Why You Should Care Less About Rankings

By June 28, 2011 SEO No Comments

One of the things that irritates me in the world of SEO are the crazy ‘guarantees’ that some agencies put forward regarding rankings.

‘We guarantee number 1 rankings!’ Well, first of all, you cannot guarantee number one rankings, only Google could do that (if they wanted to, which they don’t). Secondly, many of these agencies will consider this job done when they get your site to number 1 for the most obscure term you could imagine “I TOLD you we’d get you to number 1 for West Unanderra Spigot Sellers”.

Sure when we start an SEO campaign we start with a list of keywords we want to target, and YES we do want those keywords to get high rankings. BUT, we don’t want our clients to judge us solely on those rankings. We want our clients to see how those high rankings have translated to higher traffic to their site, and contributed to their bottom line through sales or new leads. We want to show them how search marketing has improved their site for users, making conversions more likely. We want our clients to want so much more than high rankings.

Why Not To Care About Rankings

  • Tracking only the rankings of your targetted keywords may also make you miss out on a goldmine of other ‘seo’ traffic – Long tail traffic. Long tail keywords are all those millions of keywords which are low volume individually, but when added together make up a significant (huge) amount of your traffic. Concentrating only on ‘ranking’ certain keywords can mean losing focus of the potential of what ‘all’ your users want, and what ‘all’ your content can offer them.
  • Valuing your agency only on rankings may mean that your site comes out looking worse than it went in – sure it’s optimised, and sure it’s on page one – but if it is ugly, confusing and scaring away your customers, it isn’t adding value to your business.
  • And how about integrated search – the video’s, realtime and Google maps results peppered through page 1, pushing other Page 1 ranked sites, down to page 2.  SEO is no longer about the top 10 web pages, it is about a mix of media types showing on Page 1. How do you get your clients there?
  • Another Google innovation rendering top 10 results less than optimal – Personalisation. With localisation and personalisation it is becoming less and less likely that the page of results for any given term will be the same for any given people. Results are being adjusted due to your history and location, meaning top 10 sites will not necessairly be the same for everyone.

Being in the top 10 is great, but getting ever increasing relevant traffic which improves your bottom line is even better! You should judge your agency on this second criteria, not the first.


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