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SEO Myth #4: SEO is about ranking #1 on Google

This is our fourth post in our "SEO Myths That Need To Die In 2017" series.

If you want to check out our previous post, you can find it here: SEO Myth #3: Mobile Optimization Is Overrated.

SEO Myth #4: SEO is about ranking #1 on Google

No, Noooo, no it isn't.

While there’s a strong correlation between search results placement and clickthrough rates, ranking is not the end goal that it used to be.

Studies of click-through rates and user behavior have shown that searchers favor the top search results -- particularly the top-three listings.

It is true that first-page position means people will see your listing, but it does not mean you will get click-throughs and even more important, it doesn't mean you get leads. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. You do not have the correct keyword strategy because you are trying to rank for keywords that are too general for your content.

  2. Your meta descriptions are not appealing and inviting for the user.

Broad search terms actually make up less than 30% of all search queries. The remaining 70% lie in what’s called the “long tail” of search. The long tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that might be conducted a few times in any given day, but, when taken together, comprise the majority of the world’s search volume.

Long-tail keywords are those low-volume, obscure, infrequently searched-for keywords that turn up in your search query reports. They are filled with clues to the user's context and intent. Long tail keywords speak to the users need in the moment.

The nice thing about discovering long tail keywords is that they typically have a much lower level of competition, so it is easier to rank in the top ten in the search engine results.

In addition, long tail keywords, are more likely to pull in traffic that converts at a higher rate. Effective long tail keywords are unique to the services and products offered by you and only you.

The truth is, when you create solid content focused around topics, you almost always receive far more (and oftentimes better) traffic from long-tail keywords that you didn't try to rank for.

The magic happens when visits reach your site because the content matched their needs, but not necessarily when you matched the right keywords.

Next week we'll be talking about SEO Myth #5: SEO Is A Scam