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Best SEO in South Africa

Let me start by saying this: I’m not a cocky douche, and for that reason I will not call myself “The best SEO in South Africa”. No, I leave that honour to the cocky snake-oil-selling SEOs of South Africa. You see, just like guarantees of #1 rankings, claiming to be the best SEO in SA will only be done by those in SEO to con you out of your money. Real SEOs understand that you can never be the best at SEO. Google changes their search algorithm almost daily now, and as such an SEO never stops learning. The only way an SEO can be the best is if they keep learning and adjusting and trying new things.

But where would you even start to find the best SEO in South Africa? Do they work for themselves or do they work for an SEO company?

The smartest SEO in South Africa

Again, calling yourself the smartest SEO in South Africa is an awfully boastful thing to do, and even if it is true you are going to come off like a tremendous dick if you say that out loud. Also, it should be easy enough for anyone to look into your SEO work and see for themselves if your claim of “best SEO in South Africa” is accurate. The reality of the matter will clearly show in the keywords that you rank for. Anyone can rank well on Google for keywords that nobody is searching for, like “best SEO in South Africa”. If the search volume for a particular keyword/phrase is very low, the SEO competition for ranking for that keyword will also be low.

South Africa's smartest SEO

What does the smartest SEO in South Africa look like? Like this?

When you meet an SEO claiming to be the best, tell them to show you some of the keywords that they have built rankings for. Then use an SEO tool like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest 2.0 to see the data behind the keywords. Obviously, if nobody is really typing the keyword the SEO is bragging about into Google then ranking for that particular keyword will be pretty useless. Even if you rank number one on Google for a particular keyword, if nobody is searching that keyword, what is the point of ranking for it in the first place?

I have had multiple clients tell me the keywords that they want to rank for. As an SEO client, you certainly should tell your SEO what keywords you think you should be ranking for. But a real smart SEO will take the keywords the client has given and do some serious keyword research. From the keyword research, I’m able to advise my clients on the best keywords to try ranking for. This will also give you a good indication of how much SEO work will have to be done before you start ranking for the keyword you want to target.

A Smart SEO does smart work

I have a client in the sports betting industry. In August 2019 when I started doing their SEO for them they were ranking on page 4 of Google for their two main target keywords, namely “betting” and “sports betting South Africa”. Before we had our first meeting in June 2019, I did my keyword research and I had a look at their competitor’s SEO strategies. As you might have guessed there is more than one sports betting operator in South Africa, and sports betting SEO is one of the most competitive markets in the world. To get the client to sign on the dotted line, and the rankings they were looking for, I had my work cut out for me.

Best SEO in South Africa knows where to hide things

When I walked into that first meeting I already created a page on my own website that ranked better for the keywords “sports betting South Africa” than the client’s sports betting website. I could also tell them where I was planning to build links and what improvements to their website I would suggest. Now if you Google “sports betting South Africa” you will find my client’s website not just on page one of Google, but in the top three ranking positions.

Because I could show them rankings I had built for the keywords they were targeting, and because I had years of experience working as an SEO in the sports betting and online casino industry, in their mind I was the best SEO for the job. The results of the last 10 months of work kind of speak for themselves.

What skills does the best SEO in South Africa have?

As an SEO myself, I know that the work we do as SEOs can often seem like some weird black magic hidden behind a big, heavy door up in a dark tower somewhere. Don’t worry, open heart surgery looks like black magic to me to. But I trust that a surgeon who has years of experience doing open heart surgery understands what he is doing better than me. Regardless, I would like to at least know what the basics entail, and so should you when you start looking for SEO in South Africa.

Who is the smartest SEO in South Africa

Here are some of the key skills the best SEOs will have:

  • Good keyword research skills
  • Good at competitor analysis
  • Good at writing, reading and proofing content for SEO
  • Good at content strategy
  • Good at link-building
  • Good at working with development teams
  • Good at outreach communications (for link building)
  • Good SEOs have a large network of bloggers and webmasters that they have worked with

Local SEO is different in South Africa

There are many reasons why SEO in South Africa differs greatly from SEO in other countries. It might be because South Africa is a third-world country. It might be because all South Africans don’t have internet access like people in the US or Europe. It might be because we do our Google searches in more than one language. It might be as simple as different cultures use Google in different ways.

The good news is that the competition for SEO in South Africa is lower when compared to other countries. again, this could be for a variety of reasons but it mostly comes down to South Africa only having a small handful of truly experienced SEOs. There are thousands of snake-oil-selling SEOs in South Africa, but luckily they can’t hold a candle to the real SEOs that have been working in the industry for 10 years or more.

Also, if the SEO you are speaking to claims to be the best simply ask them to show them how they rank for a location and keyword-specific search like “SEO Pretoria” or “SEO company Pretoria”. I mean, if they are a company doing SEO in Pretoria, they should be on page one for the term “SEO Pretoria” otherwise they clearly can’t do what they say they can.

Most of all, when looking for an SEO ask them to show you how they are using SEO for themselves. I use SEO to rank for various cannabis-related terms, like “cannabis seeds South Africa” or “best South African cannabis”. I don’t just rank for these terms to flex, I do it because it’s my side hustle and I earn a nice little income from selling grow tents, t-shirts and LED grow lights.

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