If you are considering doing your own SEO, one of the things you need to take on-board is that fact that you must not obsess too much about tracking your ranking progress.
Tracking is of course important and that is perhaps why it is such a misused metric in the SEO toolbox. If you allow yourself to place too much reliance on it, it can prove problematic. Good SEO is all about focusing on the most appropriate metrics to get the impact that you need. Don’t fall into the trap of using it to simply build up your own ego.
To help you to get it right, we are going to talk over the problems of becoming over obsessive, and will recommend the type of metrics that are best to pursue.
The Facts about Rank Tracking
Quantifying your keyword ranking is a simple mistake to get into, purely because it’s something that so visible. Putting in the appropriate keywords and watching your listing get into the top of SERPs is all very well.
However you need to bear in mind that with this particular metric, search engine results are not always consistently reliable. The results on Google for example, will differ because of the various criteria Google uses. We will take a brief look at the two that crop-up most.
Location: The results of searches that are carried-out work around the location from where your search originates. However it is not just important in terms of a local search; it affects your organic rankings too.
If example you are in a new town and you are searching around for somewhere to enjoy a coffee, you might just type “coffee shop” into the search engine window. If, when you return to your own hometown, you instigate the same search using the same criteria, the results you get will be quite different.
Personalizing: Most of the search engines (including Google) spend a lot of time picking up information about how you carry out your searches. This information is gathered in order to provide you with the best search results. If you use Google, or Yahoo, or indeed any other search engines, they will delve into your browser history and your navigational traits and then change the SERPs in order to reflect your preferences.
It’s easy to see how these two basic variables can significantly change ranking impact. To enable you to get an accurate reading of your aggregated ranking, you would necessarily have to take into account all of the various inconsistencies across the whole web.
Okay, this is not a wholly impossible, but it’s something that would be extremely time-consuming and will almost certainly not be a good use of your valuable time.
Ranking is not the best indicator of success
As well as being difficult to accurately monitor, your ranking is not necessarily the best indicator of success. In the publication “The art of SEO,” the compilers note that over obsessive about rankings rather than actual traffic, will lead you to make the wrong strategic decisions.
Lots of people focus too much of their time worrying about their search engine rankings. This means that other equally and perhaps more important areas get put by the wayside. If the time spent on obsessing over rankings was instead dedicated to creating great content, just think how much more traffic could be driven to your website, and how many more conversions could be made.
Another thing you must bear in mind is that many searches are based on long-tail keywords and keyword phrases. This is because they are not only easier to measure by, but they also have a tendency to drive different types of traffic. In the following section let’s have a quick look at some of the stats taken from a recent Ahrefs’ report.
- Single word keywords form only 2.8% of all keywords used by folks in the US
- 96.54% of US search queries are used in less than 50 searches every month
What this indicates, is that instead of worrying about your ranking position for the terms that are most heavily used, you should instead concentrate on creating strategies that take into account a number of popular long-tail expressions. Doing this will result in getting more traffic from people who particularly want to contact you.
What should you be focusing on?
The aim of a good SEO strategy is to impact positively on your bottom line. This means that attracting targeted traffic is vital. To get this targeted traffic, good keyword research is essential.
As mentioned above, there is lots of potential in focusing on more long-tail keyword phrases. The reason is that they have a tendency to be more specific and more targeted. If you use these long-tailed keywords as your strategy basis, you will be able to design and implement a strategy that results in sending a large quantity of targeted visitors to your website. If your website has been set up correctly, this should result in a better rate of conversions.
The tools in the analytic toolbox available today can uncover significant data about website users and can tell us how our website are performing in terms of search. Understanding how searchers find your website, and how your traffic is trending is more important than knowing where you are actually positioned in the rankings.
Google provide free analytics which means that there is little excuse not to keep an eye on your traffic. From my point of view, I recommend that you should do this at least once per week. This will give you a reasonable inkling as to where your positioned and how your strategies are performing.
How to out-perform your competitiors
The fact of the matter is though, that many people do not take advantage of the tools available. True, that on the surface, keeping an eye on traffic may not be as exciting as keeping an eye on your ranking. However, I can vouch for the fact that it will be more lucrative in the long term. Too many website owners and marketeers tend to waste their time concentrating on the wrong metrics. I know this for a fact because I have the statistics to prove it.
- According to Forbes Insights and Turn, a near 22% of marketeers report that their data driven marketing strategies achieve targeted results.
- According to ITSMA/Vision Edge Marketing, 84% of marketeers are unable to measure the contribution that their programs have on their business performance
- Again, from Forbes Insights and Turn, a mere 21% of marketeers use analytics to monitor their ROI in terms of marketing.
What this means is that rather than over focusing on metrics that have little bearing, you should give yourself an advantage by monitoring the things that really have an effect on your operation. You need to spend more time creating conversion targets and focusing on what it is that is actually attracting traffic. By doing so you will outperform those who are over obsessive about rank positioning.
Category Search Engine Marketing