The Difference Between Rankings and Traffic

When you sit down to evaluate your web presence, you may look to various KPIs to determine success. There are two main KPIs you can look at: Rankings and Website Traffic. These two factors often correlate, meaning if you are performing well in one area, you are likely doing well in the other. But this is not always the case. Why is that?

Written By Matthew Martin

May 29, 2017

When you sit down to evaluate your web presence, you may look to various KPIs to determine success. There are two main KPIs you can look at: Rankings and Website Traffic. These two factors often correlate, meaning if you are performing well in one area, you are likely doing well in the other. But this is not always the case. Why is that?

Let’s discuss the difference between rankings and website traffic.

RANKINGS

Looking at rankings is a great KPI measure! But only when you have targeted the right keywords that not only align with your business offerings, and also with what your target market is searching. However, high rankings do not always yield high traffic for a few reasons:

  • Your website may be ranking for keywords that people are not searching.
  • People may find the information they need from other sections of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), such as the Google My Business or Maps sections, without clicking over to your website.
  • Most clicks usually go to the first few listings in the SERPs (positions 1-3).

Looking just at rankings is a significant metric for businesses that are interested in brand awareness or whose keywords directly translate to clicks and conversions.

 

WEBSITE TRAFFIC

Website traffic is also a great measure to determine your web success. With increased traffic comes the increased potential for leads, conversions and new business! Similarly with Rankings, if your website is not optimized for the correct keywords, you could end up with the wrong traffic (read: visitors that aren’t interested or in the market for your products or services).

When discussing rankings vs. traffic, it is important to understand that regardless of your website’s positioning within the SERPs, if a given keyword has a low search volume you will not see a lot of traffic coming into your site.

 

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