One of my clients is having his best year yet. He also just lost his #1 position for a really important keyphrase.
How can he have the former in spite of the latter? Diversity. He’s got top 5 rankings for dozens of phrases. While the Big Money phrase gets hundreds of searches per day, and slipping from #1 to #3 is depressing, he also has top-3 position for hundreds of phrases that get 1 or 2 searches per day.
And those longer, better targeted phrases generate better conversion rates.
That’s why I prattle endlessly about making your site crawlable, aiming for semantic spaces instead of phrases, blah blah blah. Trust me – ranking #3 for every phrase that includes “custom tableware” may not be as sexy as being #1 for “silverware”, but who needs sexy when you’re rich?