Should You Still Focus on Keyword Rankings in 2017?

CEO Approved Content

CEO Approved Content

For quite some time, SEOs have sold their clients based on good rankings. Clients look at the rankings, notice the uptick in their business, and then they decide the SEO’s worth keeping.

But with Google personalizing search, cramming paid ads at the top of its search pages, and constantly updating its algorithm, is this really a good way to measure SEO success?

Let’s take a closer look.

The Problem with Search Rankings

Really, we just discussed this. They fluctuate. A lot. Plus, rankings aren’t what you really want anyway.

Why’d you hire your SEO?

You want them to grow your business. So, while rankings make for a leading indicator of search success, they don’t count for much by themselves.

You’ll want to also look at organic traffic, which increases as your search rankings grow.

But most importantly, you want your SEO to drive conversions. You want more people contacting you through your form. You want more phone calls.

It’s on you to close the sales from there.

How Do You Track This Information?

Online data is easily tracked with Google Analytics. Simply have your SEO set up your contact form to redirect to a “Thank You” page once people contact you. This is quick and easy for an SEO to do.

Then, buy a separate phone number you use for your website only. Those two together get you pretty close to the reality of the effectiveness of your SEO’s work. Some people may walk in your physical location after reading your website, but not too many.

Should You Use Keywords Yet Today?


If you sell HVAC or legal services, you wouldn’t talk about zebras and unicorns, would you?

Because, if you did, Google certainly wouldn’t rank you for the appropriate search terms. It would say,”What the hell is going on here? I’m putting this site near the bottom of the search rankings.

That’s an extreme example. Many SEOs get lost in the finer details. They mention the keyword too much.

All you need is to put it in your page’s title, and then once in the body content somewhere. You can also include 2-4 related terms. Then, you make sure every keyword sounds natural, and that the page provides a solution to a problem the searcher might have.

You include the related terms because Google’s search is “semantic.” That simply means it also looks for words similar to your target key phrase on your page.

That only makes sense, right?

It’s not hard to make Google happy with keywords. But, it is hard to continually produce content that both Google and your users like over a long period of time.

Making a website today is hard, long work.

But you don’t have to worry about a Google penalty if you keep it simple and focus on solving problems for your users with each type of content you add.

Joshua Cabe Johnson

Joshua Cabe Johnson

Joshua Cabe Johnson has been an SEO since 2008. He has personally helped over 1000 clients with online visibility and brand strategy for SEO growth.

Visual rankings has been helping small business owners online since 2002.

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