Are you confused to the point numbness by SEO? Or maybe just numb from panicking because you haven’t tweeted, posted, updated your news section or refreshed even the smallest bit of content on your site any time recently. Well don’t be.
I am now going to commit a heresy ……
You don’t need social networks to achieve and sustain good search engine rankings …
Well at least, not always.
Last week I wrote a blog called Ten good reasons to use Social Media for your business and I still stand by every word of it. Social media IS a really powerful to boost your business but it’s not always essential – and this is what this blog is about.
It all came about because a prospective client asked me to send them some hard SEO stats for clients we were currently working with. You can’t hide the truth with SEO; it’s no good claiming to have page one rankings when you don’t, because all the client has to do is to type the keyword into Google and see for themselves. So I compiled some results.
There were, of course, some rankings that we had achieved with both SEO and SMM (social media marketing) but what surprised me was the number of clients enjoying high rankings with no social media input whatsoever – neither had they particularly refreshed the content of their website – one of the great givens of search marketing. The fact is, in certain, not particularly uncommon conditions, SEO is all you need to get where you want to go. That’s very good news for your time and your marketing budget.
But before giving my thoughts on what those circumstances might be – here’s the results. These are rankings that were achieved a minimum of three years ago, some much longer, thereby illustrating that these are not just spikes or flashes-in-the-pan.
Juvederm Treatments London – Ranks Nº1
Carboxytherapy clinic london – Ranks Nº1
Dermaroller clinic london – Ranks Nº5
Biostimulation clinic london – Ranks Nº1
S Lift clinic London – Ranks Nº1
liposculpture clinic london – Ranks Nº5
*To be totally fair here, Flavio who owns this business IS a very enthusiastic user of social media for his business and, whilst this will have some effect on his rankings, his social media activity is not part of a co-ordinated SMM campaign.
New American Cars for sale – Ranks Nº1
American Car Imports – Ranks Nº1
american cars for sale – Ranks Nº4 (just below ebay & auto trader)
used american cars for sale – Ranks Nº4
Second hand American cars – Ranks Nº5
wood fired ovens – currently mid page Nº1*
woodfired ovens for sale – currently mid page*
woodfired ovens uk – currently Nº3*
*We are particularly pleased with this one as we are always in around Jamie Oliver’s site and we know that they will have a massive budget!
BBQ caterers – Ranks Nº1
Barbecue catering london – Ranks Nº3
Barbecue caterers – Ranks Nº4 (just below GBK)
So what’s going on here and why do these results run contrary to the current wisdom that you need a strong social network presence to achieve good rankings?
The fact is that, despite all the frenzy surrounding social media, Google’s algorithm still places high emphasis on traditional SEO. If your website is properly built and rich in keywords in all the right places (principally domain name, URLs, page titles, headings, in body copy and image alt tags) then there’s a good chance you will rank highly. The age of your domain, high quality links, interactive forms, video and sitemap submission are also important elements but getting the basics right can take you much further than some pundits would have you believe.
Also important is the strength of the competition – both in terms of quality and quantity. You can get all your SEO ducks in a row and then pile on some SMM ducks too, but if the competition is both considerable and SEO/SMM savvy then you are always going to struggle. However, for so many of us they’re neither.
Back when I started optimising sites – around ten years ago now – simply having a site was enough to get you to the top. Of course things have changed; with 600 websites created worldwide every minute (seriously) then the quantity speaks for itself. Inevitably some of those 600 are also going to be of very high quality, so complacency is not a good strategy. Nevertheless, for the hard pressed business with tight cash flow and hardly any spare time, expending some effort ensuring your site’s SEO is up to speed can still put you on the homepage – as the results above testify. The reality is, to be on the first page of the Google SERPS (search engine results page), you’re only competing with nine others. The chance of all nine other businesses being at least as good as you are is not that high – in the kingdom of the blind the one eyed man is king.
If you would like to know more about how to rise up the rankings using SEO then please call us on 020 8659 1457.