Why Your #1 Ranking Isn’t Bringing You New Traffic

 by: Courtney Heard

You’ve watched your web site grow, gain a higher PR, and more incoming links. Your ranking has steadily increased for keywords that relate to the product or service your site is selling, until finally you reach number one. You’re ecstatic! But a few days go by and traffic hasn’t increased. There are no more queries for your product or service and most importantly, no increased revenue, no return on your investment of either time or money into your web site’s search engine optimization.

Why is this? Why is it that so many web sites out there reach top positioning on the search engines and yet still see no increase in traffic? There are several reasons for this.

First, you may not be targeting keywords that your potential customers are searching for. Get into the minds of your customers, figure out what terminology they are using while on Google or Yahoo!

For example’s sake, let’s make up a fictitious service, an alternative headache healing method called “Ache-Away”. It’s simply to easy to forget that your potential customers are individuals who have more than likely, not heard of your company or your service. A number one ranking for the term “Ache-Away” may not yield very much traffic because no one is searching for it. It is more likely that phrases such as “how to get rid of a headache” or “headache remedy” are being searched for more often. This will bring you new traffic and a new clientele. You want to utilise simple, everyday language in your web site’s titles and each page’s content. Remember that the language used in your industry is not necessarily the language used to refer to your industry by people outside of it.

Do your keyword research. Tools such as Wordtracker.com will help you pinpoint the exact keywords that are searched for the most by your potential customers. Consumer language is key to making your number one ranking effective in bringing you more traffic and highly targeted traffic.

Another reason your number one ranking may not be bringing you any traffic is because the ranking is on a search engine that has very little of the search engine market. As is stands, Google, MSN and Yahoo! are the 3 main players. Some industries have consumers who use one of these search engines more than the others, as well. For instance, a top ten ranking on Yahoo! for ‘search engine optimization’ may not bring in as much traffic as a top ten ranking for the same phrase on Google, because generally speaking, consumers looking for search engine optimization have a decent idea of what it is and know that a top ten ranking for such a competitive keyword on Google is quite impressive. Basically, a large portion of people in the market for search engine optimization services will be looking for such services on Google. Alternatively, there are many industries who’s consumers predominantly use Yahoo! or MSN or even industry-specific directories.

Tools like the aforementioned Wordtracker.com have features that include showing the difference between how many times a keyword is searched for on Google as opposed to MSN or Yahoo! Utilising such services and tools will have a tremendous affect on the success of your search engine campaign.

Finally, what about the sites that are getting new traffic from their number one ranking but don’t seems to be making any sales? The largest reason for this is that those sites are not visitor friendly. Visitor friendliness is simply the most important aspect of a web site. If you site is not welcoming, understandable and easy to navigate, there is simply no point to achieving top page placement on the search engines. You want your visitors to be intrigued, to want to read on, to visit pages other than your front page. You want to be able to offer you web site visitors a wealth of information and possibly even tools. Web users want to feel they have gained something from visiting a web site and the majority of them are in a low attention span mindset. You need to capture them immediately or you’ll lose them.

Make sure you use simple language, not industry-specific jargon. Make your site clear and uncluttered. Avoid annoyances and distractions such as entrance pages, animations, and sound. Give them the goods they came for as soon as possible or they may be looking at the #2 ranked web site within minutes.

In short, the key to optimizing your number one ranking is knowing your audience. You need to know the minds of the people who are most likely to spend money once they’ve reached your web site. Not only will you get the traffic you’re looking for, but you’ll be making the sales you and experiencing a return on your search engine optimization investments.

About The Author

Courtney Heard is the founder of http://www.abalone.ca - Abalone Designs, a search engine optimization company in Vancouver, Canada. She has been involved in web development and marketing since 1995 and has helped start several businesses since then in the Vancouver area. More of Courtney's articles are available at http://www.abalone.ca/resources/.


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