If you want to be strong in your SEO game you need to have a keen eye on your ranking and how they perform. Staying on top indicates that you have a good visibility in the market.
Some may think that rankings are not all that important anymore, but The Social Media Hat help us understand why we need to have a strong ranking.
1. Rankings are the only accountable result of your work
Conversions, engagement or other metrics many SEOs prefer to track instead of rankings these days can be attributed to many departments.
Keyword positions on the other hand are solely the result of SEOs work.
2. They indicate success or failure
SEMrush Position Tracking Visibility Index report showing the effect of SEO strategies on the websites presence in Google
Similarly, rankings change over time is a powerful indication of SEO success or failure.
Continuously increasing visibility in search – be it through improved rankings or increase in number of keywords the site ranks for is a clear sign that whatever you do is working.
The opposite however might indicate that your strategies are insufficient for the goal you want to achieve.
3. They also give a very good indication where your site stands in relation to competition
SEMrush Position Tracking report showing a comparison or website’s rankings vs. its competitor for the same keyword
A screenshot of weekly SEMrush Position Tracking email report presenting changes to rankings to a website and its two competitors
Rankings can also tell a lot about your efforts in relation to competition.
Monitoring and analysing competitors rankings can help you spot new gains:
- Identify new keywords you should optimise for,
- Transactional or high value keywords worth focusing on or
- Opportunities to beat competition with minimum effort.
4. Keywords help spot SEO problems
SEMrush Organic Positions report showing Ebay’s loss of keyword rankings after Panda4.0 update in May, 2014
Fact: a sudden change in rankings can indicate SEO related problems better than site traffic or any other metric.
Why, because for one, traffic naturally fluctuates depending on current search trends and seasonality. And therefore a small dip in the number of visitors can easily go unnoticed. Not to mention that without keyword data in Analytics investigating potential problem is almost impossible.
An unexpected drop in ranking for specific keywords on the other hand immediately suggests a problem – Google update rolling out, manual penalty or perhaps a technical problem with the website.