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Rankings vs. Conversions: Which Should You Focus On?

Rankings vs. Conversions: Which Should You Focus On?

Whether doing search engine optimization for your own website or for a client’s, you’ll want to continuously measure the results of your efforts to know what is and is not working. If you’ve hired an internet marketing company to handle your SEO for you, you want to know you are getting value for your investment.

Search engine optimizers track a website’s rankings to see if an SEO campaign is successfully moving forward. For anyone who doesn’t know, your ranking for a keyword is the position of your site in the search engine results pages (SERPS) when someone searches that keyword. Since the first few listings get a majority of clicks, you want your website ranking well for your targeted keywords. Although rankings may fluctuate, a downward rather than upward trend indicates your SEO needs improvement.

However, rankings alone do not provide a true measure of SEO success. Good rankings will drive traffic to your website, but if the wrong keywords are used in your SEO campaign, and/or your website’s conversion rate is low, you can brag about getting top rankings, but that’s it. You need conversions.

Tracking and measuring a website’s conversion rate is necessary to understand how well the site performs.  A website conversion is the completion of a goal by a visitor to your site. Your goals might be product sales, form submissions, phone calls – whatever you want your visitors to do while on your site. If your website is not meeting those goals, it’s time for testing and conversion rate optimization.

So, you focus on rankings and conversions, right?

Yes, but…

For a site to really be successful, you need to focus on your targeted audience. Who are the people you are trying to reach? What do they care about? What are their concerns? What products or services do they need that you provide, and why are they not getting them from you?

If you don’t know your targeted audience, how can you select keywords they would use in searches? Ranking for keywords your customers wouldn’t use won’t help your business. And if you don’t know your customers, you could spend years of testing to improve your conversion rate and still not succeed. So know and keep your audience in mind as you track and improve rankings and conversions. It’s the golden key to success.


Terri Stevens
Terri Stevens is an SEO specialist for Forthea. She loves to travel, especially aboard cruise ships (floating casinos!), and spends free time with family and enjoying the outdoors.

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