Guest post contributed by Kimberley Myers, on behalf of Name.com.
Bloggers and webmasters constantly look for signs of success. PageRank is one thing that is often thrown around in the world of SEO as an important ranking factor. It also sounds cool to have a high PR on a site or blog. However, PageRank isn’t everything and being in the number one spot on Google doesn’t always guarantee you financial success.
According to a relatively new study by Optify, page one in Google earns you roughly 36.4 percent of the clicks on that page. That’s a lot but it still leaves 63.6 percent of the traffic on the table (or, on the search engine to be exact). The top three spots collectively earn 58.4 percent of all clicks, showing that users prefer the top results but not necessarily the top result per se. Having a number 2 spot in the search engines earns you a 16.96 percent click-through rate, while the number 3 spot earns 11.42 percent.
How much you earn from these rankings can vary based on the keywords in your niche. For example, it’s fairly well-known that finance-based keywords cost a lot of money. This information can be discovered through Google’s Adwords keyword research tool. The cost per click (how much an advertiser is willing to pay) is consistently higher than keywords in the knitting niche. This is important to know if you’re trying to use Adwords to put your website on the first page of Google for your chosen keywords.
Another thing to take into consideration is how much money it costs to get you to these top positions organically. Try ranking for the term “insurance.” You’re going to spend a lot of money on SEO. It may not yield much in the way of profit, however. Ranking for something in the knitting niche might be easier, less costly, and may yield you a higher profit even though the advertisers pay less and your product may be cheaper than something in the finance niche.
PageRank Isn’t Everything
Some “SEO truths” aren’t really truths at all, and can actually cost you money. For example, the myth of PageRank is that it earns you a higher spot in the search engines all of the time.
Log out of your Google account and search for the term “puppies.” In Google, you’re going to see something very interesting. The top search result is “puppyfind.com.” The second listing is “dailypuppy.com.” The PR for “puppyfind” has a PageRank of 4 while “dailypuppy” has a PageRank of 6. Was it worth paying thousands of dollars to an SEO company to get a higher PageRank? Not necessarily, because it’s not clear that PR actually helps in ranking.
Some Keywords Can’t Be Effectively Monetized
Some keywords convert poorly. They’re not “buying keywords” or “action keywords.” For example, a keyword like “insurance” doesn’t tell you what the intent of the user is. They could be shopping for insurance, but they could also be learning about various types of insurance or just trying to figure what kind of insurance they need for a specific circumstance. Having a number one ranking for “insurance” may be a big disappointment Now, take “buy a whole life policy.” It’s a very specific keyword. Someone is obviously looking to buy a whole life insurance policy. Take this into consideration when choosing keywords and determining your SEO strategy. Many webmasters fail to do this and pay a heavy price for sloppy keyword research. Even if your site is a so-called authority site with a high PR, it still may be a loser in terms of profitability.