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If You Ain’t First, You’re Last...When It Comes to Your Website

Social Media, Search, Content, Development, Local Marketing, Internet Marketing

Joe Ponzio

In the 2006 NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights, Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) races on the edge, winning trophy after trophy, guided by a simple principal his father once absurdly told him before walking out on the family: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Reese Bobby (Gary Cole) wasn’t much of a father figure; but, his “pearl of wisdom” is actually something you should consider for your website in 2016.

If Reese were in marketing, he wouldn’t be ridiculous...he’d be right. What else might this drunken marketing guru teach us that smashes conventional wisdom?

In Fact, It’s Not Lonely At The Top

Studies show that the website in the first position on Google gets nearly 33% of the search traffic. You read that right - one in three Google users will click the first result they see.

Each spot after #1 sees less and less traffic - 18% for the #2 spot, 11% for #3...and just 2.4% for the number 10 spot. If you’re not on page 1, say goodby to 92% of Googlers because just 1 out of every 23 people actually click through to the second page of the search results.

(Can you guess where all those visitors are also spending their money?)

Nobody can guarantee you high rankings in the search engines (anyone who does is a scammer); but, there are some critical steps you can take to boost your rankings, blow by your competition, and enjoy more and more visitors (and dollars):

  • have a search-engine optimized website, meticulously coded and tagged for easy crawling and indexing by Google (and Bing and Yahoo and...)
  • be mobile-friendly so that visitors can consume your content (and buy your wares) on any device (Google boosts responsive websites like the ones we build over non-responsive sites)
  • lock it up with a secure certificate which signals to the search engines that you’re a legitimate entity (Google prefers secure sites over non-secure ones)
  • get super-fast hosting to load your website more quickly because search engines prefer fast loading sites for their visitors
  • publish good, relevant, sharable content on your website regularly (like this fantastic article you’re reading) which gives the search engines fresh content to regularly come back, crawl, index, and reward

It Ain’t Okay to Be Single

How you live your personal life is up to you; but, when it comes to your digital marketing, friends matter. Being high up on Google gets you access to Google’s audience, but what about YouTube or Facebook - respectively the second and third most visited websites after Google? Are you ignoring them?

Whether you love them or hate them, media sites and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn are used and trusted by hundreds of millions of people. More and more, these people are relying on social media over Google for shopping, referrals, and fresh content.

Being active on social media helps keep your brand on your prospective customers’ minds. Maybe they’re not ready to buy today; but, do you want to hope they’ll turn to Google when they are? Or do you want to be first on their mind at that critical moment?

If you’re not first, you’re last…

It Does Matter What People Say About You

Your mother probably told you to ignore what the other kids at school were saying; but, if Reese Bobby were your daddy, he’d tell you differently. In marketing, reviews matter. Few things can quickly convince someone to buy from you than a bunch of 5 star reviews. On the other hand, few things quickly turn people off than a bunch of negative reviews.

What people are saying (or not saying) about you online can make a huge difference in your bottom line. When you’re stacked up (online) next to your competitors, visitors naturally gravitate towards (and do business with) the companies with more and higher reviews. Similarly, they naturally avoid those with fewer and lower reviews.

You probably do the same, even if you don’t realize it.

As Google, Facebook, and even phones and tablets continue to make public reviews and ratings a more important role in their search results and rankings, what people say about you will matter more and more.

(When you come in to talk about your project, remember to ask me about our Review Builder so I can show you how to curate great reviews online.)

In the movie, Reese Bobby wasn’t much of a father. And to be honest, he’d never cut it here at Makespace either (we prefer great bourbon over cheap beer). But he’s right about marketing - if you’re not first, you’re last.

In 2016, focus on coming in first. If you need help smashing through conventional wisdom, stop on by. Just leave the cheap beer at home; I’ll get the bourbon ready.