As I conclude this series on Destination Search Engine Marketing it's important to answer the question "why?" Why go through the hassle of of building a Destination Website? Obviously, there are thousands of successful online businesses that don't operate anything that could be considered a "Destination". If they are successful, should you really go through the extra effort yourself?
When I was just out of high school we had this saying about Denny's Restaurant. "Nobody plans on going to Denny's, they just end up there." That's was because Denny's was the only restaurant in town that was open 24 hours (quick the snickering, I grew up in podunk Oregon!). If you were out past 10PM there were simply no other options.
Many websites are like that. People don't plan on going there, they just end up there. That's not to suggest that these sites don't deserve top rankings. Many of them have earned their place by being the best of the sites available in that area . But they haven't gone so far as to become a destination point for the industry.
That's where you and Destination SEM come in. These other sites have the top rankings that you want. How do you displace them? In some cases it's more difficult than others. Sites that have been firmly entrenched in the "we just end up here" space can still be hard to bump aside. But when you build a Destination Website you build a place that your audience goes to. Deliberately. And once you start becoming that destination you start earning those top positions.
Overcoming the competition
Every year the online competition gets stiffer. Thousands upon thousands of new websites are introduced, some of which will be competing against you. Even if you're firmly established in your #1 position, if you're just another Denny's, you can't expect to hold your spots forever.
You may have done fine thus far, perhaps even dominating your market for a number of years. But if you're still not the go-to destination for your industry, then those positions are soon going to become a battleground. All it takes is for the next guy to come along with a better website that does a better job of meeting your audience's needs and expectations. It just takes one website to do a little bit more in delivering a quality user experience and customer satisfaction.
Your top positions are, essentially, hanging by a thread.
If you're not growing, you're falling behind. This is because others, looking for an edge into the market place, are looking for your weaknesses that they can exploit. They are looking for an unfilled need, or another way of capturing a piece of your target audience. They know they can only do that by being better and/or unique.
When you build a Destination Website, you're not waiting for your competition to get a foot hold. Even if you're the best today, you need to make sure that there is no room for someone to out flank you.
As competition gets more competitive, search engines also become smarter. They are looking for sites that truly provide the competitive advantage. They don't want to rank sites that are simply better at adding keywords, they want to rank sites that deliver what the searcher is looking for. The sites that will be at the top of the results are those that will have found a way to establish themselves as the go-to destination.
Destination SEM is about building a website that is unique among its peers. It's about doing what you do so well that people can't help but to sit up and take notice. It's about achieving top search engine rankings because your site offers something that the 10,000 or 1,000,000 other keyword competitors can't.
You may not be able to compete with every site on every level, but you can compete on delivering customer satisfaction. Build your Destination Website and the rankings will follow. It's not about just achieving top search engine placement, it's about deserving it.
Read more about Destination Search Engine Marketing:
Part I: Do you Deserve Top Search Rankings?
Part II: What Would Sudden Exposure Get You?
Part III: Standing Out in a Sea of Thousands
Part IV: It's Not Just Marketing as Usual
Seven Building Blocks of a Destination Website
#1: Expert Information
#1b: Seven Types of Expert Information
#3: Website Design
#4: Unique Value Proposition
#5: Time and Presence
#7: Trust and Credibility
Conclusion: Why Destination Search Engine Marketing is So Essential
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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