Organic marketing is the way companies attract customers naturally through their web content and SEO, rather than through paid keywords, links, and ad campaigns. Of the many channels for demand generation, the organic channel is by far the most effective over time. Organic efforts continue driving web traffic long after your initial investment, whereas paid marketing stops as soon as you pause payments.
Your website is the foundation of your entire brand image online. If customers can’t find your website in their search, you’re missing out on potential revenue. This is why organic marketing is so essential—it prioritizes the optimization of your digital platform to draw customers in.
Understanding the performance of your organic marketing content to unlock its full potential for demand generation is a science that every enterprise must master. Unlocking your organic opportunity requires coordination between web, content, and SEO teams.
At my company, we developed a simple method to build an organic marketing program that you can use to outmaneuver your competitors and ensure your content is showing up when your customers are searching for it. It has just three simple steps: protect, improve, expand (PIE).
Sometimes, you show up well, and you want to protect that. Sometimes, you show up poorly, which you’ll want to improve. Sometimes you don’t show up at all, so you’ll want to expand.
Understanding the current state of your organic marketing starts with an evaluation process. How does your web content generate revenue-converting leads? Establishing a data-focused practice of assessing your content and its conversion rates creates the foundation for protecting your digital marketing.
It is essential to protect the content on your site that generates significant traffic and, ultimately, strong leads. To adequately protect the traffic you have, it’s vital to ensure your website is technically sound. Unresolved site health issues can cause your rankings to tumble despite the quality of your content.
Whether your goal is simply to increase web traffic or create a baseline content strategy that produces dependable traffic and leads, assessing which keywords are driving traffic is a key step. A keyword is simply a question, word, or phrase that a customer types into the web browser. The content is what shows up to answer your customer’s question after they click “search.” Cross-referencing your content’s performance against the keywords that get your content found is how you can understand what works (and needs protecting) and what doesn’t drive traffic (and needs improving).
As a quick exercise, let’s say you’ve evaluated 50 pages on your website and concluded that only three are generating any real traffic. It is just as essential to improve the 47 pages that aren’t working to your benefit as it is to maintain the three pages that are. The vast majority of traffic comes from the first page of the search engine results, so of those 47 pages that aren’t getting traffic, chances are they are not on page one of the search results. Any instances where you’re ranking on page two or worse are prime opportunities for turning a poorly performing page into top-ranking content through thoughtful optimizations.
Take your strategy a step further by focusing your SEO research on your competitors. This allows you to understand where they’re performing well and identify opportunities for you to improve. The digital world is vast, so despite operating in the same space, your competitors are often driving leads in areas where you’re not visible.
Understanding your competitors and where they are ranking higher is critical to understanding what content you are missing or what content isn’t the right quality. Revitalizing your content strategy to stay competitive is the key to search engine ranking success. Whether that’s through content optimizations or adding valuable language or images to existing content, both will improve ranking results.
Visibility is a challenge in the digital space, and as such, it’s essential to expand your reach as you protect and improve your organic marketing. There are some areas where you’re inevitably going to be unable to expand—the local shoe company isn’t going to outrank Nike in a broad search overall. However, they might be able to rank better for a certain type of specialized shoe. Looking at where you could logically expand rankings and traffic by building better content around a particular topic allows smaller players to command better performance than many large companies.
In organic marketing, using a proper technology platform can show you where you are not ranking and who your competition is. Often, competitors are not who you would expect. This is where an SEO platform is powerful. An SEO platform allows you to look at what’s happening in the market in terms of your performance, ultimately showing you how well your content is resonating among consumers. Utilizing a platform properly also allows you to understand new content areas that would better rank for what customers are searching for.
KEEP YOUR FOCUS IN-HOUSE
All the tools in the world can’t help you if you don’t have a team you can depend on to move you through these principles. There’s nothing wrong with working with agencies and partners. However, maintaining an in-house center of excellence for your organic strategy with the necessary technology for that team to flourish is essential to your online presence.
In-house teams know your business and your customers better than any third party will. Giving them the agility to create content and deliver online optimizations that stay competitive is the best way to find success. Capitalizing on the value of organic marketing can be challenging and time-consuming but remember, it’s a science and well worth the effort to impact your long-term revenue generation. Organic marketing is also a team sport, and in-house teams must work cross-functionally to get more done by tapping into PIE.
Tom Martin is the CRO at Conductor. He works in collaboration with the entire executive team to drive and deliver revenue results.