When you begin your SEO journey, one of the most important goals for businesses is to rank first in search results. It is viewed as SEO success and many experts in the field have spent many of their efforts trying to deliver a good ranking to their efforts. As SEO develops over time, however, is it still just as important to aim for the top spot on SERPS? If the answer is no, then what are the next steps?
Defining SEO Success
Every company out there would love to pop up as the first result in a search engine. This is not just for the sake of vanity either. The top ranking can increase your chances of brand awareness, traffic and authority.
Google processes more than 40,000 search queries a second. This means that there are over 3.5 billion searches a day! A 2013 report from Search Engine Watch showed how the top listing in Google would receive 33 per cent of the total traffic. The second position would receive 17.6 per cent and the 5th result would only receive 6.1 per cent of the traffic.
Back then, this meant that the main goal was to show up on the first page of SERPs and then work twice as hard to grab the top position. This is something that isn’t always an easy goal to achieve and the authority of your site certainly plays a big role, yet this was still viewed as the top goal.
Since then, SEO has evolved quite a bit. This means that even how we define a successful SEO strategy has changed. It is no longer enough for us to aim for a top ranking, not in the organic search results at least.
How is SEO Evolving?
The big difference in SEO ranking over the last few years is that search engines are becoming more and more intelligent. Users are much happier with how easy it is to find what they are in need of. As a result, businesses have to adapt to how SEO now works. Though there may still be businesses that aim to be the top ranking in SERPs, can we still label this as the definition of SEO success? If we want to bring success and ROI together, then maybe we need to rethink the importance of ranking first.
You can find many discussions on how CTRs are organically dropping, even on popular terms. This all comes down to the how the nature of SEO changes and how users search for a result. You may have noticed yourself that search has developed and that the first organic search result might not give you the answer you are looking for.
With Google making additional adverts the top priority for SERPS, it is becoming less likely for users to pay more attention to the organic results. From PPC ads to news and local information, there are now many features on Google that will distract the user from clicking on an organic rank.
Okay, calling it a distraction may seem like a stretch, but it is certainly a new way for users to find the answers to their questions. It’s a good change for the user. In turn, for a business to succeed in SEO, they must change their strategy to keep up with SEO developments. This means that aiming for a top ranking is less essential, but you can still keep your content optimised to increase the chances of success. When we say success, we are referring to things such as a higher clickthrough rate, improved authority and user engagement.
Things to Consider when Aiming for SEO Success
SEO becomes more sophisticated year after year, meaning your goals will also evolve. It is no longer enough to promise top ranking as an SEO professional, which is why we offer so much more, and as a client, we hope you can trust us to look beyond the one goal.
Here are six things to consider when adjusting your SEO strategy:
- Aim for a good ranking, not a top ranking. Keep an eye on Google’s updates to stay as relevant and suitable as possible.
- Focus on optimisation. Take time making sure all copy and content is as optimised as possible.
- Focus on your clickthrough rates as it affects your ranking. Make sure your page is appealing, has an optimised headline and content to bring in more visitors.
- Keep the quality of your content to an absolute high.
- Engagement is important. Provide clear calls to action so that users will come back later. Or subscribe to your newsletters, and so on.
So… Should we stop aiming for the top spot?
You can still incorporate the top spot as one of your goals, it’s something we do for all of our clients, but it’s good to stay aware of SEO changes. Reaching the top of SERPs would be a good bonus, but it’s more successful if you bring in more ROI.
Talk to Search and More
If you are struggling to bring in new customers or clients through search engines, then you will certainly benefit from expert help. Search and More is here to ensure your website is fully optimised with content, updated software, backups and more. It’s our job to help your business succeed. To find out more, get in touch and speak to one of our experts.