary phrase, too.
6. Original Content
Writing high-quality, original content incorporating the most relevant keywords needs to be at the top of your list of how to increase organic keywords.
Avoid posting duplicate content on your site, as this can lower your chances of organic search ranking and traffic to your site. Google frowns on duplicate content and will often penalize you for it.
Instead, create original content that is helpful to your target audience and strategically use your most relevant keywords.
With each page containing original and new content, you have a higher chance of ranking for those organic keywords.
7. Improve your UX
Enhance the UX (User Experience) on your website to gain higher engagement and increase organic traffic.
The customer experience on your website is a priority to Google, so the design is crucial to your overall SEO strategy.
You can better your customer experience with your product, service, or brand by:
- avoiding excessive use of keywords (keyword stuffing),
- incorporating keywords within your navigation labeling, and
- creating new and relevant content with your best keywords.
Start by analyzing which web pages generate the higher engagement rates, and be sure you include organic keywords.
Also, examine the lower-performing pages and make adjustments or remove them altogether.
8. Optimize Your Images
Learn to view your website images as additional ways to optimize with your highest-ranking keywords. Include them in the following:
- Image title
- Image Description
- Image alt tag
- Image file name
- Image caption
Make sure that the inclusion of the keywords makes sense, however, and not just thrown in carelessly.
9. Create an Attractive Meta Description and Meta Title
Meta descriptions and titles are often an afterthought. The trick is to use them to your advantage by naturally but strategically including organic keywords.
Google will display the meta description directly below the title of your webpage that appears in the SERPs. Its purpose is to give viewers a glimpse at what your web page contains and entice them to click through to your website content.
Create an attractive description that includes your most popular organic keywords. Google will bold these organic keywords (if they align with the query) whenever your page shows up on search engine results pages, capturing the eye of your intended audience.
10. Boost Readability in Your Articles
A boost in readability will improve your organic search rankings. Add in high-performing keywords, and you’re increasing your chances of appearing higher up on the SERPs.
Focus on your design and strategically place the keywords throughout the improved layout of your content.
A few tips include:
- Adding relevant keywords to headings and/or sub-headings
- Using bullet points (with keywords where possible)
- Including short paragraphs
- Alternating between sentence lengths (with more short, simplistic sentences than long ones)
- Using active voice over passive
Increase Organic Keywords on Your Website and Boost SEO Efforts
Keywords play a strategic role in your SEO efforts and can make or break your success when it comes to achieving higher organic search rankings.
For more ways to succeed, find out everything you need to know about search engine optimization with our SEO guide to reach top Google results sooner.
Wrap Up: Organic Keywords and SEO
Now that you know the difference between organic keywords and PPC keywords, it is time to look at how well your current website content stacks up.
Our Rock Content SEO Maturity Assessment offers tips and ideas on how to improve your website’s organic traffic.
Try it out now to see where you stand!