We all vie for it. We get pissed off when we aren't ahead of our competitors. We spend hundreds of man hours and thousands of dollars trying to work our way up the ranks.
We all want to be #1 on Google for various keyword phrases related to our business.
At the end of the day, why do we waste precious time, resources and worry over getting to the top of search engines?
"We" of course, refers to us website owners. We continuously beat our heads against the wall to become #1 because the perception is that being #1 on search engines will create a windfall for our businesses. The thought of making huge profits from all of that "free" marketing makes smart people do stupid things.
Making SEO (Search Engine Optimization) your only marketing strategy can place your business into a perilous situation. We've all heard about Google's strategy of regularly refining their algorithm to tweak search engine results to better align them with people's search queries. And you may have heard about some companies getting their rankings hammered. Just to give you an idea of what can happen, WebProNews has published an article titled Google Panda Update: New Winners and Losers where they show exactly what can happen to a company's SEO visibility when a change is made.
If you're a small business and you rely heavily upon the search engines to drive business to your company through your website, imagine what could happen if you went from being #1 to no longer appearing in the top results. The reality is that being in this situation can result in no longer being in business.
Unfortunately, we've seen this exact scenario happen where, for whatever reason, a site that was previously ranking high dropped in the search engine results and devastated a company's business. Fortunately, diversifying your online and offline marketing initiatives can significantly lesson the blow anytime Google decides to update their algorithm and make you nondependent on their whims of the week.
SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) should certainly be part of your overall marketing strategy, but keep in mind that you don't have direct control over either. All too often I've seen companies invest all of their resources into their SEO/SEM campaigns only to be disappointed with the growth of their businesses. Many other factors are involved in building a great company. As I've previously written, Combined Online and Offline Marketing Efforts Lead to Marketing Campaign Success.
Being #1 on the search engines may help you sustain the business you already have, but it will not grow your business significantly. If you are fortunate enough to currently be listed in the #1 spot for your top search term, don't rest on your laurels and expect to be able to continue growing. The reality is that searches for that particular term aren’t likely to grow, so it's not likely that you can get even more business continuously from this ranking. The only way to continue growing your business is to seek out opportunities to reach people that aren't specifically searching for that term, might not even know the problem they have that you are trying to solve or that don't know the specific solution to their problems.
Search is great for those that already have an idea of the solution to their problems. Discovering solutions to problems that you are unaware of is not the forte of search engines. The only way to capture those customers is via a different medium.
Many of our local competitors are listed higher than we are on the search engines. However, we are significantly larger, have more customers and better name recognition than any of our local competitors. The simple reason is that we aren't exclusively reliant on the search engines to build our business. While being #1 on Google is great, it really doesn't mean shit in terms of contributing to our overall success. You certainly aren't going to find us sacrificing our brand's integrity for SEO purposes and neither should you.
|About the author
Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him plussing on Google+, as well as tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.
If you have questions about increasing the value of your website investment, please contact a Website Advisor today at 702-312-9444 within Las Vegas or Toll Free outside of Las Vegas at 888-221-8640.
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