Easy Wins Vs False Wins: Your guide to making real SEO gains
“Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity”
Though its origin may be disputed, this mantra is almost entirely accepted by businesses when managing their finances, however, the habit of looking past the mirage of success and focusing on the reality beyond should extend far beyond your accounting practices. It should be present in every area of business. The area I’d like to talk about is the ‘dark art’ SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
In this blog I’ll be covering;
- What is an SEO win?
- What is a ‘False’ win?
- What is an ‘Easy’ Win?
- The SEO GAP
What is an SEO win?
The answer I’m sure is obvious, appearing at (or near) the top of a Google search, but how high up do you need to be? And why is it important? The statistics below demonstrate how high you should be aiming, and what your business could gain from achieving your SEO goals:
What counts as a win?
- Number 1 is the best.
- The #1 Google search result receives more than 31% of clicks
- The #1 Google search result is ten times more likely to attract a click than the #10 result
- The higher the better.
- On average, every position you move up in the ranking is worth an extra 30.8% click-through rate (CTR) to your website
- Page two is nothing.
- Three-quarters of searchers never even get to page two of Google
Why is a win important?
- A search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, etc.) is the source of 93% of all online journeys
- Leads to a website from a search engine convert to sales 14% of the time
- 57% of B2B marketers say that SEO is the marketing channel that generates the most leads
SEO is a numbers game. Notice the %s in the statistics above. 93% of online journeys may start with a search engine, but only 14% of eventual visitors to your website turn into converters. And that 14% is not14% of 93%. To work out the actual number of leads delivered for your business the maths is more like 14% of 31% of 93%, plus probably a few more steps thrown in for good measure! This is to be expected, so it works if targeting search high traffic terms is built into your SEO strategy.
However, targeting strong performance on low traffic terms simply does not add up. There are many, what you might call, ‘vanity searches’ being optimised for SEO so people can see their businesses at the top of the rankings. When traffic is low, it is not difficult for someone with even basic SEO experience to get your site ranking highly.
For example, if my Mum were to start a part-time dog walking business from her spare bedroom and asked me to target her website at “Part-time Dog Walker Back Bedroom of my Mums House in Brantham.” I might well rank as the #1 search result when I search for,
“Part-time Dog Walker Back Bedroom of my Mum’s House Brantham”
This is an extreme example, I am known for taking things to the nth degree, but it does clearly demonstrate why it’s important to avoid registering a false win as a win.
If you’re ranking well for terms but not receiving any traffic, it might help to explain why. Some of these results may help your business have authority when people are actively searching for your business, but if you’re targeting these terms to drive traffic to your website or, even worse, paying someone else to do it for you, then the chances are the work is not delivering value for your time or money.
Are you missing out on traffic you could easily divert and then convert?
Your business might be ranking well for one, two or even a few search terms, but you could unknowingly be missing out on just as many high-traffic terms which could be delivering quality leads directly to your site. Once your campaign is over, evaluate what it is that went well and what could have been improved. Learning from mistakes will help you next year and make sure your Christmas campaign is even better than the last!
Sometimes the terms most often searched in your industry aren’t what you might expect, which means there could be lots more traffic looking for you than is currently finding you!
Up-to-date Keyword Research: Stay on top of what is false and what is easy, and what is nothing to do with you (you will need a Google Ads account – you don’t have to spend anything – or you can try a different tool (link to a blog of these))
There is good news.
- These high-traffic terms might not be what your competitor expects either, creating an SEO opportunity
- With a couple of hours of simple keyword research and the addition of some SEO optimised content you could gain lots of new organic leads
The SEO GAP
Are you trying to rank for terms that Google doesn’t associate with your business? You might think the term or string suits you perfectly, but if the search engines gods disagree you will probably have to adapt your SEO strategy.
You can undertake complex Gap Analysis, creating reams of spreadsheets and documents. Or you could just do a Google search for the term you are targeting and see what comes up! Hopefully, the returned results are similar to what your business is offering. However, if they’re not, you may have found one of those famous SEO Gaps and you need to adapt your SEO target.
These gaps are all to do with how Google understands or interprets a query. The good news is that Google is only getting more intelligent. Plus, it might even suggest a more suitable search term for you!
PM Questions might seem like a great name for an after-hours blog answering adults-only questions. The term is getting loads of searches every month and the competition is low!
Google knows that people searching “PM Questions” are looking for an update from <insert name of current Prime Minister here> and the gang from Westminster (99.99% of the time anyway).