Keyword ranking data is critical for all business owners. It’s often seen as traditionally being an SEO metric, however for those in the know the data provides insight into competitive intelligence, consumer preferences and behavior highlighting tactical opportunities.
Although business owners and senior executives are becoming increasingly more educated about digital marketing, it’s still rare for businesses and analysts to leverage the power of keyword ranking data to its full extent.
This article is designed to cover how you can leverage keyword ranking data for your business with examples of some best practices and explanations for how to get the most out of your data.
When focusing too much on keyword rankings limits your success
Firstly it’s worthwhile touching on some of the common pitfalls with working with keyword data. By far the two most frequent issues I have seen are not creating an exhaustive enough keyword universe to work from, either from missing valuable keywords in your market or not structuring your keyword lists with enough detail (such as flagging branded terms or key themes). The other most common issue is rank tracking large volumes of keywords when there aren’t pages that even exist for the terms.
Even when you have well structured keyword data to work with and all of the pages you need, most businesses will focus only on which position they are ranking in without considering the following:
- How relevant is this page to the search query?
- How well written is the page and how useful is it to users?
- How does it reflect my brand?
- Do we think it’s achieving a good click-through rate (CTR)?
- Does this page convert well?
- What are other websites in my industry saying about my product or service?
Google makes it difficult to determine accurate rankings
The other thing we’ve learnt from working with keyword data is that getting unbiased ranking results constantly is a difficult problem to solve. This is largely due to changes Google has made to its search results in recent years. Several factors need to be taken into account, including:
- Personalization: Google encourages users to sign in to gain more comprehensive analytics and also to try and enhance results for a better user experience.
- Localization: Major search engines will also try to tailor your results based on where you are physically located. For example, typing “pizza” into Google’s search box can yield completely different results for you compared to somebody who is searching for pizza in a different city.
- Browser history: Searches you’ve previously done on your browsers can influence your results in Google.
- Device type: Whether you’re using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer can also influence your search results.
- Keyword fluctuation: It’s common for keywords in Google to fluctuate and change frequently especially around algorithm updates and in the most competitive verticals. Based on this it’s recommended you should check your most important keywords daily.
Even if you manage to perfectly optimize every page on your site, it’s nearly impossible to account for all of the different variables that Google uses to personalize your search results.[By Linkdex]