Every conversation regarding SEO starts with rankings only and people think that SEO is all about getting high rankings. But, this is a misconception, as the new goal of SEO is sales and leads and thus if we consider in that sense, then ranking is pointless. The ranking is an important part though, but you need to focus on other things too.in order to generate leads and consequent revenue, you need to follow a different approach. You need to think more deeply about the little details, this includes optimizing the meta tags and title tags. By doing this, you can get a better result without even getting a higher rank or without spending more time and money.
If you ask me if rankings still matter, then I would say yes and no, as it is great to be on the top in the search engine result page, but there are some procedures which can help you outfox the competition. Now, it is not about rankings anymore and you have to focus on sales and leads apart from rankings and clicks. This needs a more of indirect and a long way of thinking, like by increasing traffic you can increase the leads, but this is not an efficient way to get leads. SEO is just a part and if you want your marketing campaign to be successful, then you have to ditch the siloed approach and need to divide your focus into all parts of your marketing strategy. Like the metric that you need to use is Cost Per Sale.