The entire goal of SEO is to improve the performance of your website on search engines. Optimization is a huge part of that. Historically, increasing your ranking position for meaningful keywords to work website is the main goal of your SEO strategy. Typically, users click on the first result, so it makes sense to aim for that top ranking. It isn’t the only important factor though, with the increased implementation of ads, the knowledge graph, featured snippet, and more, ranking #1 organically isn’t what it was in the past. With ads and the addition of multiple new SERP features, organic results are further down the page, and the click-through-rates have lowered. So it’s time to think differently and dig beyond traditional metrics to see the real value of ranking for your keywords.
Take a Look With Your Own Eyes
Web ranking tools, of course, are still valuable for SEOs. It gives you a summary of your keyword performance. It shouldn’t be your only option for monitoring, though, due to the SERP mentioned above features and ads. Relying solely on rank tracking tools can lead to misconceptions or missed chances about your strategy. It may seem basic, and maybe even obvious, but still one of the best ways to measure your visibility is by performing searches yourself. This may not be possible to do for every keyword due to time constraints, but doing so regularly can give you more insight into what users see on their end.
Above or Below the Fold?
Traditionally, the stories in newspapers that were likely to get the most eyeballs appeared above the fold in the paper. The same goes for the “fold” on webpages. If you’re above the fold on SERPs, you’re much more likely to get results from your position than if you were below. Some ranking tools are able to measure this with pixel depth and compare that to a typical user’s screen to determine which results are above the fold. This feature usually isn’t accurate though on most ranking tools.
The actual rank of your result in a SERP includes ads, SERP features, etc., not just organic results. So you may rank 4th organically, but there are a featured snippet and shopping ads above, so you aren’t really 4th. Some search ranking tools will include this or some kind of blended result, but typically they are slow to adapt when Google makes changes to SERPs. You want to get the full picture as an SEO. The important thing is to stay agile and continue to monitor your keywords in different ways. Don’t silo yourself into one way of thinking because your users aren’t. Remember to do everything with users in mind.
If you’re interested in improving your organic search ranking, contact our team at Boston Web Marketing today. Our team specializes in improving search rankings and online conversions. Contact us at (857) 526-0096 or using our contact form.