Why Your SEO Might Need Some Work
You performed a search for your top SEO keyword, saw your brand at the top, and thought, “my work here is done.” Not so fast!
Google’s Personalized Search means your view of a SERP (the Google results page) is going to be skewed. That’s because Google tailors search results for each user. Even if you search “auto repair shops” and your brand is the #1 result, there’s a chance no one else is seeing that. In other words, the #1 search result for you might be #21 for someone else.
There are lots of factors that affect what Google shows you. Here are two of the big ones:
Google doesn’t want to show you results that you can’t act on. If you’re looking for an auto repair shop in Milwaukee, you’re not going to want one in London! Instead, Google will show you options near your location because that’s what you’ll find useful. If you’re on an iPhone, they’ll use your GPS to make suggestions. Otherwise, Google will use your IP address to get a rough approximation. Either way, they’ll try to show you repair shops within a reasonable distance. When you search for “auto repair shops” from your auto repair shop, guess who’s going to be #1 in your search results? (Hint: It’s you.)
2. Search History
If you’re signed into any Google services (including YouTube, Gmail, or your Android phone), Google will remember your search history and use that to show you results that it thinks will be more useful. Let’s say you’ve been doing a lot of baking recently. You might have been searching for a kick-ass chocolate cake recipe, a video on how to make frosting, and maybe a couple new and interesting cookie recipes. Google will remember this!
Ouch. What Should I Do About That?
Now that you know Google changes what you see, you’ll want to search like a potential customer. There are lots of tools that tell you where you’ll appear in a “generic” search (we like the Rank Checker at serps.com for one-off checking). You can choose a location to search from, and then perform the search. Because the tool is not “logged in,” you will get a better idea of how a customer will see their search page.
This information might help you figure out why customers don’t click on your result. Are you not showing up high enough? Maybe your descriptions aren’t compelling, or your title doesn’t contain the right keywords. Once you know the reasons, you’re ready to start making changes!
Okay! Then What?
Want to talk about SEO with a bunch of search nerds? Just call us.