Don’t Focus on Rank to Measure SEO Success

So many potential SEO clients have one thing on their mind. They want their website to rank number one in the major search engines. What they don’t realize is that ranking can never be guaranteed, and any SEO company that does guarantee a number one spot is full of it.

Rank is important, in that you don’t want to be ranked 40th. Obviously you’d never be found. But when it comes to getting that coveted number one spot, it’s important not to worry so much about it. It will only drive you crazy. Instead of focusing on rank, focus on visitor growth and conversions for these reasons:

Ratings Fluctuate
If you see that your web page is ranked number one for a relevant keyword or keyword phrase, that’s great but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to stay there forever. Every industry is competitive online these days and any smart website owner is investing in SEO and content marketing to improve their search engine presence. It’s tough getting to number one, and even tougher to stay there. It’s very possible to go from one to three in a matter of days without doing anything “wrong” per say.

Keyword Ranking
A number one ranking is only valuable if it’s for the keywords that will actually generate traffic and visitors. It’s easy to promise a number one ranking for an obscure keyword that nobody is searching for although that is pretty much a waste of good web content.

Personalized Search
Depending on factors such as previous search history, location, and social media activity it’s very likely that two people searching for the same thing will see a different set of results. You may even see different results yourself depending on if you are browsing on a desktop at home, desktop at work, or on a mobile device. The search engines want to provide their customers, the searchers, with the most relevant results that suit their personal preferences. Since everybody is different, search results can vary slightly.

Focusing too much on rank can lead to some bad decisions, like dabbling in black hat SEO practices that are frowned upon by the search engine webmasters and meant to game the system for short term gain. Sure, you may see a quick improvement in rank but it will be short lived. The search engines are smart and once they figure out what you are up to your site will be flagged.

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