These days there’s a lot of talk about “organic content,” so it’s important to get informed. In as far as organic vs. paid content, the distinction seems pretty clear.
When you run a search on Google, most of the results that appear will be “organic,” which means they appear because they’re relevant, reliable, and no one has paid for you to view it.
The other results that appear at the top of your search with a tiny “ad” icon are paid content. Paying to appear in a search on Google or Yelp can be a shortcut to the top of the search results. Still, it doesn’t come without a few consequences, none the least of which is the cost.
Understanding the difference between paid and organic content can be the difference between a successful advertising campaign for your small business and one that is a sinkhole for time and money. In this article, we will explore what organic content is and how it can be a key factor in your successful advertising.
Generate Customers Through Organic Content
Build Your Local Listings
Every day, Google receives at least 3.5 billion searches. They’ve quickly become the go-to search engine for most consumers, and with direct searches growing through Siri, this number is only going to increase. For this reason, no matter how you’re planning to advertise, you have to accept that building a searchable business on Google is an essential part of your business plan.
Nobody wants to get lost in the shuffle, so it’s important to fill out your online profile as accurately as possible. Websites like Google Maps and Facebook act as a directory of business information. When you register your business with Google and Facebook, along with several other sites, you are claiming your business name, address, and phone number to allow these websites to build a profile for your company that can also include your website, hours of operation, and relevant photos posted by you or your customers.
If customers can’t find you on Google Maps or Facebook, you’re going to lose a ton of potential business. Even the most dedicated consumers who hear about you through other offline advertising like signs, word-of-mouth, or a supermarket advertisement might become skeptical when they can’t follow up and find your online profile.
The same goes for inaccurate info. If your business closes at 7:00 pm, but your local listings say 5:00, you may miss out on that end-of-day traffic.
Creating up-to-date local listings ensures that current and potential customers can find your business information online organically and then turn into real in-store customers.
Become Searchable Online
Unfortunately, too many people don’t understand how local listings impact their overall organic search rankings. Because Google wants to provide the most accurate information possible, they prioritize businesses that seem the most legitimate online.
When they can find your local listings and match this information with your website and social profiles, you’re more likely to show up at the top of search results —without having to pay for it. This is one way you can grow your searchability organically and appear trustworthy to consumers.
If your local listing is inaccurate, Google may hold back on pushing your business to the top of its search results. If your website, social media profiles, and local listings all have different phone numbers and addresses, Google won’t know which ones are correct, and therefore, which ones to serve up during a search.
So it’s important to keep all your information up to date. To do so, you can choose to “claim” your business, which will allow you to delete any expired information and steer your customers in the right direction. This is truly the simplest, easiest, and most affordable way to advertise your company successfully and will definitely lead to a stronger online presence in the future.
Start with the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing), then move on to smaller social media platforms and review sites.
Build Organic Social Media
Today, all social media platforms allow for “sponsored” or “promoted” posts, which are pages or posts people pay to highlight on users’ feeds. Most sites will allow you to purchase an impression range, which can be anywhere from 250-500 impressions to hundreds of thousands.
Your rate will change depending on how long you want to advertise your campaign and how quickly you want to reach your purchased impressions. This type of marketing can be described as “astroturfing” as businesses try to recreate a “grassroots” effort by paying for posts.
A better way to grow local, organic traffic is to use your social media platform to post content that appeals to your community. For example, you could post a video of your restaurant’s food or nail salon’s work. Then, challenge users to comment and tag a friend for the chance to win a gift card. This is a super-easy way to grow a ton of user interaction on a post and doesn’t cost you anything besides a gift card and some happy customers.
If you try coupling this with other forms of marketing, you’ll likely bring in even more impressions on your post. For example, many businesses use coupons on supermarket receipts to advertise specials online. Mini-billboards like Cartvertising can be used to draw prospective customers to your website or Facebook page.
When users tag their friends on your posts, they’re extending your reach and building your online community. Creating relevant, shareable content is just part of the game and the key to constantly boosting your business awareness in the community.
Organic Traffic Fuels Healthy Businesses
Growing your organic reach is a long-term strategy. Creating and claiming your local listings wherever you can ensures new users can find you and returning customers can find their way back.
Creating likable content will also keep your users engaged and allow you to keep popping up on their social media feeds. If you can couple offline advertising with your organic content, so much the better.
IndoorMedia specializes in pairing our customer’s supermarket advertisements with strong social media campaigns where the two will inevitably work off of each other and lead to genuine growth for your business.
While these efforts can take time to create and maintain, the benefits are well worth it. Organic traffic fuels your business by creating a steady stream of customers who are engaged and ready to do business with you.
Refusing shortcuts will keep you on track and mean better results in the future because if you are paying to play, you will be paying every month for the privilege.