Why don’t MANY sites rank?
Because they have NO clear positioning!
With now 13 years of experience in service with a focus on search machines, one thing has become abundantly clear:
If a company has no (clear) positioning at the heart of its marketing strategy, then we can do as much from conception to execution pertaining to SEO, online marketing, or general marketing for our valued customers, but success is limited in its scalability.
Limited scalability means that at the end of the day, certain goals and sales can definitely be achieved. Beyond that, though, the battle is up hill. Based on experience, the success curve slowly flattens with time. And not because all methods have been exhausted, budgets spent and all combinations of buttons and levers tested. But because every invested Euro with a lack of positioning is harder to redeem. The ROI will hit every wall in its way, activities and methods will go in circles, new agencies and levers will be tested, often with little to no success.
The advantage of a clear positioning
So what does positioning mean exactly? There are as many interpretations for this as there are for the term marketer ;o) We follow the philosophy that we very intensively teach “our” online marketing students at BAW about the management process of marketing in general, and specifically about positioning. And for good reason! Here it is:
“Positioning is the precisely formulated distinguishing values that a company offers its target group, or rather the characteristic values of the company that especially satisfy the target group.”
Not just the company can be positioned, but also a single product or a service. Positioning will determine how a company’s products should be perceived by consumers.
Therein lies the crux of the problem for the SEO: How does a user perceive, for instance, an online shop with no clear positioning? As a general store? As just another store? As uninteresting and/or interchangeable? A little from all, perhaps. And that is exactly how it works for Google, too. Why should Google display a shop at the very top of the search results when it has little to no added value through a lack of positioning and lack of values (and a lack of familiarity…)?
Right. Google is also a long way away from what their PR activities would have us believe. Nevertheless, positioning is fundamental. And when it isn’t formulated AND lived, then it will make online marketing, especially in terms of SEO, difficult.
Thus our appeal: Dear customers! Please think long and hard about your positioning AND live it! Then it will soon all work out much better with Google & co!
P.S. The USP (unique selling proposition) is the abbreviation of positioning. No more, no less!