Rankings are vanity, traffic is sanity

Posted on April 26, 2009


To paraphrase the classic saying about business ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity’ we can apply the concept of turnover to rankings and profit to traffic.

We all want to rank number one in Google for our chosen key phrases, because being number one means being the best. Those who rank at the top are obviously doing better than those who rank below them, it stands to reason… or does it? Perhaps ranking #1 in Google for your ‘main keyword’ means you’re receiving very little traffic at all. If you’re receiving a low volume of traffic, you’re not going to get any sales from it.

The important thing to realise when starting an SEO campaign is that you need to choose keywords that are being searched for. There’s no point ranking for a phrase that nobody is searching for, you’ll be the proverbial tree falling in the woods with no one to hear the sound you make.

Yes you’re number one for the keyword, but that’s because no one else is optimising for it. You can only bask in the glory of your top spot rankings by telling other people audibly, which is no use at all for your website.

What this boils down to is adequate keyword research before you begin your SEO. What are your competitors optimising for? What are the search volumes for those keywords? What do you rank for already?

This is where you should start.

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