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SEO has changed a lot in the past years. And yet as Search Algorithms become increasingly sophisticated and personalized, keyword ranking remains crucial to your website’s success.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you should still keep an eye on it in 2016.
1. Getting on Search Results let’s people know you exist
Putting up a website is easy. The hard part is getting people to look at it. There are several ways you can do this, like paid ads, referral traffic, and a social media presence. But out of all of these, organic search has the biggest impact. Two separate studies from Conductor and Groupon show that up to 64% of traffic comes from search engines.
So after you’ve set up your website, make sure search engines are able to find it.
Although search engines have undergone many changes, people still need to type keywords in a search bar. This leads us to…
2. Find the right keywords to get more traffic
Your next step is to do keyword research–find out which of the keywords your audience uses are relevant to your business. By creating content that’s geared towards those keywords, you’ll slowly climb up search results.
But don’t just focus on those with higher search volume. Competitors will be eyeing those, too, making it more difficult for your audience to find you.
Complement this by also targeting long-tail keywords that don’t get as much search volume. They’re more specific so they’re even more likely to be used by people interested in your website.
But just because search engines can now find it doesn’t automatically mean your audience will, too.
3. Being on the first page builds brand awareness and reputation
If you really want people to know about your website, get on the first page. A study by Advanced Web Ranking reveals that’s all 94% of people bother looking at.
This is not just about getting more impressions. Being a first page result signals to people that you’re an authority in that area, building your brand’s reputation and making it easier for them to trust you.
When you’re jockeying for a spot in that top ten, you’re really fighting for a spot in your audience’s minds.
This isn’t something you should be content with. It’s merely the bare minimum for audiences to consider visiting your website.
4. The closer to the top, the more traffic
Most of the traffic on the first page goes to the top result. The difference in click-through-rate to even the second or third is huge. The same study conducted by Advanced Web Ranking shows that the top ranking search results get click-through-rates of 30-35%.
In contrast, second ranking results get about half of that at 15-20%, and the third gets 10-15%. This gets progressively lower as you go down the page.
The closer you get to the top, the more competitive it also gets. Getting from second to first requires that you constantly monitor what keywords your audiences are using, which content is attracting more traffic, and how your competitors are doing with the same keywords.
Well, that was before. Now it’s not so simple.
5. Search Engines have changed, creating opportunities
While the top result is still one of the most desirable pieces of online real estate, it’s become more elusive. Before, keyword stuffing, link building, and similar methods were enough to game search engines.
But those days are gone. Google’s algorithms have become more sophisticated to combat this, and now take into account many other factors. This has made ranking for target keywords complex and mysterious.
It’s times like these, when the rules of the game suddenly change, that present an opportunity–but only if you know how to capitalize on it.
Given the difficulty of SEO nowadays, how do we know when a particular approach is working or not?
The Bigger Picture
Keyword ranking is still an important metric. But it’s only informative when seen alongside other important metrics like:
- How much traffic your website is generating
- How your competitors are performing with the same keywords
- What devices visitors are using when they visit your site
- Their social media history
There are several tools that each focus on one, but it takes a lot of effort and switching between them before you get answers you want now: were my campaigns successful, are they generating traffic? Am I getting my message to the right audiences?
By bringing all this information into a single, streamlined dashboard, Siteoscope allows you to focus on answering the real questions–so you can dedicate your efforts and resources on what works.
We’ll show you how easy it is to see the bigger picture. Track your website’s performance using Siteoscope for 30 days free.