Should You Really Care About Ranking First On Google?


For the past few years, it seems like agencies and clients alike have been chanting the same mantra:




Ever since Chitika dropped their iconic “Google Result Positioning” study back in 2013, that’s all people have been talking about when it comes to search engine marketing.


And rightfully so! That study and many others have shown that the first position in search engines is very valuable.


Some claim 30% of organic traffic for a given search query goes solely to the number 1 position; and some claim as much as 50%!


We know the first position is more valuable than any other position below it. So that’s it – we should chalk up a number 5 or 6 position for a client’s main keyword as a loss, right? Wrong.


Traffic is Traffic is Traffic


Odds are, if you’re a SEO professional in 2019, you’ve grown to despise Yelp and Amazon for taking your first position for all of your client’s preferred keywords.


(see a SEO manager’s crushed dreams below)


ranking first on google results



JUST BREATHE! It’s going to be okay. You’d be surprised as to how much traffic you’re actually getting from your respective 5th or 6th position.


Especially for service businesses like the ones featured above. Many people shop around for different companies.


That said, maybe instead of looking at rankings of our client’s keywords, let’s look at actual traffic.



ranking first on google traffic insights



Which of the two keywords above do you think is more valuable right now?


The former is the client’s brand. That keyword may be more valuable in the future when their name gets bigger and the search volume is higher.


But for right now, the latter is much more valuable (even though it came from a blog post), because it is bringing in more traffic RIGHT NOW.


Master Your Topic


As you saw above, we choose to focus a lot on industry-specific, micro-volume keywords, rather than shooting for the macro-volume, general-buzz keywords (i.e. web design).


Here is a simplified version of our keyword research process:


  1. Do industry and competitor research respective to your client.
  2. Compile a list of ~500 words that fit the following criteria
    1. ~500 - 750 Monthly Search Volume
    2. <50 difficulty
    3. >$3.00 CPC rate
  3. Naturally incorporate into webpage and blog content.


As we all know by now, Google changes its algorithm like a million times a year, and their official explanations leave a lot to be desired.


But what we know for sure nowadays, is that Google can definitely recognize and distinguish spammy content from quality content.


So the solution here is to work WITH your client, not just FOR them. They are the experts in their respective industry, and just like Google, they can recognize legitimate educational content from people just trying to rank on a industry-specific keyword.


To Wrap it Up…


Ahrefs recently proved our point in their study, “Ranking #1 on Google Is Overrated”. We’ve known for a long time that, generally speaking, ranking #1 is very valuable.


But in some cases, all that extra time and energy you put in to ranking #1, is for marginal-to-no benefit for your site.


So instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, try to get at least on the first page of google for hundreds of words, garnering a more consistent and fixed flow of traffic to your site.


Get back out there and do some keyword research. You got this!!

ranking first on google award


CNG Can Help You Rank On the First Page of Google


If you'd rather outsource the project of SEO keyword research and maintenance, hand it over to the professionals. At CNG Digital Marketing, we can craft a strong SEO strategy for you that is guaranteed to boost your traffic and conversions!


Talk with an SEO Specialist 


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