Recently I was asked why a business owner should continue paying a SEO expert if the business’ site now ranks # 1 in all of the search engines for his preferred keyword term. This is a great question, and one which business owners should consider when investing in any form of internet marketing help.
I will approach this question in two ways. One will be a simplified “real world” example; and the other will be in the language of a business owner’s mentality.
The first is that you have remember that you “leap-frogged” someone else’s web page in order for you to rank for # 1. This means, by definition, that someone else can leap-frog you at some point (even the next day) AND the search engine always has the right to change its algorithm (and your ranking) at its sole discretion. You must continue to provide new content and links which lead the end customer – whom the search engines must protect – to content which is appropriate, authoritative, trustworthy, and relevant.
In other words, by becoming # 1 in the search engines for your desired keyword, you are now the “heavyweight champion” of your keyword. This also means that you must “train harder” to defend your “title.” Before you were # 1 in the search engine results, you – and everybody else for the keyword – was looking to take down the “champion.” Now that you are the champ, you must remember that everyone is out to take your coveted top spot!
The second is a reminder of the “big picture” regarding being ranked # 1 for your favorite term. Remember that being ranked #1 for your favorite term is a TEMPORARY reward for being the most authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy page in the estimation of the search engine’s CURRENT algorithm equation. This is vital!!
Let’s also assume that the business owner in this example carefully selected a keyword phrase which has a the underlying psychological indicator of a “buyer” or a sense of “urgency.” Let’s also assume that the keyword phrase has quantifiable demand by all of the major keyword research software (free or paid) that most SEO experts use.
Even though you may remain the # 1 listing for a lengthy period of time for the organic (natural, or non-Pay Per Click) listings on that keyword phrase, there are some significant factors to consider. You can lose your rankings because:
- someone else becomes smart and out-optimizes and out-links you
- someone else provides more authoritative and relevant content than you have
- the search engines start to embed pay-per-click listings above the natural/organic results; and, to the average search engine user, they cannot discern if a link is a paid or regular link. This means that your current # 1 ranking is now, in essence, # 4 or # 5 on the page
- the search engine decides to place a visual representation, like a Maps display, above your # 1 rank
- the quality of your links may not be 100% authoritative. When the algorithm changes, the quality of your links may have a lesser score, and you could drop in the keyword results… even off the first page after having been # 1 for some time!
The list goes on and on; and the main point is that once you become # 1 for a relevant, in-demand keyword term you MUST DO MORE THAN YOUR COMPETITION in order to “stay the champion.” Whether you do SEO in-house, use software, or outsource it you must continue to cement your position as best as you can by providing quality, relevant, authoritative information to the end user as the search engine has one quest: to keep the end user loyal to the search engine so that he/she has the best odds of clicking a link (or subscribing to a service) which puts money in the search engine’s accounts!
Remember that the main sites people use for search (Google, Yahoo, MSN/Bing) are all (or are a part of ) publicly-traded companies. They are there to profit as much as you are. If you want loyal customers AND gain market share in your niche, then those 3 want market share even more. Keep this in mind!!
Should you need help with your search engine rankings, then be sure to contact me by the contact link at the top of the page or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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