There’s nothing more frustrating than finally achieving page one ranking for a keyword only to have your business remain unaffected.
Unless you only care about vanity rankings, the goal of making it to page one is to get in front of more potential customers.
If this is happening to you (and trust me, you’re not alone), here are steps you can take to diagnose why your rankings aren’t equating to more money, and what you can do to turn it around.
What is the Search Volume of the Terms You’re Ranking for?
The first thing to check is the estimated search volume of keywords you’re tracking.
There are plenty of tools to help you do this, such as:
- Ahrefs (paid)
- Keywords Everywhere (free Chrome plugin)
- The Moz Keyword Explorer (paid)
- Google Keyword Planner (free with AdWords account)
If the estimated monthly search volume is zero, you’ve found your problem.
Page one ranking means little if no one is searching the term you’re ranking for.
Strive to rank on page one for terms your audience is searching.
Is Your Page One Ranking Only About Informational Queries?
Distinguishing informational queries (Google’s “I-want-to-know” micro moment) from transactional queries (“I-want-to-buy”) is important.
Page one ranking for informational queries is great, even critical since consumers research before they buy.
However, ranking for informational queries alone won’t drive much revenue (if any).
It’s the difference between ranking for: “How to unclog your toilet,” and “Plumber near me.”
The searcher of the first query is not ready to buy, whereas the searcher of the second query is probably looking for a plumber to fix something as soon as possible.
If you haven’t yet dedicated resources to a transactional keywords strategy, do so!
While you shouldn’t neglect long-tail keywords with informational intent, it typically takes more effort to rank for transactional keywords, and that is where the money lies.
Do You Rank for Terms Relevant to Revenue Streams?
It’s important to identify which of your company’s products or services drive the most revenue.
If you’re ranking, but not making money, try to identify if ranking terms actually drive business.
Take a winery, for example.
The winery’s revenue streams are special events, wine tastings, and winery tours.
The winery’s website is ranking for “Temecula wine tasting” and “Temecula wine tours,” but not for “Temecula wedding venues.”
If special events drive the most revenue for the business, shift your SEO strategy to special event venue rankings.
Simply put, make sure your SEO strategy matches your real-world business strategy.
Does Your Meta Data Entice People to Click Your Result?
Maybe you’re ranking on page one for transactional, heavily-searched keywords descriptive of your business’ primary revenue streams.
But what if you’re still not making money?
It may be your page’s meta data isn’t enticing or descriptive enough.
Many people think about making sure their page looks good and reads well, but don’t focus on what the page will look like in search results.
Searchers must view a page in search results before they ever click on it, so make sure you’re inviting people to click and not turning them away!
Does Your Landing Page Experience Match the Query?
Search engines have gotten pretty good at serving up only the most relevant results.
However, pages that rank for a query don’t always match the intent.
If that’s the case with your page, visitors will quickly bounce off, which Google may use as an indicator of low quality.
For ideas on which topics might be relevant on your page, use the SERP itself!
Search your keyword and see what shows in the “people also ask” box, or the “searches related to” box at the bottom of the results page.
These are related words and phrases that Google finds relevant to your topic.
So if you want Google (and users!) to find your page relevant, it’d be wise to cover those topics.
Is it Easy or Difficult for Visitors to Convert to Customers?
While this seems basic, it’s important to mention.
When people land on your site, make it easy for them to contact you!
- Make sure your phone number is displayed prominently and is clickable on mobile devices.
- Have a contact form option. Make sure this is visible on mobile and tablet devices and is programmed to use the appropriate keyword (number keyboard for numerical fields, etc.).
- Consider a chat feature. In service-based industries, I typically see 20 percent of conversions happen on chat.
- Allow for “soft” conversions like newsletter or email sign ups. People might not be ready to buy, so give them other opportunities to connect with you.
Google will soon be implementing a “not secure” warning in Chrome for sites with form fields without an SSL Certificate.
If your site uses any of the form field options mentioned above, make the switch to HTTPS today!
How’s Your Review Situation?
It’s not uncommon for consumers to research a business or product before they buy.
You may be ranking well for non-branded keywords, but what will potential customers find when they search for your business name?
People trust online reviews from sources like Yelp and Google.
In fact, Bright Local’s consumer review survey revealed that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation.
This is why you should dedicate resources to reputation management and building.
You can’t please everyone, but you can certainly try.
In a world where every review counts, focus on positive customer experience and turn negative reviews into positive signals for your business.
You’re on Page One, But in What Position?
About 30 percent of clicks go to the number one organic result, and the number of clicks decreases significantly after that.
If you’re ranking on page one, but you’re at the bottom, this might be your problem.
To improve your organic click-through rate, you must improve your organic ranking.
The more visibility you have, especially above the fold, the more likely searchers will click through to your website.
Google’s many SERP features can also play a role.
There are those we’re familiar with, like map pack and “people also ask” boxes, but there are also featured snippets, news packs, image packs, shopping results, and more, all of which can push organic results further down the page.
This can have an even greater impact on mobile SERPs since smaller screen size equates to less scrolling.
If your page one ranking is lower than you’d like, focus on building up the authority of your site by adding high-quality, relevant content and doing promotion to gain more editorial links from other sites to your content.
Page One Ranking: How’s Your Mobile Experience?
Sites with fast, easy-to-navigate, mobile experiences tend to perform better in search results.
However, for some of the less competitive queries, you may still be able to rank with a poor mobile experience.
Even if you’re ranking on page one, you will be turning potential customers away if your site is slow or hard to navigate from a mobile or tablet device.
Try searching your target keyword from your phone, then clicking on your website.
How long does it take to load? Can you navigate to where you need to go?
Is the site being blocked by annoying pop-ups/interstitials? If so, have your technical team implement changes.
Google offers a helpful free tool for testing your mobile website.
It uses a standard 3G connection and shows how your site stacks up to others in the industry, estimated visitor loss due to loading time, and you can even download a report with recommendations for fixing issues.
How Do You Handle Leads or Purchases?
If your website is geared toward lead generation, what’s your process for handling those inbound leads?
If you run an e-commerce website, how are purchases handled?
So far, we’ve focused on pre-conversion factors that might be hurting your company’s revenue.
But what happens after a conversion can also make or break company profits.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have someone who can answer phones at all times?
- Do you have a process for calling people back?
- Where are inbound contact forms routed?
- Do you have a policy for how quickly you get back to potential customers?
- Do you have auto-responders set up to let people know they’ve successfully made a purchase or submitted a form?
Always respond quickly, be friendly, and organized.
In today’s fast-paced world, potential customers won’t wait for you.
If you don’t respond promptly, they’ll quickly move on to the next business they find.
Page one rankings have the potential to generate revenue for your business, but you have to know how to leverage them.
Maximize profit potential by following these steps for page one ranking success!