Why #1 in Google Should Not Be Your #1 Goal
SEO is something you spend a lot of your time, money, and energy on. It doesn’t matter if your approach to SEO is aggressive (black hat) or sustainable (white/silver/gray hat).
But I deserve to see a return for everything I’ve invested on SEO, right?
To be honest, you deserve to get back exactly what you put in. Ponder on that for a moment. Don’t mistake the meaning behind those words to be in your favor if you’ve put everything into SEO and have yet to rank on so much as the very bottom of the front page. You see, putting everything into SEO is exactly your problem. To be blunt, you’re half-assing it. It’s like putting profit before people… that mindset is going to be what holds you back. The problem isn’t that SEO is dying (go ahead and laugh at anyone who says that it is) because– as long as people use search engines to find information (including products and services)– businesses will always want to utilize this resource to gain more qualified traffic. The problem is getting your goals mixed up.
So the real #1 goal is to get more (qualified) traffic?
+2 points for paying attention! But no… getting more traffic shouldn’t be your #1 goal either. Let’s say you did get the desired #1 spot in search results for a very competitive, high value keyword. Let’s say this position tripled your traffic. Heck, let’s even say that it brought you 10 times the visitors that your website usually sees. What would happen next?
- Some of your traffic might buy something from you!
- Some of your traffic might contact you for more information!
- Some of your traffic will “bounce”. (Leave within 30 seconds to go somewhere else.)
- Some of your traffic might look around a little longer before leaving to go somewhere else.
- Some of your traffic will make a note to come back later, maybe…
Honestly, the specifics will vary based on your website. The most important variable is the percentages of people who do bounce or leave compared to the percentage of people who complete a desired action.
Oh, I get it now. Getting more conversions should be my #1 goal?
You’re getting warmer! There’s something else you should consider though. More and more people are going-local and supporting independently owned businesses rather than shopping at big-brand convenience stores. The reason for that… well, there’s a lot of reasons. Most of them are irrelevant. The most pertinent: customer service. There’s something wonderful about going in to buy a cup of coffee and the cashier already knows if you want cream or milk, 1 sugar or 2 Splendas, etc. Personal, human interaction vs. being treated like a wallet or account number… it’s an easy choice. This is why ranking # 1 in Google doesn’t mean jack. What matters is that you can keep your traffic interested, engaged, warm and comfortable. Until you can do that… no you don’t deserve more traffic and you certainly won’t be getting it from search!