It might seem that keyword ranking is a major determinant of SEO success, but in reality, there are sites that rank well for high-volume keywords that do not meet user intent, so they end up leaving the site. This does not only lead to bad user experience, it also leaves the business without any benefits. It is important to remember that while having a high search engine ranking is great, it only becomes beneficial to a company when does three things – drive traffic, deliver conversions, and improve ROI.

Tracking Keyword Rankings

If you are wondering if you need to track all the keywords you enter into the system, the answer is no. Your report should only include non-branded keywords that rank significantly, branded keywords that led to conversions, and keywords that performed well from paid search. Focus on long-tail keywords –these may not drive as much traffic, but they can drive conversions because they are aligned to specific user intent. Performing regular manual checks will help you find out which keywords delivered visits and once you start seeing keywords moving up significantly, track these.

On-Page Keywords and Similar Terms

For high authority sites with high quality inbound links and content that is relevant for a specific keyword, your site can rank well for keywords even if these are not included on your page. In query expansion, you can still come up in search results for a search term even when your page does not contain the exact keywords as long as your content is relevant for that search term. Google has evolved to know see the connection among synonymous terms, so you can have your webpage rank for Term B even if it contains Term A all throughout the page. So, if you want to get the full picture in tracking your keyword rankings, do not limit yourself to the terms you are using on your page and check your rankings for similar terms as well.

The Role of Query Chains

In SEO training, you will learn that another important signal you need to consider is query chains. Keep in mind that Google may be able to determine the user’s intent when searching for a keyword or phrase, as search engines can identify contextual data. For example, when a user searches for a particular term that may be interpreted in more than one context, Google can detect through the previous query made by the user which context that term is being searched for. So, if someone would search for ‘computers’ then search for ‘apple’, the search results will be about Apple computers and not about the fruit. This makes tracking keyword rankings a bit tricky.


In search engine optimization or SEO training, tracking search engine rankings can open up a window to a lot of information, but always keep in mind that high rankings will only have value to your client or your business if the keywords lead to deliver business value, such as increased visits, traffic, and conversions. So, while rankings may help a company to achieve overall success, these alone do not guarantee success. If you want to improve your key performance indicators and ROI, also focus on increasing in website traffic and online revenue.

Michelle Gonzalez has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on creating online courses such as those offered by