​Major networks fail to optimize their custom content with longtail keywords, losing out on a 400 percent organic traffic lift.

​Businesses that are not considered among the world’s top brands might think Google is out to shut them down. The search engine company’s Matt Cutts recently said that Google will allow one website to claim top results if its content quality truly outshines the rest. With this new search signal pushing high-quality content to the top of SERPs, even when the first few links point toward the same domain, small organizations wonder how they can possibly develop SEO content strategies to compete with the big players. This may come as a surprise, but even major corporations fail at search optimization. Just because a company serves a wide offline audience doesn’t mean it will automatically dominate the online space.

SEO research firm RankAbove analyzed the organic search performance of America’s most popular television networks. Data showed that these companies miss big opportunities to drive traffic back to their websites, especially for specific shows. The report looked at 23 Emmy award-winning shows from nine networks, noting that several are actually performing worse in search this year compared to 2012. Here’s what smaller businesses can learn from major networks’ SEO missteps.

Where does the traffic come from?

RankAbove noted that shorter, more general terms drive less traffic than long-tail phrases to network sites, yet many businesses fail to rank for these queries. Longer-form terms drive more than 75 percent of traffic for these networks, but RankAbove noted that a number of networks fail to optimize for the phrases and sit on the second page of Google search. In fact, 60 percent of phrases associated with a television show aren’t used in networks’ SEO strategies.

These networks could increase organic search traffic back to their websites by 400 percent if they optimize content for long-tail search terms.

Why does this matter? Because a network might sell seasons of its shows on DVD, but not optimize its content for SEO. This would increase the odds of third-party sites generating sales and taking monetary cuts from the network just because of solid internet marketing strategies. RankAbove ran a second study that evaluated CTRs across these networks and discovered these businesses could increase organic search traffic back to their websites by 400 percent if they optimize content for long-tail search terms.

Size doesn’t matter with SEO

Small and medium sized businesses can outrank major corporations if they actively monitor their SEO campaigns. With some analytics reporting and savvy content writing, companies can push their sites further up in SERPs and dominate even the most competitive search spaces.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.