Can you improve SEO by not doing any SEO?

Like you I get many emails a week providing ‘wisdom’ on how and what to do for search engine optimization of a web site. Some of it is obviously just complete nonsense such as the ‘number 1 rankings in 7 days’ and $0 to $4000 income in a month. You know the sort of thing.

However I am seeing and increasing number of more ‘professionally’ written emails from supposedly authority people and companies that are just plain misleading.

This morning one such email was waiting in my inbox and inspired me to take ‘pen to paper’!

Part of the headline said ‘Improve SEO by not doing SEO’. It then went on to say ‘That’s right! The old SEO is dead. Backlinks-only strategies are not only inefficient but condoned by search engines. As Neil Patel says, “you can’t just pop up an ugly website, throw up mediocre content, build a few links and expect to rank well”. The only way to improve SEO now is to understand the new SEO: content marketing. Don’t do SEO, Search Engine Optimization like we meant it when the acronym was invented. Do content. Content that you audience cares about. Content that brings them added value. That’s how search engines feed their first page.’

This is completely misleading by saying all you need to do is keep adding new content to your site and you will get great rankings. And where is the evidence that Back-linking is condoned?

I look after many different websites across a whole range of markets. Some are informational, some are ecommerce. Keyword ranking changes are universally bought about by doing ALL of the following –

  • Site structure and performance
    • Good navigation
    • Well-formed Title tags
    • Well written Description tags
    • Well written Header tags
    • Site load speed
    • No on-site duplicate content
  •  Linking
    • Balanced anchor text
    • Good external link profile

There are many other factors but this is not a self-teach course, just a reminder that without at least the above points, rankings are near impossible.

If you don’t believe me try it. Buy a domain, host a simple WordPress site on it and add content. As much content as you like. However until you start building links you will not get any sensible rankings for keywords that mean anything or traffic and visitors to the site.

Now that reminds me of another important point. Keywords (or phrases). Don’t be fooled by the many charts and tables of keywords that spring from nowhere to page 1. These are almost always obscure terms that no one searches on and will bring you absolutely no traffic.

Yes you need content. Good well written content. Content that will attract visitors and keep them coming back. But content on its own will not get you rankings and traffic; it is only part of a complete picture.

This forms PART of a complete SEO strategy but without the other parts it will not provide the desired visitor traffic you want.