Ooo, that’s a big call huh? This article is inspired by a chat I had with a client recently who didn’t think it was worth optimising their site for search engines (ie: Search Engine Optimisation or SEO).
Why? Because they already rank on page one for a lot of their keywords.
(insert warning here about impending rant – oh and a little easy maths to come, along with lots of lovely dollar signs)
Page one? Whoop-dee-doo
Ok, yeah, that is harsh. I feel bad now (sort-of), and really hope that client doesn’t read this.
But you know what?
Ranking on page one is simply NOT good enough to stop caring about SEO!
Yes, sure, if you get near the top of page one for your target search terms, that deserves a glass of champagne (any excuse for champagne for me to be honest).
But WHERE you rank on page one is the game changer people!
First-up, some pretty colours…
What this rainbow is telling you makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, as it totally justifies my (let’s be honest), somewhat click-baitey title (ok, I admit I’m not beyond a little controversy to get the click).
Right, deep breath… are you ready? Here’s what that data means for you…
This is that numbers bit I warned you about by the way (tldr: this bit could make you $150,000, so just read it ok?)…
Let’s say you’re a florist that can deliver anywhere in New Zealand.
There you are, feeling pretty damn pleased with yourself, sitting up high and mighty on page one, snuggled in at position 5 neatly half way down the search results for a massive keyword for you: flowers.
How big a deal is that? BIG.
Drum roll please…
The search term ‘flowers’ averages around 145,000+ searches a year in New Zealand alone, and search demand peaks big time in May, August and September (those 3 months alone account for almost 50,000 searches).
PS: Were you surprised not to see a peak in February with Valentines? Me too. It does jump though, but doesn’t reach the heights of those 3 months. January averages around 8,800 searches a month compared to February at almost 13,000. Anyway, I digress.
Right, back to the pretty colours. See that red stripe? Right at the top up there? And see how it says 43%?
Yep, if that’s you in position one, say hello to a whopping 43% or 62,000 of those 145,000 people who typed in ‘flowers’ coming to your website. Now it’s time to celebrate!
But that’s not you. You’re in position 5. So that’s more like 5% of those 145,000 searches ending up on your site.
You just lost around 55,000 visitors a year.
If I put my usually far more optimistic hat on, you got around 7,000 visitors instead 🙂
Still though, well done and better than nothing! But will it pay the bills?
Let’s say your website has a decent eCommerce conversion rate of 2%.
In other words, 2 out of 100 visitors to your site end up buying something.
In your case let’s say that’s a $60 bouquet of peonies, or orchids, and maybe some stock in there for good measure, I’m not fussy 😉
Right, so that means you’ve got yourself just over $8,000 in sales a year from being in position 5 for people looking for ‘flowers’.
But what if you got that same 2% of 62,000 visits if you moved up to position 1?! Say hello to over $74,000 in sales a year! Now you’re talking 🙂
Duplicate that across all your other search terms. You know, florists, flower delivery, peonies (hint hint)… and watch the sales roll in. Cha-ching.
See? Even a little bump in search rankings is seriously worth it.
Is ranking in 1st position realistic?
Yes, fair enough, a jump from 5th position up to 1st is probably going to take time, money and (depending on who’s in the hallowed position 1 right now), can sometimes be near impossible for the ‘little guy’.
So let’s set your goals a little lower shall we? What about position 3 instead?
That gets you around 12,000 visits just for your ‘flowers’ search term.
Convert 2% of them and your $8,000 or so in sales from being in position 5, just went up to over $14,000 every year!
See? Even a little increase in your search rankings for the right search terms can make a massive difference to your pocket.
Why more traffic is NOT the answer
Hold your horses, I just told you how awesome MORE traffic is right?!
This bit touches on a topic I really need to delve into another day in more detail (or this article will turn into one of my usual epic novels), so in the meantime if you take just a teeny spoonful of my digital medicine:
Stop chasing traffic for a second and always increase your conversion rate first.
If you convince 4 in 100 visitors to spend that $60 instead, you’ve only had a tiny increase in your conversion rate right?
It was 2%, it’s now 4%. Big whoop.
But here’s the fun bit.
That 4% conversion rate – with NO CHANGE in where you rank, tucked up safe and warm in position 5 – turns that $8,000 in sales into over $16,000. Oh hell yes!
If you’re good with numbers, you just realised no change in where your website ranks just gave you a lot MORE money compared to moving up to position 3 at your old 2% conversion rate.
So now your conversion rate’s up, you CAN focus on traffic.
Right, let’s take your new 4% conversion rate and now we’ll increase your ranking to position 3. You just turned $8,000 to almost $30,000!
Remember earlier when you moved up to position 3 but with your original 2% conversion rate? You ‘only’ got $14,000.
And that, my friends (if you’re still with me after the number overload), is why WHERE you rank in search results matters.
Yes, more traffic = more sales. However, if you increase your conversion rate first you’ve just put your sales and leads on steroids.
Oh, in case you were wondering and don’t have a calculator handy, if you combine your website’s fancy-pants new 4% conversion rate with a bump up to position 1, you’ve got yourself almost $150,000.
$8,000 or $150,000? I know what I’d choose 🙂
TIP: Are leads what matter to you? Change those same numbers into leads instead. Position 5 and those same 7,000 visits converting at 2% = 232 leads. Compare that to 62,000 visits up in position 1 and your sparkly new 4% conversion rate. That’s 2,480 leads. Yeah, that.
So now what?
Want to find out what your conversion rate is now?
Or what your search terms should be to optimise your website for?
Or how many people search for your products and services a year?
Or hey, how about what months of the year your search demand goes through the roof so you know when to focus your digital marketing spend?
Or how about option D: All of the above?
(TIP: Your peak months are usually not when your sales increase, as many people start looking around sometimes a long time before they buy)…
I can tell you ALL of that 🙂 Feel free to get in touch >
In the meantime, if you’ve stopped seeing dollar signs now, please like or share this with your network before you go. Thank you 🙂