Do you want to be a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big ocean? Depends on what your goals are?
There are a ton of different variables to consider when asking yourself this question. For example, are you a local restaurant that only services about a 10 mile radius? In this case, coming up first on Google for the phrase [restaurants in “your city”] might be the most lucrative phrase ever. And there is no need for you to rank for the phrase “restaurants” at all.
Another possible scenario is ranking for phrases that start out with words like “best” or “cheap”. Again, while being first for this phrase may not yield as many clicks as being first for the broader phrase with less words, they may be of higher quality. The potential customer typing in “best seo company” is probably (not for sure) further along in their mind in the purchasing decision.
The drop in clicks from the first position to the second page is very dramatic. See the chart below.
As you can see, it’s not just a dramatic drop from the first page to the second page, it is massively different for the 1st position to the 2nd position. About 30% of the organic clicks go to the first position on the first page. Now compare that to about 2 or 3 percent on the second page. So if you do a little math a hundred searches for a phrase that you are number 1 for should yield about 30 clicks. So if you want an equivalent number of clicks on the second page would require at least 1000 searches.
Is first position better?
There is also another statistic floating around out there about the “propensity to buy” of someone clicking on the first links on a Google search results page vs. someone clicking on the second page results. Without quoting the exact numbers, it basically says that someone clicking on the first result is several more times ready to make a purchase while the person clicking on the second page is more in the ‘doing research” phase.
So in conclusion, you have to decide where best to put you efforts. Or contact a professional and see about the possibility of obtaining both first position status for specific and broad phrases. Probably an expensive endeavor but hugely profitable.