Since the beginning of SEO the primary reporting tool used has always been the ranking report, a list of all (or in some cases few) keywords that your Atlanta SEO company was tracking. This was supposed to instill confidence that said SEO company was actually doing something besides billing you every month. Over time it showed the highs and lows of your keyword performance and was the benchmark by which most SEO's would be judge against. Many clients I work with today still insist on seeing this old school piece of fluff even though we provide much deeper insight into search volume, CTR and ROI from organic traffic.
Hanging your hat on a ranking report indicates confidence in several factors that can be incorrect starting with the heralded Keyword Research. Business owners and marketing people have been trained that there is some secret repository of detailed keyword info that Atlanta SEO consultants can get their hands on thus ensuring the navigation, content and onsite SEO data are sure to deliver the maximum targeted traffic possible. This belief is flat out wrong. Their are really just 3 sources that can provide the kind of useful and detailed keyword info to really drive a well planned keyword discovery and you won't have access unless you own the website. The primary source of keyword info we use comes from Google Webmaster Tools Search Analytics reporting, second is running an Adwords campaign for at least 3 months to test conversion of keywords and discover long tail phrases and third is Google Analytics. Anyone who uses Google's Keyword Suggest tool is basically using a butter knife to perform brain surgery, it just isn't giving you the info you need for SEO purposes. Sure it will come up with some related terms that maybe you didn't think of but that should have really happened during a thorough competitive analysis.
That's incorrect assumption number 1
Next up is more of a cognitive bias that we all share to a degree which is that all the other people searching on Google are searching the same way. This in essence leads to a list of about 25 keywords that are now how you will decide if SEO is working or not working. If I can just get these terms onto page 1 of Google my business will explode right? Wrong, the reality of SEO is that it takes many 100's and in some cases 1000's of keyword queries to make the phone ring or get new customers in the door. Sure you can track all of those keywords but how many people will actually sift through a keyword report with 600 keyword rankings?
The answer is exactly 0!
No doubt that ranking on Google's first page is completely necessary to continue to deliver new business opportunities to your website, especially considering how high CPC on Adwords has risen over the last 3 years. Ranking reports provide a falls sense of security that SEO is working and by the time you discover it hasn't worked, you've already invested thousands of dollars and countless resources going in the wrong direction. Contact me today to discuss how an intelligent Atlanta SEO consultant creates an incredible SEO campaign with awesome ROI!