If you’ve ever wondered if your website can rank high on Google without SEO then the answer is: Yes!
As an experienced SEO Specialist, would I ever suggest neglecting crucial elements such as keyword optimization, backlink building, and user-friendly content? No, absolutely not.
So, should you ditch SEO, or not?!
I want to make things clear to you, so be sure I’m going to give you 7 examples proving that not every website requires an in-depth SEO process to rank well. However, before that, let me help you realize one thing.
You basically can’t have a website without any SEO. To put it differently, a website inherently comprises many SEO elements that serve as a backbone of online visibility. Think about:
- Meta tags
- URL structure
- Images and alt texts
- Internal and external links
- Page loading speed
If you already have them on your website – and I bet you do – why wouldn’t you make sure they work to your advantage? It’s a bit like having all the ingredients for a delicious meal in your kitchen but choosing not to cook, getting by on some instant noodles.
With the foundation for your website’s online success already in place – literally, it’s on your website – why not make it stand out to attract the organic traffic and attention your brand truly deserves? After all, organic traffic, which SEO helps you drive, gives you more than just free traffic.
Organic Traffic Is Way More Than Just Free Customers
Organic traffic isn’t just about getting free users; it’s about attracting an audience genuinely interested in what you offer without spending a dollar on advertising. Unlike random clicks from paid ads, organic visitors actively search for products or services related to your business. These are the customers motivated to engage with your content, potentially leading to higher conversion rates.
Moreover, organic traffic is sustainable and scalable. What I mean by that is that when you consistently publish valuable content on your website and optimize it for relevant keywords, you build a lasting online presence.
Additionally – and probably most importantly – organic traffic is a powerful indicator of your website’s authority and relevance in your industry. Search engines reward quality and engaging content with higher rankings, which, in turn, attracts even more organic traffic – it’s almost self-powered.
With that being said, when handled wisely and strategically, SEO is your igniter for long-term success.
Can You Go All No-SEO?
Sidestepping SEO completely is tough if I’m being honest. Whether you run your online business without SEO know-how or take actions without realizing their SERP impact, the reality is that just having a website with content means you actually do some SEO.
Think about it: Each piece of content on your website is noticed and indexed by Google’s crawlers. So, whether you have a landing page outlining your services or run a blog following no content plan (e.g. refusing to build your content around hand-picked keywords), you’re still shaping your online presence. Yet, without all the optimization magic.
What I want you to realize is that nearly every action you take on your website or any change you make to it intertwines with SEO. Whether you publish texts, add headings, or upload photos, you’re – in one way or another – engaging in SEO activities. The question then becomes:
Does the SEO you’re unintentionally doing contribute to improving your rankings?
Take a moment to answer that.
In the meantime, let’s get into the “no-SEO and High Rankings” situations I promised you to talk about.
7 Scenarios Your Website May Rank Well Without You Actively Using SEO Strategies
Nowadays, where online competition is colossal, winning and staying at the top positions without a thought-out SEO plan seems nearly impossible. However, I’ve come up with a couple of scenarios where achieving a high ranking might be achievable without sticking to an SEO strategy.
Scenario #1: You Are a Global Brand
If your business has already managed to establish a massive brand presence and authority in your niche, you might ride the “good reputation” wave and win those top SERP spots. However, to be honest, I doubt there is any big brand that has never engaged in planned SEO activities. Yet, that’s feasible.
Take Apple as an example. Whenever a user types keywords or search queries related to their products, the official Apple website naturally pops up at the top of the SERP. The global recognition and stellar reputation of the Apple brand are so powerful that, hypothetically, even if they were to launch a dedicated but entirely unoptimized landing page for a new product, it would likely still claim top positions on Google, purely based on the brand’s massive influence.
Scenario #2: You Publish News and Timely Content
In terms of ranking, news and timely content is a bit tricky. That’s a type of content that on the one hand is highly current but on the other hand, it quickly becomes outdated. News portals, especially reputable ones, employ SEO strategies.
However, it’s highly realistic that – even without prioritizing optimization – your website appears at the top of SERPs when you publish some breaking news as the first one in your niche. Due to this piece’s freshness and uniqueness – it’s unavailable elsewhere, not even on optimized websites – it will surface prominently in response to Google users seeking that specific information.
Also, bear in mind that if your technical SEO is well-maintained, your results will be significantly amplified. A well-optimized website gets indexed faster, easily “outrunning” a website that may have reported the same piece of news earlier but lacks good SEO.
Basically, this means that if your website lacks basic optimization, your news will be replaced by a well-optimized website, when it eventually catches up and covers the same news. Technical optimization plays a crucial role here.
So, while appearing high in search results is one thing, staying at the top of SERP requires some SEO Specialist and Developer’s “touch.”
Scenario #3: You Sell a Truly Unique Product
If you have a product that’s one-of-a-kind in the market – maybe even with a patent – then the chances of your website being at the top of SERP are very high. In this amazing-sounding scenario, your product could naturally pop up high in search results when someone looks for it simply by typing its name because, well, there’s nothing else like it.
