Search Engine Rankings
Everyone knows the importance of top search engine rankings, but does being on top mean you need to be first for the best quality traffic?
The higher your site is positioned within search engine results means you are going to increase your websites exposure. This does not mean you are going to get a enormous increase in traffic or, guarantee the quality of the traffic.
It can be as beneficial to be positioned 3rd or 4th as being in number one position. Top position will generally get the clicks, though not necessarily the highest quality traffic. High quality traffic will often navigate further down the search engine results page. This becomes more evident when setting up a paid search campaign.
When managing a paid search campaign the rule of thumb is the more you bid on a term (there are other elements that effect top position though bid price is still a key factor) the higher your position will be in the sponsored links. If you’re the highest bidder at $1.00 – each time you get a click it will cost you $1.00, this means top position is going to cost you the most in clicks, and drive the most traffic to you.
However what is the quality of this traffic? A high percentage of this traffic will be people simply doing research, possibly using the wrong search term then clicking back out of your site, general time wasters. The result is that you are spending money on dead traffic!
Positioning your results further down the results page can actually help “qualify your” searcher. A quality searcher will not always click on the first result they see, they will often review all the results on a search results page and click on the ad that most suites their query. This then means that you don’t have to bid maximum price to get the best quality traffic, you can spend less for a better return.
Depending on your business goals, top position will help you build your brand and get you more traffic. However for more qualified traffic that is more likely to convert, position your self in the top 5 search results, not number 1.
About the Author
Matt Hodgson, Web manager for www.addme.com. Addme is a useful resource of internet marketing, search engine optimisation and search engine submission tools.
The success formula for content centered link building is simple:
- Establish distribution channels such as blog/RSS, email list, social networks, social content
- Plan content creation with the audience and keywords in mind
- Promote the content socially, via email, RSS or other outbound methods
- Watch the links roll in
It’s also important to monitor interactions with the content being promoted in order to secure additional links either through commenting on blogs or participating in discussions that have been instigated by what you’re promoting.
There’s a lyric from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” that reminds me of the interplay between content and link building. “If you don’t create useful content, you won’t attract any links. How can you attract links if you don’t have content worth linking to?”.
Take the desire for higher search engine rankings and traffic out of the picture and it still makes sense to focus on content that’s good enough to share and to inspire others to link to. Whether you drive traffic to the site from offline marketing programs, paid search advertising or social media promotions, you still have to “deliver the goods” once visitors get to the web site.
At the same time a site is evaluated or “scored” for search engine readiness, the opportunity to create a content promotion program tied into the marketing plan is what gives a web site a competitive advantage for both promotion and link building. Planning, creating and promoting content of particular use and interest to a target audience is a far cry from sprinkling keywords on web pages and submitting to directories.
Companies venturing into the SEO world are in fact, venturing into the content marketing world. It’s the reality of how both search engines and consumers will best respond to web site marketing efforts. Great content is an essential part of effective link building and even more so if you have distribution channels established.
“In other words, creating useful content should be followed by promoting that content to facilitate distribution and awareness. Publishers (MSM, blogs, web site owners, etc) aren’t going to link to content they don’t know about. Seems pretty logical but many online marketers seem to be stuck like a record on “create great content and links will come naturally”. Good luck with that in any competitive category.”