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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

More traffic, better rankings—why you shouldn't fixate on these

Instead of more traffic and better rankings, go for better traffic and more rankings.When we interview our clients at the start of a search engine optimization project, 'more website traffic' and 'better rankings' are often the first things they request. A few years ago that was about all it took to get more leads or customers from your website.

But with the Internet being the mainstream marketing hub that it is now, chasing down more traffic is not the most effective way to get more customers, and great rankings can vanish in a heartbeat the moment something
often beyond your controlchanges.

Rather than chasing more traffic and better rankings, we optimize our clients' sites to get better traffic and more rankings.

What exactly is better traffic?

Better traffic is traffic that originates from within your target market. These are the Web visitors who are most likely to become your customers
because they are pre-qualified by your keyword strategy.

By optimizing your website for a variety of well-researched, descriptive keywords rather than just a handful of high-demand, broad keywords, you'll increase the number of pre-qualified, targeted visitors to your website.

Why aim for more rankings rather than better rankings?

There's nothing wrong with optimizing your website to gain better rankings in the search engines for your important keywords. After all, top positions mean more clicks and more clicks are, by default, likely to include some targeted visitors. But if your website lives or dies by a handful of number one positions, you're skating on thin ice.

Your positions in the search engine results pages are not set in stone and can vary from day-to-day; engine-to-engine; and every time your competitors up the ante. More importantly, sites that once ranked well could be thrown into oblivion by a change in a search engine's algorithms.

By optimizing your site for a broad range of keywords and using them sensibly throughout your site, you'll have more pages showing up for more phrases
so you won't suffer a catastrophic loss of traffic if your number one keyword tanks for some reason.

Many factors can effect your site's traffic and rankings, directly or indirectly, including these:

  • The usefulness of your content to your target market.
  • The accessibility of your content to visitors.
  • The accessibility of your content to the search engines.
  • The depth and breadth of your keyword choices.
  • The quantity and position of text on your pages.
  • The intuitive quality of your navigation.
  • Off-site activities that drive traffic to your site: traditional marketing, social media, quality inbound links, etc.

Don't jeopardize your SEO campaign by making it all about more traffic, or getting that top ranking in Google. Instead, focus on making your site a rewarding resource for targeted visitors, and make judicious use of a large variety of researched keywords to maximize your number of rankings.

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