Why Page Rank Isn’t Enough: Five Reasons Why They Hit the Back Button

By: Brian Horn on: December 22nd, 2010 2 Comments

Unless you’re new to internet marketing, you’ve already heard that improving your rank in Google search results is the best way to build traffic and generate leads for your online business.

However true this is, the time and money you spend attracting people to your site won’t be worth a handful of common keywords if your landing page practically forces them to click away.

Buyers in competitive markets understand the options they have, so your site needs to make its case in minutes or seconds.  Making the prospect spend that time trying to figure out what you do or how to stop an assault on his senses directly affects your conversion to sales and discourages visitors from exploring resources on your site.

From overly technical language to incoherent design, searchers report a variety of reasons for clicking away.

Don’t miss an opportunity to get bookmarked today or to have your page sent by visitor who likes what she sees.  Instead, use a casual visit to establish your credibility because today’s lurkers may become tomorrow’s sales.

Your Landing Page Makes a Secret of What You Do

Some internet marketers get so focused on educating visitors that the services your online business provides get lost in the clutter.  Ads that make it impossible to tell what product is being promoted may work for selling perfume, but your site shouldn’t make a secret of your product or service, no matter how exclusive your client list.  Don’t make your readers work to find a list of services to learn if your online business offers anything they need.

You Offer the Same Information as the Number Nine Ranked Site

Believe it or not, some searchers actually skip the top results because they often present the same information in slightly different forms.  If your strategy involves educating readers, you’ll need to tell them something they don’t already know.

Incorporating data from an independent study that supports your product’s use or an article on new developments in your field builds your credibility and shows you’re keeping up with changes in your service area and industry.

You Add Rather Than Evaluate or Group Resources

How often you introduce new resources to your page will depend on the focus of your online business.  Although new links and resources are essential if you want return visits or comments on your site, racking up novel offerings without assessing their value or integrating them with your original design leads to a confusing and disorganized page that will make your visitors click away.

Group new resources in a logical way in tabs or drop-down menus so that visitors and loyal followers of your site can find and use the resources you introduce.

Your Language Use Reflects on Your Online Business

Bricks and mortar operations can communicate with customers in a store, but you only have the written word.  Visitors to your site will pick up on spelling errors, dead links and unnecessarily technical language.

While your language use and housekeeping may leave readers wondering if you take any more care with the services you provide, less obvious issues in the copy on your site can drive new readers to click away.

Visitors should be able to glide across your page without having to stop to read the writer’s mind.

Primary Colors Are for Primary School

Blinking ads and animations might be perfect for a children’s site, but they don’t always work for promoting financial services.  Leave the moving ads and banners that block text to competitors who don’t mind looking desperate.  Unless your online business has something to do with distracting people when they read, don’t start a Las Vegas light show on your site.

Top ranked sites garner traffic but don’t necessarily convert it to sales, or even build their businesses over time.  Today’s top ten results may fall to page four without the revenue to purchase competitive keywords.  Making the best impression on visitors to your site is as important as getting them there.  You can build your online business one click at a time as long as those clicks are moving in the right direction.


Brian Horn, of HornDog Search Marketing, is recognized by many as the "Glazer-Kennedy Secret Weapon", because of his role in helping not only Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer with search engine optimization and social media, but also many of the top Information Marketers in the world. Brian shares SEO tips for small businesses over at at his blog, BeOnPage1Blog.com.

2 Responses

  1. Donna Kopf says:

    Thanks Brian! I can use all of these tips while I build my new website, set to release the end of January. I will remember not to light it up like a Las Vegas billboard!

  2. Great, basic advice. “Traffic” doesn’t pay the bills — only “conversions” do. A bad website with a high Google ranking is like a bad salesperson who you give a lot of great leads to.


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