Since the earliest days of SEO as an industry, the man on the street has assumed that the goal of a digital marketing company is to have “a high rank on Google”.
It’s difficult to explain why this assumption is wrong because there isn’t just one problem – there are a lot of mistaken assumptions in there.
Let’s break them down.
Search engines, and Google is especially good at this, monitor how the average user behaves on your site. If your site is extremely popular for a while, perhaps having ‘gone viral’, but everybody who visits finds nothing to keep them there and leaves, the search engines will remember – and your site will fall in search results.
It’s important to remember that search engine performance is an ongoing contest, not a once-and-done situation. Performance declines without support; you always need to perform better than your competition to advance.
Between search engines compensating for different user histories and behaviours in their algorithms, location-based search bias (particularly strong when searching for certain types of businesses), and even the fact that which Google server your query is processed by will adjust the results, there is no one ‘ranking’ for a given site and search query combination.
In particular, the more you search for your own business – or for your competitors – the more you adjust how the algorithm will handle your query, until it feeds you completely inaccurate information. (By searching in incognito mode you can remove some, but not all, of these factors.)
When a new client comes to us, they tend to have a clear idea of what sort of search phrases they expect to be successful in; after all, they’ve got a lot of experience in their field of business.
There are two problems with this; one is that sometimes those search phrases aren’t actually ones customers use, and one is that by definition, a client doesn’t know what phrases would attract the customers they aren’t bringing in.
One of the reasons we stress a data-driven approach is because our keyword analysis process allows us to check for both of these issues, focusing on the search terms that will actually bring in the business.
Above all, it’s important to remember that the goal of a digital marketing campaign is to bring in more customers, increase sales, and, in general, improve our clients’ bottom line – and the fact is that your ‘Google ranking’, inasmuch as one exists, doesn’t translate to better sales or better business.
Search engines offer a lot of functions today which would not have been used well in the past, but which work smoothly now that the general public know their way around a search query.
It’s less important to be on the first page of results, or high up it, now that the public know that a lot of the results page is ads; those in a hurry will go to the ads and others will take their time to browse the first few pages, finding the best site for them.
People are also – and this can be very important – waking up to the other features search engines incorporate.
If your business isn’t taking advantage of searches that use the map (referring to your Google Business profile) and (if you sell to the public) Google Shopping Feed, that means there’s a growing section of the search market – usually a section which is more likely to convert to customer – that you’re not competing for.
Using a combination of SEO and CRO, novi.digital concentrates on metrics that mean something to your bottom line. We aim to increase the proportion of your site’s visitors who are likely to want to become customers, and to help you adjust your website to make each purchase even more likely.
That’s the solid base from which we look to increase the number of visitors your site gets as well, while maintaining that higher proportion of potential customers.
That strategy begins to see returns almost immediately, but it’s not a short-termist strategy that risks trouble later for current gains. In fact, by working to make the site relevant to visitors, we also encourage search engines to treat it as more important – meaning that you’ll see improved performance in search engines in the long-term, too.
But that improved performance will be focused on the actual end goal – greater success for your company.
If you want to know more about how this can be accomplished, why not get in touch? We’re always happy to help.