STOP PRESS: SEO company does not want to rank for ‘SEO’.

‘I’m interested in using Leapfrogg, you talk a good talk but I don’t see you ranking number one on Google for ‘search engine optimisation. Why is that?’.

If Leapfrogg earned a penny for every time we’d been asked this….

Now I’m not saying it is not a valid question but lets lets tidy this up once and for all because it does raise some interesting points which are applicable to all those involved in search marketing.

We know we don’t rank number one for ‘search engine optimisation’. In fact we dont even rank in the top 30 for ‘search engine optimisation’ and it may surprise you to hear that we don’t really want to. ‘I don’t believe you’ I hear at the back! Well, its true and I’ll explain why.

We have grown a very successful business mainly off the back of our good reputation and the leads which inevitably come our way as a result through referrals. We have also grown our business through the fantastic relationships we have with other companies who offer services complementary to our own. Therefore, and this will come as a real shock to some, we do not even try to rank on the first page of Google (or any other search engine for that matter) for the term ‘search engine optimisation’.

The time, effort and resource it would take to rank for this term is simply not worth it. As it happens we do rank on page one for a number of slightly less popular but certainly highly relevent terms. The result of this is a better quality of lead. If your own search marketing agency ranks on page one for ‘search engine optimisation’ I bet your bottom dollar that you are absolutely inundated with leads; ‘Great’ I hear again from the back. Wrong, because I bet a huge number of them will be of a very poor quality (the ‘I’ve heard that I need to do some SEO, I have £50 a montht to spend and I want to be ranking number one on Google for ‘insurance’ by the end of next week!’ type) therefore wasting your time and resource. In our experience targeting a longer tail term attracts the type of person we want to work with i.e. somebody who is slightly further down the buying cycle or someone who is looking for a specific service.

And this is the point; it is not always viable to try and rank for THE most relevant and therefore competitive term in your industry. Not only can it take a huge amount of time and certainly money but even once you are there the results are not always agreeable in terms of the quality of leads generated. I know it’s a cliche but it really is about quality over quantity!

Remember also that search marketing has evolved. It is not only about rankings on search engines, it is about developing a presence across many other channels which in some cases can provide you with more traffic than the search engines themselves. I’m talking blogs, forums, networks, noticeboards, review sites; coined as ‘social media’. Developing a strategy and presence across such media is as valuable as that number one position on Google, if not more so because you are not at the mercy of a force outside of your control; the dreaded algorithm!

So, what’s the moral of the story, or perhaps morals…

1) It does not always make business sense to try and rank on the first page for the first search term which comes to mind (which will usually be the most competitive)

2) Search engine optimisation is not about rankings, it is about garnering traffic from many new and developing online sources, such as those mentioned above

3) You should never rely on search engines as the sole means of driving traffic to your site and therefore in growing your business. Pure SEO should make up just one part of your online strategy and an even smaller part of your overall marketing strategy (which incorporates offline)

4) And no, Leapfrogg does not rank on page one for ‘search engine optimisation’ and we probably never will!

Until next time…

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