Before talking to you about why increasing your rank online is so important, let me explain what rank really is… For this technique search engine optimization will be used to get better rankings.
To be able to explain this I am going to take us back about 10-15 years. My father was like most men, and remembered his wedding anniversary religiously every year (right after my mother would remind him). I remember one year my father decided to go all out and he was going to take my mother on a long weekend getaway.
He had the following criteria:
He wanted them to spend a long weekend at a nice Hotel.
He wanted to get her flowers
He wanted to take her to a nice Italian dinner.
He wanted to give her a beautiful necklace at dinner.
Now keep in mind, this was 10-15 years ago when the internet was in its infancy as far as the general population was concerned and Google sounded more like an affliction than a directory.
The resources my father would use to create this weekend getaway would be the trusty yellow pages. The limit to his area of travel happened to be about 45 miles; due to the fact Ann Arbor, Michigan was the furthest yellow page directory we had in our house. Now, in all fairness he could have gone to our local library which had volumes of Michigan directories and a couple for big cities like Chicago and Cleveland, but I can’t remember my father ever going to the Library accept maybe to pick me up after school. Keep in mind, this wasn’t in the 50’s or 60’s, this was around
So…here was his plan:
Step One: He needed an upscale, romantic hotel close to restaurants, flower shops and a reputable jewelry store.
Step Two: An Italian restaurant somewhat close to the Hotel.
Step Three: A flower shop that could deliver to the Hotel before they went out for dinner. – Easy, ask the front desk when I get
Step Four: A reputable jewelry store that was close enough to the Hotel that he could go for a walk while my mother was getting ready to pick up something nice.
My father looked at the Yellow Page adds for hotels. The biggest ad with the nicest pictures won. It was clearly the top choice over the competition because they could afford to spend the most on advertising. Afterall, he wasn’t looking for the cheapest but the best and most romantic. Next, he would just ask the hotel when he called to make reservations what florist they suggested that would deliver flowers. He was surprised when the Hotel said there was a flower shop four blocks east on Main Street, but couldn’t remember the name. So back to the phone book, no flower shops on Main Street, so he picked the only other flower shop that advertised delivery to all of Ann Arbor.They could take a cab to dinner if needed, but the jeweler needed to be within walking distance. So, in the yellow pages under jewelers, my father looked for the best ad that happened to be on the same street as the Hotel. There were plenty of ad’s, some nicer than others but he didn’t know where they were located in relationship to the Hotel. So he picked the jeweler with the nicest ad and located on the same street. Last, he picked the Italian Restaurant that advertised a picture of a couple looking across the table at each other and a fireplace in the background. Little did he know that the local’s choice for the best Italian restaurant was two blocks from the Hotel they were staying at. He didn’t know because this particular Italian restaurant didn’t advertise because they felt that their reputation in the community was enough to keep them busy.
Now Fast Forward to Today’s Hotel:
I can with high confidence, pick a great Hotel anywhere in the world. Most likely know exactly what my room will look like as well as the lobby and indoor pool. But what if I am looking for a bed and breakfast in let’s say Harbor Springs, Michigan.
Google…Bed and Breakfast, Harbor Spring
I would click on the #1 organic spot because I know it’s not a paid advertisement and Google has determined that it is the best choice to look at first.
Now if it has a great website, loads quickly (3 seconds or less), has an inviting home page, easy to navigate and answers my main questions…I will either call for a reservation or book online.
If it doesn’t have any or all of the above, I will most likely go to the #2 spot….not #5 or #6 unless something draws me away from the next highest ranking listings like bad reviews or if it looks like some sort of directory…I want to go straight to the business…not a middle man that will most likely just waste my time or forward me to other ad’s.
I can not only pick any type of restaurant I want, I will know how good they are based on reviews and most likely be able to see the menu and have an idea of costs. Last, the area maps will show
me how close they are to the hotel.
Google…Steakhouse, Harbor Springs
Now I notice that the #1 organic spot is a local restaurant / dining directory. I automatically skip this and go to the #2 spot and again it appears to be another directory. I skip it because I don’t trust directories that are most likely paid to advertise. Now the #3 spot that happens to be “Stafford’s Pier Restaurant”. So I click on the link.
