Ways in Which Reality Doesn’t Match SEO Measurements
We can often get wrapped up in the metrics of SEO when building or maintaining our websites and blogs, but the data can sometimes be misleading. Many people will not doubt for a second what the data suggests, in part because it is so valid in many cases. Unfortunately, SEO metrics and analytics can paint a picture of a dynamic that is not necessarily reflective of the actual conditions “on the ground”. While you need to follow the basic tenets of SEO regardless, it is important to understand that you may not always see what is promised when it comes to some metrics. Below, we’ll outline a few examples in which reality doesn’t often match the measurements provided by these analytics and SEO findings.
Ranking Reports Can Be Outdated
When search engines only used one ranking or type of ranking for a query, it was easy to use ranking reports to determine how things looked and what was possible. Since then, pinging search engines has changed considerably thanks in large part to a variety of algorithm additions and adjustments. Query results also now vary quite widely from device to device – if you use your mobile phone from a wireless access point in public, you’ll see different query results than you would from your desktop at home. Because of this, tracking query results is usually not an all-encompassing act that will help you identify success or new potential opportunities.
Search Visibility Does Not Equal Traffic
All too many people confuse the notion of search visibility with direct exposure, and therefore traffic. Search visibility would be more accurately referred to as search potential; it does not mean that you are currently ranked that well or that a certain number of people are guaranteed to see your site. Webmasters and bloggers will often confuse visibility for current performance, which can actually set back SEO efforts by instilling a false sense of confidence. By understanding that this is what is currently possible – and that work has to be invested in order to achieve it – you won’t fall short of your actual goals.
More Tools for More Success
There is a huge misconception that having a ton of data systems and analytics automatically will translate into success in the future. Another (and perhaps bigger) problem is that many of these metrics and analytics will show favourable possibilities, which many will confuse with favourable outcomes. We must learn not to count our chickens before they hatch and at the same time, draw inspiration from what is possible to achieve tangible goals. Metrics exist to point us in the right direction, but even metrics that show current performance are merely a snapshot – not a guarantee for future success. We cannot be allowed to believe that a host of positive metrics indicate we are doing everything correctly or that things will never change.
Pinging search engines with content, optimizing your marketing routine and delivering a compelling case to your readers on any subject are the cornerstones of success in today’s search engine and web-based markets. Search visibility allows us to see what is possible; not what is currently, ranking reports can be misleading and metrics will show us what may be currently but not what will always be. When you understand these items for what they are, they open a world of potential up to your SEO efforts. Failure to understand this can lead to disastrous consequences.