For some business owners, SEO is considered a success when it gets their website on the first page of Google results for a handful of keywords. For others, their website is ranking “well” when it’s somewhere within the first three pages. That’s good enough for them – after all, they’re making money online, so how could it get any better?
As you probably already know, just showing up online isn’t always enough. Some websites have enormous potential to rank at the top of specific search engine results pages (or SERPs) with just a little tweaking or keyword targeting. And because the difference in revenue potential between the #1 spot and the #10 spot can be so enormous, it’s important that your boss knows what they’re missing out on by not taking advantage of SEO’s potential.
What You Can Gain by Improving Your Rankings
We’ve covered this already in a previous chapter, so if you’re reading the full guide, this may sound familiar. However, this does bear repeating, which is why we’re going to go over it again.
A study by Chitka on the approximate amount of traffic that goes to each spot in the SERPs for any given query in Google showed that the top result earns more than 30% of the clicks. The second result gets about 17%, the third gets 11%, and so on.
As you might imagine, moving from “somewhere on page 1” to “#1” could have huge benefits for your company, and bring in an enormous amount of additional revenue. But how can you explain that to your boss? Well, let’s do a little math.
For starters: if, through the use of SEO, you could move from tenth to first in just one SERP, you would receive about 1,250% more traffic. That’s a lot more visitors!
Let’s continue this train of thought. You might know that you get about 100 visitors per week for a specific page or keyword that ranks in the tenth spot. Your average order value is $40, and your conversion rate is 5%. So right now, this page is theoretically making you about $200 per week (which breaks down to 5 people spending $40 each).
If that page jumped up to #1 in that SERP, you’d be looking at about 1,250% more visitors per week, or 125,000 people. Assuming nothing else changes and the traffic for this keyword is really high, 125,000 visitors at a 5% conversion rate, and a $40 average order value, is $250,000 (or 6,250 people spending $40 each).
Even if your conversion rate dropped to 2%, you’d still be looking at $100,000. At 1%, that’s still $50,000. So you could theoretically go from making $200 per week from one keyword to $50,000… or more.
Is this reasonable? Well, this makes a lot of assumptions: that the keyword yields a lot of traffic, has a high purchasing intent, and that your conversion rate is always higher than 1%. But even so, only good things can happen when you rank higher. The more traffic you get, the better results you will see.
Try plugging in some of your own numbers for this equation and see what you could happen with 1,250% more traffic. The results are bound to impress!
What if We’re Already at #1?
First of all, congratulations! If your website is already at the top of the search engine rankings for any given query, you deserve a pat on the back. That’s not always an easy feat, especially with the amount of competition online these days.
The thing is, SEO isn’t something you can do once and never again, nor is it a “set it and forget it” type of marketing method. Without continued optimization, your website runs the risk of slipping in the rankings, losing traffic to your competitors, and even losing revenue or leads.
It’s also important to consider the fact that SEO is always subject to change. Google is constantly making changes to its algorithms, determining what the best practices for websites are and changing the preferences of its search engine to match. So if you aren’t keeping up with these best practices, you could start to see a reduced presence in the SERPs as time goes on.
SEO takes a dedicated effort to continue and maintain, even if you aren’t in a niche or industry where there’s much online competition (yet…!). So while being #1 may not mean you need as much initial or ongoing work as another company, you should still consider having an SEO professional or agency on speed dial so you can have them work on your site from time to time. Without them, you may run into trouble faster than you expect.