Jon’s In Waikiki (AKA The Waikiki Marketer)

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A Bad Cold & the Value of Top Rankings

December 19th, 2006 · No Comments

Both my wife and I have been down with a bad cold. ‘Bad’ doesn’t begin to describe it. This was one of those illnesses that crosses borders, like a Mongol horde, expanding the limits of what a Cold could be to new heights. This had me out of circulation for a full week, while my wife struggled with it for even longer.

Despite this setback, we’ve been enjoying the Christmas season, watching different seasonal movies and adding to my growing Holiday Music collection. It’s amazing what’s out there. You just have to dig a little to find the really good stuff.

This past weekend we saw Jim Nabors 10th, and final, Christmas Show. It’s amazing to see not only him, but longtime Hawaii star Emma, still belting it out at an age when most have lost their edge. Emma is close to or even at 80 years old now. Yet she demonstrated a set of lungs that would put today’s so-called divas to shame. No ridiculous multi-note yodeling there.

A recent article caught my eye because it reinforced the fact that getting a top ranking is not the end goal of SEO. There are 2 ways your keyword strategy can go wrong. First, you can chase the most-searched keywords, wading into a highly competitive arena along with everyone else in your industry. That’s not always a mis-step. But, the playing field can be so crowded that the negatives can outweigh the benefits.

The article brought up another good reason why this strategy is not always best. That is the fact that the most searched keywords are often the ones used by those who are researching options, rather than actively shopping. Because of that, their conversion rates can be low. Low conversion rates are not worth your time. Too many times, though, business owners are seduced by having a top search engine ranking for a popular keyword. It’s something to brag about. But wouldn’t you’d rather brag about a profit margin, rather than a rank?

The second faulty strategy involves working to rank in search engines for keywords that don’t bring real business. This can happen because of a dishonest SEO, who is aware of the ‘top ranking’ factor. They know they can satisfy some clients when they can point at a number 1 rank in Google, even if it isn’t a keyphrase that brings results. It looks impressive to the client, so they’re happy.

This can also happen just by finding out after the fact thata keyword isn’t bringing what you need. Risk is inherent to any marketing, no matter what people tell you. You don’t always know whether the gold is there until you do some digging. Sometimes there isn’t any there. It’s not your fault.

So what can you do? Target keywords that seem to be getting traffic, but may not be the most popular. They can offer opportunities as you can dominate there more easily. Do a deep, yet broad, campaign to hit a variety of related keywords. Putting all your eggs into one basket is no way to run an SEO campaign.

Should you fall in the search rankings for one, or more, keywords, odds are you will still have other markets to prop up your search business. Don’t be seduced by the top keywords or the top ranking. There’s much more going on that you must consider before embarking on an SEO campaign.

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