Ranked 1 at Google for
"Invisible Entrepreneurs" But No Traffic?
By Mike Banks Valentine
I am ranked #1 for that silly phrase at Google. So What?
Here's a secret. You can be ranked #1 at Google for the phrase "Waterfall
Watches" if you put the phrase on your page 4 times and in metatags twice. How
do I know that? I did it in 2001 and still rank number one in Google for the
phrase in 2005. On another of my sites I rank #1 for the phrase "Screeching
Camels" by simply putting it on the page once in a comment about silly SEO
I'll wager that many phrases you've targeted for your business are almost as
silly and deliver NO traffic to your pages from the search engines. Don't take
that too personally. Simply look at your traffic statistics to see what phrases
are bringing visitors to your web site. If your logs show no delivered traffic
for keywords you thought were golden, you've targeted the wrong phrases.
I'm always fascinated when discussions of search engines focus excessively on
ranking of a particular site in one particular search engine without checking
corresponding statistics about referred traffic delivered to the site from the
targeted keyword phrase. Referred search visits from engines is not taken into
account. Anyone who looks at their rankings without looking at how much traffic
is referred and DELIVERED to your site through the rankings is missing the most
important part of the story!
When you check your site traffic statistics for where visitors are coming
from and in what numbers, for which keyword searches and from which search
engines, you will be astonished to see that things you think are important are
sometimes not so important. I've struggled for years to gain top rankings for
"Small Business Ecommerce" and have achieved #1 at Google #5 at MSN and #13 at
Yahoo (at this writing).
But guess what? No one searches for that phrase in significant enough numbers
to deliver any traffic from it! I'm not saying that this was wasted effort,
because in the over 1000 pages at WebSite101 we have enough related phrases that
the targeted phrase contributes to the rank of hundreds of related phrases.
"Open Source Ecommerce" gets huge traffic for one single page, ranked at # 29 in
Yahoo, #7 at MSN and #1 in Google (as of this writing).
But the really interesting thing is that even on phrases that rank equally
well across all three major engines, Google delivers referred traffic at a rate
of 65% compared to MSN at less than 1% and Yahoo about 5% of all referred
visitor traffic. In NO case does Yahoo or MSN refer any clickthroughs at higher
than 10% of all referred traffic.
Referred traffic being visitors that clicked on your link from search results
or links. This applies both in single instances for specific keywords and
cumulatively for all referred traffic.
Hear this very clearly - it has nothing to do with ranking! There are dozens
of search phrases that visitors have searched on all three of those engines that
deliver traffic to my site that I can't find my own site for in the top 100
results at ANY search engine. In every case, Google delivers more than twice the
traffic for every keyword combination than does MSN or Yahoo!. In many cases, I
rank HIGHER on both Yahoo and MSN for many of those phrases, yet Google delivers
far more referred traffic for those phrases ranked higher at MSN and Yahoo! Does
that make any sense?
If your referred traffic from top rankings at MSN and Yahoo send you no
traffic, why be concerned that you rank well with either of them? This same
scenario has played out across dozens of client sites I've reviewed traffic
statistics for. No matter how the site is structured, no matter how many pages
they have, no matter what keywords they are targeting.
Search engine referred traffic from Google is always ALWAYS 2 times higher
than the other two and very often as much as 10 times. If we ranked engines, NOT
on number of searches performed, but on how much traffic they refer, then Google
would be more than twice as highly ranked in all cases.
If Google disappeared tomorrow, there would be some dramatically reduced
visitor numbers for ALL sites across the web. We would, every single one of us,
lose over half of our (organic) search engine referred traffic. Look at your
traffic statistics for natural search engine referred traffic (not PPC) volume
and which keywords are currently working to deliver that traffic as far more
important than your specific # keyword ranking on those search engines.
Avoid the practice of "Keyword Voodoo" to rank for words that no one
searches. Google "Keyword Voodoo" and you'll find me ranked 5 times for that
phrase on page one of the search engine results page. "Reciprocal Linking
Turkey" will give you the same result, showing my article on several web sites.
Each of those does me no good at all and brings no more search engine referred
traffic than does my number one ranking for "Invisible Entrepreneurs" used in
the title of this article.
Target the wrong keywords and you will become one of those Invisible