A few months ago, I wrote a nice little article called “Don’t Sweat the Rankings So Much. Metrics is the Answer” where I offered a bit of advice to stop worrying so much about where you rank and start focusing more on metrics. I predicted that in the next year or two, to be prepared for your rankings to mean less and less, and to be prepared to spend more time and effort analyzing your metrics. Since that time, the buzz about this topic has become increasingly louder as more people realize the importance of conversion analysis in a world where the usefulness of ranking reports are dying.
We are watching the search engines alter their rankings more and more based on the individual user. We’ve seen personalized results, blended search results, and even Google has recently presented us with the SearchWiki which allows users to alter the search rankings on a page.
So what the heck do we do now? First of all, consider the fact that a ranking means nothing if it doesn’t bring you traffic and more importantly, traffic that converts to sales or leads. So, build a site with strong content that supports your keywords and is useful to your visitors, build a site that is technically sound – one that the search engines can easily crawl and index, and make sure that your site has inbound links from other quality sites that will bring you qualified traffic. Seems simple enough right?
As long as you are focused on what really matters – creating a valuable user experience – then your site will be a success. Don’t worry so much about where your site ranks, but where your traffic is coming from and how they are finding your site’s content. Metrics programs like our own proprietary Insite Metrics and the free and amazingly useful Google Analytics are great tools for conversion analysis. Focus on that and you’ll find ways to improve your traffic and conversions!