• Matt Lambert

    I’m not sure I understand. Why would you bother about keywords that had never brought a conversion, and then why is the number of different keywords that brought traffic important, when most of them don’t work? Surely converting keywords are the only ones that really matter.

  • http://www.perfectlyplausible.com/ Iain Bartholomew

    I’m preparing a note to clients right now explaining that we will no longer be reporting on rankings and that we will be monitoring a set of terms internally and will report any noteworthy observations.

    Time will tell how they respond.

  • https://serps.com/ Scott Krager

    Great post Ian, totally agree with the “never present rankings on their own”. Rankings are a great data point when presenting along side other data (analytics) or when looked at historically over time (change vs. last month, yesterday, since you hired us, etc).

  • http://twitter.com/portentint Ian Lurie

    Not if changes in rankings can help you diagnose a problem, or predict an improvement, before the proverbial poo hits the fan. Keyword diversity is a great diagnosis tool.

  • http://twitter.com/portentint Ian Lurie

    You might point out other datapoints you’ll follow. It’ll help damp down that initial feeling of panic :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/sydneygliang Sydney Liang

    Rankings it is mostly about rankings and indeed inevitable.. my favorite “other data” is the Conversion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jammy8891 Jamie White

    I don’t meant to sound disrespectful, but this is hardly a revelation. The ultimate aim of an SEO campaign is generally going to be to increase conversions, the cause being increased traffic, the cause of this being increased rankings. It doesn’t always follow that process but more often than not, it does. We should be reporting on conversions and traffic from Day One on every single SEO campaign, unless the overall objectives are something different.

    Even getting #1 in the rankings does not guarantee more conversions and sometimes it doesn’t even guarantee an increase in traffic – I worked on one campaign where the brand power of the #2 ranking was so strong that people were instinctively looking for that site despite typing in a generic term.

    You talk about Conversions being ‘Other Data’. Conversions should be the number one data in my opinion.

  • http://www.perfectlyplausible.com/ Iain Bartholomew

    Sure, It is going to be a detailed note explaining why we (I) made the decision and why certain other metrics are both more relevant and more instructive.

    It will challenge them, for sure, but hopefully they will get on board.

  • http://twitter.com/CPollittIU Chad Pollitt

    Nice Ian! I’ve been saying (and writing about) the above since Jan of ’11 and stopped tracking SERPs at the same time. Robust content marketing campaigns makes the value proposition of tracking SERPs nil. Add to that personalization and I see no value in tracking SERPs at all.

    I’m not a big link sharer in blog comments, but I think this post on content marketing’s impact on search is highly relevant for your readers. I hope you agree – http://www.slingshotseo.com/blog/the-content-marketing-revolution-and-its-impact-on-search/

    @CPollittIU

  • http://www.ezmaal.com/ hyderali

    Again, a superior & thought provoking post! Just like we were addicted to use Google for doing any search, same way we are addicted with rankings.

    Clients do not know which keywords will bring them profit but they know that “Keyword Ranking in No.1 post will give them sales” which is sometimes not. How to change their perception? They know from the start that “Keyword Rankings is SEO” which again poured in their head via us SEO people only.

  • Matt Lambert

    Thanks for that, I do get the point. But is keyword diversity, or dilution, a good thing. If a political party split in two, would either of them ever get into power?