4 Reasons Why Ranking Keywords with Google is a Waste of Time.

You use Google, we use Google, and everyone uses Google. So what is the number one request we receive as a digital marketing agency; “Make us #1 on Google”. Now that there are over 5 billion websites, it has become increasingly difficult to rank high organically on search engines. Every business wants more customers so that they can further their vision. Revenue is the key to keeping the doors open and the lights on yet somehow, most businesses believe that if they rank high, they instantly make more. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and here are 4 reasons why:

1. SEO isn’t just where you rank.

Just like many other complex concepts, you can’t break SEO down into a simple statement. That would be similar to saying, “that car has a lot of horsepower, it must be fast.” If the car had a bad transmission, terrible tires, no gas or no one to drive it, it’s not going anywhere. The same can be said for SEO. Strategy and evaluation of all parts are important if you want anything to surface long term. Attention spans are dropping thanks to the constant barrage of media that we are exposed to every moment. Even if you get someone to your website, you have an average of less than 8 seconds to tell them everything you want them to know. This brief moment in time has to be calculated and strategically planned for. Not considering every angle of your sales story and condensing it into something that can be grabbed in seconds means a loss of customers. Also, there’s no quick way to build SEO that will stick. It’s a process that never ends and must be invested in.

2. Some keywords are just irrelevant.

Part of the reason why most businesses could use someone to do SEO/SEM for them is that they aren’t looking at organic keywords all day. Often businesses have no idea how people are finding them. Just because you think that a keyword is most important doesn’t mean that it is. All good SEO practices involve keyword research. This is the discovery point in the process where the appropriate words and phrases to find you will be determined. We have had cases where clients insisted on having keywords ranked that ended up being less than 1% of the total searches. Ranking high for these terms will cost you money and yield you nothing. Plus, you need to consider local search (local pack) variables as well. Things in your locality could really influence user behavior.

3. Your competitors know you have no idea what you are doing.

Tools like moz and semrush give SEOs incredible insight into the online strategy of you and your competitors. Essentially, if you aren’t spreading your identity strategically, then you will get overtaken. Either your competitor will hire someone to find your strategy and do it better, or you have no strategy and presence is theirs to take. We all still see ads for Coke and Pepsi even though most people clearly know those brands. These monster companies wouldn’t continue to push millions of dollars into marketing if there was no purpose. Once you are doing something that works, others will notice and they will do it too. This is why staying one step behind will always leave you in a bad position. Hiring a marketing agency that has proven that it can succeed is critical to ongoing success. Business owners often will try and save money by only doing part of the process. In this case, part, is the same as nothing.

4. You have no idea how to manage Google AdWords.

Google makes money, a LOT of it. Setting up an AdWords Express account is easy. All you have to do is enter a little about your business and let Google do the rest for you. The problem is that in this situation you will end up spending your entire budget, getting no leads and then wondering what happened. This is because Google is in the business of getting clicks, not getting you clients. We tested a campaign using the words MARKETING and WEBSITE DESIGN open ended in an AdWords account for a day. The #1 keyword search was FREE WEBSITE DESIGN. This means that the majority of the money spent that day went to clicks by people who have no intention of ever buying anything. This could be avoided by positioning with “negative keywords” so that people who aren’t interested never even see your ad. This variable is just one of dozens that goes into a successful campaign.

Overall the goal is to make money from your marketing, not cost you money. If your strategy is constantly pulling dollars out of your pocket but not putting any back in, it’s time for a new plan.