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Just Because Your Site Ranks for More Keywords Doesn’t Mean its a Good Thing


Hi guys, and welcome to another edition of Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation: Just because your site's ranking for more keywords, doesn't mean it's a good thing. So, the reason why I want to talk about that is, SEO is kind of really complicated and scales really quickly, and, sometimes, you can be easily duped or tricked into thinking that your site is doing really well, but then, oftentimes, you'll find, "I'm ranking for more keywords, but why am I not getting more business?" And, that's what we want to discuss today.

But before we begin, I do want to introduce the tea we have today; this is Zupo's SEO Talk & Tea. We have an Imperial Green Tea, which I bought from Mei Leaf, which is a UK-base tea seller that I buy a lot of my tea from, and they're probably my favorite tea brand out there. So, I really recommend these guys, but I love having this tea.

And, I don't really have it much on the channel, I'll admit, but I like to have their tea in private for my own use, but sometimes I'll bring it out for the show, but in addition, it's really hot today. The sun's already beating down and when it gets pretty hot, I like to have a green tea because you can brew at a lower temperature, but let's go ahead and get brewing, get chatting.

So, you would think that when it comes to SEO, if you rank for more keywords, your traffic and your profitability of the business will just increase, or at least the revenue will increase, but what we have often found is, SEO's interesting in that, when you're trying to rank for keywords, you will rank, you usually have your set keyword group to try and rank for, but no matter what you're doing, you will oftentimes start ranking for keywords you weren't even trying to. And that's just the normal way of SEO. You'll end up ranking for things that you're unaware of and it's a nice surprise that you're ranking for them.

But what I've often found is, I have seen websites where using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. They have these great tools that will tell you how many keywords the site ranks for. And sometimes you can be a little bit sidetracked by looking at the number of keywords you're ranking for, and say, "Wow, that's really great. The number of keywords we're ranking for is continuing to increase." Now, the one thing I will say, though, is, the problem with doing that is, the number of keywords is great, but it doesn't tell you where you rank on those keywords and then what those keywords are. There are times where you're ranking for so many keywords that most of the keywords are going to have nothing to do with your bottom line, and they can be completely irrelevant.

So, I have clients who they're trying to sell this B2B service, or this B2B service, and they wrote one fun blog post, and that fun blog post is now ranking really well, but that fun blog post had nothing to do with their business. Maybe it's a happy hour post, or we went here, and now they're ranking for a lot of those keywords, but they had nothing to do with their bottom line.

Or you may be ranking for a lot of keywords, but all the keywords you're ranking for, you're on the fifth, sixth, and on, page. If that's the case, that's not good either, because no one's going to find you on the fifth or sixth page. So saying that, when you're looking at a site, how I kind of use the tool of finding if you are ranking for more organic keywords is, if I see that the site's starting to rank for more keywords, I know we're doing something SEO, right?

I know that we are making the site bigger, we are growing the site, we're getting more links, that's why our portfolio is going bigger, but I do not confuse it, sorry there's an ant on me, I do not confuse it with thinking that that's automatically a win. What we have to really make sure, is that the keywords we're ranking for are bringing us profit or bringing us revenue.

So, does a combination of making sure that your keyword groups you have chosen, you're focused on those, but second, to audit those keywords that you're ranking for every so often and determine, "Hey, are any of these relevant?" And it's kind of surprising, you'll find that a lot aren't.

What we often find at our firm, and working with clients as well, we see our clients starting to rank for lots of keywords, we usually go through them and try to find patterns of keyword groups that we were unaware of, that we can start going for. And more often than not, it's a lot of [inaudible 00:03:54] and you need to go find the valuable gems in there. And so there's a lot, so I would say don't be duped or juked out by these reports saying how many keywords you're ranking for. They're a great signal, but by no means are they an indicator of your site's ultimate success when it comes to ranking for keywords that will bring you sales or revenue.

So, that's all I really want to walk away with, is just ensuring you understand the context of reports like that. That isn't to say they're bad reports. Like I said, I use Ahrefs, SEMrush. They both have their versions of those tools, and I still use both of them, but I use them as a signal, not as my ultimate deciding factor if the site's SEO is going well.

So, hopefully you guys found that valuable. I'm going to go ahead and pour out my tea, and I hope to see you guys again soon. Thanks everybody. Ooh, it's hot.

Jason Khoo

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.