“How come my SEO rankings suck?!” This line has been stated to me on a few occasions in my time in the SEO community. Sure, a couple of years ago we could base a site’s success on rankings. In fact, if rankings were slipping it was a fairly easy process to get the rankings back in order.

In today’s (mid-2014) world of SEO rankings on keywords are really only a minor indicator of a website’s success. If your only goal is to rank well we’ve got an issue! High organic rankings do not necessarily reflect lots of traffic nor does it reflect gaining more leads. Let’s dive into why you may actually be having great success while your SEO rankings “suck”.

What Are Your Company’s Ultimate Goals?

To say you want to rank well organically isn’t a goal (at least not in the newest version of SEO). Ranking well might feel good but how does that help your bottom line? Are you looking for traffic? Do you need leads? Are you looking to gain some traction with your online branding? Do you have specific products or services that you’re looking to push online?

By figuring out the company’s goals we can look to align an SEO strategy that can help fill the holes needed to get there.

Look At Things Holistically

Ok, what does that actually mean in SEO? A couple of years ago you might say “I want to rank #1 for widgets” and voila, with a little effort there you are ranking #1 for “widgets” and getting lots of traffic (and probably some good leads). Today we need to think more about your potential customers. How are they going to find you? Where are they going to find you? What actions do they take on your site? How are we tracking them? And what keywords/content are ultimately triggering the purchase?

We now have multiple ways in which people can get to a website: content, ads, social activity, organic rankings, referral sources, etc. As buyers we source reviews, we do our research and we generally do our due diligence before making a decision on what we buy and who we buy from.

85%

85% of your traffic is coming from sources OTHER THAN your core keywords. Let me repeat that – 85% of your traffic is coming from sources OTHER THAN your core keywords. Why is that? Let’s think back to “widgets”. As a buyer am I looking for widgets or something more specific to my actual need? Do I want “blue widgets”? Maybe I’m looking for “electronic widgets” or “widgets in Toronto”. Maybe I want to “buy widgets online” and when I find results that are most relevant to me I have a closer potential of purchasing from that relevant source.

This means that you must work to generate relevant traffic that could come from great content, maybe ranking for specific types of terms or other ways for people to discover your website. You stand a greater opportunity to earn leads by working on the 85% than you do on the 15%.

What Can You Do?

In a previous post, I mentioned you must work with your website. It’s a tool. It’s a lead generator. But it won’t do it on its own. Your site has the opportunity to open a wide net and draw in lots of relevant visitors who could be interested in your products or services. But at the end of the day, you need to provide the visitor with a reason to show up, with a reason to stay and a reason to want to buy from you.

In a future post, we’ll explore how you can make good use of a free tool, Google Analytics, to better understand your visitors and improve your engagement and start seeing the leads flow in.

Looking for more information on the above content? Please call Patrick at 905-943-2985 x108.

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