Why ranking on page 1 of a Google search isn’t enough!

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Ever wondered why big companies have Adwords even on their own brand names?

It’s simple, they don’t want to take any chances.”

One of the most common lines of resistance I come up against is ‘We’re on page 1 already.’


At this point, I keenly enquire, ‘Oh for what keywords?’ and of course the reply is more often than not ‘All of them.’ In my experience, the actual reality is normally one of two cases. 

Adwords and SEO on first page

Case 1 

When you dig deeper you find that the majority of the keywords they rank for is their own brand name (sometimes this is the entirety of the searches) and a few generic keywords next to no volume. Nothing wrong with that if they are high converting long-tail keywords but more often than not it isn’t. In fact, their analytics is largely monitoring searches for their own brand-related searches. Again nothing wrong with obviously gaining this traffic but it’s missing the huge swathe of prospects who aren’t aware of your company but are aware of a need for your service. Even if you’re not aware of the keywords that they’re using which is the crux of the matter.


Case 2

There are of course occasions where this isn’t the case and a company has some presence on some of the searches that are both valuable to them in terms of either volume or in terms of intention to buy. However, merely being on page 1 isn’t sufficient to win business. Why is this? Well, take a respectable search volume in the B2B field of say 300 monthly searches. Sounds on the face of it that if you’re on page 1 you’ll get a good chunk to make it worth your while. Something to keep in mind is that in today’s searches it’s often a congested marketplace. Of course, there’s obviously often Adwords taking up the primary real estate at the top of the page but after this, there may also be your local listings. 


The attrition that an organic listing can suffer can be up to 30-35% of the search volume is consumed by prospects clicking on these. So now you’re down to about 200 monthly searches available after this attrition. A further issue is just because a search was made it doesn’t mean that everyone will click on the first page. Some will make a search and carry on to the next second page and maybe click on their or abandon their search with no click-through at all. Again, you may see a further few percent attritions from this as well. 


Then you need to consider your position on this page. The top three positions will often bag around 60% of the remaining traffic. This now leaves considerably around just over a sixth of the original search volume to gain for the remaining seven positions. So if you’re around position 9 or 10 then you’ll be lucky to see about 5 click-throughs a month for what initially seemed like a very fertile search term. 


So what’s that answer? Well first and obviously is dominate any search phrase you know to be of value to you. Even if you’re in the top three organically you also need to mop us as much possible traffic that may be going only as far as the Adwords or local listings section. So this is why large companies will defend their brand position even in Adwords to just not give an opportunity for a prospect to be swayed by a compelling ad made by a competitor. 


Of course, when you’re a smaller organization you may not have the luxury to dominate all search terms of value but you can test and evaluate the terms in a systematic way by undertaking selective Adwords campaigns and seeing what is generating business for you. In addition, there’s no excuse for any company to neglect their local SEO listings which are frequently overlooked or mismanaged. Finally, you can make an argument for perhaps smaller volume but easier to dominate search terms where say you may already rank that may benefit from some relatively simple page optimisation and content generation. After all, it’s better to win 30% of 10 high converting search terms a month than 1% of 300 generic lower converting search terms a month.


For any assistance in adopting any of these strategies to be more effective with your search engine marketing them please don’t hesitate to contact me on 07985 676506 or e-mail me at guy@readysteadygoSEO.co.uk. Of
course, all comments, opinions, and insights are very much welcomed and if you feel that this article may be of use to other people you know then please don’t hesitate to share it.

I've been involved in marketing for over 20 years and digital marketing over the last 6 years. My goal is to see clients thrive from using both ethically based affordable SEO services and effective digital marketing best practices.

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