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SEO 101 – My Search Results Jump Around!

(Note: If you’re new to our blog this is the place where we give general basic tips to the business owner who may not understand SEO or even how their website was built. We try to keep it at a high level without being too nerdy or geeking out.)

Have you ever put some words into Google and checked to see what shows up about your company? You better! This is valuable information. Google has basically become the cold call salesman of this century. You want to be sure that your “salesman” has the right information and is easy to find.

hopscotch grid on ground

But then you go check it again from another location or with slightly different words and the results are totally different. What happened? Did your “salesman” lose his mind? Nope, he is just trying to be extra efficient and that is why it is important to know how he “thinks”.

First let’s deal with the location issue. Google wants to deliver the best results possible to the person doing the search. If the people doing the search find what they are looking for, then they will come back for their next search. If more people come back to Google then they have an audience that they can sell advertising to – the businesses that want to be found.

So Google determines where the person searching is located and tries to give results that are most applicable. If your house is flooding you don’t want a plumber four states over, you want a local plumber. Google tries to give you local plumbers for your location based on where you are when execute the search. If you go visit your parents across the country and want to brag on your search engine results (Everyone does that right?) Then, when you put the exact same words into the computer at their house guess who comes up first…their local businesses. You may not even be listed. This isn’t something to worry about if it is working correctly. But if you’re coming up in search results for the wrong area or Google can’t determine where you’re located then we can help.

Next issue – The device you search on.

Google can usually tell if you’re searching on a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone. You will get different results based on the device you’re using. A great example of this is your company phone number. Google has moved that down in priority on the desktop results because searches on the desktop tend to be more research based and thorough. But on mobile devices the phone number will be prominent because those searches are more likely looking for an address, directions or a phone number. If your business is dependent on generating phone calls this distinction is important and we may be able to help you find ways to get your phone number in front of potential customers. And for an even better trick, we can help you track calls to your business from people who have searched for you in Google and seen your listing or seen an ad you’re running.

A rose by any other name…

One of the last big variables in search results comes from the words that are entered into the search. You may have heard the term “keywords” or “queries”. Think about the results that might come up from these searches:

  • Florida panthers cat
  • Florida panthers hockey
  • Florida panthers

Adding cat is going to get you results on the animal. Adding hockey is going to get you information on the NHL team. Leaving off both of those will get you the hockey team because they have better PR/Marketing people than the animals do. The lesson here is threefold.

  1. If you change even the order you put in these words you may get different results.
  2. If your customers are entering something different from what you’re entering they may never find you.
  3. If your business isn’t indexed by Google for the right words then you won’t be found for the right topics.

A lot of this is driven by the setup of your site and the content of the site. We help clients work through this with our Organic SEO service.

Do you know how your customers are finding you in the search engine results page? Is there room from improvement? We find there usually is. Contact us today. We’re standing by in Mission Control to help.

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