This post is about a hill I’m willing to die on, but might not need to – I actually have no idea whether the title of this post is a controversial statement, or not. I’m keen to find out! However, from what I see in talks, posts, pitches, and business practices, our industry has definitely not taken to heart the value of an impression.
I’m going to lay out five reasons why I think impressions are not just a valid indicator of SEO success, but actually an unusually good one.
Before we go any further, it’s probably worth clarifying what I mean by an impression – I’m talking about the number of times someone has seen a site in search results. The most common place this is measured is Google Search Console, who write about their metrics in more detail here.
Reason 1: Clickless results are still worth having
If organic search was ever just a performance channel, to be measured by directly attributed conversions, it isn’t any more. Organic search is also, increasingly, a brand channel – something we all implicitly recognise when we invest in top of funnel content for our sites and clients.
Furthermore, even if you were working on top of funnel content entirely for the remarketing list, you probably also work for a business that invests in branded advertising in other channels, whether it be billboards, sponsorships, display ads, radio, TV… the list goes on. All of these are channels where the primary objective is to get the brand in front of a potential customer, often at great cost.
What this means for organic search is that as much as it’s annoying that Google is interpreting more and more search terms as informational, or delivering more and more clickless searches, we probably need to stop complaining and start playing the game. This is value that we can provide to our clients and businesses, that they’re probably already paying a great deal of money for in other channels.
Indeed, if you just aim for search results that deliver a click, or a converting click,…