4 Shocking Reasons Why the Top Spot in Search isn’t Always Good for Business

Search engine marketing campaigns can be an effective means for businesses to increase visibility and garner more conversions. However, sometimes search engine marketing efforts go awry, and companies engage in what is now called ‘ego bidding.’ Sometimes business owners decide they want to own certain key search terms and phrases to get the highly coveted top spot on search engine results. This can be a costly mistake.
There are four primary reasons why the top spot isn’t necessarily the best spot for business. These compelling reasons are:
Search Engine Domination isn’t Always Quick
Vying for the top spot in search engine results isn’t easy, and it isn’t quick. A campaign with this objective can take months or years of hard work, especially if a business wants to dominate popular keywords and phrases.
Most business owners need more business now and can’t wait the length of time it takes to reach the coveted top spot. In these cases, business owners continue to shell out more and more money to search engines and marketing firms with nothing to show for their efforts. This can be extremely frustrating.
Business owners usually lose patience after a couple of months with a strategy like this and fire whatever marketing firm they’ve hired because they wrongly assume the firm isn’t doing a good job. This type of situation is a losing proposition for everyone involved.
Sometimes Getting the Top Spot isn’t Possible
Businesses that are going against fierce competition from big names aren’t going to get very far when trying to take on big business. These companies have in-house resources out the wazoo and these guys aren’t going to give ground to some no-name company.
A company with large resources at its disposal and staff working 24/7 to keep the coveted top spot can’t be toppled from their position as king of the hill by a company with a limited budget and a small marketing firm. It’s just not possible.
Companies that scrounge up resources trying to compete in this scenario are wasting time and money. In this type of situation, the ROI just isn’t there, and it won’t ever be. There’s simply no use trying.
Securing the Top Spot Can be Too Expensive
If a company invests all its resources in securing the top spot but doesn’t get enough sales to cover the expenses involved, what’s the point. If a business does succeed in getting the top spot in this type of scenario, there won’t be anything to show for it. Additionally, it’s unlikely the business will be able to remain in operation.
It’s extremely easy to spend a lot of money during a search engine campaign. Desperate business owners will often put all their resources into a campaign, anticipating that the returns will cover their efforts. Often, the returns are fruitless, and business owners abandon this strategy with the business in jeopardy.
There’s No ROI for Untargeted Traffic
After outbidding competitors and securing the top position, many business owners quickly discover that the traffic their getting offers little value. If the clicks a company gets aren’t from consumers wanting to buy, then the clicks are completely worthless.
For instance, if a business targets a common set of keywords such as watches or sunglasses and ends up getting a top position, the likelihood of getting untargeted traffic increases. Searchers can be looking to buy sunglasses or watches, or they may be doing a report on these items for school. Obviously, if it’s for the latter reason, the searcher isn’t likely to buy anything on the site. Money is wasted and there is no ROI.
It’s much better to be specific with key phrases. It takes a great deal of time and research to perfect what keywords and phrases lead to better conversions for a particular industry. During the research period, it isn’t very wise to put a lot of cash on the line for the top spot in search engine results.
Getting the Top Spot isn’t the Point
For most businesses, it’s not advisable to seek the top position on search engine results. This position gets more untargeted clicks, and it’s not usually cost-effective. Unless a business has a lot of capital that can be thrown into a campaign such as this it’s more advisable to seek the third and fourth positions. The best strategy is to shoot above the fold.
In Rare Cases Getting the Top Spot Can Pay Off
However, there are a few cases where getting the top spot can be beneficial. These situations are limited to the following:
·         A business is engaged in a short-term strategy to maximize visibility.
·         Past data indicates that getting the top spot is an extremely profitable position.
If the higher bid cost is offset by higher conversion rates and there is solid data that indicates that this position will pay off. By all means, shoot for the stars. Additionally, if a business is launching a new product or service and wants to make sure the public has every possible chance to find out about this new product or service, getting the top spot for a limited time may not be a bad idea.
So, Getting the Top Spot Doesn’t Pay…Now What?
There are many things business owners can do to build brand awareness and encourage more conversions. It’s better to choose several strategies instead of wasting time focusing on just one. In addition to running a search engine campaign, business owners can also focus on the following strategies:
Start Tweeting
Twitter has become an effective medium for online business advertising. In most cases, it’s free but there are options for businesses to engage in paid Twitter campaigns.
Get Connected on LinkedIn
If a business isn’t already maintaining a LinkedIn company page, it’s time to get started. Having a LinkedIn page is a wonderful way to advertise and it’s free.
Post Products or Links on Pinterest
Pinterest has been gaining ground as a social media network over the past year. It’s becoming increasingly popular for advertising for many businesses, especially those that have products that can be photographed and shared.
Focus on Facebook
Facebook pages are still an effective means for businesses to get the word out about their products and services. Facebook also offers measurement tools for businesses that were previously only available to larger companies.
Search engine marketing is a worthwhile advertising endeavor, but getting the top spot isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Invest in multiple strategies and aim for visibility above the fold. When everything is said and done, it’s the conversions that will really matter. Businesses can get more targeted traffic without having to depend solely on search engine results.

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