What it means to own your organic search presence

An organic presence is essential for any business looking to thrive in the new age of search.

This presence shows a clear vision.

This vision includes a deep understanding of your target market and a clear definition of your target audience so that you can effectively address and address them.

Here we will examine the elements that make up an organic presence, how it can grow and be measured, and what role search engines play in your overall digital presence.

What is a digital presence?

A company’s digital presence is its online footprint.

This happens when a search is made for your company or when you are shown for business-related or related queries.

A digital presence can span multiple channels, devices, and platforms, including:

  • Own domains (your websites).
  • Social media profiles and presence.
  • Business listings.
  • Directory listings and local citations.
  • Digital displays.
  • Online reviews.

In today’s digital climate, it’s easier than ever to be “present”.


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You can instantly start a website, create a social profile, or purchase ad space on a search engine results page.

But increasing, owning, and sustaining that presence is no easy task.

Rent versus owning your search presence

To own or rent

When it comes to searching, your digital presence can be owned or rented.

I’ve always loved to draw the analogy that SEO is like investing in a 401 (k) while SEM is like day-to-day business.


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By that, I mean that with organic search, you can make an upfront investment that will keep growing and producing results over time.

However, paid search gives you an instant return on your investment, but you have to invest more and more to get the same return.

Cut off your paid expenses and your paid traffic will go away with it.

This analogy relates to the idea of ​​owning or renting your digital presence.

You can rent it by paying for the best ad positions. However, this is not a long-term strategy for success.

As soon as you stop paying rent, you will be expelled from the SERP.

With SEO, you should define processes and create a program (like a down payment) and then maintain and refine it over time (like paying a mortgage).

The more effort you put in, the more equity you will have.

Organic search and your digital presence

When investing in organic search, you should find out how much real estate you actually own.

The organic presence of a brand is often referred to as the market share or language share of search engines.

Search engine market share reflects the percentage of results a brand has on all search engine results pages for all business-related or critical keyword searches.

If you can effectively measure your market share, you can gain important insights such as:

  • How much space did your content deserve on the first page of results compared to your competitors?
  • New SEO competitors for your keywords who may not be your traditional business competitors.
  • Backlinking opportunities from publishers and news agencies that rank well for a topic.

What it means to own your organic search presence

How to measure your search exposure

There isn’t necessarily an industry standard when it comes to measuring your market share on search engines.


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How you measure or report on it should be determined by a number of factors including:

  • Branded or non-branded keywords.
  • Universal result types compared to the standard organic rank.
  • See how you hold up against your well known competitors or the SERP as a whole.

It’s safe to say that for most established brands, your branding terms will appear above the fold on page 1 without really rolling up your SEO sleeves.

Regarding your non-branded terms, I recommend breaking your market share into different topics or keyword groups that you think own your brand or that you should be featured in.

This also helps identify content gaps from competitors where you have little to no visibility.

Search engine market share is an important metric to measure your success against your organic competitors.

And looking beyond the numbers will reveal valuable competitive insights that you can use to improve your marketing efforts.


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Universal result types shape your SERP appearance

Google introduced universal search in 2007, bringing with it a new set of search results in the form of images, videos, maps, and more.

These universal result types are taking prime real estate on the SERP as their ever evolving appearance provides the owners of these coveted positions with improved visibility and ROI.

Universal results make it so that the SERP is not just a series of standard links and as such you need to account for this by:

  • Stay up to date with the latest developments.
  • Integration into your digital strategy.
  • Take advantage of the extended possibilities to reach your users.

The growing number of universal result types has also brought about increased volume and a greater variety of competitors that can be tracked, monitored, and reported.

The ability to navigate and use them can really have an impact on your ownership of the SERP and expand your brand’s organic reach.


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Understanding the variety of results available, the complexity of the ranking, and the competitive landscape will help you optimize for every inch of the SERP.

Develop past the search engine

Promoting the best possible content has long been Google’s mission.

The smarter Google and other search engines get, the more it means that users don’t need to access your website directly.

Ultimately, an important part of owning your search presence is being present wherever the SERP could potentially highlight, or purposely draw attention to a user through all of these other means.

Never stop delivering value

Value creation for your customer

One mistake some brands make is to let off the gas once they hit their organic KPIs or feel like they are keeping their search engine market share strong.


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To keep it simple, your organic presence is more than just an optimized website.

It is effectively able to drive business to your website, blog, store, login page, etc.

Using the tools available, you can ensure that your position on a search engine reflects your efforts to be the best choice to give your users the answers they are looking for.

As part of promoting the best possible content, search engines continue to support websites that meet the needs of searchers.

Always approach your website and content strategy with the end user in mind and you will succeed.

How to own your organic presence

Don’t leave anyone out

Plan customer / buyer personalities and create content for everyone.

That way, you can own the entire funnel.

Always put your customer first

Before you can make money or meet your marketing goals, you need to create value for your customers.

Build everything with the customer in mind, and customers will come.


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Less can be more

Sometimes you should just stick to what you do because you are doing well.

Don’t just sell or market, be a thought leader in your field.

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Photo credit

All screenshots by the author, November 2020