Why Page 1 is the wrong goal?

How many times have you been told, get your site on page 1 or you don’t exist.  In fact, we tell you exactly that with the headline on our home page “Page 1 or Bust”.  That is a very true statement and at the same time, a potentially useless goal.  Yes, you need to be on page 1 but only if you are there for the right phrases!

I just completed a proposal for a new prospect that got me thinking about this issue once again.  They are in the travel industry, organising local tours and want to be on page 1 for 10 phrases (they currently focus on 6).  Their request for bids asked for an analysis of why they where not ranking and what could be done to get them ranked for their chosen phrase. On the face of it, a totally reasonable request.

Here’s the rub.

The phrases they are targeting would not deliver sufficient traffic to justify much, if any, marketing spend.  Have a look at these numbers.

Search Terms Avg. monthly searches Potential Traffic Estimated Conversions Projected Income
london tours 3600 360 36.0 £540
bus tours in london 210 21 2.1 £32
uk tour operator 40 4 0.4 £6
london tour company 20 2 0.2 £3
london tour operator 10 1 0.1 £2
tour company london 10 1 0.1 £2

Assuming an average investment per month of £50 per phrase, 5 of their target phrases would produce a negative ROI.  Even if they were doing their marketing very cheaply these phrases would still lose money.

So, even if they made it to page 1 for every one of these phrases they would likely have wasted time and money on the effort.  That is what we mean when we say getting to page 1 is the wrong goal.  You have to get there with the right phrases so you can reasonably expect to generate an ROI that make good financial sense.  That is the real goal.  You need to generate the right ROI!

If you aren’t getting positive returns or if your SEO team isn’t able to prove they are delivering this type of return it is time to change your team.

Glen GWhy Page 1 is the wrong goal?

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