Top of Google But No Leads

10 October 2018 by Shweta Jhajharia

It’s a proud moment when you do a Google search for your industry term and see your website at the top of the search results. However, what do you do when you are seeing that, but it’s not resulting in actual leads?

During one of our group consulting calls, one of our clients asked us that very question, “We at the top of Google for our industry, but we don’t seem to be getting leads. What am I doing wrong?” It was a great question, and I feel like the initial answer to this issue is important for all business owners to think about.

You see, my initial answer to this problem is not to immediately tackle the question, “How do I get more leads from SEO and my google ranking?” Instead, the first answer is actually a process to follow whenever you are attempting to tackle just about any issue in your business…

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First, Step Back And Identify The Problem

In the 10 years that I have been consulting businesses, I have found that it is very common that business owners want to straight-away dive into the immediate issue at hand. “How do I deal with this? What process or template can I use to fix this problem now?”

I, therefore, remind them to stop, step back and first and make sure they are actually solving the right problem before implementing solutions. Diagnose the real issue, and then you can fix it with much greater precision and in a much more timely fashion.

To do this, you need to ask yourself different questions that will dig a bit deeper into the issue and get to the core of the problem. You then separate out the symptom from the problem so you don’t waste time trying a range of solutions to the symptom and instead, solve the actual problem.

Let’s take this particular issue, and run through the process that would be needed to clarify the real problem of achieving organic growth BUT not getting leads from your SEO efforts.

Question 1: What are you actually on “top of Google” for?

Talking about being on the “top of Google” actually cannot be accurate – or, at least, it’s incomplete. You don’t just win Google – you get the top of Google for particular keywords.

So before going any further, what keywords are you actually on top of Google for?

Because this informs the next question….

Question 2: Are you actually getting any traffic from your Google listings?

You need to look at your Google Analytics to see exactly how much of your traffic to the website has come from Google. It’s called “Organic Traffic” in analytics.

If you find that your organic traffic is giving you around 300 sessions per month, then the problem you have is a lead problem – you aren’t getting the leads you need. And that’s probably because your keywords aren’t that great!

Symptom: You are ranking high for a few keywords, but the organic traffic to your website is low.

Problem: The keywords you are ranking for are not actually good keywords to rank for.

Solution: Go back to the Search Engine Optimisation drawing board. You need to have more robust keyword research to identify a good balance of keywords to target that has good traffic but are not too difficult to rank for. The least you should be doing is using Google’s free keyword planner to identify good, high-volume top-level keywords to target.

If upon researching the keywords, you find that you actually are, indeed, ranking highly on good keywords then there’s a secondary problem that may result in the lack of traffic…

Symptom: You are ranking highly on good keywords, but no one is clicking on your website.

Problem: Your listings on the website are not attracting people to click.

Solution: Just because the algorithm believes that you match the keywords, doesn’t mean the users do. If your meta title tags and meta description tags are not optimised to “sell the click” (these two things are what makes up your listing in the search engine results) then despite your rankings, your audience won’t pick it up. Optimise these to encourage people to click through and find out more about you. This issue is pretty rare since the algorithm actually takes user behaviour into some account when ranking your pages – so if they aren’t clicking, then your top rank is going to drop pretty fast.

However, if you find that your Google Analytics shows that your website is actually getting a lot of traffic to your website, then the next important question will guide your decision making…

Question 3: What happens after they click and come to your website?

You see, if you are getting the clicks to your website, but no one is continuing down your marketing and sales funnels, then you have a different problem – a conversion problem.

In Google Analytics, you can segment the organic traffic out and find out exactly how they behave on your website. So not only will you get hard numbers on how much traffic you have gotten, but you will be able to find out useful information about that traffic.

There are two main factors that you can look at to work out what your best solution is. The first is that people are bouncing off from your website.

Symptom: You have traffic, but the bounce rate of organic traffic is very high.

Problem: The page is either not relevant to what you are being ranked for, or your users don’t know what to do when they land on your page.

Solution: You need to take a harder look at the pages where you are seeing these high bounce rates and consider factors that might be sending people away. Is the page too long? Is there enough enticing information above the fold? Is there a good video? Does the page communicate the benefits/pain points/proof properly? Edit the page with more calls to action and make it more engaging.

The other issue you might encounter is that while you’re getting that initial traffic, no one is coming back to you.

Symptom: You have lots of organic traffic, and not very much returning traffic overall.

Problem: People are visiting your site, but your offering isn’t strong enough to get them to buy or come back.

Solution: You need to get them to come back to you, and you need to see what you are competing with. Getting them to come back to you could involve using remarketing to remind them that you exist, or it could involve ensuring you have a way of capturing details so you can message them about it again later. (Remember to get permission to send them marketing emails as per GDPR regulations!)

To see what you are competing with, you should look at who else is ranking for your top keywords, and see what they are doing on their websites. You can also use tools like SpyFu, SEM Rush and KeywordSpy to get some idea of what your competitors are doing on Google.

So you can see here that rather than just plunging in head-first into what looked like the big problem, taking a step back and reviewing exactly what the problem is could save a lot of time, and ensure that you are working on the right things.

Most of the time, in business, it’s not about finding the right answer but finding the right questions.

Before looking for the answer, make sure you are solving the problem, not the symptom.

If you would like to discuss any of the points covered here, please feel free to request a free call below.

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Shweta Jhajharia

Shweta Jhajharia is one of the leading authorities on Business Value Building and the creator of the unique 6M Model. Shweta is widely respected as an impactful, intelligent and results orientated professional who helps business leaders unleash their potential to reach meaningful, higher objectives. This realisation of potential and maximisation... Read more