Win, Place, or Show
In the search engine race, does it really matter whether you win, place or show?
You have probably seen “bookies” in the movies or at the track who had clandestine “tips” to help you bet on the winning horse.
You do need your website to win the race against your competitors’ websites but your website can be the victim of similar S.E.O (Search Engine Optimization) tipsters.
These S.E.O. consultants promise to make your website win the race to the top of a search engine page with key words, and various other tactics and tools. But just like the tips from bookies, there are real problems inherent in their tips and tactics;
1.) The same search engine optimization bookie who sold you a hot tip, is selling that tip to your competitors too…and there is only one top slot.
2.) Other search engine optimization ‘consultants’ are selling different hot tips to get their clients, your competitors, to win that same race.
3.) Still other competitors are literally buying their way to the top of the search engine page.
The bad news is, the race to the top of a search engine page is never ending, and impossible to win consistently as your competitors find new avenues to take them to the top.
The good news is your website doesn’t need to win the race; it only needs to place or show to grow your business.
Let’s examine why “winning” the S.E.O. race isn’t necessary.
Consider your own search habits. It is highly likely that when you go on line in search of a business, you are more likely to bypass the business at the top of the list if you have never heard of it, in favor of a business you do recognize which might be a little deeper down in the list.
Recent research shows that less than 6% of web surfers click exclusively on the first business their search reveals at the top of the list, and nearly 80% prefer to click on a business they have heard of.
There are several reasons for more familiar businesses being preferred.
1.) The number one search engine is Google. You have probably noticed that the first few names at the top of a Google search have light pink shading behind them, and you probably know why….it’s because they are not there through organic search, they are paid ads. You know that, and so do your customers. They prefer to visit the organic search results.
2.) People prefer to do business with businesses they trust; they seldom trust a business they have never heard of.
The real “inside tip” to getting results and higher returns from your website is to create a pre-need awareness, preference and trust for your business before your prospects begin their online search.
If you own a business called Bob’s Tire Store, for example, do you really want victims of flat tires to search “tire stores” to reveal a list of all of your competitors, or would you prefer they search for Bob’s Tire Store?
Of course, you’d rather they search for your business.
Creating pre-need awareness, preference and trust really gives you a two-fold advantage online;
1.) Many prospects will search for you specifically, rather than viewing a list of your competitors, and
2.) If they do a generic search, having built awareness and trust in advance of their search increases the odds of them choosing to click on your link, rather than your competitors’.