Some businesses just won't perform well organically. Here's why!

Firstly, I don't want this post to become misconstrued in any way and I hope you'll read through until the end to get a full understanding of what I'm trying to get across. Every single business and their website is different and they will always perform at different levels organically. I'm going to break down this post as much as possible to make it understandable to everyone interested.

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1. Short and Long Tail Keywords

Before we can get to the bottom of why some sites will never perform well organically we need to outline the difference between short and long tail keywords. The easiest way to do this is through an example. Let's say you sell shoes; more specifically womens shoes. One keyword you may look to rank for would be "womens shoes". This would be a short tail keyword. However, a term such as "pink size 5 womens shoes uk" would be a long tail keyword. You may not think to base your SEO on such terms as you will usually focus on your seed keywords, in this case a seed keyword would be the short tail "womens shoes". As you work to improve rankings on these short tail keywords, over time you will find yourself ranking for more and more long tail keywords and it's these that make up the vast majority of searches.

2. Identifying your top competition

I'm going to continue with the same example as before. If you're looking to rank for "womens shoes" you've got some serious competition with some big name brands. You need to identify who your competition is and if you're looking to rank at local, national or international levels; as this will play a part in the results you're looking to achieve.

Now when we put these 2 points together we can explain why some SEO efforts are seemingly pointless. If you are a small retailer looking to compete on a national level with big name brands for broad search terms you're probably going to struggle. Try to focus on certain local areas to start with (local SEO) and use tools such as Google Search Console to look at how well you're ranking organically for those long tail searches. You might even see something in these terms that you can focus your SEO efforts on.

For example, it would be much easier to get your website to rank for “womens shoes in lewisham” than it would be for just “womens shoes”.

Remember that many of the big name brands within your industry will have teams of people working 24/7 on their SEO to ensure they stay up at the top - as a small business you more than likely won’t be able to afford to do this. Work with what you have and focus on making small improvements in just one or two areas at a time.

Content is everything when it comes to SEO. Of course, you’re going to want to get those little fiddly bits out of the way first but once you’re sure all of your technical stuff is up to date you can move on to focus on content. Look at it this way:

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Take 2 websites both advertising the same product or service. Let’s use digital marketing in this example. Both have great technical SEO elements putting them on parr with each other from that perspective but one has a blog which is kept up to date twice weekly and the other does not. When someone searches for “digital marketing services” on Google the website with the blog may well be deemed significantly more relevant by Google to this search term. Why? This website has much more content on it surrounding this search term. If website 1 only mentions '“digital marketing services” a few times on it’s site but website 2 mentions it multiple times due to it’s blog, Google will deem website 2 as being more relevant.

Now, we’re not saying you should ever ignore the technical SEO aspects and only focus on content. This would only be detrimental to site both long and short term but you should focus the bulk of your SEO efforts on good quality content creation. The content you create won’t just benefit your SEO but will also give you something to post on your social media platforms as well as acting as a voice for your business. If people can see you really know your stuff based on the content on your blog, they’ll much more likely enquire about your product or service.