Let’s be real though, this scenario is rare, isn’t it?
But even if you were lucky enough to come up with this unique product, you may still consider injecting some SEO into your website. What for? Well, you need to let your target audience know about your amazing product because how else will they know its name?
SEO can help you find keywords your audience types into the search bar when looking for other products fulfilling similar functions to yours. In other words, SEO can help you find the keywords that describe the problem your product solves. By using those phrases on your website, you make sure people who need your product can find it through various search terms – even without knowing it exists. If you’d like to see a real-life example of exactly that, be sure to read How to Research and Select Unexplored Keywords.
Scenario #4: You Own a Website Hosting User-Generated Content
Websites relying solely on user-generated content, like Reddit or Quora, often snag top spots in search results. While these websites would often use some technical SEO, their nature of featuring questions on virtually every topic imaginable and providing direct answers positions them high in SERPs. Google values such content because it helps users quench their thirst for knowledge or solve some burning problems in a snap – simply put, such websites match user’s search intent.
Note that such platforms host a massive amount of content, contributing to their high rankings. However, in the long run, depending on user-generated content solely and generating such quantities might not be an efficient strategy for any business.
Scenario #5: You Run a Local Business
Sometimes if you provide a unique service in a specific place, you might show up high in searches without going all-in on SEO. For example, if you’re the only locksmith in the town, be it Indianapolis, and someone searches for “Locksmith in Indianapolis,” you’d probably pop up – provided your website is indexed. See? Again, SEO.
But let’s be real – having such a unique service is pretty uncommon. You’ll likely still need to do something to stand out from your closest rivals.
Here’s another issue to consider: More and more services are moving to the online realm, and therefore the importance of location is slowly diminishing. For businesses that aren’t tied to face-to-face interactions with their clients – a passport photographer, a funeral home owner, a shoemaker – relying solely on local visibility might not be a good marketing strategy. It could be a bonus, but definitely, it shouldn’t be the only marketing channel to go for.
Scenario #6: You Own a Government Website
While our main focus is on business scenarios, we can’t skip this one.
Government websites are considered authoritative and legit by Google bots, meaning whether they’re search engine-optimized or not, they’ll still get high positions in search results.
Scenario #7: You Have a Popular Profile on Social Media Platforms
You’d probably agree that social media platforms thrive on user-generated content and popularity – the two factors we’ve touched on earlier. These two factors often in a way strengthen social media profiles, particularly the big ones, which leads to higher online visibility.
Take, for example, searching for a popular music band. It’s nearly a sure bet that their YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram pages appear at the very top of search results.
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You Ignore SEO. Here’s What You’re Missing Out
It’s quite likely that your competitors have a good handle on some effective SEO strategies. So, even if you find yourself in one of the scenarios mentioned earlier, chances are your closest marketing rivals will still outperform you in the SERPs simply because they have their websites optimized for search engines.
Let’s be real, if you want a shot at connecting with customers and bringing them to your website, you won’t make it without SEO. Without investing in SEO you risk ending up on a Google results page that rarely sees visitors, and where the sound of crickets can be heard, leaving your organic traffic and conversions to your competitors.
Here are some fundamental steps you can take for minimal SEO, increasing your chances of better rankings:
MINIMAL SEO TIP #1: Write Quality Web Content
Creating SEO-friendly articles, product descriptions, and literally any written content that promotes better ranking requires a unique touch. What I mean by that is:
- Avoid using content provided by manufacturers. Instead, go for your own pieces to make sure they stand out with distinctiveness and uniqueness. Whenever possible, infuse your brand voice into the content, adding an extra layer of trustworthiness.
- Steer clear of plagiarism at all costs. Copying content from other websites isn’t the wisest idea. Instead, aim to create comprehensive and expert-level content. This will help you earn extra SEO points from Google (see: E-E-A-T).
- Don’t forget to enrich your written content with some eye-catching visuals. Include relevant photos or graphics. Don’t forget about adding alternative descriptions featuring keywords.
- Using only industry-related keywords may not suffice. Run a keyword gap analysis to discover some hidden gems that your rivals optimize their pages for. Also, try to understand your target audience’s search habits.
- To prevent content cannibalization, avoid impulsive writing. Even though real-time marketing works wonders, it doesn’t mean that you need to follow every trend or comment on every big event. It’s way better if your content is thoughtful and optimized for the right keywords.
- Optimize every piece of content you publish on your website and link it strategically to create topic clusters.
MINIMAL SEO TIP #2: Work on Your Page Title and Meta Description
Having just “something” in your metadata is better than nothing, but let’s be real – some random generic text won’t magically push your pages up to the top. For a genuine impact on visibility, run keyword analysis, and later use those findings in your metadata and CTAs skillfully.
