Let’s say you want to know where the closest pizza joint is, or you need to know how to use a torque wrench – where do you go for the answer? Google, of course. You type in the information you need, and magically, a list of answers appears on your screen. Only it’s not magic, not really. The answers you get from searching Google are a product of the words or phrases you searched partnered with the best possible answers based on similar or exact-match content.

The words you type into the search bar are an organic search. Recipes, locations, recommendations, how to do…anything, it’s all on the web, we just have to discover it. Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches each day. With 644 million websites on the Internet today, the search engines have to find precise ways to connect the correct site to each search – enter: organic search results.

What Are Organic Search Results?

Although organic search results do refer to “natural” findings, we’re not talking about a new-age granola lifestyle. Organic search results are the content – websites, photos, videos – you get after typing a word or phrase into Google. Organic, however, refers to only the content that is not-paid. So, if you see the “Ad” symbol beside a URL in at the top of your results list, that company paid to get to the top and may not necessarily match your search precisely.

How Do Organic And Paid Search Results Differ?

A search engine returns two types of results after you type in a word or phrase: organic and paid.

Organic search results most closely match your search as the content is based on relevance. To rank highly in the natural search results is what businesses desire because it means the company’s content is reaching the target audience.

Paid search results are advertisements. Companies pay to have their websites appear for certain key words. You can differentiate the paid search results from the organic by the “Ad” tag on the URL or “Sponsored” results (typically done with images). Other ways to distinguish paid search results include a shaded background behind the URL, border lines, red text or other visual clues.

How Do Search Engines Read My Website?

When web users search a topic through Google, the search engine scrubs the Internet, searching for content that relates to, includes, or makes reference to the search queries. It’s important that the content on your website is clear and formatted to match keywords that relate to your niche. This way, major search engines can effectively read your website, which is crucial since 92 percent of online users never get past the first page of search engine results. As the Internet becomes more competitive, it’s important that search engines can easily read your website, making your content easier for online users to find.

To make your content more search engine friendly, it must be optimized for keywords and phrases. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a fancy skill available only to the techies of the world. Content producers – good ones – understand how to create web content that incorporates keywords without obviously flooding the website with the keywords just to rank highly in search results (which Google picks up on and absolutely hates).

So how do you know if your website is doing a good job in the SEO department? Google scores your website on three main factors: authority, relevance, and trust. Check out our website grader. We’ll audit your website for free and let you know where you’re doing well and areas where you can improve. If you want to get your company’s website on the top page of Google’s search results, part of your strategic plan must be to improve your SEO, but when you focus on quality content, your organic reach will grow without blowing up your marketing budget.