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Some call it free traffic. Well, nothing is really free, right? Natural rankings are not any different. Yeah, you're not actually shelling out cash for those positions, but it does cost a lot of time, effort and most of all patience to get high rankings.
Search engines want to give the best, most relevant, results to their searchers. The more you look like you have the answers, look like an expert, the higher you'll be ranked. How do you become an expert? It can really be boiled down to two major elements: Content and Text Links.
Yes, once again, content is king. You're an expert at something, right? Write about it. The more original content there is on your site, the more you look like an expert to the major search engines.
Text links from other websites are like personal references, other people, saying "yes, you're an expert in this subject matter." A "good" link is from a website that a) is within your [subject matter] community and b) the search engines deem as being expert in the subject matter. For example; if you had a local news reporting website, a link from CNN's website to yours would be hugely valuable because; a) like your site, cnn.com is in the news community and b) Google, Yahoo, etc think cnn.com is an expert regarding news.
There are other things you can do in highly competitive situations to tweak your chances of high ranking. Other things to pay close attention to: the meta description and page title for every page on your site. The file name also plays a bit of importance - but that’s that last pinch of spice in an already perfect meal.
As with anything, there are pitfalls to avoid: Register everywhere services, free for all linking sites ("bad neighborhoods"), keyword stuffing (considered spam by search engines), and one of the biggest offenses - duplicate content. If your content is not original, you are not the expert, and your pages - or possibly your whole site will be disregarded by the search engines (dropped from their index).
What's most important to search engines is the same thing that's important to your customers: lots of easily accessible content for each of your website's personas. Implement the things you learn from your PPC campaigns, satisfy your site's personas and natural rankings will come... naturally.
Ready for some "free" traffic? Would you like somone to guide you with the best practices to achieve the highest rankings? Drop us an email.