Are Organic Keyword Rankings Still Important In 2017?
Google is constantly making changes to its search engine on a daily basis. Some of these affect rankings, some affect the layout of the SERPs and more. Recent changes include Google removing the right-hand side ads, the mobile friendly update and many others.
Throughout the digital age and the period that SEO companies and marketers have been improving the web presence of businesses, organic keyword rankings have always been THE top priority. With so much shift in the landscape of the internet over recent years and in SEO, we ask the question “are organic keyword rankings still important?”
Time And Effort
Achieving page 1 Google rankings and in particular rankings right at the top of the SERPs takes a huge amount of time and effort. At the start of a marketing campaign, you should think about your business goals and decide whether or not it is worth the time and effort in trying to achieve these rankings (as it's never a guarantee that you will).
The reason I am telling you to consider its worth is because of everything else appearing on page 1 of Google. Searchers are now distracted by Local results, product listing ads, search ads and other forms of content. You need to consider how this will impact the click-through rate of organic page 1 results. Studies have shown that on the first page of Google alone, the first five organic results account for just over 65% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only just over 3.5%
The rest of the clicks go mainly to the ads and other forms of content. So, if you do manage to break through to page 1 but remain towards the bottom of the page, how valuable is it?
Connect With Your Potential Customers In Other Ways
There are many other ways to connect with your potential customers online besides organic Google rankings. A few ways in which you can connect with your prospects are:
With paid Google ads you get instant exposure. Yes the return on investment won't be as good as it is with organic rankings but you are still going to be generating quality traffic to your site if you advertise in the right way. It is always worth running Google AdWords campaigns whilst your organic rankings build over time.
Social Media is still growing rapidly and more and more users are using their Social accounts on a daily basis. Facebook, the powerhouse of the Social world attracts around 1.79 billion visitors on a monthly basis. That means about 1 in 5 people across the world are using it! The numbers don't lie. Other Social Media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat also have a huge amount of active users. So, this is another great way to connect with potential customers and if you want to start getting exposure instantly you can again pay for ads.
Established sites like TripAdvisor, Yell and Yelp get a huge amount of visits, so advertising on these and creating listings is another way you can boost your online presence and connect with more of your prospects.
There are many other avenues you can explore but it would be impossible to go through them all in one article. The 3 mentioned above are just a few of the other things you can focus on with your digital marketing strategy.
Traffic Is Not The Be All And End All
Achieving page one Google rankings used to be one of the few ways to get traffic to your website, therefore it made more sense to spend as much time on link building and organic SEO efforts. Since the rise of Social Media, paid advertising and blogging etc. this has changed dramatically. Which, in turn, has changed the way we generate traffic to websites.
Traffic isn't the be all and end all and it never will be. Conversions are what count. They have an impact on your bottom line. So before trying to drive more and more traffic to your website, focus on your conversion rate. If your traffic stays the same but your conversion rate improves this is going to have the biggest impact. Invest time into conversion rate optimisation to really see a boost in enquiries.
When Is The Right Time To Focus On Organic Rankings And Are They Still Important?
Although the Google SERPs are now overpowered by local listings, ads and other forms of content (diminishing click through rates of organic listings), it is still important to strive to be the best. Organic traffic still provides the very best return on investment when compared with other online marketing tactics and it is still an extremely powerful way to connect with your customers.
You should still focus on achieving premier Google rankings as one of your goals but there shouldn't be as much time and effort invested into one area. To really achieve online success, your time and effort should be invested equally across different platforms like paid advertising, Social Media, your website and other suitable channels.