Ranking Reports Dead?

Are ranking reports the “gold standard” for tracking the progress of an SEO campaign? We think NOT.
There are a TON of outside influences that impact rankings when you (or someone else) searches for your website on Google:

  • If you have been to your website before, your website will show higher in the search engine result pages for Google
  • If you are signed into your Gmail account and do a Google search for your website using the same browser, your website will show higher in the search engine result pages for Google
  • If your friends on Google + have liked your website, it will show up higher in the search engine result pages for Google
  • If you search for your website from one city/state, and then search again from another city/state, your website will show up differently because Google geo-targets your IP address
  • Your search results will also be impacted by the location you have set in your Google search

SEO companies (including Sachs Marketing Group) have always used ranking reports to show progress to their clients. The software used to find ranking positions strips away all of the factors above and gives a “default” ranking position. The point we are trying to make is this:

“Who cares about your default ranking position?”

We respectfully submit that SEO companies have been placing way too much emphasis on ranking reports as a barometer of SEO success. The outside influences listed above are real – so real in fact that to dismiss them with a ranking report that strips them away doesn’t make a lot of sense.

A much better indicator is analytics. By monitoring your analytics (site visits) we can hone in on your market and find your audience.

We are continually researching and monitoring our client’s markets. We are actively involved in the process of finding your audience:

  • Who are they?
  • How are they finding your site?
  • Where are they coming from?
  • What are they looking at?
  • What are they paying attention to?
  • What topics interest them?
  • What are the topics that indicate a stronger buying interest than others?

Once we know the above, it’s our job to leverage this information. We need to separate you and your company from the “noise” – The lack of differentiation in a saturated market. We need to stand out above the rest. This will lead to increased traffic and conversions – regardless of where you are ranking!

Here’s the bottom line:

The one indicator that trumps all the rest for determining the success or failure of any SEO / Internet Marketing efforts is: CONVERSIONS (sales, leads, phone calls, etc…). If our client’s sales have increased as a result of our efforts than it doesn’t really matter where their site ranks once we strip away all of the influencers listed above right? ROI is what we strive to produce for our clients – much more than so than rankings.

Eric Sachs
CEO – Sachs Marketing Group

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You can find me on Twitter via @SMGguy 
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SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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