It’s tempting to look yourself up in the search engine ranking positions (SERPs). Don’t feel bad – everyone does it. Yet, no one should do it. Ever!

And here’s why…

You choose a 2-3 word phrase, such as “chiropractor Monmouth County NJ ” or “insurance agency Lakewood,” type it into Google, and start scanning for your website. You do this because you think the results will tell you whether your site (which may or may not have been optimized) is performing for search. You dance a jig if you find yourself on page one, or you start to despair if you click on page after page, with no sign of your site. Frankly, you shouldn’t celebrate or curse, because neither outcome is an accurate measurement of success or failure.

First of all, by your very history of searches, you’ve slanted the results. Google now uses 57 personalized signals to determine which sites to send to the top…for you, and you alone. By visiting your own site many times in the past, you’ve artificially pushed it to the top. Or by looking at competitors’ sites, you’ve boosted them.

But worse, you’re obsessing over a single phrase, or a handful of phrases, when broad, general phrases tend to represent 5% or less of overall search engine traffic. And, in truth, they’re almost impossible to achieve for small sites or new sites, when other websites have been investing heavily in SEO for 15 or more years.

From today forward, make a vow to stop looking yourself up in the SERPs.

Instead, load Google Analytics (or some other type of stat counter) and start paying attention to 100% of the search engine traffic that comes to your site. Is it growing, static, or shrinking? Are people looking at multiple pages or bouncing after a glance? Are most of the keyword phrases representative of potential buyers or way off target? How many search visits are translating into conversions?

These are the type of metrics that should keep you up at night. Better yet, let us do your SEO and reporting, and you’ll rest easy!

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