If you’re in the marketing department of a public company and your company doesn’t rank on the first page of Google organically for the products and services you market, you’re either pursuing the wrong SEO strategy or not pursuing any strategy at all. You may just assume that someday Google will wake up and place you in your rightful spot atop the heap. After all, who on the Internet has more Trust and Authority in your markets than your company? Are there 10 companies out there that are better at selling “flat screen tvs,” designing “shoes,” manufacturing “refrigerators,” or whatever it is your company does best? Probably not…
Then why are you not ranking organically on the first page of Google and losing out on one of the largest lead sources there is? In your market you’re clearly the chosen favorite. Why doesn’t Google know this? Well it’s likey they actually do, and once you understand Google, it’s easier and less costly to rank your website on the first page for competitive keywords than any other company in your industry. Here’s why.
Go to the homepage of your company and hover over the small white and green rectangle up in your Google toolbar. This number represents your Google PageRank, and if it is any number 6 or greater you have a major leg up on your competitors. If you don’t have this toolbar installed and work for a public company, it’s safe to assume you meet this criterion. So what does this Google PageRank (PR) mean? Your Google PageRank is a number between 0 and 10 that represents the Trust and Authority of your website in Google’s eyes. This number is logarithmic, so there are exponentially less websites with a PageRank of 6 than there are of 5, and 5 than 4, and so on. In fact, there are only a handful of 10s, including Google itself.
So if your website has a PR of 6 or greater, you’re in an elite class of sites with the most Trust and Authority on the Internet. By Trust and Authority I mean that Google’s algorithm has determined that your company’s website has more “buzz” about it than billions of other websites. To Google buzz is a great thing because it means your company’s active and people are talking about it online. Google knows that if there wasn’t something very special about your company’s products and services, there wouldn’t be much to talk about. The right buzz can rank a website for any targeted keyword.
So now you may be asking yourself, if my company has so much Trust and Authority in Google’s eyes, again, why don’t I rank? Here’s the answer: You have one of the most recognized brands in the world (e.g. Target, Lowe’s, Samsung) and when people link to your company’s website, they almost always link to it with the anchor text of your company’s brand name, rather than the products or services you sell. To a brand manager, this may seem like a great thing. To Google it doesn’t mean much more than that you have a great brand, but nobody is telling Google what you sell except you on your website. Unfortunately, on the Internet where anyone can say anything, Google doesn’t trust you. To Google your company’s website is a resume, with the anchor text of the links pointing to it functioning as its referrences, and Google has learned to always check referrences.
As for your whogivesashop.com competitors that miraculously outrank you, people often link to them with the anchor text of what they sell. After all, whogivesashop.com is such a generic brand that people have to re-lookup the URL just to post a link to it. Google’s algorithm will rank whogivesashop.com over Target.com because people told Google what whogivesashop sells, while Google may assume Target sells some very popular targets. Hey, people make mistakes too…
This is okay though; breathe easy. As I stated before, because your website already has so much Trust and Authority, it’s easier for an SEO to rank your website on the first page of Google for what you sell than any other competing website with a lesser brand. Slingshot’s pricing formula actually takes this into account by materially reducing prices for websites with higher PageRanks. This means an even greater SEO return on investment on what is already one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing.
If you would like a real world example of this, please watch Joe Staples, the CMO of Interactive Intelligence (NASDAQ:ININ), discuss SEO for his public company. Slingshot took his website from the fourth page of Google to Page 1 Position 1 for the most competitive keyword in their industry in record time, three short months. I’m not saying any SEO could have done this. Three in fact failed before Slingshot, but the right SEO, with the right knowhow, and the right staff got this done with ease. It was easy because Interactive Intelligence has more Trust and Authority online than any of their competitors. Google knew they deserved that position 1 ranking beacuse people loved their brand.