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December 3, 2009

Do You Really Want Your Site on Page One of Google?

Do you really want your website on page one of Google for your chosen keyword phrase(s)? What do you want your online marketing campaign to accomplish for you?

I asked a potential new SEO Coaching client that first question last week. From my end of the phone call, it sounded as if he almost fell out of his chair!

I followed up by asking him if he could ever think of ANY reason for his website pages NOT to be found on page 1 in the Google SERPs (search engine results pages).

How ’bout you? Can you think of any reasons you’d NOT want your pages to be found for your targeted keyword phrases on page 1?

Keep in mind, I’m talking about your chosen keyword search phrases.

I can think of at least 3 reasons. Maybe you can come up with some of your own.

Is There Commercial Intent?

Let’s say you have not just a page 1 Google result, but you’re actually the first result. Here is an important question for you to ask yourself.

What is the commercial intent of this keyword phrase? Do the words contained in the keyword phrase give any indication of someone getting ready to spend money on a product or service like you offer?

For instance, compare these keyword phrases: Keyword Research, Keyword Research Specialist and Keyword Research Consultant. The latter 2 phrases give an indication of someone who is getting ready to spend money.

You can also Google the Microsoft Commercial Intent Tool and consider its’ results when evaluating your keyword search phrase choices.

If you are targeting a keyword phrase that has questionable commercial intention at best, is there any reason to really be found on page 1? Wouldn’t it be better to target more appropriate phrases instead?

If there’s no commercial intent, how does that help your online marketing?

Can you see where I’m going?

How Much Traffic Really Matters

Now, I’m giving you a choice: you can have a first page result (with commercial intent) and your position number is 4.

Your other choice is a different keyword search phrase with a second page result, position number 12, also with commercial intent.

So, the choice is obvious?

Well, I forgot to give you the rest of the details.

The first page choice has monthly search queries for its’ phrase of 3,240.

The second page result choice has monthly search queries for its’ phrase of 22,167.

Do you still believe that the best choice in this example is the first page result?

According to numbers from Aaron Wall’s site, approximately 6% of search users will click on that number 4 result in Google. That’s 194 visitors in a month.

This is figuring average title and description tags of typical online marketing ability to convert to a click. “Your mileage may vary.”

And for that second choice, the second page result? Over 1% should click on the search result, but let’s use just 1%. That’s 222 visitors per month.

Last time I checked, 222 is more than 194, so the second page result trumps the first page result, because the second page result has much more traffic than can convert to a transaction.

How Many Google AdWords Ads Show For Your Chosen Keyword?

If you don’t see many AdWords ads, this should be a warning!

One of 2 problems exist (or both):

  • There isn’t enough traffic for AdWords advertisers to target the phrase.
  • There isn’t commercial viability for the phrase.

Either way, is a first page result going to help you? Probably not.

The Value Of A Committed Searcher

Want a recipe to waste your time (or your employees’)?

Get a first page result in Google for your keyword search phrase and place your toll-free phone number in big numbers on the top right of each of your Web pages.

People clicking the first result in the SERPs are often less serious than those who go through the first few results or who continue searching onto the second page.

There may be something to be said for avoiding people who almost randomly click the first result and who may have impulse control “issues”.

Now, if you have a large staff to answer your incoming phone calls AND if your conversion rate from those calls is strong, then the potential problem I described probably isn’t a problem for your business.

On the other hand, if you are a solo professional, this strategy can be hazardous!

How are you going to perform your paid work when you get “Internet lookiloos” asking you questions they could get answered, if they would simply read a few words on your website?

Are these the best potential clients for your services or products and the best use of your time?

A second page result could bring you more serious potential customers, people who might be more likely to actually READ your website content, understand your products or services better and who might be more likely to convert to a transaction.

It’s sure something to think about.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against first page rankings for your online marketing. I’m just for thinking a little further down the road than JUST first page rankings.


Marketing online since 2004, Paul Marshall can help you market on a budget. He’s a Marketing Consultant offering marketing services (and d-i-y Coaching). You can learn more about Paul Marshall on his LinkedIn profile page and at Strategic Web Marketing.net.

3 Responses to “Do You Really Want Your Site on Page One of Google?

    avatar Roy says:

    One item the article fails to mention is that you are not in control of your key words. Your intent may be to push ‘Keyword Research Specialist’ but another combination containing ‘Keyword Research’ could easily push past, driving unwanted trafic to your site.

    avatar Gary Wagnon says:

    One common weakness is the content once someone does go to a site. Before a PPC campaign is created, the content needs to be carefully analyzed to make sure it invokes action. Websites often fail to reach their conversion potential because their message has boring, me-to content.

    avatar debt collection agency says:

    I would rather be listed on sitepronews than google :) All jokes aside thanks for the posting, great information.

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