Here is your sneak peek at our upcoming series: Two SEOs and a Microphone. In the coming weeks, we’ll feature segments of two of our SEOs talking shop, followed by a blog post:
Keyword Rankings Reports??
Are you still basing the effectiveness of your search engine optimization strategy solely on keyword rankings? If so, you might be missing the bigger picture.
In this post, we’re going to look at why you need to stop focusing exclusively on keyword rankings and start focusing on the SEO success metrics that really matter.
The History of “Not Provided” Keywords
In 2011, Google stopped providing Google Analytics with the keywords used by search engine users. It started as only a loss of a small, single-digit percentage of data. One year later, that percentage had risen to 50% for some websites. Now, the percentage of (not provided) keywords is anywhere from 80% to 100%. In essence, the Organic Keywords report in Google Analytics has become useless.
Focusing on One Keyword Isn’t Enough
While most, if not all, search marketers have mourned the loss of organic keyword data, the change may be been a blessing in disguise, because it forced everyone to stop focusing on keywords.
In the past, many businesses focused primarily on only one keyword. They aimed every bit of their marketing strategy at ranking number one for the lone keyword they believed mattered most to their business. They made sure that anchor text, SEO metadata, tags, and their content used that keyword.
The problem with this strategy is that many businesses spent so much energy (and money) on that one keyword or phrase that they didn’t focus on anything else. So, if they didn’t choose a keyword that drove customers, they were investing in something that didn’t help their bottom line.
Long-term, the results of such a keyword-driven strategy were grim. Over-optimized search campaigns led to websites getting hit with a loss in rankings with Google algorithm changes and manual penalties. Businesses suffered overall losses in traffic.
Since marketers can no longer track the traffic that keywords receive, what should be tracked instead to determine if SEO?
Stay tuned for the full first episode to find out key metrics that you should focus on when determining SEO success.