Keyword rankings are important in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but are not the ultimate performance indicators. As a website owner, you should realize this. Many a times, keyword rankings give an unreal picture. A word of caution here: Do not let your online marketing strategy get influenced by keyword rankings.
Let us see how you go about using your keyword ranking. First, you choose a phrase that best suits your product or service. Next, you start ranking for that phrase or keyword. Suppose that your website gives details about a product ‘LISTEN high-end headphones from Mumbai.’ The key phrase ‘high-end headphones from Mumbai’ should give you a high ranking.
To achieve this goal of high ranking, what do you usually set out to do?
- Write convincing blog posts.
- Include keywords in page titles.
- Make your meta description the way ads are done.
- Try to get listed on online directories.
- Build links on important websites in your product’s community.
- Post updates on Facebook, Twitter etc.
In short, you leave nothing undone in the optimization process. After all the hard work, you do get ranked on the first page of ‘high-end headphones from Mumbai’. This may make you very happy. But, your happiness is short-lived. Can you guess why? That is because you are not getting traffic on your website. Yes, in spite of all the possible efforts for top keyword ranking, you are not generating business for the headphones.
Let us analyze what went wrong and correct our approach:
- Relook at your goal: Remember, keyword ranking should not be your goal – business generation should be. If you make ranking your goal, you will not gauge what your potential customers want.
- Change your perspective: Stop looking always from a site owner’s angle. Sometimes, you need to look at your website from your customer’s or potential customer’s angle. Try to see what he would want to see on your website.
- Find out where customer needs help: Once you come to know what your customer is looking for, find out ways to help him.
- Start helping customer: Start helping your customer by searching terms that are currently working for your website.
Note that much of organic traffic is grouped into three categories:
- Customers/prospects who know about your business: In the cited example, ‘LISTEN high-end headphones’ is a brand that people know about, they search for it and that speaks a lot about your business. But is this enough? No, certainly not. You have to get more people who look for your website by your name.
- Customers seeking help: A number of people search online to seek help for their problems. They are looking for workable solutions. What are the questions you expect from such customers? They can be of the nature ‘How to take care of LISTEN high-end headphones?’ or ‘What to do if there is distortion in LISTEN high-end headphones?’ You will observe that help requests are varied. The exact nature of problem cannot be predicted. How will you then build a list of keywords to track traffic?
The solution lies in trying to be a leader in your area of product or service. Spread information about your expertise in the product or service to an extent that any reference to the product/service would lead searchers to your site. This is possible when you visit websites, send emails and submit information to online services about your product. Use social media to make your presence known. Market your product by participating in exhibitions and promotions. This will make your brand name popular. Resultantly, your keyword will get online attention too.
- Customers seeking product reviews: People are eager to know about the product through other users. After all, they are putting in their hard-earned money in your product. A whole lot of people share their experience voluntarily. Use this to your advantage. Look for upcoming parts and services offered for your products. Keep updating your website accordingly.
By now, you must have realized that keyword ranking is not useful for driving traffic. In spite of this, ranking is very important for any marketing campaign. The trick is in using keyword ranking in the right manner. The idea to be effective is simple. Firstly, do not focus on ranking alone. Instead, use it as a measurement device. Make a list of terms that so far have been beneficial to you. Keep on adding or deleting terms on it. The list shows how your website is being viewed by users and search engines. Secondly, keep a watch on the top terms on the search list during any given period. It can be a week, a month or a year. Are there any new terms? Do the terms look similar to your tracked terms? Which section of your website finds no mention in the terms?
Armed with such information, you can gauge what is driving traffic at any point. Isn’t this more useful than knowing which keywords are important? It will also bring you in a leading position online. Most importantly, it will give potential customers what they want. This is what marketing is all about.
The Bottom Line:
There is no need or use in being number one in keyword ranking. In every business, the most important thing is bottom line. Ask yourself, ‘What is the goal of my website?’ Is your goal to be well-placed on a search engine results page? Or is it related to how much business/money you are making? You would obviously answer the latter. Remember, keyword ranking should only a by-product of a good business.
To increase bottom line of your business, you need to increase the volume of your business. Merely focusing on a few specific keywords would be of no help. Instead, make your presence felt online. Once you do this, you would dominate the keyword-related topics as well. This would be beneficial to your business in the long run. Of course, you should use keywords and ranking tools. But, make them work for your business. Do not work to make them your final goal.
Using keyword rankings appropriately seems a daunting task. As a matter of fact, it is. A lot of perseverance, time and expertise are required for this purpose. With diligence and a little bit of smart observation, you can make it possible. Go for it and benefit from the outcome.