It’s not entirely your fault. Google started it by telling you that rankings were important. Then then they HOSED the algorithm and realized that people would reverse engineer their algorithm, they had to change their stance.
Today, it’s all about focusing on “high quality content” and “keywords that convert”.
I agree 100% on that statement, but the continual shift on what’s important only confuses the customer who doesn’t care about the latest Penguin update, but instead, “where am I ranked in Google for my keyword?!”
Yes, having a term ranked high in Google should send you traffic. But here’s the question I always pose:
Imagine you sell a service for 1K per month. You profit $500 every month that person remains a customer. The average length of a customer of 5 years.
Would you rather have 10,000 people visit your site for a high traffic term, but only have 500 of those people finding what they were looking for?
Would you rather have 4 keywords that each drove in 250 highly targeted visitors to your site for the SAME PRICE as your ONE WORD TERM?
Do the math, and you’ll quickly realize what should be done.
But, many clients are hung up on a “trophy phrase” that they can show off to their friends. Don’t know about you, but I’d rather have money in my bank account instead of a high ranking term that doesn’t convert.
So, the struggle continues as the client stays fixated on that trophy phrase that they *think* delivers them the most business. And while they are looking at that one term, their competition is outgrowing them because they realized that converting keywords are more important than high traffic ones.