The Real Reason for SEO and Why Ranking #1 on Google is Pointless

The Real Reason for SEO and Why Ranking #1 on Google is Pointless

Written by: James Conway Posted on: 9th February 2018 Share this post:

Breaking news: search engine optimisation isn’t just about rankings.

The Real Reason for SEO and Why Ranking #1 on Google is Pointless

Being at the top of Google (or others) isn’t the real reason why anyone pushes SEO in 2018, or at any other point in postinternet history.

In this article you’ll find out how to identify and then break down the real goal you need to set in order to really capitalise on your online marketing campaigns. You may even pick up some ideas on how to achieve it.

Granted, there will be some of you out there that might just want to outrank a competitor for local bragging rights. But for the majority, the only factor at play here is money, moolah, cash.

Whatever brings you to SEO, the goal is to generate additional wealth for yourself or the business you’re part of.

Ultimately, to do so, you need more customers, leads or sales.

So, park the thought that you need rankings. You don’t. You want them because you believe that will lead to your real goal.

Understanding your requirement for customer-gain is imperative in creating the perfect SEO campaign. So, before you start even looking at keyword targets, you have to know your end goal.

From there you can work back and understand what your real SEO and ranking goals should be.

Calculating Your Goals

Using a hypothetical case study, let’s say you’re looking to generate 100 leads each year for your mortgage brokerage in London.

Firstly, to identify how to get there you need to understand the formulae behind online marketing, your SEO agency should be able to help demonstrate the theory behind these numbers. And they’ll probably have their own numbers.

ICYMI, ranking top of search engines for your niche could be worth up to 33% of the available volume.

The Real Reason for SEO and Why Ranking #1 on Google is Pointless

Third position makes up around 11%, with creeping on to the first page in tenth spot thought to be worth 2%.

Then take these figures and combine with the search volumes you can get from the Google Keyword Tool and you can quickly understand the value of being in each position for each keyword.

Here’s an example of how I do it (example traffic used):
Keyword Traffic Available P/M Position 1 Traffic Position 3 Traffic Position 5 Traffic Position 10 Traffic
London Mortgage Broker 1500 500 158 90 30
Mortgage Broker in London 2100 700 221 126 42
Mortgage Advice Central London 1600 533 168 96 32
City of London Mortgage Broker 1300 433 137 78 26

Using the percentages above for each positional worth, you can get the amount of traffic available in each position, expand this across all your keywords (the more the better). And you’ll be able to understand the opportunity available to you.

Once you’ve got this, add in a column next to each position and combine the data of the traffic available with the conversion rate of your website. The table below uses a 5% conversion rate. Thus, in 100 visits to your website, 5 people will pick up the phone or leave an enquiry.

That’s an average figure for this type of search term. Within industries like payday loans or debt management the conversion rates can be as high as 25% as both are hugely emotional purchases and are time-sensitive. Both of which are triggers for quick conversions.

Keyword Traffic Available P/M Position 1 Traffic Estimated Conversions
London Mortgage Broker 1500 500 25
Mortgage Broker in London 2100 700 35
Mortgage Advice Central London 1600 533 27
City of London Mortgage Broker 1300 433 22
Now, let’s take a look at these conversions…

Above the ‘position 1’ column has been filled in. But, you should expand this across each position on the first page of Google to get a real understanding of what is the possible result of being in each of the positions.

Consequentially, the end result is a table showing the number of potential conversions available by-keyword in your niche.

Now, go through this and trim out unrealistic keyword targets and those that do not suit your need. For example if there are no conversions available as the volume is too low or there’s keywords that are too competitive.

The Mortgage Broker…

So, going back to the mortgage broker in London who wants 100 leads each month.

Across the 4 keywords selected there is enough volume to achieve those lead targets if you were to rank number one on Google and the website converted traffic to enquiry at 5%.

Though it’s a great target to be number 1 for everything, in most cases it’s very difficult (at least with the competitiveness of the hypothetical case study). Therefore, you may need to add more keywords and target a top 3, 5 or 10 position. So, achieving the same result using multiple keywords with lower volume rather than ranking higher for fewer generic keywords.

Spreading the risk across multiple keywords and giving yourself more opportunity for growth long term isn’t a bad thing at this stage.

It will also be a simpler task for your chosen SEO partner to rank long tail keywords on the first page.

So, you’ve now got a complete understanding of which keywords have potential to help you achieve your business goals, it’s time to approach an SEO company to help you deliver those rankings.

Present them with your keyword list and data. Remember that they don’t know your business like you do, so it’s far more productive for you to manage this part of the strategy.

In Summary…

To deliver a good SEO campaign you need to understand your exact goals. 9 times out of 10 those goals are not actual rankings, it’s the end product, a lead or a sale of some kind.

Although rankings have the ability to deliver leads, ranking for every keyword under the sun that has no traffic or doesn’t convert on your website is pointless.

Finally, focusing on the right keywords from the start is imperative, but this isn’t the start at all, choosing and understanding your end goal is.

1 thought on “The Real Reason for SEO and Why Ranking #1 on Google is Pointless”

  1. I like to this of SEO as a popularity contest. #1st place ranking shows the website/company has the time/money to get to the top of search results. It’s not only good for getting noticed its good to get a better click through rate as I never go to the second page of Google.

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