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Old 01-06-2006, 06:24 PM
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Top Rank Disappointment

Anybody ever get disappointed with top ranking traffic?

A friend has a website in the top of the SERPs for a very very competitve keyword. With Overture reporting 150,000+ searches per month for it, you'd think a top position would drive traffic.

But what I've found is, it never does drive anywhere near as many referrals as Overture would suggest. In his case, it only delivers 50 referrals a day.

What I've found is, paid placement always gets better click throughs than organic SERPs.

And just because they search for something doesn't mean they are going to click through on any SERP, especially on the ultra conpetitive terms which are so broad as to be less meaningful.

Let's say, somebody searches for computers.

That's a very, very competitive search term, almost impossible to rank for, considering the competition.

But it's also a horrible search term. Is he wanting to buy a computer? Does he want to learn about computers? Does he want to know how to fix a computer? Does he want to see reviews of computers?

And what kind of computer are we talking about? Laptop, desktop? And what brand?

It's such a broad term, that it is next to useless as a search term to target.

My guess is, over half the people who search for "computer" will not click through. If they do, they will not buy. It's not a keyword that buyers use. A buyer would search for "laptop" or "notebook", or more likely he would search for "Dell notebook".

When I bought my notebooks, I didn't even search for "Toshiba notebooks". I searched for "Toshiba Satellite". That is a buyer's search term. "Computer" isn't.

Long story short, I suspect that most people who use these ultra competitive search terms in the first place end up refining their search terms, without clicking through. Thus, Top Ranking Disappointment for the webmaster/SEO.
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Old 01-06-2006, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnScott
Anybody ever get disappointed with top ranking traffic?

A friend has a website in the top of the SERPs for a very very competitve keyword. With Overture reporting 150,000+ searches per month for it, you'd think a top position would drive traffic.

But what I've found is, it never does drive anywhere near as many referrals as Overture would suggest. In his case, it only delivers 50 referrals a day.

What I've found is, paid placement always gets better click throughs than organic SERPs.

And just because they search for something doesn't mean they are going to click through on any SERP, especially on the ultra conpetitive terms which are so broad as to be less meaningful.

Let's say, somebody searches for computers.

That's a very, very competitive search term, almost impossible to rank for, considering the competition.

But it's also a horrible search term. Is he wanting to buy a computer? Does he want to learn about computers? Does he want to know how to fix a computer? Does he want to see reviews of computers?

And what kind of computer are we talking about? Laptop, desktop? And what brand?

It's such a broad term, that it is next to useless as a search term to target.

My guess is, over half the people who search for "computer" will not click through. If they do, they will not buy. It's not a keyword that buyers use. A buyer would search for "laptop" or "notebook", or more likely he would search for "Dell notebook".

When I bought my notebooks, I didn't even search for "Toshiba notebooks". I searched for "Toshiba Satellite". That is a buyer's search term. "Computer" isn't.

Long story short, I suspect that most people who use these ultra competitive search terms in the first place end up refining their search terms, without clicking through. Thus, Top Ranking Disappointment for the webmaster/SEO.
Seeing as I've never had a site on the first page for any of the keywords, I don't know of this first hand as a webmaster, but, I do see what you mean.

Here's my tidbit about that, if you want click through's when someone searches, first off, don't focus on "computers" like John said, focus on more specific terms.

Now, if you do focus on "computers" or if you do get up their for that term, or any other term, make sure to have a good description. That's what determines the site I, and many other people I know, click on.
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Old 01-12-2006, 12:20 PM
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Your points on the specific search terms such as Toshiba sattelite make a lot of sense
 
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Old 01-12-2006, 12:58 PM
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Just my 2 cents from what I have noticed from my E-Commerce site.

It's all about trust. First place will not give you much if you have site that people do not trust.

1. More than often people who wants to spend big money (in my case orders over $80) trust more to PPC advertiser than search results. They believe that if you spent money on advertisement then you are a serious company. Everyone can be on a first spot in results but to pay thousands a month to be on PPC you must be a real company. Because of that even if you are first in search results I would advice to still be on PPC.

