“I want my website to rank on Page 1…”

This is a common thing I hear when talking with potential clients about marketing solutions for their business.

Usually I followup by asking if rankings is really what they want.

Maybe what they actually want is customers coming through the door or the phone ringing.

If that’s the case, what might be a better solution for the business is simply traffic.

But, Aren’t They The Same Thing?

Traffic and Rankings Proof

So this is a common misconception among business owners. Rankings and website traffic aren’t actually the same thing, or more importantly…

…they aren’t necessarily delivering the same ‘result’.

In fact, one is more of a solution, while the other is more a goal or objective. If your goal is to get more traffic, organic rankings would be a solution to help accomplish that goal.

Of course, SEO could be a tool we could use to increase our rankings and ultimately get more traffic.

But organic rankings isn’t the ONLY method to accomplish your goal of getting more website traffic.

For example, I could quickly set up a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign and increase website traffic Day 1 regardless of where you rank in the search results for your business or product keywords.

So based on this explanation, we need to actually define what it is we want for our business.

Rankings = Visibility

Rankings, rankings, rankings! If we have rankings for our keywords, all our traffic problems are solved!

Well, not really.

I could go out and rank my website #1 for the keyword phrase ‘best SEO company in Los Angeles’.

But that doesn’t mean it adds any traffic value to my website.

As you can see below it gets really low search volume.

Best SEO Company In Los Angeles

Now that is not to say it isn’t a targeted, high converting keyword phrase that I still want to rank for, or that being on Page 1 wouldn’t lead to increased client acquisition.

But for my goal of increasing website traffic, ranking for that keyword might not help me accomplish my goal.

When Rankings Should Be A Business Objective

So when does rankings as an objective make sense?

If you rely heavily on online visibility, then rankings might be an objective for your business.

For example, maybe you sell a specific physical product or product type, and you want to be seen as the ‘authority’ on the product.

Or maybe it’s important to your customer base as a buying factor for that product or service that they see your company in the search results, which is still technically a byproduct of authority.

In either case, it might make sense for you to come up in search results when someone searched for that product or product related terms.

But this doesn’t mean I should be ranking for any ‘ol keywords. There should obviously be research involved to find out which keywords are the most targeted for conversions.

But that is a different lesson all together.

Let’s take a look at traffic and its impact on our business.

Traffic = Leads & Sales

Earlier I said traffic is more of an objective or goal than a solution. But actually, traffic can be a solution for an overall goal of more leads and sales.

If your goal is to increase leads and sales, it might make sense to shift your focus from rankings to actually getting targeted traffic.

So what do I mean when I say traffic? Traffic is a broad term used to label website visitors coming from a single or multiple sources.

Traffic can come from social media marketing, email marketing, PPC, paid ads (media buys or paid placements), native advertising, and much more.

Here is an article that explains paid advertising and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

But Traffic Is Expensive!

Paid Traffic Conversion Proof

There has been a long, unwarranted stigma on any traffic not coming from organic or local search results as being expensive.

So let’s go ahead and clear this up. That is absolutely NOT the case!

The reason ‘traffic’ beyond search engine rankings get’s labeled expensive might have more to do with all the fancy terminology associated with these ‘other’ traffic sources.

I mean, with crazy acronyms like CPC (Cost Per Click), CPV (Cost Per View), and CPM (Cost Per 1000 Impressions), it can be easy to be confused or dismiss these sources as legitimate ways to get website traffic cheaply.

But let’s look at an example.

Let’s say I have a product that sells at $50 a sale. Let’s also say my sales funnel has a modest 20% conversion rate on email sign ups on the front end, and out of those, 10% convert into sales.

Maybe I decide native advertising makes sense as a viable marketing channel for my product or service.

I create an Ad and bid on placements at $1.00 CPC. Say things go crazy and I get 2,000 clicks over the course of the Ad run.

I just spent $2,000 on that Ad. But how did that translate into value to my business?

2,000 clicks x 20% = 400 email sign ups

400 email sign ups x 10% sales = 40 sales @ $50 each = $2,000 in sales

So I actually broke even. Not bad right?

But actually, I did a little better.

First, I added 400 names to my email list. I’ve now built a captive audience that I can market to and get to interact with my brand. That’s valuable in itself.

But because I also have a properly set up sales funnel and follow up system in place, I actually convert an additional 10% of the email list into paying customers over the course of time.

That is another 36 sales ($1,800) for total revenue of $3,800. Off of a $2,000 ad spend, that’s an ROI of 190%.

Not too bad. And I only paid for those clicks as they happened, not a lump sum up front.

Considering it might have taken me months to accomplish the same goal with organic SEO, getting paid traffic paid off much faster than organic rankings.

Is Time A Consideration?

This brings up another important point, and that is your ideal timeline for accomplishing your goals.

It should be noted (if you don’t already know by now) that organic rankings typically take time, whereas ‘other’ traffic can be generated very quickly.

A proper organic or local SEO strategy can take months to see the payoff.

Proper keyword research and competitor intelligence can help shortcut the time frame, but you need to have patience when it comes to getting Page 1 rankings.

But as I mentioned before, I can turn on the ‘traffic faucet’ Day 1 depending on other traffic sources I use.

When Traffic Should Be A Business Objective

For me, this is a no-brainer. Traffic is always my #1 objective.

Because as I mentioned before, traffic is my solution to more leads and sales.

If your business goal is to increase targeted leads and sales conversions, you need to shift your mindset from rankings and focus on getting traffic through paid traffic sources.

Having a marketing strategy using the right mix of traffic sources that make sense for your business, budget, and timeline will pay off much faster than a pure rankings focus.

The Ideal Business Marketing Strategy

Ideally, you will have a tiered marketing strategy based on timeline and objective.

Here is an example:

Marketing Traffic Strategy

With this strategy, the overall goal is increasing leads and sales.

The theme is to put down a foundation built around a ‘Free’ traffic source (organic SEO rankings), while complementing with additional strategies that can quickly generate traffic, leads, and sales in the short term.

Working together, you are building a business that will be fed consistent and sustainable traffic for the short and long term.

Combined with a conversion optimized website, a solid sales funnel, and a proper customer return path…

…you would have to try very hard NOT to succeed!

But those are different topics for a different day…

So What Does Your Business Really Need?

The bottom line is each business needs to decide what the real goal is, and then choose the solutions that make the most sense to accomplish that goal.

The hands-down BEST way to know which solutions work the best for your business and industry is to look at what is already working for others.

You can gain unbelievable insight from what the Top 3 Competitors in your industry are already doing to get traffic, leads and sales.

You can immediately implement the strategies that work, and avoid the ones that don’t.

You basically get to use the competition’s advertising budget and hard work to put together a winning strategy Day 1!

We offer a no-obligation competition analysis of your Top 3 Competitors completely Free.

The process is simple.

You simply fill in the short discovery form LOCATED HERE and you’re on your way.

Think big picture goals, true objectives, and understand competitor strategies and you will build a successful marketing campaign 100% of the time.