U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, March 2012 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

Getting the #1 position in Google is the Holy Grail for many website owners. Perhaps it is all that you dream about as well. But not every first page ranking will bring you the anticipated results when you finally get them.

Some possible reasons for disappointing results:

  • People ignore your high ranking listing – perhaps because the title and description look too ‘spammy’, or because other rankings do a much better job of attracting people’s attention;
  • Your rankings are not obvious enough – Google is highlighting their own AdWords ads and Google Places (Maps) listings; your natural listing could just be crowded out;
  • Poorly chosen keywords to get ranked for – ranking number one for a phrase that only 2 people a month are looking for will not make you successful. Good ranking in the search engines for a phrase that does not match the searcher’s intent will not lead to great conversions. Attracting lots of visitors for a less relevant or even irrelevant keyword phrase can turn into a customer support nightmare. So: choose your keywords well.

Getting a good return on your search engine rankings starts with good keyword research: start with Google’s free keyword research tool. Then use this knowledge to plan a diversified campaign that will lead to good visibility for keywords that spur people into action: call you, email you, buy from you.

Looking at your visitor statistics will help you fine-tune the whole process, and further nurture the ones that bring decent initial results. Or use it to find out why things are not working as well as you hoped for. Maybe you are offering a local service, and 90% of the traffic you are getting is from California? Armed with that type of knowledge you can making sure that Google knows where your business is located – so you are mainly found by local people. From your statistics you can also learn which phrases to de-emphasize, letting your rankings drop for phrases that you do not want to rank well for. And how about learning from it that people find your site a lot for the phrase “[yourcompany] sucks”? Analytics is an often underutilized tool.

The Internet is growing up fast. Use it well, and it will bring your more leads and sales.

Nardo Kuitert is an Internet Consultant with Fergus Website Development and Optimization firm U-C WEBS (www.u-cwebs.com). U-C WEBS also offers Internet advertising opportunities on www.ferguspages.com. (link opens in a new window)

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