Larry BraunerI obsess over my website search engine ranking and check my keyword search engine rankings more often than once a week. After all, who doesn’t want to achieve higher search engine rankings and get more web site traffic?

However, top search engine ranking isn’t everything. There is much more to search engine optimization than merely increasing a website’s search engine ranking.

Get More Web Site TrafficYour website can have a top Google search engine ranking yet not receive its fair share of traffic or receive insufficiently targeted traffic, which is also bad.

As I pointed out in a comment on 5 Steps to Make Wordpress an SEO Beast, an excellent article on the StylyzedWeb blog, you can be at the top of the search engines, but if too few people click through to your website or the wrong people click through, you can’t say that your site is search engine optimized.

A page’s title and description in its header often determine exactly how that page will appear in the search engine results and how likely searchers will be to click through to it. Header tags need to be optimized not only with search engines in mind but with people in mind too.

Search engine marketers are keenly aware of this issue, and search engine optimizers need to be equally aware.

Furthermore, if ample targeted visitors do come to your website, but your site is ineffective because of its content or design, then all your efforts to attract search engine traffic or any other traffic have been for naught.

Optimizing your website’s keywords to obtain a top search engine ranking is important, but the appeal of both your search engine listing and your actual website to your target audience are at least as important and should not be neglected.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated as usual. :-)

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16 Responses to “Top Search Engine Ranking Isn’t Everything”

  1. Kingsley Tagbo on March 8th, 2010 1:04 am

    Larry,

    I hear you … there is more to life than search engine optimization.

    Making sure that our content attracts human clicks (search marketing?) and that people take the expected actions on our website (Landing Page Optimization) is also important.

    Thanks for saying it so well :-)

  2. chandan on March 8th, 2010 1:57 am

    Yes, you are right. What I noticed is that my blog is in the top ten on some keywords, but I am not getting traffic from those keywords now. Initially, I was getting lots of traffic, but now, not any.

  3. Cheryl H on March 8th, 2010 10:20 am

    “I obsess over my website search engine ranking and check my keyword search engine rankings more often than once a week.” Well, now that I know I’m not the only one, I feel better. Thanks Larry! You’re right about the article over at StylyzedWeb as well, it’s excellent; everyone should read that one at least once.

  4. Straightalk on March 8th, 2010 10:32 am

    I do it for the Fun and Excitement of learning while meeting interesting people like Yourself Larry!

    “I got No hype for No one. Other than, Just to be YOU!”

    Norman Flecha

  5. Accounting Troubleshooter on March 8th, 2010 11:27 pm

    Your website needs to be inviting, and must contain something the visitor needs. Otherwise the visitor will click and run.

  6. Women's clothing on March 17th, 2010 12:51 pm

    Hmm…it depends to me. Think this works on informational websites, but for e-commerce sites where people want to buy something, if you have what they want, they’ll click, browse and might buy from your site.

  7. Vance Sova on March 24th, 2010 10:20 pm

    Hi Larry,

    I’m glad that you also write about search engine ranking and the importance of SEO.

    So many people still ignore SEO and keywords and even proudly blog about that.

    I agree that once you get to the top of search engines it is important that your site actually provides the searchers with what they were looking for.

    Vance

  8. Larry Brauner on March 24th, 2010 11:03 pm

    @Women’s Clothing If the title and description appearing in the search engine results don’t help searchers to know what you have, they won’t click through.

    @Vance Web marketing is a campaign with many fronts. :-)

  9. How to Jailbreak iPhone on April 20th, 2011 5:53 am

    Nice post Larry..it’s 1 year later and still just as relevant as it was when you posted it. I come from a pay per click background where the clickthrough rate on your advertisements is absolutely crucial. Advertisers spend a lot of time fine tuning the headings and text of their advertisements in order to maximise their CTR.

    This applies directly to SEO as well. Your Title + Description is basically the advertisement of your website and once you get some rankings you need to focus on these 2 components to make sure that you get the maximum clicktrhough rate possible. Getting good rankings doesn’t always mean that you’re getting traffic.

  10. Adrianna Papell on April 22nd, 2011 8:48 am

    I agree, there far more things important than search engine optimization.

    My blog: Papell Evening Dresses

  11. Immigration Lawyer Halifax on April 24th, 2011 9:15 am

    “Furthermore, if ample targeted visitors do come to your website, but your site is ineffective because of its content or design, then all your efforts to attract search engine traffic or any other traffic have been for naught.”

    Exactly. It’s akin to a business that has a lot of money for marketing, but a product that nobody really wants or needs.

  12. Madikwe safari lodge on May 8th, 2011 1:48 pm

    Good article, Larry. I have a few websites and with one I made a crucial mistake in selecting the keyword for my landing page and the url. Very bad choice. Haven’t had one single visitor for that keyword yet in months. When I realized this, I started writing numerous webpages on very specific specialized keywords. The only visitors I’m getting are from these keywords. The positive outcome of my initial mistake is that the visitors are really as close to buying as you can get.

  13. Fae on August 19th, 2011 2:19 am

    “Furthermore, if ample targeted visitors do come to your website, but your site is ineffective because of its content or design, then all your efforts to attract search engine traffic or any other traffic have been for naught.”

    I also agree with this opinion. People are more likely to leave the site the second they see that the page they’re on won’t help them. It would be a lot better if you could at least provide additional information to what they’re looking for.

  14. Heather on August 24th, 2011 9:51 am

    All the facts stated are true. I happen to be one of them and I click exit the instant I see that the site doesn’t contain the stuff that that I need. Internet marketeers better take your advice and shape up if they want more customers visiting their page.

  15. Keith McDermott on November 15th, 2011 8:42 pm

    Good point. This article is very useful for every SEO specialist. IF you want profit from your site, you want targeted traffic, not just huge amount of “empty” visits.

  16. John Littner on January 31st, 2012 8:36 pm

    I’d also add that top search engine rankings can actually harm the future success of your website with the increasing emphasis on human reviewers of the SERPS. If you’re site achieves a top rank but looks like spam to them or irrelevant than you’re probably going to take a hit. Plus Google has started to include bounce rates in its algorithm, which means if seeming clicks on your site and then hits the back button right away, you could also get negatively affected.

    I’ve come to realize that SEO has as much to do with quality as it does with backlinking. Although Google clearly hasn’t perfected screening for the former, it is playing a more prominent role.

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