Oct 04 2018

Not the First: Why is it okay to be number two?

Posted by Charisma Felix , , ,

If there’s one thing that SEO has embarked into the minds of digital marketers (and in the digital makerting industry in general), that is the idea that your business should always be the first – first in rankings and first to generate leads. That’s good, actually. There’s nothing wrong with that. For sure many businesses have already benefited from the idea that “in order to be successful, you have to be number 1”.

Number 1. Number 1. Number 1.

But, here’s the problem. What if there are thousands of other companies like yours that’s battling for the first spot? There are ten times better companies that’s promoting through search engines using the same rules and guidelines that you have. So, something will actually not add up, right? The ratio is insufficient. How can you be number number 1 if there’s only one spot for hundreds of qualifiers.

And what if, after all the efforts that you’ve been doing to land on the top spot, you really can’t make it there? Would you settle to be the second best? Would it be okay to be number 2? Is it really important to be number 1?

 

Be the first: It’s human nature but it’s an old-school thinking

Aiming to be always the first is comparable to how a news channel would want to air a breaking news first before other channels do it. But the thing is, if you are the first to air it, does it necessarily make you the best? We can’t blame people for wanting to be the first, it’s human nature. It’s like the belief that if you’re left behind, you will be left with nothing.

But honestly, the concept of “first rank = best” is just an old-school thinking – especially in SEO, where there are ways on how to do it. But, yeah, it can be one of your priorities because it really helps with the popularity of your brand if your website is always on the first page. However, it shouldn’t always be your goal. Simply because, it’s the traditional way of reaching your audience.

 

Why is it okay to settle as second best?

When was the last time you searched in Google? When was the last time that you ask Google a question? Did you click on the first organic result? Most likely, your eyes went straight to the meta descriptions looking for the answers on your questions. And, probably, you didn’t click on the first result (or maybe not even on the first page). That’s one good reason why it’s okay to be the second best; because users nowadays can no longer be fooled by what’s in front of them. Consumers are already aware that they have a choice.

But aside from the obvious benefits, here are some more points why it’s not bad to be the second choice.

  1. More than the basic. If a user lands on your page even if you’re not on the top spot, it means that you have more than just keywords and other basic SEO strategies. If they clicked on your link, it means that they saw something different in you that caught their attention. That alone, is already an advantage.
  2. It means that the first one didn’t work.They won’t go looking for another webpage if the first one was able to satisfy them. Regardless if the top spot has met all the Google requirements to rank in SERPs, the user was not happy about it. Thus, it’s an advantage for you. It’s an opportunity to snatch them because they are vulnerable.
  3. You have something better to offer.The consumer chose your website because there’s more in you than the usual. Even if you are the second best, the consumer see something in your site that is better than the other. It only means one thing, you may not be the first but you are better in terms of what you can offer.
  4. You can get more than what’s just left.There’s a connotation that “the number 1 gets the best but the rest gets what’s left.” But, if you are in the number two position, there is a possibility that you can get more than what you think you can. As mentioned above, if the first one is already ignored, the consumer may have not found what he’s looking for. Thus, once he finds you, you are sure to get more.
  5. It may be a rebound, but it can be worth it.One of the issues of being the second best is that you will always be left hanging, waiting if it will not work out with the first one because that’s the only time that you’ll get a chance to sell yourself. But, once you have their attention, it’s all worth it. The moment they stepped into your website, you can do whatever it takes to convert them.

 

So, what now?

Considering all these factors, should you throw out the old belief that you have to be number one? Should you disregard all your SEO strategies and focus deeply on luring the audience?

The answer: No. But you have to change the way you see things.

You should still consider and include SEO in your strategies but also keep in mind how users behave in the digital space nowadays. Just like how we discussed in the previous articles that content is king, but SEO is his queen, you still have to make sure that your strategies include thinking of the big picture and understanding that it’s more important to capture the audience’s attention rather than just staying on the top of the list.

Sometimes, the second best gives more than what the first rank can, who may only be in the position because they follow the rules to be there. But remember, they’re not the best; they just happened to be the first.


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