October 26th, 2008
Search Engine Optimization
There are those who feel marketers should
not be concerned with search engine rankings. Why? Because a number one
position doesn’t always imply success in the form of traffic or conversions.
Ok, seems fair enough. A better explanation is that search engine ranking data
is valuable, it’s just misunderstood most of the time.
A lot of business owners misunderstand the value of search engine rankings
because search engine positioning has been branded with business
success, sort of like "the higher you are listed the more successful
you become". As a result, many people are still in the mindset of "I
want to be number one on Google". Even if they went a step further and
said they wanted to be "number one" for a popular keyword, this kind
of thinking makes little business sense – because a number one spot on a search
engine doesn’t mean customers will buy or that your business will succeed. Most
business owners don’t even realize that search engines list websites for
many different keywords.
Even though ranking data doesn’t directly imply business success we can
still gain of lot of useful info from ranking results:
Lets say you’ve done a lot of work to try and have your client website rank
well for a keyword where you think there is a lot of valuable search traffic.
Let’s also assume you aren’t concerned with looking at keyword ranking data,
you’re just looking at your site’s traffic. After making the effort to optimize
you still aren’t seeing any traffic – so would it be a smart choice to prune
your efforts now or continue? Looking at your keyword ranking data can give you
In organic search, you have the effort that you exert to
push your website and you have the results, which come in the
form of search engine rankings and traffic. Think of it like Effort
-> Rankings -> Traffic Rankings show how relevant your website
appears with respect to the competition. Your level of organic traffic shows
how much demand your website actually experiences based on how relevant you
appear. So it’s important to note that if you didn’t look at ranking data at
If you can understand that search engines rankings are an important measure
of feedback when used with respect to analytics data then you have a pretty
big edge over your competition. The key point is that once you know where
you stand in the search results and you know what traffic you’re getting, you
can better determine whether or not to continue along current path or optimize
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