March 24, 2010 Michael Bickerton
During a recent conversation with a client, it dawned on me (I can be slow on the uptake at times) that if you rank in the top 3 spots for the keyword that people use for your industry, your Google rank might be the most valuable asset of your company.
This particular client is in the web development business in Toronto. During our update meeting, the owner of the firm mentioned that they had just hired the Art Director and Lead Programmer from their most fierce competitor. He went on to explain that this competitor was extremely busy right up to the day they turned the keys over to the receiver! If they were busy, then they must have had a strong sales force, so I asked what happened to them. The Art Director who was now working with us, said the former partners did most of the selling. In fact he said all they did was follow up the leads they get by being 1st when you Google “web development Toronto”. New business was never an issue.
I was on the phone to the receiver within minutes looking to buy that URL so the leads would come to us. Alas, one of the Partners was smart enough to have owned that URL personally, so it was not formally an asset of the business. But the incident made me think. The organic keyword ranking of the most commonly used terms for your industry, may well be THE most valuable asset a small business can own. The leads and traffic that comes with that ranking is worth a great deal to your competitors. And if the laws of supply and demand remain true, once those top 3 rankings are taken and the owners do what they must to protect their ranking, then supply is very limited and demand (therefore value) goes up.
Most businesses place little or no value on their ranking. In fact most have no idea what the most common search term is for their products or services. By the time they wake up to the new realities of marketing, it may well be too late. It takes a lot less effort and investment to own the words when your competitors are asleep. Once competition for those words heats up…
Raven5 Ltd., 2010