We repeat: Your website’s ranking is not important.
That probably goes against everything you previously thought about SEO. However, as Ryan Shelley points out in a recent article on Search Engine Land, there are much more accurate measures of success:
The problem with putting too much emphasis on [ranking] is that the search results aren’t always consistent. Google’s results will vary based on a number of different criteria.
More specifically, ranking only tells you how your site performs when an exact keyword is typed into the search bar. Plus, only 2.8% of all search terms are one-word keywords. This means individual keyword rankings are hardly representative of what people are searching for at large. Additionally, personalized algorithms and geographic location greatly influence ranking, too. In other words, ranking is only relevant to a very narrow, specific set of conditions.
Meanwhile, Shelley says, there are much more pressing metrics you should consider—especially because these other metrics have a greater impact on your bottom line. After all, what’s your end goal? Is it simply to display at the top of the search results for a particular keyword, or is it to attract more customers and increase revenue? Usually, it’s the latter.
Therefore, according to Shelley, you should spend more time and energy focusing on your traffic trends and conversion funnels. This is the kind of data that actually affects your ROI. Ranking is more or less irrelevant.
For a more detailed explanation of this issue, please click over to Search Engine Land and read Shelley’s full article, “The Problem With Obsessive Rank Tracking.”