Archive for December 31st, 2008

First Page Ranking

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

A lot of search engine optimisation companies promote their services by offering a first page ranking. Many companies even use dubious claims such as “guaranteed first page listings”. In my experience, these are the companies to be aware of as no company can ensure first page rankings and the “guarantee” is often not worth the proverbial piece of paper it is written on.

Moreover, Internet marketers that measure success by listings are missing the point. Rankings are a means to and end and nothing more. The real aim is to increase targeted traffic leading to an increase in sales and profit. While high rankings are always pleasing the success of marketing efforts can be seen in analytics by measuring the increase in traffic and conversions.

Far too many companies create the illusion of success by achieving first page listings for obscure but easily achievable phrases. The naive client may be happy thinking “great I’m number one for ‘Bart Simpson cup holders, South Manchester’”, but in real terms it has no benefit because it drives absolutely no traffic to the site.

First page rankings are essential to get traffic through search engines. In fact, around 20% of searches go past the first page. This may mean that a position 11 listing with 1000 searches per month may bring more traffic than a position 1 listing that only has 200 searches per month. Of course, there are many factors that will affect this number, such as how your site distinguishes itself from the first ten that were dismissed. However, the point remains that page 2 listings for high volume keywords can still be very useful.

If you are a site owner looking for a professional company to help market your online business, be aware of companies offering quick fix solutions or “guaranteed listings”. Make sure that you have a good way of analysing your site’s traffic and measure success by conversions and increased profits, rather than listings.