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Are you chasing the impossible? When it comes to search engine optimization, many website owners are. They spend a lot of time, effort, and money chasing that number one ranking in the search results. Smart SEO is all about assessing your position and comparing it to your competition, then acting on what you can realistically achieve – the probables rather than chasing the improbables.

The number one ranking in search results is not a fixed rank. If you have Google’s Webmaster Tools tracking your website, you will find that your search rankings change, and frequently too. Search results now also take into account factors that are beyond the reach of search engine optimization – these factors include a user’s history. This means that, in some searches you are actually number one – or number twenty-one. You have no control.

If your analysis of your current positions suggests it would be hard work, time consuming, and perhaps costly to chase a higher search rank, then it’s time to change your strategy. You need to work on other factors such as your meta description, your landing pages, and perhaps even your social media marketing.

Your meta description may help you stand out from the crowd and so draw more clicks – even though you are only number two or three in the search results. Spending time on developing a good landing page may see you convert a higher rate of visitors – which would you prefer, more visitors or more sales? Social media marketing, of course, uses another channel to attract visitors.

Don’t chase the improbables – it can be a frustrating experience. Take a realistic approach and tackle what is achievable in the current environment. You’ll save time, money, and your sanity.

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