Should “First Place” be the Ultimate Goal?

Humor me for a moment and pretend your business is a pizza restaurant.

You make great food, and business is going well…but it can always be better.

You decide to hire someone to do your marketing. Marketing will spread awareness of your business, and hopefully everyone’s favorite new pizza joint in town will be yours.

You have two candidates for the marketing position.

Candidate A promises you first prize in an upcoming “Best Pizza in Town” competition. They point out that winning the competition will prove that you’re the best in town, which will bring in more business. Plus, all of the other pizza restaurants in town are competing for the same prize. Winning first place will prove to your competition that you’re indeed the best in town, and will prove the same point to their audience, and everyone who sees the award.

Then there is Candidate B. Candidate B can’t promise you’ll win “Best Pizza in Town.” They go even further and say they likely can’t promise second or third place, and may not be able to secure you a seat in the competition at all. But there’s a catch. What they CAN do is get more people coming into your restaurant. Not everyone who comes to your restaurant is guaranteed to buy pizza, but overall you’re very likely to sell more food to more customers.

So who do you hire?

Being an award winner is great, but being an out-of-business award winner is not-so-great. Marketing is about driving consumers to your product – whatever that product may be. In this case it’s pizza, and in your case it might be roof repair, ice cream or a dental cleaning. No matter the product, bringing consumers to your establishment or e-commerce site – whatever it may be, is the most important goal to have in marketing.

So why do I bring this up?

Many business owner are obsessed with this idea that being ranked number one on various Google search terms (the best pizza award) is crucial to the success of their business, and that having a high ranking for a very specific term is the magic bullet to their marketing goals/problems. Yes, showing up for important search terms can certainly be beneficial, but the terms specific to your business that will increase your website traffic may be completely different than you would expect. Getting wrapped up in beating your competition for rankings to very specific search terms can lead you down a wormhole that’s not worth your time or money. Instead, focus on bringing traffic to your website.

Invest in organic website traffic.

Investing in content creation (blogging), and avenues to deliver that content (newsletters, social media strategies, etc.) are far more likely to drive traffic to your website over time. This strategy would be the one used by Candidate B, who wants to bring more people into your business. Now you have customers in the door. Is everyone going to use your services? No. But now they know who you are. They have stopped by, checked things out, and might remember you when they need you. Wouldn’t you rather have that, than to be number one for a search term that could very well bring only a few people to your website or will be long-forgotten by the time the next award (or popular search term) comes out?

When deciding on which strategy to follow, we at BARQAR Marketing urge you to focus on the path that will lead more people to your “doors” and to focus less on being seen as the “popular” company on various search engines for various terms. It may take time, but bringing more users organically to your website is certainly worth the investment.

For more information on ways to increase your organic search traffic, contact our expert marketing professionals today.

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