Now for me, this website is to confusing. It appears to be advertising multiple locations, I can’t easily find a menu link, and it almost feels like their directory of all their restaurants (5) instead of inviting me to come have a wonderful meal. Moving on…
Back to the search list, skip the local directory section because I know these are somewhat influenced more by location than by website content.
#4 …Another directory….Skip
#5, finally! “The New York Restaurant” – Fine Dining in Harbor Springs, Michigan
I click on the website link and it has a nice picture of the exterior of the restaurant, some awards they have received that just validates why they are really the first choice even though they
are ranked #5 under a directory.
A brief history of the restaurant, and easy to access menu to make sure they offer what both my wife and I like to eat. Now as I open the menu page, there are some pictures of some of the entrees…To my surprise, I found them by looking up “Steakhouse” and after clicking on one more page (“View Full Menu”), they do offer a Filet Mignon on the menu. They don’t however; have a picture of it on the “Dining Menu Page”. They probably haven’t even thought about this. They talk about Chef Matt, but no picture…They do however talk about and show pictures of some other dishes…two look
good, the third…I would put a picture of Chef Matt!
There is a phone number that is easy to see on the home page. My only suggestion is next to the address I would have a map option, so the consumer can find the location easily…not that Harbor Springs is a big town.
Last, the next five listings are all directories and I am tired of looking so I will most definitely be going to “The New York Restaurant” to eat when we get to Harbor Springs!
Easy, just type in Google on my phone (actually on my phone I just touch the microphone symbol and just say “Google”).
Google…Florist, Harbor Springs
Click #1 position florist (they must be the best in Harbor Springs)
4.Touch “Call” box or Click “Order Online”
5.Order one dozen Red Roses to be delivered to Bed and Breakfast on Saturday Night at 6:30 P.M.
Google…Jeweler, Harbor Springs
Skip all the local directory listings
#1 organic search… Jeweler in Harbor Springs, Michigan
Ok, not what I would call a great website. Too much information about Mary and Adam Garret. Not those personal biographies are bad, just put them under “About Us” it’s too much in the wrong place. Home page should cause a call to action or make the consumer want to dig deeper.
I clicked on “Our Jewelry Store” this isn’t my type of store. It looks a bit unorganized, I don’t see much inventory and I will exit before going any further. Now keep in mind, if I was walking down the street, I might stop in and look around, depending on how the curb appeal made me feel. I get the feeling we would probably have a great conversation and that might cause me to buy something here. But online, I am moving on and looking for a tidy, well decorated store with lots of inventory.
Ok…the rest of the organic searches are all directories….So now I go back to the top and look at local listings. I figure if a business isn’t listed between number one and ten in organic searches, I will look at the local listings before going to page 2.
The #1 local listing is the website I already visited.
#2 is Becky Thatcher Designs…Not what I am looking for. Too retro but if you wanted retro this would be your perfect jeweler.
#3, this forwards you to a Google+ page…Not only does he not have a website, he doesn’t have any reviews on the local directory. I’m not going to waste my time. Moving on…
Elizabeth Blair Fine Pearls….I wasn’t even thinking pearls, but she has a less that great website, but she has some nice pictures and script on the pages. Makes me want to go look and be out of
the box…Plus I am just tired of looking….
Even though I may not have found what I was looking for in these real examples in the #1 spot, I did go to the number #1 spot first. The chances of your product being seen by the majority of consumers are greater the closer you get to #1. The only way consumers will find you the farther you get from #1 is if all the listing between you and #1 spot don’t have what they are looking for.
With as much as we have discussed rankings already on our site, you would think that is the most important part of what we do. It is; however, the most valable part of what you receive is the traffic your rankings generate. It is the tangable part of what we do, however, the most important part of what we do is the product of the rankings. Rankings are really just an indicator. What rankings really determine is how many different people will most likely visit your website during any given month. There are a few factors that influence these visits such as keyword and your rank for that keyword. Our Customer Calculator takes these factors and some additional ones and converts them into conservative estimated gross revenues that your business can expect from your marketing dollars. Now without going into pages of disclaimers, we don’t guarantee how much money you will make because we don’t control your websites conversion rate.
What would be the best Conversion Rates?