You know you have done it! Sat in front of the computer and searched for keyword terms to see where your site is ranked. You become increasingly stressed when you go to page 1, then page 2, then page 3 and you are no where to be found and think that your business is suffering because of it. If only you can get to page 1 then you will be successful.
THAT IS NOT THE CASE!
For years the goal of any SEO professional was to get top rank for a clients targeted keywords in the search engines – and for years, that is exactly what we did for our clients – ensured they achieved top rank for keywords we felt would bring the most traffic.
Unfortunately, that is not the end game any more when it comes to helping increase organic traffic to a clients website. Although we are trying to educate clients and help them understand the new advanced way that search engines are returning results, it is understandably difficult to grasp why ranking on page 1 is not the end all to your online success.
Let’s take this example. This is a client that we have right now – he does not necessarily have many keywords on page 1 – he only has 1 on page 1 to be exact, but he has several keywords in the top 50 and does appear in local maps for 2 keywords. He also has some rank for some long tail keywords which we have not necessarily optimized for but has happened naturally with some updating to on-site content. Even without that first page rank for targeted keywords – we managed to grow his organic traffic over 90% from the same time last year.
So Why Are Keyword Rank Reports Not Important?
There are a few reasons why rank reports are just not a great way to analyze how a website is doing or the effects of a digital marketing/SEO campaign.
Here are a few points that clarify why we at 2 Dogs Design place less importance on rank these days.
1) PERSONALIZATION: First and most important are the changes that were made to Google from a personalization standpoint. Technically speaking there is no real Page 1 anymore! Every person has the ability to change their search criteria – and in addition Google returns results to queries based on location, social connections, search history, site content and more. It is also good to note that Google is also testing algorithms all the time without us knowing, so you may be on page 1 today and gone tomorrow.
2) DATA: In the past Google gave us data that allowed marketers to see some of the keywords that were sending traffic to a website – this helped us get a feel for what was working and what was not. These days we get little to no data on keywords that are being tracked so truth is if you are ranking on page 1 for a keyword – it could essentially be sending you no traffic and we would not know.
3) HUMMINGBIRD: Google wants to return the most relevant content to it’s users – it is that simple. So if worrying about rank is your priority, that is not going to help your business. What Google is looking for is good CONTENT. Content that provides the user the answer to their question or problem. I encourage all clients to create content exclusively for their potential clients or customers – NOT FOR GOOGLE!
In late 2013 Google released a search algorithm called Hummingbird, this changed search as we know it and returns results based on context and synonyms of user searches allowing for much more accurate results. It actually is described as understanding a searchers “intent” of what they are looking for even if only typing in a few words into the search.
4) USERS: What users are typing into the search engines has changed dramatically. In the past someone may search for “black ladies shirt” – then you would optimize for that term, get as many back links as you could and ta da you could dominate page 1. Well, now you have people typing in terms like :ladies button down black shirt with long sleeves”. This is called a long tail keyword
So Then Hiring An SEO Agency Is A Waste Of Money Right?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Although SEO (search engine optimization) is still a widely used term – we prefer to call the service “Digital Marketing”. SEO has morphed into a different type of service that requires more than just onsite efforts, so it is important to hire someone that can give you a full picture of how they will help you in the search engines. While SEO is still needed in an old-fashioned sense of on-site optimization and technical requirements, there is so much more needed to create the results you want.
Because content is king these days – it is important to have a team that can help you create a digital campaign that embraces some or all of the following to give potential visitors a great experience and to allow Google to see you are providing great content :
–On-site optimization (content, title tags etc.)
–Technical optimization (mobile friendly, site speed etc.)
–Content creation (infographics, slide share documents etc.)
–Active blog posting
These are just a few of the many items that can help you achieve great results with organic search.
WARNING: If someone is PROMISING you page 1 results for your keywords – RUN. There is no guarantee ever with rank – and if this is being promised then chances are they are doing unethical tactics that will ultimately hurt you.