Perhaps it’s unsurprising for a form of business marketing which is known predominantly by an abbreviated three letter acronym that there are a huge number of abbreviations, acronyms and confusing or misleading expressions when it comes to search engine optimisation and online marketing. But there is one word in particular which tends to be used a great deal, yet very rarely properly explained.

Whatever form of online marketing is used, from PPC to on-site optimisation, back linking to keyword density, one of the words you’ll come across most often is ‘organic‘. The word organic may seem particularly odd when used in such a technologically driven world as online marketing. Organic tends to be associated with living, growing, natural life, rather than silicon and electricity.

But in fact the word organic is apt when it comes to understanding one of the most effective ways of using a range of online optimisation and marketing techniques. It’s important to be aware that there are generally two categories when it comes to marketing and promoting an online business. There are a few ways in which a business can be given immediate exposure. Organic techniques take a lot longer, developing and growing over a longer period of time. As far as getting immediate exposure is concerned the most popular and effective technique is PPC, or pay-per-click.

This is where businesses use sponsored advertisements such as those found at the top of Google’s search listings, and often to the side as well, which will be displayed for certain keyword relevant searches. The display of adverts for sponsored listings doesn’t cost anything, with businesses only paying for each active click generated by a user.

There are other ways in which it is sometimes possible to get very rapid results, yet many of these methods are what is known as ‘black hat‘, and are certainly not recommended. Using black hat SEO techniques can very easily result in the search engines penalising a website, or even blacklisting it entirely. It’s just simply isn’t worth the risk for the reasonably modest degree of success likely.

The immediate exposure and results which PPC and sponsored listings generate is certainly worth having, particularly in the early days of promoting an online business. However, it can clearly become expensive, and there are more effective ways of achieving exposure and brand visibility over the longer term. This is what is really meant by organic optimisation.

If we think of the word ‘organic’ in terms of life and growing, we could imagine planting a seed, nurturing it, watering it, ensuring it has all the things that it needs, tending to it, and gradually, over time, it would begin to grow. Eventually that growth will almost be out of our hands, and it would become virtually self-sustaining.

This same approach can work very effectively as far as online optimisation is concerned. It may be that high-quality content or articles are produced which can be published in key locations, and which will help to generate interest over time, build back links, and generally raise the profile of the business.

The more seeds planted, such as articles, blog posts, tweets on Twitter, Facebook updates and links, social media links and comments, and various other ways in which the business can be promoted all start to build interest and awareness.

Over time more websites and people start linking to those resources, talking about them, passing them on to other people, and helping to naturally, or organically, develop brand visibility. Organic search engine optimisation is therefore a form of online marketing which starts small and builds over time. As it builds you can continue adding to it, and your existing resources will continue to provide increased exposure, with the entire online marketing approach becoming bigger and bigger, and more effective over the longer term.

So for quick results in the short term, look at PPC and sponsored listings, but for a more economical, sustainable and effective long-term optimisation and marketing approach, think growth, and think organic.

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