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Many search engine marketers spend most of their time chasing the elusive search engine ranking, hoping that if they just SEO their website enough then it will magically appear in the No. 1 spot on Google for their target search term. Unfortunately, it rarely happens that way.

You can rank No. 1 for any search term if you work hard enough. But will you make any money from that ranking? Bottom line: If your web page does rank No. 1 for an important keyword or search term but doesn’t convert any visitors to traffic then you aren’t any better off than if your web page doesn’t rank anywhere at all. You’re still making no money.

Quite frankly, you’re better off with a Page 5 search result that converts at 50% than you are a No. 1 search result that converts at 0%.

You might want to read that sentence again.

Let’s put it into raw numbers. Let’s say your No. 1 search result delivers you 5,000 unique visitors per month but none of those visitors convert to customers. Either you’ve targeted the wrong keyword or your landing page isn’t written for conversions. That’s a problem.

On the other hand, let’s say your Page 5 search result sends you only 10 unique visitors per month but converts 50% of those visitors. Now you’re getting 5 new customers per month. Isn’t 5 better than 0?

Even if your No. 1 search result converts 1 percent of its traffic, 5 new customers from 5,000 visitors is nothing to get excited about. You’re still only converting 1% of your traffic, compared to 50% from the lower ranking page. It’s all in the numbers, man.

Instead of focusing on search results, you should be focusing on building landing pages that convert well. Optimize them for search traffic, sure. But if you are focused heavily on building links and optimizing for keywords and you forget to optimize for conversions then you’ve wasted a lot of time. And money.

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