Rankings are a big part of every SEO effort and it is great to see numbers change and watch SERPs display your site nearer to the top.
It’s widely understood that viewers tend to click on sites near the top of the page but here we take a closer look at the fickle world of rankings from a few different angles.
It’s more than a number
Discerning customers use the web so regularly now to shop for products and services that it only takes a glance at a page and a quick skim of the text to decide where the next click is being taken.
This means that the top choice is maybe first to be skimmed through but maybe doesn’t win the next action. Think about when you search the web yourself, do you scan the page first before clicking? So what other factors could be overriding the top position?
- you recognize a brand name you like in a lower position
- the title or description of the top ranked page doesn’t resonate with you or your particular search
- a title or description of a lower ranked page grabs your attention
- a site looks unprofessional (perhaps the title or description are truncated)
- the site is not mobile friendly and you’re currently searching from a mobile device
- the title or description are ambiguous and another ad sums up the service you need better
- the site looks annoying because some of the text is in ALL CAPS
- the text is clearly out of date – perhaps it has an old date displayed or is promoting an event which has already taken place.
All this scanning is done very quickly. The key takeaway is that first impressions count. If your keywords are showing great rankings but that is not converting into clicks there are a few things to check immediately
- Are those keywords (or strings) still right for your business (in other words, are they still relevant enough to invest time in further investigation)
- How popular are those keywords
- Is your ranking analysis accurate
If your keywords are no longer relevant then a keyword review is long overdue. It’s better to start off with a new list and let go of the old reports with their months of historical data.
If the keywords are not popular then ranking at number 1 may sound nice but is not going to generate much interest. The logical step is to look for a new string which you can focus on in the rankings which maybe has a bigger share of the searches.
Double check your rankings and look at which search engine they are being recorded from. (Ranking #1 on Yahoo and bing is a good start but are those engines the main funnel into your site?)
It is normal for rankings to fluctuate so also look for a trend. In the absence of an SEO toolkit to report on rankings, just key in the searches on your own device and see how your business is presented on the search engine results page.
The aim for a business is not to rank highly for a string of 10 or 20 keywords. The aim is to attract new potential clients to your site, so when rankings are looking good but traffic isn’t being won, it’s time to dig deeper and understand the data. A good SEO agency will take the time to understand your business to tailor a plan for you. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the keywords and their rankings should be a part of the discussion. If you are ready to explore a new SEO strategy and pin down the keywords which will work for your business, contact us today.