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PAGE RANKINGS ARE MORE THAN JUST TRAFFIC
It’s a given: Being among the top search results for any particular keyword or search term inevitably drives more traffic to your website.
We know this. The higher your placement the more likely someone is to click through to your website. While that in and of itself may be enough of a reason to invest in positioning your site at the top of search results lists, there are other benefits that often go undiscussed, which are also relevant and important factors in an organization’s marketing strategy.
This article goes into a few other key reasons to focus on where you are in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Credibility vs Competitors
SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE
While we used to go to libraries and encyclopedias to find answers to our questions, now we simply ‘google it,’ or ask our smart devices. In fact, Merriam-Webster even added ‘google’ to the dictionary as a verb meaning to search online:
All this to say that being on top of the search results when someone asks a question automatically positions you as a subject matter expert (SME). It shows that you are the resource people turn to for this kind of information. By being at the top, it reinforces in people’s minds that your company is an important voice in the discussion, an important player in the industry, and that no considerations should be made that don’t include you.
CREDIBILITY VS COMPETITORS
To draw out the point above, when you are at the top of these results, the general perception is that you are an industry leader. Those are the companies that are going to be on top.
The converse perception also exists: if you are not listed among the industry leaders, you probably aren’t one. Not only does your credibility get a natural boost by being on top, but it suffers a blow to the brand when you’re absent or underrepresented.
This underscores the relevance of publishing content that answers the questions of your industry. White Papers, research studies, data points, etc. all give web crawlers what they need to put you on top, they also optimize the chances you will find yourself in ‘featured snippets’ for certain searches.
A Featured Snippet is a summary answer to the perceived search that displays as a block on top of all other posts, both paid or organic.
While being featured above all else is no easy task, consider the immediate credibility you have not only with Google, but also the entire searching world that sees your answer as the one that a search engine features. As a side note, estimates suggest that 40% of web traffic is facilitated by Google.
INCLUSION IN RFQS/RFPS
So if you are now among the top search results, you hold a high degree of perceived industry credibility, then you will inevitably be included in considerations when procurement folks are looking.
How could they conduct a prospective bid and not include the industry leaders? Even if they have a bias towards one vendor or another, you now, by virtue of your position on the SERP, have the opportunity to gain business that you may have otherwise not even been considered.
Anytime someone searches for anything (all services, goods, concerns, needs, etc.) that are about what you offer, your website should be on the first page, and in a perfect world, as the top result. This shows any web users that your company is a major provider and should be included in any serious consideration.
RFPs aside, this creates increased visibility and ultimately demand in the long term that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Just as billboards and magazine ads are used to make an impression, so does sitting on top of the search results.
Even if a searcher is not looking to make a move at the moment, you will still be building the brand in their minds. The more they see you, the more unconscious affinity and comfort they have with your brand. When the time finally comes to ‘learn more’, you are far more likely to be one from whom they ask to tell them more.
Consider the value of these inbound requests to the sales team. Imagine your sales team shifting from cold calling and prospecting to responding to forms that are increasingly being submitted through your website.
Rather than attempting to cultivate leads, mine for new opportunities, you have an influx of interest from warm leads asking you to help them. It’s an incredible shift in the sales department and one that makes your sales team far more effective in how they spend their time.