Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Felipe Bazon on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 12, 2018).

To optimise or not to optimise? This one goes to all the SEOs out there

To optimise or not to optimise? This one goes to all the SEOs out there:

What do you when you have a page that ranks FIRST, for its main keywords but it has no optimisation at all and by that I mean, no Title tag, no meta description, canonical tag is all wrong, no heading tags and above all no keyword rich content (I mean the keyword is not found even once within the copy) and no external links pointing to it?

Even though it is not a very competitive niche there are competit...ors optimising for the terms.

Do you optimise?

And how do you explain the TOP rankings?

The only thing I can think of is that the authority the domain has is helping it rank. By authority, I mean the number reasonably good backlinks it receives from other trustworthy domains.

P.S. The terms are Cornish Pasties by Post and Pasties by Post.

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Dave Elliott: if you are top why put in more effort? There are probably other things that need doing. For example the wedding and events page(presuming i found the right site) is very thin, as are the shop pages. Also, i don`t see anything about becoming a stockist.That said i`d fix the canonical tag to be on the safe side, and have a plan in my back pocket in case the rankings do drop...but sounds like you have.
  • Felipe Bazon: I`m with you to a certain extent, there isn`t much of a point to optimise if we are the top Agreed! But, for instance, the title and meta descriptions are not passing the correct message for that given page, therefore, CTR is below average for its position.Totally with you again that there are other pages that need attention, but those are already on the pipe to be optimised.Thanks for your view on this.
  • Makis Cris: Did you by any chance run adwords in the past for the specific keywords?
  • Michael Martinez: "Optimisation" is not about including titles, metas, and etc. It`s about ensuring that a page can be found for its content. If the page is already being found and you cannot improve on that there is no "optimisation" left to do.
  • Felipe Bazon: Good point ...
  • Travis Bailey: Make another page, intended to compete with it (as best as possible). A lot of people gripe about keyword cannibalization. But as I see it, one less competing page is on page one. And two of my pages are on page one for the term. Neat!Can you go `whole hog`, and get that happening? See if you can outrank the old page for the same thing. It should be fun.
  • Felipe Bazon: I`d love to do that just to see the results, but due to time restrictions and budget I might not be able to that right now.
  • Travis Bailey: This is going to take some huevos. But if what you say about the page is true, it ranks very well already. In my experience, applying tried and true, sound principles works out 99.9%. You`re just adding an extra layer to the fort walls.I don`t know the domain. But I`m going to say it`s ranking on age and all kinds of links. Old and good ones, or it`s propped up by some flash in the pan link scheme. I would say you should check the links before you proceed. Make sure they seem legit. It`s easier than you think. (one of these things is not like the other, and many of these things just don`t relate at all)Every now and then, we encounter a weird one that just attracted links without even trying. Don`t do anything manipulative, and the campaign is good.
  • Travis Bailey: Bonus points if you document and report back.
  • Mal Ö Tonge: so many other factors come into play with ranking, you are most likely number 1 because google have received good feedback regarding your site, including user experience, user intent and back links. I would not so much change what you have done in the past and what is ranking, but I would definitely optimize future content, who knows what other related terms you are not ranking for because your unknown competitor has correctly optimized their content. optimization is always a good thing.
  • Wizz Mate: The real question is how that page converts? Why not start focusing on conversion instead of title tag and meta. You are already #1 so take full advantage of the traffic you get. If you experience a drop in rankings you might play with SEO elements and see if you can improve the technical stuff. I mean I get it, you want to improve CTR as well, but if that page has value to your business why risk it at this stage?

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 12, 2018).

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