4 Reasons To Not Obsess Over Rank Tracking

As an SEO I’ve been guilty of obsessing about rank tracking for years. Although this has died off for me over the past few years as search has changed so much, it’s still something I hear very often from potential clients. The conversation goes something like this:

Potential Client: “Casey, can you help me get to #1 in Google for my top keyword?”. Me: “Let’s talk about that”.

See, when I first started in SEO we were blessed with a lot of Google gifts such as the facts that Google told us what keywords people searched and what page they landed on. When I first started in search there was no such thing as mobile rankings or location based rankings. Those days are long gone. So here are four reasons why you shouldn’t obsess over rank tracking.

Reason #1: Rankings Do Not Guarantee New Business

How many times have you been excited by a ranking change, celebrated, and then wondered why new business hasn’t come rolling in?

When you shift your focus to the singular goal of conversions or success you will find that obsessing over those goals is a much better idea. Just because you rank doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get the click. Just because they click on your website doesn’t guarantee that they’re going to contact you. And just because they contact you, doesn’t mean they’re going to convert.

Your focus should always be on if you’re getting new business and a strong ROI from your marketing campaign. If you can’t track that, you need to focus somewhere else.

Reason #2: Rankings Change All The Time

One keyword I regularly check is online marketing for law firms. Just like every other keyword out there we are now seeing a lot of search volatility. See with RankBrain and so many other SEO signals, the search engines are always trying to improve. If people are searching for you but not clicking on the result they may try something else. We have seen SERP’s change daily although it’s less common for the top two positions.

Reason #3: Rankings Change By Location & Device

In 2017 SERPs change a lot. If you were to complete a search on your mobile phone at work and then do the same search from your desktop computer at home, you will notice that different websites may be in different positions. This is because search is localized and mobile results can be different from desktop results.

For non branded queries, Google recently started de-priortizing non mobile friendly websites on mobile devices. After all they want to provide the best result with the best user experience. You will find that no matter where you search your results will differ greatly.

Reason #4: Ranking Software May Not Be Working Accurately

UULE is a parameter that many rank tracking software products use to determine your location. It’s a parameter used by Google to set up for GeoLocation. The problem is that these results seem to differ from explicit searches. With device geo-location so precise these days that means that someone searching from one building may see a different result than their next door neighbors.

Since rank trackers cannot change their physical explicit location easily to do a search (and there would be way too many variants) they use UULE. This means that the rankings you’re seeing may not even accurately reflect your business’s true visibility.

Rank Tracking Is Still Something You Should Pay Attention To in 2017

You might think that I hate rank tracking after reading this post. If you do, you would be wrong. I still use rank tracking every day as there are still a lot of advantages to it. While I don’t thin you should obsess over rank tracking I still use it daily for a variety of reasons such as:

– Looking for major losses/ gains
– Tracking competitors work
– Diagnostics
– Client Reporting