Is The Only Goal To Be #1 For A Keyword?
It’s the gold standard in SEO: ranking in the top spot in Google search results. Statistics say over a quarter of all clicks in Google searches come from the number one ranking. This statistic quickly falls off to only 8% by the fourth result, meaning landing in the top three is your website’s best chance to generate leads for your pages and posts.
But with hugely competitive keywords with the largest, most authoritative websites dominating the rankings for most keywords, is there any benefit to not being number one? Is there a broader strategy that can help your site regardless of where it ranks? We think there is.
Your website is made of dozens if not hundreds of pages and blog posts, each with their own unique purpose and structure. Let’s take a standard medical procedure page as an example. The point of the page is to both describe a specific procedure and encourage people to learn more, perhaps with a consultation or appointment in the office.
This page will naturally have many keywords, most importantly the procedure’s name and other qualifying terms such as your city, state, and physician’s name. All of these could be keywords, but you’re likely focused on the procedure name itself. The best way to rank in the top spot for your procedure is to have quality content throughout your site that — and this is the key — answers people’s questions and provides a good user experience.
If you’ve got great content that’s well-organized and addresses the key needs of people you want coming to your site, over time your rankings will naturally go up as Google rewards your pages for their good metrics and clicks.
Believe it or not, sometimes being number one isn’t the end-all-be-all solution to driving relevant people to your page. This is especially relevant when talking about how influential websites, like Wikipedia, claim the top spot or two for generic search terms like “plastic surgery” and are extremely hard to beat with your practice’s website.
In these scenarios, the best strategy is to rank for more specific keywords that fewer websites are using. These so-called long-tail keywords don’t have nearly the number of people searching for them, but those that do are often more selective about which site they want to click on, frequently clicking on lower-ranking pages that promise to provide for their specific needs.
And keep in mind that even if you’re not raking in the 25% of clicks the top spot statistically achieves, you can still get traffic from being third or even fourth, which, if you have good content, can slowly build your influence and take you higher and higher.
Some SEO influencers will advise you to always and only focus on a single keyword for each page on your website. While that’s a way to get a laser focus on what you think matters most, that doesn’t mean that the only keywords people type into Google to find your site are the ones you’ve picked out. In reality, they’ll come from a wide range of terms you use on your page, everything from “board-certified” to “near me.”
We take a balanced approach between single-keyword SEO and a broader strategy. This includes identifying additional keywords that may not be your top priority but can nevertheless draw qualified leads to your site that are closer to making a decision about their medical care.
Ranking highly is a great way to draw traffic, but not all traffic is meaningful traffic when it comes to leads who end up making a purchase at your practice. With DLM’s SEO content strategy, we create and optimize content that meets readers where they are and answers their questions in an efficient and easy-to-read way. To learn more about our SEO or other services that can help move your site up in Google rankings, call our office or contact us online today.