Generic Title & Meta Description:
“Wallpapers – [Brand]
Wall decoration store. Wide range of products for your home.”
Better Title & Meta Description:
Wallpapers, Custom Wall Murals, and Contemporary Interior Decor – Shop [Brand]
[Brand] is your go-to online store for wall decorations. Discover modern, made-to-measure wall murals and wallpapers. Explore now!
Remember, a finely-tuned title page and meta description can make a substantial difference in improving your online presence. The thing is that creating conversion-improving meta tags gets easier when you have some experience and deeper SEO knowledge.
MINIMUM SEO TIP #3: Build a Strong Link Profile
Here’s a hard pill to swallow: Not every link is a good link. Building an off-site strategy that truly powers up your website rankings is more than just acquiring backlinks from some random websites. Without an SEO Specialist, your backlinks might just end up on platforms that offer little to no positive impact on your website. Whether it’s due to low quality or simply being unrelated to your niche, placing links on such websites is a significant waste of your time and resources.
Bad Anchor Example: Click Here
Better Anchor Example: See the Latest Innovations at [Your Brand]
As mentioned earlier, lacking the necessary knowledge and experience might lead to a less-than-ideal link profile, potentially risking Google penalties and a decline in rankings – though, these extreme cases are very rare.
You Ignore SEO. Here’s What You’re Risking
The first big risk is:
RISK #1: You Lose Visibility
Neglecting SEO makes your website vulnerable to the ever-changing algorithms. As mentioned in Why SEO Isn’t and Never Was Just For Bots, even if your website once ranked high, frequent updates can swiftly push it down the SERPs. This poses three significant risks:
- You being unaware of drops: You might not even know why your website isn’t as visible as it used to be, leaving you scratching your head about what went wrong.
- Lack of SEO expertise: Without an SEO Specialist, figuring out the impact of an update and making the right changes can feel like trying to fix a car without a manual – not easy.
- Inability to make changes: Understanding how to make changes to keep up with the algorithm updates might be overwhelming, leaving your website obsolete.
Put plainly, if you ignore SEO, your website is left to whatever surprises Google throws its way, and that could hurt its visibility to your target audience.
RISK #2: You Fall Behind on the Latest SEO Trends
Staying in the loop with industry trends and the latest SEO solutions can be tough. Even if you enjoy staying in the know, checking multiple websites daily for the latest news in your niche and SEO is seriously time-consuming. That’s where having someone who can do this for you, keeping you informed about significant changes, becomes as valuable as gold.
Take, for example, the period when having well-structured FAQs gave websites a significant boost. Without investing your time or having an SEO Specialist to keep an eye on and implement these trends, it becomes tricky to spot and smoothly integrate these industry trends into your strategy.
RISK #3: You Miss the Chance to Reach Your Target Audience
One more hard pill to swallow: When you ignore SEO, you’re basically saying “no” to lots of chances to connect with your potential customers.
Think of the unique product example we talked about earlier – you might be ranking high for this product name, but a smart SEO Specialist will help you figure out what people actually type into the search bar to find a product like yours. Trust me, not all of them type your product name.
It’s also worth realizing that SEO Specialist assistance doesn’t just help you win high spots with keywords you already know are important; the Specialist plays a key role in growing your business online.
Even if your content is unique, valuable, and simply amazing, it won’t help you much if the technical SEO issues stop Google from indexing it or prevent people from closing your website due to its low loading speed.
Real-Life Example: When a Website Owner Teams Up with an SEO
While it’s not common for me or anyone at Delante to start partnerships with Clients who’ve never done any SEO, it does happen occasionally. Here are two examples from various industries that illustrate how investing in SEO can significantly and quickly promote online business growth.
In these cases, we implemented a full SEO process, covering all the areas mentioned earlier. As seen in the screenshots, this resulted in stable upward trends.
The green line marks the beginning of the partnership.
5 Key Takeaways: High Google Rankings without SEO
Skipping out on SEO these days is like leaving money on the table for your competitors to come and take it. E-commerce is just too competitive, and without a smart SEO strategy, your business might miss out on significant growth opportunities.
Here’s what I want you to remember after reading my article:
- SEO is a must for strong and lasting online visibility, helping you rank for the most relevant keywords for your brand, not just any keywords.
- If you have a website, you’re essentially doing SEO whether you realize it or not.
- Organic traffic is not just about attracting new customers for free; it’s vital for building a lasting online presence.
- While there are hypothetical situations where websites might not actively engage in SEO, these are rare, and even big brands often use SEO to maintain their online dominance.
- From improving page titles and meta descriptions to building a strong link profile, investing in SEO is a key driver for unlocking your website’s full potential and ensuring lasting growth.
Whether you’re looking for a full SEO process or simply seeking expert advice to figure out what’s holding back your progress, identify the low-hanging fruits, or even get some content packages written for you – you get it all at Delante. Let’s have a chat about how we can help you improve your online presence and reach your target audience.