A friend said he was recommending me to one of his contacts for Search Engine Optimization. The contact asked, “How many #1 positions does Ozdachs get in Google?”
I was stumped. I produce reports for clients saying where they show up in various search engines for different phrases. But, I have never thought to aggregate the #1 positions for all clients and come up with a number of #1’s for bragging.
Frankly, I don’t think the gross number of top positions is a good metric. I work with my clients to track:
- Referral sources for prospects who contact them.
- Hits to their web site, including the search phrases used by the visitors.
- Search engine result positions for selected phrases in the major search engines.
Tracking the number of #1 positions in Google for a site may be a good marker for success. Or, it that number could be a useless statistic that can be gamed by a Search Engine Optimization company.
I can get almost anyone the #1 position in Google results for a lot of commercially meaningless searches. The easiest example is your company’s name. Your web site is probably already #1 in Google for your business’ name. Search Google for “Ozdachs Consulting” and my site comes back on the top of the list… and I have not done SEO on my own site. My client “Sterck Kulik O’Neill accounting group” shows us #1 when you search for “Sterck Kulik O’Neill”.
These #1 positions aren’t important. If someone knows your business’ name and searches for it, they are already your clients or at least know about you and are considering buying from you.
Search Engine Optimization is most valuable when marketing your site to people who are looking for what you sell but don’t know that your business exists. Those are the prospects who find you when they search Google for terms such as “San Francisco CPA”. Sterck Kulik O’Neill comes up #1 in Google for this search, and that’s a #1 that means business!
How many of those type of #1’s do I have? Not that many. The reason is simple. It takes time and money to earn number one rankings for terms.
For instance, you can optimize each web page for only one search phrase. So, if you want to score well for several phrases, you need to have separate pages tuned for each phrase. “San Francisco CPA” is not the same as “San Francisco accountant”. To have both phrases show up #1 in Google, you will have one page tuned for each phrase and unique content for each page. Then you have to find authoritative sites to point to each of these keyword pages so that Google knows to take each and every one of them seriously.
Most of my clients decide that it’s cost effective to try for one or two top rankings in Google. We identify the most important money-making phrase and tune the home page for it. Tuning more pages for other phrases isn’t too much work, but to get them to rise to the top of the search results requires promoting them and having other sites link to them. To do it right, we really should set up separate web sites — or at least unique sub-domains — for each money term.
I’m up for the task, if my clients want me to spend the time. But, in my space most clients are very happy with having one page show up near the top of Google. When other tuned pages in the site show up reasonably well, they’re ecstatic.
So, how many number 1 pages do my clients have in Google? Enough to keep them happy with my services!