Perhaps you remember an old Wendy’s commercial where the senior Clara asked “where’s the beef?” referencing the fact that some fast food restaurants had very little meat in their hamburgers. I have a friend that does bariatric marketing and he says that his hardest job is to explain that there are no guarantees. People think because it is the Internet and because you rank on the first page, you are guaranteed business. This just isn’t true.
A man who was in print ad sales that I knew said that if a page 3 ad in a newspaper for a product or company pulled in twice what it cost, then they couldn’t print enough pages to accommodate all the people that wanted to advertise in the magazine. The Internet is no different. It is just another tool to build a brand, attract interested prospects, connect with an individual to solve a problem. There still is competition from competing brands, messages that may or may not work, brand confidence, timing, and a host of other factors.
What we can guarantee is that there is traffic on most every results page. Some pages have more than others. The value is the demand or the traffic on those pages. Just as a billboard on a major interstate has more value than the same billboard out in the country on a two lane road. The billboard on the interstate delivers more value because it has more traffic.
With reference to the beef analogy, the value is traffic. You need to find the people that are looking for what you are selling. If you have the right message, at the right time, with the right offer, then that traffic has a chance of turning into business. So where’s the traffic you ask? Right now, most of it is on the first page of Google results. If that changes, then you have to adjust your strategy to go where the traffic is.
In the last 15 years, the phone book has become obsolete. Librarians no longer need to show people where to find reference materials. Newspapers are out of date before they are printed. Our need-it-now society has adopted the Internet as its medium of choice because it is immediate. You should be where people can find you. That’s where the beef is.