Not Doing SEO doesn’t mean you won’t rank


Hi guys. And welcome to another edition of the Zupo's SEO Talk and Tea. 

Today's conversation is an interesting one, but it's one I want to talk about. Just because you or another site is not doing SEO, doesn't mean you won't rank. This is an important conversation because I think that a lot of people think of SEO as very bang, bang. If I pay for SEO, I'll rank. If my competitor doesn't pay for SEO, they won't rank. That's not really the case. SEO is not really like paid advertising. SEO is its own environment, own context. Therefore it has its own kind of factors that will influence whether or not, things will rank or not. But before we begin, I do want to introduce the tea we have today. Today we have a Darjeeling, black tea from Black and Bold. Again, this is one of those charitable companies that donates 5% of their profits, or I guess revenue or sales, no 5% of all profits, sorry, are contributed to disadvantaged domestic youth.

So this is one of those teas that we'd like to always have on the show because of doing some social good and giving back. Well, let's go ahead and get talking. So the reason why this is important is because unlike paid advertising where, if you're doing Facebook ads, Insta ads, or Google ads, it's very much one of those where you pay to play. If you're paying for ads, you'll get seen. If you don't pay, you, won't be seen. SEO is a little different just because you're not doing SEO tactics. Like you're not link-building or you're not hiring an SEO agency to help you doesn't mean you won't rank. I've seen many sites rank well without doing a lick of SEO. Right? So what does that all mean? The reason why this is important is because it doesn't mean you don't need to focus on SEO.

Very, very few companies I've seen have done the thing where I just said where they don't do anything SEO related and they still rank very well. Very, very, few cases, and I feel like every with every year I'm working, I see that less and less because more businesses are entering into SEO. The reason why this is important though, is because there are occasions in our own agency's day to day. And I'm sure it'll happen in yours, that you will see companies that are ranking really well. But when you look under the hood, they look like they don't even know SEO is they have no SEO tags, no title tags, or meta descriptions. They don't do much blogging or anything, but they rank really well. And what was often the case, there is something that we have found is that there are companies who are really good at doing marketing.

They get exposure, they get in the news, they get mentioned. So there's a lot of startups who, there's many that come to mind and I'm not going to name any, but yeah, I will name some, I think a classic one is Dollar Shave Club. Dollar Shave Club's video is used everywhere, right? And a lot of people will use it as a strong example of a good startup video. Dollar Shave Club, companies like that, they do so good on their marketing, on their PR that they get so much media attention. We have seen companies like that be able to attain large amounts of links and referring domains to their site, even though it's technically not SEO, they're doing a lot of exposure, just organically, they're driving a lot of links to their website.

Therefore we have seen a lot of companies who don't have any title tags or SEO direction, and I can tell when we're looking at the site, but because of their strong marketing skills, they've developed a strong back link portfolio, allowing them to rank. Just the other day, we saw a website that did not do any SEO whatsoever. Their title tags were a mess. The SEO architecture was a mess. It looked like they didn't focus on content at all, but they had done a strong job doing some influencer marketing that they had worked with so many influencers at the sheer size of leaks coming into their site, overcame every other deficiency, and they ranked really well. The reason why this is important is because on one hand, some of you might be thinking, Hey, well, if they're doing well, I don't need to pay for SEO.

That might be the case, if you can nail down a really strong PR marketing strategy where you're getting featured all over the news and these different publications, if you can do that, yeah, by all means, maybe you don't need to focus on SEO, go do that. But for most people, what you'll find is that that's very difficult and it's very hard to be able to attain that. But we're also, this is important is when you're doing SEO research, you will find some competitors who aren't doing SEO, but they rank really well. In those cases, you really have to evaluate, even though they're not doing SEO, they're acquiring these large levels of links and referring domains. We may not be able to compete because even if we invest SEO, the sheer level of links from referring domains driven to their site might be of too large and the gap too big for us to be able to compete with them on that level.

So in that case, you might need to pivot, okay, maybe we go for a different keyword or maybe SEO is not even a good fit for us anymore because a competitor is so dominant there. So that's where a lot of this becomes really important is that there are occasions where we just face companies whose marketing and PR arm is so much stronger than ours, that we can't hope to overcome it quickly. Right? Therefore it is good to know that occasions do exist, and when they do exist, you may not want to face them head on. You may want to go for other opportunities. So it is something that is important. It's not one of those where I can give you an answer of like, "Oh yeah, they do this. Then just do this instead, and you'll beat them out." That's not really the case.

Sometimes, I think all companies that want to become, exposure, heavy PR heavy and, get featured on the news all the time, but that's not always the case, but when you're going against a competitor, who's like that you may not want to face them in that arena because they're so good. You don't want to compete against someone who their main ultra strength is in that layer. So when you're SEOping out your SEO opportunities, be aware of that. That's one that's very, that happens every so often for our agency. And so I want you guys to be aware of it when you're doing your own SEO research to make sure you're not going to go up against someone that may be too strong on some levels for you to go up against. And so you may want to go for different arenas. So hopefully that was valuable, hopefully that will help you in your own strategy. I'm going to go ahead and pour out my team. Now, if you guys found the video valuable, please like, and subscribe. And I hope to see you guys again soon.

Thanks everybody.

Jason Khoo

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.