How To Waste Money On Your Website: Stupid Idea 5

How To Waste Money On Your Website: Stupid Idea 5
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Whether you’re blatantly throwing money away on bad ideas or losing potential revenue by failing to capitalize on good ones, here are some surefire ways to make the least out of your investment.

Wasting money on your site doesn’t have to come in the form of a huge expenditure or dwindling bank account. Sometimes you can simply lose a little bit at a time in amounts so unnoticeable that it’s like a leaky faucet you forget is there. But it’s still wasted money, even measured in cents instead of dollars. Remember that as you promise yourself to avoid this next mistake.

Stupid Idea 5: Believe The Person Who Tells You They Can “Get Your Site To Be Number One In Google”

There is one word for someone who tells you they can get your site into the number one spot in Google: Liar.

That may sound mean. It may sound like an overstatement. But the sooner you learn that simple truth the sooner you’ll be able to stop wasting money.

Plenty of (unethical) companies will try to sell you on the idea of being number one in Google by insisting you only need to spend a few dollars a month for a keyword here and there. And you’ll want to believe it because heck, it’s cheap, and it sounds good. And that’s how your money will get siphoned off, a few dollars and a few keywords at a time. So how do you call out these liars?

Let’s start with the fact that Google (presumably the definitive authority on all things Google) states explicitly that no one can claim a “special relationship” with or guarantee a placement within Google. That’s only the most obvious argument in favor of the “liar” theory.

It’s possible that you think you’re number one in Google – after all, when you search for your site, there it is at the top of the page! But that could be happening for a couple of reasons, one of which is that your site is pretty likely to show up at the top of search results if you’re searching for it explicitly, because you’re the only one with your site.No competition means you get that top spot all to yourself.

Also likely is that the keyword you’re using to search is not competitive, which means nobody is trying to get to the top using that keyword and there’s probably a good reason for that. Usually it’s an irrelevant keyword that nobody is actually using.

Or perhaps your site is at the top because it’s a “sponsored listing”. That means someone is paying Google – via its AdWords advertising program – to have your site listed there (and even then, there are no guarantees that you’ll be number one).

But then, hasn’t that person gotten your site to the top of Google? Technically? Sometimes. Depending on the geographic location, the ad bid, the time of day, and other factors, your site may or may not appear at the top of Google. So technically? Liar.

But let’s dig a little deeper into what it means to be number one in Google. Wanting to be on top of Google is as generic and ethereal as wanting “The American Dream”. It could mean a hundred different things to a hundred different people.

Not to burst your dream bubble with some of those tough questions that nobody who wants to be number one in Google thinks to ask, but what does it mean? And in good faith, we’ll ask these questions assuming that you really, truly are number one in Google.

What keywords are you “number one” for? Are they meaningful to your business? Are they keywords actually being searched or are they keywords you wish someone would use because they’re so darn non-competitive?

Where in the world is that searcher sitting when he finds your site? Is his geography affecting his results? Or your likelihood to be listed in them?

Is your searcher logged in to her Google account when she finds your site? Is your site more or less likely to be shown to that person based on her personal settings, preferences and search history?

How many visitors is your site generating, and what are those visitors doing once they reach your site? Purchasing, sharing, contacting you? Or leaving for (gasp!) the number two site?

If the sole promise that someone makes is that they’re going to get your site to the top of Google then you have just gleaned some very valuable information: that person is not optimizing your site, probably has no idea how to effectively optimize a site, and most certainly doesn’t care about your marketing or the success of your site.

And if your sole concern is getting your site to the top of Google then you can rest assured that any money you spend to that end is money wasted because it just doesn’t matter if you’re number one in Google.

What matters is results, and you can get that at number two or twenty two if you’re doing your marketing right.

What’s the carrot at the end of your marketing stick? What’s that one major goal you’re aiming for?

Read More In The “How To Waste Your Money” Series

Carol Lynn Rivera

Carol Lynn Rivera

I'm a business owner, content creator, podcaster and marketer. In 1999 I founded Rahvalor Interactive, a web and creative services production studio, with my husband and business partner Ralph. In 2011 we created Web.Search.Social, a consulting and marketing service line for small businesses. We also cohost the Web.Search.Social Podcast where we challenge the status quo of marketing and the Carbon Based Business Units podcast where we talk about the human side of being an entrepreneur. On any given day I wear the hat of project manager, consultant, social media manager and content marketer. My true passion is writing and in my spare time I'm busy planning my early retirement to Barcelona as a famous and wealthy novelist.
Carol Lynn Rivera
Carol Lynn Rivera