Why You Don’t Really Want To Rank on Page 1 of Google

by Adam Kreitman

The other day I got an email from a dentist in a major city.

Here’s what he said…

“I’m a dentist in (major city).

I don’t have a website and I need a new website, pay per click and search engine optimization.

I want to be on the first page of Google for dentist and dental office in (the major city I live near).

Please respond to me by email please.

Thanks

Dr. Dentist in Major City”

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you, but EVERYBODY wants to be on Page 1 of Google.

At least, that’s what they say they want.

But, in reality, most people aren’t really looking to be on Page 1 at all. Here’s my email reply to the dentist that outlines what people really want…

“Hi Dr. Dentist in Major City

Thanks for the email. Your project sounds like an interesting one… I don’t often get the opportunity to work with a totally blank canvas when it comes to online marketing.

A lot of people come to me wanting Page 1 rankings on Google for specific keywords. After talking things over with them, however, I often find that what they’re really interested in is growing their businesses and getting more perspective clients/patients coming to their websites. Exactly how we do that, what keywords we target, etc. is less important.

Do you have a specific goal in mind about how you’d measure the success of this online marketing campaign?

Is it the number of new leads you get per month, a specific ROI you’d like to achieve with your online marketing project, or is there a reason ranking on the first page of Google is important to you and is your main goal?

Especially for a big city like (city name) and competitive keywords like “dentist” and “dental office”, rankings are going to be difficult… especially with a brand new website. If we’re not targeting specific keywords and have the flexibility to build a campaign that’s focused on the bigger picture of getting perspective patients to the site, the chances for success are much higher.”

I go on a little from there, but you get the point.

Being on Page 1 is great. And it’s a nice thing to shoot for.

What You’re Really After

But most of the time that’s not really what you’re after (though there are people out there who do “ego marketing” and just like to see themselves in the limelight).

You’re after more leads. More qualified prospects. More sales.

Certainly a Page 1 ranking on Google can lead to those things but, as the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

In this dentist’s case, it’s going to take a long time for him to have a brand new website and get on Page 1 of Google for the hyper-competitive terms he wants.

The better approach is…

  • Start by focusing on long tail keywords that he’s much more likely to rank for quickly.
  • Use Pay Per Click to not only drive traffic, but as a research tool to see which keywords are driving the most traffic and leads.
  • And work on improving the conversion funnel on his website to make the most of the traffic that he does get (because, in most cases, it’s not a lack of traffic that’s the problem, it’s a lack of conversions).

My team has all sorts of strategies we can use to get traffic to a website from organic SEO to Local SEO to Pay Per Click and others.

But one thing we don’t do is guarantee specific rankings or rankings for specific keywords.

The campaigns that work the best are the ones where we set an objective with the business owner on the number of leads they want to generate, a cost per lead, and other key metrics we can use to measure progress.

Then we have the flexibility to go out and use the tools and strategies at our disposal to get them there.

Getting on Page 1 of Google is not a goal that’ll lead to long term success in Internet marketing. Setting specific business objectives and using online marketing tools and strategies to support those objectives is.

If you’d like help planning and/or executing an online marketing strategy that’s aimed at achieving your long term business goals, email us or call 314-329-1422.

Lee Pelletier January 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Weeeee Woooo. Weeeee Wooo. Grammar Police. Pull over.

I clocked you doing a “perspective clients” instead of “prospective clients”. $50 fine. Have a nice day, Sir..

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