When you start up a website or a blog, the two things that you actively seek and hope to achieve down the line is a good page rank and lots of traffic.
Those two things although good, shouldn’t necessarily be your main focus. When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), page rankings are not as important as you think. That is because a lot of factors come into play like location and personalization that can alter search results per every user which I will get to later in this article.
A high page ranking does not mean high traffic. The real measure of your SEO strategy should be measured in the search engine traffic to your website and the rate that traffic converts.
If you have a solid marketing strategy, quality content that you publish regularly and consistently, 1st page organic results will get you more quality traffic.
Ultimately, these three things should be your main focus.
- Conversion Rate
This is a metric that should be consistent with your business objectives. Conversion happens when a visitor to your website responds to a call for action. If you can get visitors to download some of the content you have available, signing up on your email list or getting them to outright buy what you’re selling, then you have converted.
The more conversion that happens on your website, the quicker you achieve your business objectives. What’s the point in putting time, energy and money to bring traffic to your website when the traffic doesn’t convert?
You can create a Google analytics account to monitor your conversion rate
These expert guides will help you increase your conversion rate
- Clickthrough (CTR) Rate
Because you show up in the top 10 search results even for a good keyword doesn’t necessarily mean that you are guaranteed traffic.
Getting people to actually click your link is what clickthrough rates are all about. Just like with conversions in many ways, it isn’t worth the time to get to the top of search results if no one is clicking on them.
To improve your clickthrough rate, write compelling titles and snippets of information in your meta-descriptions. How does yours compare with competitors listed around you? How relevant is it to the search criteria?
High clickthrough rates will lead to higher conversion rates.
Here are some expert guides that will help you improve your clickthrough rates
- Bounce rate
This is a metric you want to keep as low as possible. Your bounce rate measures the people who visit your website and leave hastily. This could be for a number of reasons any of which can’t be good news for you in the end.
The bounce rate is measured in two different ways
- People who visit your website and never click to another page within your website
- People who spend less than 5 seconds on your website
In many ways, your bounce rate is a good indicator of the quality of traffic that enters your site and also how targeted your traffic really is.
The higher your bounce rate, the less clicks you get which will ultimately lead to low conversion rates.
These expert guides will help you reduce your bounce rate.
Increasing traffic and conversion sales means your business is growing.
Although traffic is important, the real reason why your website exists is because of conversions. You want daily visitors to turn into daily customers. In essence, your traffic conversion is just as important as your traffic generation
In many instance, companies will brag about their high Alexa rank. Alexa is a company that specializes in web analytics recording the various traffic numbers across a multitude of websites all over the internet.
A higher Alexa rank means your site has a lot of traffic but that’s where it starts and ends.
The problem with Alexa is in its measurement systems. Alexa only tracks people who visit your website that have the Alexa toolbar installed on their web browsers.
What this means is that Alexa is measuring a sample of online traffic your website receives. But even that doesn’t hold up because the people who would have this toolbar installed on their web browser do not entirely represent all internet users.
A company that can convince their visitors to install the Alexa toolbar can skew the results in their favour.
High page rankings may make you feel better about your website. Total visits and rankings are fun to look at but really isn’t a barometer for performance. If traffic and other metrics don’t convert to sales, your business will not improve.
Organic traffic will dictate the success of your SEO campaign not page rankings. You can get organic traffic to your website by writing quality content that will keep people interested and invested in your website or blog.
Organic searches are also important. These are people who come across your website when they used Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines. You can track your organic traffic in your Google analytics account.
It is important that you strike a balance between organic searches and organic conversions. Conversion numbers are a direct representation of how successful your SEO strategy is.
Google search results have changed over the years, primarily because of these three key developments at Google.
Universal searches, personalized searches and encrypted searches.
In the past, a Google search will result in 10 organic search results per page. One set of results for every user. With universal searches, results are divided into an assorted variety of news, images, videos, local and organic links.
Google search results are now more personalized and customized to the user. Search engine results changes from user to user because of a lot of factors such as search history, location, time of the year, your device, language etc.
Simply put, your webpage may show up as #1 for user A, #7 for user B or #20 for user C.
In 2013, Google began encrypting organic searches for all users. This means that keywords that are used to find web pages are hidden from the public. This means it is impossible to tell the specific keywords a user used to find your website.
Through encryption, Google has made it impossible to connect keywords to organic traffic.
The success of and SEO strategy is measured by how effectively it converts. Rankings really has never been more than an indicator.
Having a good page ranking and high traffic means that you’re doing some things right. But that’s only half of the equation. Your ultimate goal should be to convert all that traffic and use your high page rank to bring in even more traffic that would be converted.
Organic SEO should be a very important part of your strategy. Write up quality content. Update your blog with that content consistently. Capture people’s attentions with compelling titles when your website or blog appears in their search results.
Organic SEO will lead to better clickthrough rates which in turn lowers your bounce rate and ultimately leads to conversion that your business will benefit from. Do you have any other reasons why you think page ranks and traffic don’t matter? Please share in the comments below!