It is a common practice of SEO companies to report on a client’s search engine rankings. For the most part, this has been an effective way to measure success. But what does a #1 ranking really guarantee? It doesn’t always guarantee traffic or sales. If you rank well for a keyword that no one is searching for – or even clicking on – then it’s just a waste of time to work to get that ranking.
And now with blended search, and personalized results, rankings are meaning less and less. The trend is moving towards these personalized results which are based on a searcher’s previous queries, behavior, preferences, etc. We already see instances where one person gets a different set of search results than another doing the same search at the same time. So what happens when rankings aren’t as consistent and become more and more subjective to the user? As you might imagine, ranking reports will become less and less effective in measuring a site’s success.
The bottom line in measuring the success of a web site is this – how profitable is your site? Who are your visitors? Where are they coming from? What marketing initiatives are most effective in converting traffic to sales? Metrics Analysis will tell you much more about the success of your site and your marketing efforts.
In the next year or two, be prepared for your rankings to mean less and less. And be prepared to spend more time and effort analyzing your metrics. The result of this will be a better understanding of how your marketing efforts are working for your site. It will also give you valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t and will ultimately help your marketing strategies moving forward.