Keyword Tracking A Worthless Metric

March 30, 2022
Keyword Tracking A Worthless Metric

If you have worked in SEO for longer than 2 days, it is pretty obvious that clients care about where they rank for a term or set of terms in Google or Bing. As an SEO services provider, it is your responsibility to show your client where they rank for keywords. Right?

Are you losing time explaining to a client why they are not ranking? Are you creating anxiety between yourself and your clients? You most certainly are, as your rankings are not stagnant.

Keyword tracking is simply unreliable to measure. In my experience, every single tool I’ve used has led to the same conclusion. A tool crawls Google (or Bing) and checks for a website’s placement for a set of terms. Ideally, this sounds easy and straightforward. It’s not. Both you and your client are missing the bigger picture, which could be costing you both money, whether in opportunity or spend.

Dependability of your Keyword Tracking Tool

One can and should never depend on a keyword tracking tool. They are accurate until they are not. Google makes too many changes and updates to the search engine results pages for the tracking tools to keep up. I have never had a keyword tracking tool perform with the precision that I could rely on. Furthermore, rankings fluctuate a lot and looking at a set of terms is also limiting to success.

We have a client in a big competitive industry that was primarily focused on one keyword (when we started working together). We got top ranking for their term nationally. However, whenever the client dropped a few spots (ranking fluctuation) they would rush to conclusions and insist on making drastic changes. This is not the best decision, and directing their attention to a bigger picture is the winning move. In one of our meetings with all the team players our ranking tool showed us in 4th position. I asked everyone in the meeting to perform a Google search for that term, and we were in 1st position across the board. Fun Zoom meeting that was.

Between Google making 500 updates a month, competitors and natural fluctuations, what a keyword tool actually does is shoot your foot before a race. On our mark, get set. Bang!

We love competitors who rely on keyword reporting methods. They get lost in chasing keywords, while Evestar’s focus is on other metrics that actually help improve overall results.

Too Many Keywords Not Enough Worth

When you track a broad term that has lots of search or focus on a small set of highly competitive terms, you miss a world of less competitive topics that can be driving you (or your client) business. Big broad terms are great, however they are much more competitive and not always as rewarding as a less broad search that has a clearer intent. I would rather rank a client for 1,000 terms that each have a search of 10 hits than 1,000 hits to a page from one term. Usually the less broad searches have more intent behind them. Besides, why would anyone want to put all the eggs in one basket?

Google and Bing both have webmaster tools that provide a plethora of useful data, including keyword tracking data. We get a mix of all sorts of terms and phrases. Different people find our website from different content published and this is a far superior measurement strategy. Instead of arguing with your client or boss about one term not ranking, you can focus on a world of opportunities that will drive more results.

For Evestar clients we target a wide range of less broad terms. Our focus is on creating unique pages to serve users directly from Google. In fact, these less broad terms typically convert better since they are  more competitive in nature.

What To Report Then?

  • Overall organic traffic from all content
  • Outreach Work
  • Content Ideation and Creation
  • Leads/Phone Calls
  • Bottom Line – Isn’t that the ultimate goal?

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