Everyone wants to be at the top of Google.  Google owns more than 75% of the search market share which give businesses a larger viewership when ranking at the top.  Surprisingly, there are some downsides to ranking first on Google.  Here are some of the reasons why it isn’t always the number one goal of SEO.

1. Ads typically show up in the top spots.  Many people click on the paid advertisements at the top without even looking at the first organic results.  Google is a “pay to play” game to reach the optimal number of customers.  Having your website show up in the paid advertisements, on the first page organically and on the Google map is the ideal trifecta of search engine visibility.  When consumers are in the research phase, they may be looking at review sites or social media pages and may not want to click on your website yet.  Having those pages show up on the first page helps your business show more credibility than just being number one.

2. Ranking first can sometimes be impossible if national or international sites related to your industry are always at the top.  For example, if you are bed and breakfast, you may not have the budget to beat VRBO or Airbnb to rank above them in the search results.  If you can’t beat them, then why not join them.  Industry related guides, references and referral sites are the perfect place to be on to boost your traffic and credibility.  Some of them you may have to pay for a listing but some are also free.

3. Sometimes ranking first can make you more visible to the wrong people.  Ranking first makes you a more visible target for competitors and sometimes spammers and hackers.  There are many things that can go wrong with being so visible and they may not all be a good thing.  Talk to your SEO or web design company to make sure your site is not easy to hack if it is this visible.

4. Ranking first does not mean you will have the highest conversion rate and quality of leads.  There are so many other factors that determine whether or not a conversion occurs and ranking first is just a small fraction of the puzzle.

5. Ranking at the very top isn’t a goal that you achieve and then stay their forever without having to put anymore work into it.  You must constantly be maintaining your SEO and marketing efforts to keep your top spot.  Competitors will likely be trying to outrank you and try to learn your tricks of the trade.  The internet is constantly changing and to be first on Google, you have to be constantly attending to and optimizing your strategy.

For most industries a combination of paid search and display advertising, organic visibility and online marketing work best together to convert customers online.  Don’t have the time to work on your businesses search rankings?  Contact the web experts at Off The Wall Media to help make sure your business is visible online to potential customers.  Visit offthewallmedia.com to learn more.