2. I saw how my "trust rank" has been gradually increasing over time. In my product niche if person looking for something then most likely he/she will be looking for similar item in a month or so. So if your name (name of your website) is known then they have more trust. I saw on my website example how amount of orders grew over time with same amount of traffic. I was smart enough to come up with normal "brand" name so people could remember it. Not the one with keywords and dashes.

3. Anything affects "trust". Missing page, misspells, .... I saw people who were asking me why no one buying from their site and quick look was showing couple broken links or under construction page. They had traffic but were not able to sell anything simply because of that.

4. And John right that people do refine their searches but they do it on the site as well. If they actually did typed in "laptop", landed on your site which is "trustable" they will do that research or refine the search on your site. So if overture shows 150000 searches a month and you get only 50 visitors a day try to look at what is wrong with your site. Some websites names (long names with dashes) simply look spammy and users will skip them without clicking. As we progress people are getting more experienced with the web and unfortunately first thing they learn is not to trust what they see first
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Old 01-13-2006, 02:15 AM
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And John right that people do refine their searches but they do it on the site as well. If they actually did typed in "laptop", landed on your site which is "trustable" they will do that research or refine the search on your site. So if overture shows 150000 searches a month and you get only 50 visitors a day try to look at what is wrong with your site.
I don't think there is anything wrong with the person's site. The visitors aren't even clicking on the listing to see the site. I noticed this in many, many case where the website had a #1 listing.

Personally, I doubt that most of those searches are legitimate. And of those that are legitmate, many refine their search term without clicking on anything.
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Old 01-13-2006, 02:26 AM
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My top term is is estimated at 376 click's where I rank number one on both MSN and Google. I am now into the 13th day and my stats show 341 clicks for the month.

I used the UK region specific overture: http://inventory.uk.overture.com
 
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Old 01-13-2006, 02:42 AM
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I'm no 8 for a search showing 600k+ searches (according to overture) and see no traffic. On the other hand I'm number 1 for a search showing 1k searches that receives 20k per month.

Overture keyword research isn't the most accurate tool at the best of times - the format of keywords displayed is edited quite a high percentage of times, meaning a lot of people target the wrong keywords.

Also I think some SEO's out there run mass automated queries to skew top results and even create fake terms to confuse the competition.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan007
My top term is is estimated at 376 click's where I rank number one on both MSN and Google. I am now into the 13th day and my stats show 341 clicks for the month.

I used the UK region specific overture: http://inventory.uk.overture.com

What's the search term? I'm thinking it's a pretty refined search term = higher click through ratio. Broader search terms = lower CTR's.
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Old 01-13-2006, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnScott
I don't think there is anything wrong with the person's site. The visitors aren't even clicking on the listing to see the site.
I can see how it can happen with words that have double meanings. (Sometimes second meaning is a slang).
For example one of my items is called barbell.
Even if my site is first for that word, the whole page (Ad Space and other results) will be about weight lifting and not about piercing barbells.
Seeing that customer would want to refine the search without even clicking on my site.

Or maybe the search phrase has too broad meaning like "computer". So person who want to buy a computer will end up with results on how to use computer. Then he would be forced to refine it.
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Old 01-13-2006, 07:12 AM
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If I am looking to buy something, I click on the paid advertisements, sites that are willing to pay for visitors ppc like that obviously have the money to do so, and I am more likely to find a reputable site than non-paid entries.
 
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Old 01-13-2006, 06:12 PM
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I click on the paid advertisements
I think a lot of people prefer paid listings to organic. I do, a lot of the time, because you know the people are serious about business if they're willing to pay for the traffic.
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:50 AM
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This has been bugging me for a while. I think I'll track click-throughs vs searches on some keyword for which a page ranks in the #1 spot.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:08 AM
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I have never had a high profile client or competed for a strong keyword. I am going to see how far I can get with "send flowers" for my own site.


