Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
January 12th, 2016

Can Good Search Rankings Hurt Your Marketing Strategy?

With everyone talking about how important search rank is, why is this article implying it could hurt your marketing? Let me take a moment to clarify up front. Good search rankings, in and of themselves, are not bad in any way. However, they can hurt your overall marketing strategy when a business places too much emphasis on SEO and Adwords without taking a moment to understand their limitations and their shortcomings. A sound marketing plan has several foundational elements and good search results is only one of them.

First, let’s discuss the limitations of search ranking. A good search ranking only matters once a potential client has decided to look for your product or service in a search engine. I would agree that it is very important to show up in a relevant search from an interested client. However, what about all of the potential customers that do not even know enough about your product and what it can do to even think about searching for it? What if they do not even know that the product or service you offer exists?

In addition, let’s talk about the shortcomings of search results. We often base our search rankings on terms or keywords that we have set. We want to ensure our website is ranking well for the terms we deem important. The issue comes in when we fail to think about whether those are the search terms our potential prospects are even using when they engage in a relevant search. If we rank well for terms that our potential prospects are not using when they search, does it even matter?

A great example of this would be from the window film industry. Many consumers are not well educated about window films and what they can do. However, many people face challenges that window films can help them address. Let’s take sun fading of furnishings. This is an issue that many homes and offices face, but they often do not know what, if anything, can be done about it. As a result, if they decide to use a search engine at all, they might search for things to stop or slow down fading. If we have great search results for things like Window Tinting, or Window Film but do not show up on the first five pages for anything related to furnishings fading, that prospect will never know about how window film can help. A good search result only matters if it is for a keyword or phrase that prospects would type into the search engine.

Using the above example, a business should be interested in placing their products and solutions in front of prospects that do not even know the solution exists. In large part, people are still uneducated about window film and what it can do. There are many potential customers that could be good prospects for window film, but would not even think to search for it as they are not aware enough of it to even think to search.

In those cases, I like using social media to place the information in a compelling way in front of people that are good prospects but had not even realized it until it was presented to them. For example, when trying to reach a homeowner or office manager that has an issue with fading but is not even thinking about window film, I would use Facebook to place a compelling fading-related image with an interesting headline in front of them on their Facebook feed. This will grab their attention and give you an opportunity to present window film as a solution to them.

So, to summarize, while good search rankings are nice, do not fall into a trap thinking that you can ignore other marketing efforts because your SEO is working so well. Also, make sure that the words that you are basing your rankings on are actually the terms or phrases that your prospects are using in relevant searches. Being at the top of page one of a search only matters if your prospects are actually using that search term or phrase. Finally, search results only matter if a person is searching for your goods or service. What about all of the solid prospects that do not even know to search as they are not even aware that your product or service exists? Use other marketing strategies to place compelling content in front of potential clients where they are already looking. I hope this helps you to understand that while good search results for relevant terms are important, it is only one of several foundational pieces to a solid overall marketing strategy.


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