Organic search explained

Organic search explained

When a person types in a word or phrase on a search engine, a list of results appears with links to web pages and other content related to the search. This video covers the content found in the organic results. You’ll learn:

  • what organic results are
  • what search engine optimisation (SEO) is
  • how good website content affects the organic search results.

Think of some words and phrases you’re interested in, then try a few searches for them to see what appears in the organic results. If you have a website, try searching for related keywords to see if you appear. You can also use a search operator to see if your pages are in the organic index. Search for this, replacing the bracketed text with your URL, to see what shows up: site:[]

View Transcript

Hi! Are you ready to dive into the world of organic search? In this video, we’ll explain what organic – or unpaid – results are. We’ll find out what search engine optimisation means. And discover how good website content affects the organic search results.

OK, let’s get started. Back to the coffee shop, and imagine that you’ve just started offering authentic French macarons, using an old family recipe.

You know there must be other people in your city who would enjoy this international treat. Someone might even be searching for it right now. So, how do you help them find you? Well, when someone searches for something using a search engine, the results page they see contains a list of organic, or unpaid results.

Organic results typically appear in the centre of the page, and are the results the search engine decides are the best match for the search query, or words, that were typed in.

Results pages will also display advertisements, or paid results, though they’ll be separate and labeled as ads. Although organic results and ads appear on the same page, there’s one big difference: there’s no cost to appear in the organic results.

Websites do not—and cannot—pay to appear here. So how can you improve your website’s chances of appearing in the unpaid results?

It all comes down to quality.

Think of it this way. The search engines’ primary goal is to help people find what they are looking for. If you can help the search engine decide that your website is what people are searching for, you’re in good shape. Making improvements to your website to help it appear in the organic results is called search engine optimisation, or SEO. Good SEO involves helping a search engine find and understand your site.

So what do search engines like? Good, relevant content. Think about exactly what your coffee shop’s potential customers might be searching for.

If they want a macaron,they might search for those words. But that’s a pretty broad search and could also mean a searcher’s looking for a recipe, or an image, or the history of the pastry.

Understanding that, it would probably be more useful for you to focus on appearing on searches for homemade macarons, in your city. So your focus might be to create relevant, original content that reinforces the “how”—that all your macarons are made from scratch at your location, and the “where”—that your macarons are available at your bakery, or delivered to certain areas. This can help your website appear on searches for “macaron bakery”, or related searches like “the best macaron in Cotswolds” or “readymade macaron for pick-up now.”

That’s organic search results. Showing up in them is a great way to help customers find you—and it won’t cost you a thing.

All you have to do is make sure that your content is relevant to the people searching, so they’ll click and stay for a visit. We have a whole lesson coming up on this, so stay tuned!

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