Does Website Ranking Matter Anymore?
Website ranking is a success metric all businesses hang their hats on. While this is not necessarily bad, it's not the ultimate goal that any company should shoot for.
Let's see why I say this.
First, I've seen sites with a high website ranking on Google that has done nothing for their sales. It's one thing to show up on page one of search results, but it's a whole different ballgame to convert web visitors, and this is where many web owners don't go far enough.
It's hard work to write great content that ranks well. For example, I see associated blogs that show up high in search results, but the actual buyer journey on the product or service pages is lacking. OK, great, some very talented writers publish content that shares information, but the money making pages don't have the elements to convert readers to clients. Missing calls to action, a lack of in-depth product or service information and description, or assumptions that if the reader made it to the blog, so let's just send them to the home page all hurt conversions.
If this is the case, does it matter that your blogs rank high? Not so much.
Website ranking is a misleading measure of success because your pages/posts are never really #1. How can that be?
Personalization of search, that's why. This is another layer of optimization Google puts on your search results. Personalization of search is a lot of factors - the physical location where you're searching from, what you've searched on and clicked through in the past - just to name a few make you think your site always rank s high, but that is never the case.
You only want to rank high for your target audience. This is why you do focused keyword research and use the phrases they are plugging into search engines. If you sell construction project management software installation and support, you most likely are not going to rank high for someone who isn't your targeted prospect, nor should you care about that.
So when you're running ranking software, you want to make sure that you properly set up all the variables and parameters that affect your keyword rankings. Whether it's down to a state or several countries, the best you're going to get is an average or relative indication.
I always make this point to people who see the ranking column in Google Search Console. It's relative, it's average, and it changes all the time. Which leads to me to the next point...
Website Ranking Numbers Are Volatile
That's right, the number you see is dynamic. Think about it - your online competition is trying to get top spot as much as you. New sites get published. Keyword phrases wax and wane in popularity with your target audience. Seasonal changes could influence rankings. Personalization of search absolutely changes the numbers. Google algorithm changes cause fluctuations, both good and bad.
All of these are out of your control. You can only optimize your site to the best practices and guidelines set out in the search engine's webmaster recommendations. There are no guarantees that your content is going to be top dog always and forever.
This is why SEO is no longer a 2 - 3 times per year exercise. It's every day, every phrase now.
So, when it comes to website ranking measurements, take them with a grain of salt. Concentrate on your site's conversion rate by clearly understanding and implementing the buyer's journey that will give you the best rate of success.
I hope this helps you put numbers into perspective. If you want to learn more about search engine optimization, Invenio SEO can deliver a training course that's tailored to your individual website situation. Contact us to get started.
If you prefer to get your SEO training online, we have that too!
In the meantime, stay safely between the ditches, my friend.
All the very best to you,