Organic (online) findability

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The importance of organic findability (also known as SEO or online findability) is growing. Search engines are the most important tools for Internet users to find information. After typing in a search term, you always get to see the sponsored results first. A list of websites then appears, which, based on their content, match the search term. These are the organically findable websites.

Any Web site on the Internet can basically rank in the organic search results, but in practice it is quite difficult to rank high in this list. An advised way to get higher in Google is to get started with SEO outsourcing with an SEO specialist (or agency).

What is organic findability?

There is no need to pay to appear in this listing. How high you rank in search results is called organic findability. In addition to site content, the use of search terms plays a role in ranking.(1)

Benefits of organic findability

When working on good organic findability, your target audience is the focus. So make sure you know who they are and how they communicate. Use the terms they often use, for example on social media, as search terms in your own content. The chances of there being a 100 percent match between a typed search term and the keywords you use are then the highest.

Specifically, these are the benefits of good organic findability:

  1. Your target audience is looking for you. And not the other way around. This provides a number of advantages.
    • The conversations you have are a lot more fun and interesting than when it comes to outbound marketing.
    • You do not detract from your branding (by being heavily involved in outbound marketing, perhaps even in the form of cold acquisition).
  2. Good organic findability exudes confidence toward those searching for your brand.
  3. The predictability of organic findability is relatively high. Navigating Google’s updates is predictable even with a sustainable SEO strategy.
  4. Organic findability increases the intrinsic value of a business. Everything you invest in SEO pays off when you sell the business.
  5. Organic findability is more often than not the channel with the highest conversion rate (after all, that’s what it’s all about in the end).

In addition: organic findability leads to the quality of content going up. The better this is done the more likely visitors within your target audience will land on your site.

Organic (online) findability in a nutshell

No time for a long article? No problem. Watch the video below for a summary of this article.

Organic (online) findability (video).

Tips for improved online findability

Keep in mind that SEO is a complex field and the specific needs, resources and implementation time can vary greatly depending on the specific site situation.

Component for organic findabilityRequired resources/peoplePriority (1-100)Time period for implementation (1-100)
Keyword research(2)SEO specialist, market researcher9070
Creating high-quality contentContent writer, SEO specialist9585
Technical SEO (including load time and mobile-friendliness)Web developer, SEO specialist8580
Link building (monthly)SEO specialist, PR team8090
Optimizing meta tagsSEO specialist, web developer7030
Social media integrationSocial media manager, SEO specialist6040
Local SEO (for local businesses)SEO specialist, local market researcher7570
SEO analysis and reportingSEO specialist, data analyst8060
Organic findability component, resources, priority and timeframe for implementation.

Both priority and duration are relative measurements. It is important to remember that SEO is an ongoing process, and it takes time to see results. You can’t do everything at once, and it’s important to adjust your strategy based on the results you get.

Local findability plays an important role in this

When you want to improve the organic findability of a website, it is crucial to create brand awareness while developing the company’s local SEO. The first thing that is important: create a Google My Business profile. Through this platform of Google, you can manage and customize the company’s listing on the SERP.(3)

Consider optimizing online findability for search terms such as “Buy Shoes in Rotterdam” or “Restaurant Zuid-Holland.” These are search terms with local intent, where with a good strategy a lot of relevant traffic can be obtained to local pages.

What components does online/organic findability consist of?

Improving the online findability of a website consists of three major components. Content, technical SEO and link building. Below is my take on these components.

Optimization of content for online findability

In essence, optimizing content for online findability is all about relevance and value. It is crucial to understand the questions and needs of your target audience and develop content that not only provides answers, but also additional value.

This means going beyond offering superficial answers, providing measurable value and creating an experience that motivates visitors to possibly convert or purchase something. When optimizing content for online readability, I find the following important:

  • Integration of keywords: Smooth and natural integration of keywords into content.
  • Relevance: Develop content that closely matches the search intentions of the target audience.
  • Quality: Creating in-depth, informative and valuable content.
  • Readability: Ensuring that the text is easy to read and understand for all users.
  • Uniqueness: Develop original content that stands out from competitors.
  • Multimedia use: Integrate images, videos and infographics to reinforce the message.
  • Call-to-action: Insert clear and attractive calls to action.
  • Internal links: Smart and strategic internal link structure to guide users and search engines through the site.
  • Use of headings and on-page: Effective use of H1, H2, page titles and meta descriptions for organic findability.
  • Timeliness: Ensuring that content is up-to-date.

Technical aspects of online findability

A website’s technical infrastructure is the foundation of all efforts aimed at organic findability. The goal is to create a good experience for both search engines and visitors. Technology can often be the most complex part of an online findability project, but it is essential to its success.

When it comes to the technical aspects of online findability, I always initially focus on aspects that promote not only organic findability, but also the customer journey. Also see my technical roadmap for more details. Some of the things I consider in the technical aspects of online findability are:

  • Website speed: Optimizing load times to improve user experience and performance in Google.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensuring that the website functions properly and is user-friendly on mobile devices.
  • Crawlability: Guarantee that search engines can effectively crawl and index the Web site.
  • Website architecture: Develop a logical, user-friendly structure.
  • HTTPS: Implement an SSL certificate for a secure user connection.
  • Duplicate content: identifying and resolving problems with duplicate content.
  • XML sitemap: Create and maintain an up-to-date XML sitemap.
  • Robots.txt: Correctly configure the Robots.txt file.
  • Structured data: Implementing structured data.
  • 404 and redirects: Managing 404 errors and setting up redirects correctly.

