It is possible to rank number one for a search phrase but yield no traffic at all.
SE Roundtable’s example of someone feeling so happy that her ranking for a keyword was number one (or at least that’s how she saw it). But when she looked at traffic referrals to her site, nobody came in using that keyword even if the competing sites on search results were big names such as Microsoft or reputable ones such as schools and government institutions.
Is it possible? Yes.
It’s very likely that nobody ever thought of using that keyword when looking for something even if the author thought so. If the keyword is so specific that very few people think of using it, it falls within the category of long tail keyword which consists of highly specific phrases composed of multiple keywords, or highly obscure vocabularies few people know.
Is not having any searcher for that keyword the only reason for not getting visitor traffic? No.
It is possible that our sites rank well (very well since they’re numero uno) and there are people using those keywords and yet we’re not getting the traffic. That’s because we may have not been very careful at optimizing our content — despite getting the top ranking already — for searchers. Not placing a descriptive META description value, for example, lowers the click through rate of our sites. If the entries #2-10 are well described, our site might get bypassed.
Is there a way to fix such problem? Yes.
Let’s make it a point to look at our target keywords and ask ourselves:
- Are we sure these are the keywords people will be using if they’re looking for page content similar as ours?
- Are we able to find out how competitive these keywords and if so, can we find alternatives for easier ranking?
- Are our page titles and meta descriptions persuasive enough to the eyes of searchers?
From these questions, we can probably revise our target keywords and expect that our pages are not only ranked on top, but also attract visitor clicks.