It’s a great question. The first thing most people would say to this question is, in so many words, “of course you have competition. There are billions of webpages online and the chances that your company is a Googlewhack are slim to none.” Inevitably, Google will return thousands of pages for any one search term; however, it’s completely possible that you don’t have much real local competition. After all, most of those thousands of pages are irrelevant, they just happen to include a few keywords. Google users know that and so does the company ranking number one (you). So does SEO still matter? The short answer is yes. The long answer is below.
3 Reasons Companies Without Competition Still Need SEO (and a Lot of It)
The idea for this topic first came to me when a friend who worked at the only paintball company within a 100-mile radius asked me about SEO. Stranger niches or companies in smaller areas have a much easier time ranking on a Google SERP. Because SEO is all about earning visibility for your company online, it can be difficult for these types of companies to justify spending the time and money creating a solid SEO strategy. As long as the website is working, the business is coming, and the company is one-of-a-kind in the area, the rankings are going to be in their favor. This was the exact case for my friend.
Plain and simple, it is true that companies without much competition probably don’t need to spend as much money or as much time creating an SEO strategy. However, it’s important to remember that SEO isn’t only about creating online visibility. There are other benefits, and that’s what people in these situations can sometimes forget (and I can’t blame them!).
Below are the three major reasons that SEO is still beneficial for companies with no competition:
SEO is about usability.
This is probably the biggest reason that SEO matters for every type of company. The rankings will naturally follow for those who are concerned about rankings, so usability should really be the end goal of any SEO plan. Competition or not, you still want your readers to be able to easily navigate your website, read relevant and educational content, know where to go to engage with your website and your audience, and be able to do it all in a timely manner. Understanding SEO is going to help you achieve these goals. If you want to get technical, you’re just focusing on the “O” of “SEO” here.
SEO is about search engine communication.
So now why the “SE” still matters. Optimizing for readers comes first, but optimizing so that search engines can crawl your website is next in line of importance. You want search engines to always be able to crawl your website so that your content can continue to be indexed and show up on a SERP, but you also want the bots to see your website in a good light because they can offer readers information about your website. PageRank is probably the biggest example.
Although experts may say that PageRank doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t mean that those coming across your website for the first time aren’t seeing your PageRank number. Google will give websites a PR based on SEO considerations like links you have earned, the quality and frequency of content, the navigation of your website, and more. You want this number to be high so that those clicking your site and using a PR checker will see that your company is quality and not just the only thing available.
Ultimately visitors probably shouldn’t use PR as the only determiner of quality of a company, but some do, so you may as well be prepared just in case.
SEO is about future competition.
Of course, you can’t forget about the fact that someday you could have competition. Even if it seems like it won’t happen in the near future, remember that it takes a long time to create a solid relationships with the search engine bots and improve your SEO. If a competitor comes onto the scene, you want to have the advantage online. If you had no SEO in place, you would be in the same spot as your new competition in terms of competing for that number one ranking. Moral of the story: Use this time to your advantage.
I also wrote about this topic on Search Engine Journal here where I was reminded in the comments that if you already have the top spot locked down, you are already doing SEO. In other words, SEO can happen naturally. Great companies are going to naturally offer great content and a website that is easy to use, both of which fall under the SEO umbrella.
In the end, it’s not important that you hire a big SEO agency or spend a great deal of time on a strategy. You can put other things at the top of your priority list, but just remember that SEO understanding does matter for more than just earning a top ranking and beating out competition.
What are your thoughts on SEO with no competition? Are you a company in this situation? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.