Have you heard the old story about the two guys who were trying to outrun a bear? One stopped to put on his running shoes. The other exclaimed “Are you an idiot? This is a BEAR that’s chasing us, putting on running shoes isn’t going to help you outrun him!”
The other guy paused and said “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun YOU.”
The story is humorous, but presents a perspective I find valuable about web design in general and search engines in particular.
There’s always going to be some cool new tool, some effective new strategy, some more links that can be built, some wording that can be tweaked. I have to remember that the work I do doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be a little better than what my competitors are doing.
I suspect it’s the same for your business, and very often “a little better” or “a little more” can make a huge difference. A little better response to your ad. A little more foot traffic to your store. A little higher average sale.
When we apply this principle to search engine rankings, “a little better” – like moving from #2 in Google to #1 – can make a huge difference. The site that ranks #2 for any particular search query generally gets 12-21% of all the clicks for that search. Pretty decent, right?
But the site that ranks #1 – just “A LITTLE BETTER” than rank #2 – will typically get 42-56% of all the clicks. Wow! A ranking improvement of just one position could mean double the traffic to your site.
And site #1 may only be “a little better” than site #2 in the eyes of Google. Both sites might be the same age and might be well-optimized for the same keywords – but site #1 might have just one more good backlink than site #2, and that’s what made the difference.
What are you doing to outrun your competitors?