It’s good to be #1 in keyword rankings (except when it isn’t)
Spending money to get the top ranking for a lot of inconsequential search keywords is often a double-whammy.
First, you’re putting money into a place where it’s not going to be effective at generating more calls and leads for your business.
Second, that money is most likely going to be funds siphoned off from other parts of the campaign, hurting the marketing that is working.
As strange as it sounds, a lower position on a more competitive, searched-for keyword is better than the top ranking on a keyword no one is searching for in your area.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t “hidden gems” of keywords that have decent search volume and low competition. There are some out there, and we research and look for them with the tools available to us.
However, the idea that there’s an entire list of effective keywords that we’re missing is something you should treat with skepticism.
What about competitive keywords?
Getting a high organic search ranking in a competitive set of keywords is not something that happens overnight. It takes a great-run marketing campaign, marketing dollars, and—most importantly—time.
As a general rule, anyone who promises you instant results when it comes to keyword rankings probably isn’t telling the whole story.
When is marketing too good to be true?
Here are some questions you should ask any marketing company—including us!—that you’re thinking about working with:
#1. What is the search volume like for the keywords listed here?
If you’ve been provided a list of keywords that you could rank #1 for, select a few of them at random and ask for the specific monthly search volume of each. If it’s 10 searches or less per month, that probably isn’t a good keyword to be aiming at.
#2. Beyond getting me to #1 for certain keywords, how else will you build my campaign?
Building an effective marketing campaign that’s built for the long haul takes time and effort. The best campaigns are built holistically, with great websites, effective social media, and SEO all working together. It’s what we call having a digital marketing strategy, not just digital marketing.
However, for some marketing companies, getting you to #1 for non-competitive keywords is the extent of the strategy. Speaking of which, you should also ask…
#3. Where do you see my digital marketing a year for now?
This is a very difficult question for some marketing companies to answer, and for a simple reason: they don’t expect you to be with them in a year.
Their business model is to aggressively acquire new clients (and the money that comes with them), make flashy moves (#1 position for a ton of keywords) to keep you paying the bills for a few months, and then leave another company to pick up the pieces when the wheels come off several months later.
#4. How do you keep up with rapid changes to organic search?
On average, Google makes between 500 and 600 changes every year to their ranking algorithms. These are the mathematical equations that determine how search engine results appear. If the company you are working with doesn’t have a dynamic system that can quickly adjust to the algorithm changes, you probably don’t want to work with them.