This is my approach, it serves me well.
I sit my perspective clients in front of google and say:
"you are your customer find yourself".

They always start typing the company name.
"How do your perspective customer know your name?"
Remember, the internet is a marketing tool if someone knows your name you dont need to market to them, you have done that already!
Now search for (example) 'flowers delivered in exeter' or 'flowers delivered in devon', these are the people who want what you have to sell. The people searching for 'flowers delivered in exeter' want to buy from you and we can convert a lot of them into customers.

Now do a search for "flowers delivered"
If your site was first how many of the people would buy from you?
Not many! Putting a small advert on the front page of a global newspaper isnt as useful to you as putting a big one on the front page of a local one?


They are normally sold by this point and I dont have to try and explain anything technical about what I intend to do for them.
Im not a site mill, the way I see it by doing SEO I am making the company I am working for a lot more than they are going to be paying me. It feels like hoaring your mind out in a way.
 
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:59 AM
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It's not about the placements. It's about qualifying the prospect.

You would do better with a title tag, (about the only thing can control when it comes to what a search engine dipslays ---- sometimes), that says EXACTLY what the searcher can find at your site and then only getting those type of clicks, than trying to just say what you think you need to say to get the placement.

John makes a very valid point that when someone does a search for things like computers, we have no idea of what the searcher is actually looking for. BUT, we don't care as long as our title says
Online USED Computer Store telling the searcher we sell used computers or

Computer School Website
telling the searcher we are a site that can teach you about computers

or
Computer Programming Made Easy
telling them we teach them to program

All of these things qualify a prospective client so that you increase your chances of conversion when and if you get them from the search engine to your site.

So, even though you may not know what exactly a broad search is looking for, the point is that we can assume the broad term is attracting the kind of people that we would be looking for. If your title said Online Computer School, you know that a top 10 spot under the broad term computers will likely generate more sales than getting that title in front of people searching for schools for example. But even with schools, by qualifying the search with a very descriptive title you eliminate people who would NOT be interested in what you sell and that alone increases conversion rates.

I would suggest to your friend that he
#1. Check to see what kind of hits to sale conversions he is getting and if it ain't broke don't fix it

#2. If he is getting less than about 5% conversion start making minor changes to the title tag, trying to not lose the placement but more accurately describe what he offers at his site
 
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:16 PM
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Great point on the page titles, Bob.
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:21 PM
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I am in the top #5 in Google for keywords which are very competitive, and supposedly Overture reports over 200,000 searches between these keywords - I can tell you now I don't get anything like this type of traffic from these keywords, and have dumped them.

Not worth my time optimising the site for keywords that aren't bringing in visitors.

Darren
 
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Gevorg
1. More than often people who wants to spend big money (in my case orders over $80) trust more to PPC advertiser than search results. They believe that if you spent money on advertisement then you are a serious company. Everyone can be on a first spot in results but to pay thousands a month to be on PPC you must be a real company. Because of that even if you are first in search results I would advice to still be on PPC.
Totally disagree. The average internet shopper hasn't a clue what PPC is.

No exaggeration I haven't met a single client I was helping to market their site for that knew those links on the side Google search results and at the top were paid ads. Not one.

In fact whenever I try to explain to people what I do and how I make money off those links on my site they are shocked.
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Old 03-16-2006, 07:09 PM
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I think paid listings often carries more weight that organic SE rankings. If somebody is paying for the traffic, I think they will be more considerate and value my business more. Just seems natural. And you know the business is active if they are doing PPC.
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnScott

What I've found is, paid placement always gets better click throughs than organic SERPs.
What serps have you been examining?

Also, surely would be dependant on search phrases in question.

A bit of a sweeping statement for you to make John.

(not that I'm literally disputing your findings - but its like saying get adwords or equiv/get more traffic - well that aint a cert either!)
 
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnScott

Personally, I doubt that most of those searches are legitimate. And of those that are legitmate, many refine their search term without clicking on anything.
yeah I agree with this - especially as I'm prone to this if nothing 'catches the eye'
 
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