Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well: “How to Measure What Matters Most for SEO.”

What matters in SEO most when measuring the performance of an SEO program is the bottom line: conversions. All other data – including rankings, quality and quantity of backlinks, bounce rates – merely serves as tools to diagnose issues and opportunities in driving organic search conversions.

A lot of people become obsessed with rankings as a key performance indicator. I understand. It’s easy information to acquire after all, you just Google your favorite keyword and see where you rank. Unfortunately, using rankings as a key indicator has two primary issues.

First, all searches are personalized these days. That means that I may see my favorite keyword rank number one ranking on Google, but you may see it rank number seven. Depending on the location, log in status, cookies, search history and a number of other factors, the search engines customize the search results to each individual searcher. The days of saying with confidence that any one page ranks number one for all searchers is long gone. As such, rankings are an unreliable performance metric.

Second, even in the best circumstances ….

Read the article in full at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well >>

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