Read source(4) for an explanation from Google around how Google itself works.

Link Building

Link building, the symbolic engine behind a campaign for online findability, is all about getting backlinks from other websites to your own site. In essence, the more quality links point to your website, the more authority search engines assign to your website.

This process helps improve a website’s online visibility by ranking higher in the search results of search engines such as Google. But it’s not just about gathering as many links as possible; the quality, relevance and context of these links are key.

An effective link building strategy requires planning, research and strategic execution to ensure that the links you obtain contribute to your overall goals and strategy for online findability. It is an ongoing activity and must be executed consistently and with integrity to ensure sustainable results. Also refer to my roadmap for off-page organic findability for more details.(5)

What steps do I go through?

Improving the organic findability of websites is never a standard course. Keeping in mind difference in market, industry and geographical location, I go through the steps below.

  1. I map out the company’s objectives. An important component here is, are the goals a match with the resources the company has?
  2. What is the competitor doing? What does the market look like? Thorough market research is important in improving organic findability.
  3. With the external research done, I focus on creating the content strategy and a technical website analysis. Because of this foundation, we can focus only on the work with the highest impact later in the process.
  4. The monthly SEO strategy: with all the research out of the way, I get to work on the monthly SEO strategy. Because of the research, I know exactly what needs to be done.
  5. Monitor, perform work and report. In consultation with the client, I work structurally to improve organic findability. I do this in a transparent and sustainable way that focuses on results.

Monthly work on online findability

Each pathway to improve online findability differs. Customization is always important. Below, I have laid out an overall schedule for a course of action to improve online findability.

MonthActivitiesEstimated cost (€)
1SEO audit and website analysis;
define target groups and objectives;
Set up basic SEO (on-page);
start content strategy.
900 – 2,700
2Develop SEO-optimized content;
improve meta tags and website structure;
technical SEO improvements.
1,350 – 3,600
3start link building strategy;
activate social media marketing;
Analyze backlink profile.
1,800 – 4,500
4publish advanced content;
Further technical SEO optimizations;
use analysis tools for in-depth insights.
2,250 – 5,400
5Optimize landing pages for conversion;
perform A/B testing;
customize content and SEO strategies.
1,800 – 4,500
6expand content types (video, podcasts);
diversify link building sources;
Scaling SEO and content strategies.
2,700 – 6,300
Roadmap for online findability.

This table lists the monthly activities and estimates the cost of outsourcing these activities to an SEO specialist or agency. Prices are estimates and may vary depending on the complexity of your website and the market.

My advice

Organic findability is important. You can optimize them by knowing your target audience, analyzing their language and tailoring keywords accordingly. When producing content, focus on content quality and use enough relevant keywords.

Resources

  1. SEO Starter Guide: The Basics | Google Search Central | Documentation | Google for Developers. (s.d.). Google For Developers. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide
  2. Creating Helpful, Reliable, People-First Content | Google Search Central | Documentation | Google for Developers. (s.d.-d). Google For Developers. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/creating-helpful-content
  3. Business Profile overview. (s.d.). Google For Developers. https://developers.google.com/my-business/content/overview
  4. In-Depth Guide to How Google Search Works | Google Search Central | Documentation | Google for Developers. (s.d.). Google For Developers. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/how-search-works
  5. Szymanski, K. (s.d.-b). Quality links to your site | Google Search Central Blog | Google for Developers. Google For Developers. https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2010/06/quality-links-to-your-site

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to improve the organic findability of my website itself?

Absolutely. There are many factors you can influence yourself if you want to improve the organic findability of your website.

Of all the things that affect SEO, the easiest way to get started is with content itself. You could start by finding out for yourself what your target audience is looking for, what words are they using? What social media channels are they using? Through keyword research, you can often already find out the right words. You can incorporate these words back into the content on your website, using the appropriate tags, title and meta description.

Make sure that the content is also correct so that it really adds value for your visitors.

Does better organic findability also mean more sales?

In most cases (and when done right) I say a resounding yes. SEO generates more revenue because a business with high positions on the right keywords gets many visitors who are also relevant to the service. This ensures that website conversion rates go up.

What is the advantage of organic findability compared to ad placement?

When you start placing ads, you pay per click to be more findable. So it costs you money every time to reappear at the top. Every time you have to incur new costs for this. But if your website has good organic findability, it won’t cost you money.

Your website is easy to find now and in a while, too, without spending money on placing an ad. So you’re going to make a one-time investment in organic findability, good texts, good links, etc., and then you keep maintaining that. It is a good investment for both the short and long term and also works continuously.

An ad is only short-lived and if you want to be more visible again you have to pay money every time so they have to put your ad back on top. So it makes more sense to spend time and attention on organic findability than to spend money every time on ads that only appear at the top of search results for a certain period of time.

How long does it take before I see improvement in my organic findability when I apply SEO?

This depends on a number of things such as the level of competition, what the objective of the website is and what the current situation is in terms of online findability. Basically, you can assume a period of 4 to 12 months when improving online findability.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
My clients give me a 5.0 on Google out of 75 reviews

I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 29 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 10 July 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.