SEO Metrics That Matter

By December 12, 2012 May 8th, 2014 SEO | Inbound Marketing

SEO data

What does the future hold for reliable SEO ranking reports? How do you effectively optimize your presence on the search engines without them? Focus on the metrics that matter the most: business goals, visitor performance, conversion, ROI, and other key factors.

In recent months, Google has been cracking down on companies who access their AdWords API for the purpose of scraping data. Recently, Google claimed that Raven Tools had violated its terms of service and therefore was revoking their access to the AdWords API. This is one more chapter in a widespread Google review of compliance issues with software companies resulting in many AdWords API accesses being revoked.

What does this mean for SEO folks who rely on these SEO tools for analytical and keyword ranking data?

First of all, let’s put this into perspective. In recent years, keyword ranking data has become more and more unreliable. With personalized search results, geographic tags, server timing and types of results affecting SERPs for each searcher, ranking reports have become far less valuable. Furthermore, a recent study conducted by showed that 80% of the SERPs change every 24 hours, and some might fluctuate even more than that. There’s no doubt that it has become a fruitless pursuit to chase rankings and keep up with the ever-changing search results!

It’s time to realize that more important data is available for measuring SEO performance. Data such as user engagement metrics, competitor insight, e-commerce conversion figures, social media traffic and social assisted conversions. By analyzing these types of data sets, we get closer to understanding how to reach our clients’ business goals and we can truly analyze how a website is performing.

To illustrate my point, let me create a scenario:

Company A ranks globally in the top 5 positions for 50 keywords. Despite its impressive rankings, they are seeing very little traffic to its website and even fewer conversions. Score an A+ for keyword ranking, but an F for what really matters to their goals and ultimately their ROI – conversions.

Let’s start focusing on business goals and how to get there by using smart SEO metrics and tactics that get us to the finish line instead of mourning the loss of easy-to-understand SEO ranking reports with unreliable and even misleading data.

Google photo credit: Annette Schaff /

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