Ranking Can Damage Your Wealth
15:53 on Wed, 18 Aug 2010 | SEO | 0 Comments
If you're on the giving or receiving end of SEO reports that mainly consist of rankings, the chances are something is wrong. Very, very, wrong.
As a general rule of thumb, businesses tend to exist to make money. Any expenditure of that money is done simply in the hope of either directly or indirectly, making more money.
If you're an in-house SEO or marketing manager and not working hard trying to tie search activity to an end £ value - I can guarantee you're wasting money somewhere down the line.
If you're an SEO agency and your reporting is not demonstrating your results in pounds, shilling and pence - I can guarantee you're selling yourself short.
3 Ways Fixating On Rankings Damages Your SEO
Keep your eyes on the rankings
1. You will lose flexibility
Working in an online environment requires a degree of flexibility. The freedom to change tactics or focus mid-campaign can pay dividends. The worst thing you can have your SEO team doing is slogging away at a "fixed" keyword list, blind to other opportunities.
Think about situations like these;
What about when a news story kicks off in your sector, driving a huge cluster of searches around some terms you're not targeting? Are you going to ignore these because they are not on your "target list"? Or are you going to do the sensible thing and divert some resource to create a page to catch the new found pot of search gold?
Or.. While beavering away on your "target terms", you notice a few well converting terms start to pop around positions 3-5 in Google, yet your "big terms" are still on page 2. Are you going to ignore this and continue link building for your jam tomorrow terms? Or are you going to take the initiative, build some links to those terms that have crept up, nail some #1 positions and get some real search revenue flowing in this month? (Which of course is money you can always reinvest into your bigger terms)
The point is, your client is hiring you (or they are investing money themselves) to generate business. If you're aligning your goals towards rankings, then you guys are working at odds to each other. Having true end objectives will allow both parties to do what is needed, work together and drive results.
2. You're missing the longtail
While it's a term that gets thrown about a lot, the "longtail" of search - all those infinite variations of (generally) higher converting search terms, are gold dust: Especially for e-commerce sites. One of the main problems with having an almost infinite number of search terms is that they don't fit very well onto a "target list". Because of this, they get left out as an avenue of growth entirely.
The longtail should be wired in as an indicator, like your rankings (not the objective of the campaign). So for instance, as you build new links, earn authority and add content, you could track how many search terms your site is found on monthly. Already, moving away from the precious keyword list has got you a more accurate view on the search visibility you're working so hard on growing.
3. Your ranking reports are out of context
So, you've got five #1s, a bunch top 5s and some more in the top 10. Make sure you print this piece of paper out and show it to as many people as possible - it's your ammunition to get a pat on the back. That's about all it's worth though.
If you're not following these rankings through, with your conversion/goal tracking (you HAVE set up tracking haven't you??), then these reports mean depressingly little.
Did you know your number 5 keyterm is actually driving three times the revenue than the term you just got to #1 that you've been working on the last 6 months? How much exactly are these number 1s worth? With just a ranking report, nobody really knows.
The value of SEO
Of course, SEO does have huge value when done correctly. It is your responsibility as an SEO to demonstrate this value. If you can't, who do you expect will? Show them the money!