The classic way of looking at SEO is following a keyword or a keyword phrase in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Watching it go up and down, maybe from page 2 to page 1 and back to page 2 again. It’s still a way of looking at how a website is performing, but we have become a bit to obsessed with rankings the last years. We need to let go.
I’m NOT saying that this is a bad way of looking at SEO. I’m saying we need to shift focus a bit more. When I meet up with fellow SEO people at conferences or online, the first thing to measure success is the position in the SERP. Why? Shouldn’t we measure success by conversions, click through rate, bounce rate, time on site and our goals set up for that specific website? Shouldn’t we work more with insights?
People working with SEO tend to forget, in my experience, that SEO is not about dominating search queries. It’s about conversions and supporting a business strategy.
Now every two or three weeks I want to scream. I always, for some reason, end up in a discussion where my counterpart says that SEO is all about driving traffic – period. Well, if it’s traffic that’s converting – sure. This means that UX, Web Analytics, and Copywriting is part of SEO. Of course every aspect needs a dedicated person otherwise SEO people would be worn out very quickly.
I’m not telling you to forget about your position in the SERP, but rather tilt you view of SEO. Look at your web analytics and see what’s converting, how people are interacting with your website and what search queries gives you the “good traffic”. Work your SEO magic on your content, keep an eye on your positions in the SERP, but – for the love of animated GIF’s and funny Tumblogs – look at how you are measuring success and act upon that.
Being number one on a search query with 10 000 visitors per week is great, but being a website converting 10 000 visitors per week is pure awesome.
Stop being great and start being awesome!