Can I do SEO without a website?

SEO is an internet marketing strategy that helps search engines to better understand your content and rank it appropriately for relevant searches. There are many other benefits of SEO as well, including: increasing site traffic by getting higher ranked in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), grabbing the attention of customers who would may not be specifically looking for your brand, and introducing potential customers to your business.

But a majority of the SEO strategies involve the use of websites, so can you do SEO without having a website?

Yes, but there's a catch. Let's go through two of the most popular ways you can do SEO without a website, and discuss whether they can substitute having a website altogether.

Local Results

If you open up Google and search for "restaurant near me", the first thing you'll likely see on the result page, will be some local results of restaurants that are near your physical location.

Those restaurants did not need a website to achieve this. Instead, they created a listing on a directory called Google My Business.

Google My Business is a free listing service from Google that allows businesses to add their information, such as hours of operation, contact information, and website URL, to Google Maps and Google Search. This way, customers can find your business when they are looking for services like yours on the web.

So doing local SEO via Google My Business is as simple as creating a new listing for your business.

Here are some tips to help your listing get a higher rank on Google's local listing:

  • Get good reviews, a listing with lots of good reviews will be beneficial to your SEO rankings. If a customer leaves a review on your listing, make an effort to respond to it, even if it's a bad review.
  • Add relevant information about your business, make sure that the information is complete and up to date, also add a description.
  • Upload relevant images in good quality.

Youtube Video SEO

When you search for "How to make pizza" on Google, you will get video results on the SERP. When you click on one of the videos, you will be redirected to the video's youtube page. This is also a way of doing SEO without a website.

Here are some tips on how to rank your videos higher on the SERP:

  • Use a relevant title, description, and tags. For example, if you have a video on how to make pizza, your title could be "How To Make Pizza" or "Beginner's Guide to Make Great Pizza", with tags such as cooking, pizza, and tutorial.
  • Include or fix your video closed caption. Youtube generates and adds a closed caption to your videos automatically, but those are filled with grammatical errors and misspelled words.
  • Use eye-catchy thumbnails for your videos, this can potentially attract more clicks and increase your video's CTR. This affects your video's ranking significantly.

The Catch

While doing SEO without a website is possible to some degree, can this entirely replace having a website at all? 🤔

According to the 2020 Sistrix Data, the click-through rates (CTR) for Local Results are a lot lower compared to the CTR for Organic Results.

Additionally, your local/video results will show only when Google decides that it's relevant to the query, so the number of keywords you can hit with only local/video SEO may be limited compared to website SEO campaigns.

So although you can do SEO without having a website, we highly recommend that you also have a website to do SEO as well, since it's a lot more effective and versatile.

To illustrate, consider a florist with IG and Facebook profiles only. Pretend for a second to be their potential customer looking for a local florist for a Mother's Day gift. Your search term could be something like "Mother's day bouquet Hong Kong." If you search that on Google right now, how many of the top 10 results are on Facebook or Instagram?

There are many platforms like Shopify and Webflow which enable you to create a website quickly. Or you can contact us to have an SEO-optimized website created for you.

We hope that this article has answered your question on whether or not you can do SEO without having a website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Allen He
Developer @ MSHK

FullStack Developer, SEO editor. WebRTC and JavaScript enthusiast. Love to explore new web technologies.

Two illustrated person sitting on the ground and brainstorming.
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