Recently I ran into a website I had never seen before on a subject we work with a lot. This website — new to me — had actually been around as long as the website we manage. But they had followed a very different path from ours, and had completely different metrics. It was a perfect example of SEO impact: what happens when you actually work on SEO, compared with what happens when you don’t.
Of course, I wanted to write about this amazingly clear cautionary tale. But I don’t want to embarrass the owner of the website I mentioned. I also have a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with the owners of the other website. So I will share with you some facts about these websites, but I will call them Site X and Site Y. We’ll imagine that they are both websites championing childhood nutrition (they’re not).
Both sites have been online for about a decade. We can imagine our client and the owner of Site X launching their websites, feeling all excited about how much they were going to do for childhood nutrition. Knowing that the average American 2 year old drinks Coca-Cola from a baby bottle, they each had a clear vision of how they could provide high quality information for parents.
The owners of Site Y knew they would need to invest in their website in order to get good results. They hired us to provide regular blog posts and social media. They’ve had three blog posts a week and three social media posts a day for all these years.
They’ve done some advertising, some lnikbuilding, and occasionally written a post of their own over the years, but mostly they’ve just had that steady content marketing. Regular posting of high-quality relevant content gets good results over time.
Of course, as their webmaster we also look after the overall performance of their site, their technical issues, and their SEO strategy.
Their traffic over the life of the website looks like this:
In fact, they have had more than three million page views.
The owner of Site X chose to go it alone. He wrote good posts…occasionally. Some months he had eight posts, some months none at all. Some posts were just a paragraph or two, while others were long, well-researched articles.
He actually covered a lot of the same topics as Site Y, but where Site Y is listed by Google as ranking #1 for 198 keywords, Site X doesn’t rank #1 for anything — not even the title of the website or the name of the author. They don’t seem to have any backlinks, while Site Y has editorial backlinks from major online news sources. They have 23 subscribers, while Site Y has thousands. Traffic estimators say that Site X doesn’t have enough traffic for a reliable estimate.
Did Site X’s owner think, back when he launched his website, that he would end up ten years later with essentially no traffic and a website that is largely invisible to Google? If he had known that would be the result of all his hard work, would he have considered making an investment in professional assistance with his content marketing and SEO?
We don’t know. We know what we would have done.
Are you seeing the results you want and deserve? If not, contact us and we will be happy to help.