A few days ago I had a great conversation with a client for whom we had achieved a number one ranking with Google. The elation coming through the phone during this conversation was nearly overwhelming. I explained, “This is what we do”. After another minute or so of a litany of accolades, I had to intervene with a question. “It’s great that you hit number one, but how have your conversions been affected?” The response I received was somewhat irksome and unsettling; “We haven’t noticed any change yet”. I briefly paused on the other end of the line to fully absorb what I had just heard. “Well I said, we can definitely fix this; as I said before” – and without allowing my thought to finish, he piped up with this:

“Absolutely not, we’re number one now – and I don’t want to mess with this. Just let it sit and we will look into it if it drops.”

The conversation ended shortly thereafter. At the behest of the client, it was their choice to stand pat with the services that had been provided. How is it that a ‘happy client’ ends up being something troubling? The very fact that this client is happy without receiving ROI is a scary prospect. His number one placement guaranteed nothing but exposure and possible notoriety. What he actually needed, unbeknownst to him, was an all-encompassing strategy that worked in conjunction with the achieved number one placement to produce converted leads.

Content Is The Narrative

It’s unfortunate that a good deal of people seeking digital marketing assistance, tend to come to us with clouded tunnel vision about their needs and wants. Very rarely do these ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ actually coincide with what is best for the business. In this specific instance, we had suggested a campaign that utilized industry specific content, leveraged in venues on the web that were desperately after an authoritative figure in the field. This strategic insight was dismissed almost instantly, and was replaced by the ever-present chorus of “I want number one”. I sat there thinking about how much value this client unwittingly decided to leave on the table. Unfortunately, there was no argument we could levy (however logical it was), that would influence a change in his desired strategy.

The client in the above example saw a slight increase in contact requests; however, his overall ROI was miniscule at best. Conversely, we had clients for whom we had built content-laden strategies – who were ranked on page 2 or 3 that saw conversion rates with exponential increases. The moral of this example has to be found in the saying: “you’ve got to know when to get out of your own way”. What do I mean by this? Make sure you stand back and look objectively at the breadth of the offerings being presented, and assess them with the assistance of an industry professional. You may know your company, but digital marketing’s propensity to change the rules means you’ll have to yield to another’s expertise to get the best return. Don’t blindly follow, but most definitely – don’t blindly lead.

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