You’ve Googled yourself.
Googling your own name for personal reasons is (typically) innocuous. But as any SEO consultant will tell you, the results you see when you Google your business’ search terms is not a true representation of what is going on in the market. It takes creative intelligence on your part to evaluate what Google’s artificial intelligence is up to.
GOOGLE RESULTS ARE NOT SET IN STONE
There is no master list of webpages that rank for every single search term.
Type “sales consulting” into Google and you’ll see over 2 billion potential results. Google sifts through all those sites and tries to deliver up what is most relevant to you. Any DIY ROI research you do is going to be biased based on factors like your location, past behavior, and specific search term.
1 search term, 2 searchers, 2 sets of results
Let’s say you and your business partner decide to do a mini investigation into how your SEO consulting firm is doing. Your partner is back in the office, you’re sitting at home. You both search for one of your keywords at the same time and get wildly different results.
How is this possible?
Location factors into your results
Google considers where you are when you submit a query and delivers results based on location. If you’re 60 miles from the office, your business will not be the top result. A nearby company offering the same or similar services will pop up first.
Past behavior sways current results
Google’s algorithm is based on millions of data points scraped from the internet, including your past search behavior.
When you spend 10 minutes going through 5–10 different keyword searches, the search engine doesn’t know you’re doing DIY research. Google assumes you haven’t found what you’re looking for and presents different results for every query.
The more you search, the more the inputs change, the more varied your results.
How you think of your services isn’t how people search
Along with searching for a keyword you know you are targeting, you might Google the name of one of your services.
Your services don’t always correspond to how people think about problems
A person who needs desktop virtualization probably doesn’t know that’s what it’s called. What they do know is they need a remote work solution and will enter queries based on terms around remote work and working from home.
Your DIY investigation might be harmful
Some SEO specialists speculate that continually searching your keywords and not clicking on your website negatively impacts your rankings. The behavior sends a signal that your site isn’t relevant for the term, and so Google devalues your page.
HOW SEO CONSULTANTS MEASURE RESULTS
Simple Google searches present a misleading picture of your performance. To gauge results, do what SEO consultants do.
1. Aggregate data to paint a full picture
SEO specialists leverage tools designed to aggregate keyword ranking data. Free from bias, the data show:
- Who ranks for which keywords
- How much web traffic different keywords generate
- How difficult it is to rank for a specific term
- Related searches you can build a lead generation strategy around
2. Evaluate local and organic separately
You want to be found by someone who is 5 miles from your office and by people 50 miles away. Achieving this goal requires 2 strategies: one for local and another for organic search. Since you’re deploying different tactics, you want to keep your results in separate analyses so you can pinpoint what is or isn’t working for each.
DIY DOESN’T TELL YOU ROI
REVIEW RESULTS WITH YOUR SEO CONSULTANT
We’ll be blunt: You aren’t naturally going to rank for all the keywords you want to be known for. It takes effort. You or your SEO expert will need to continually refine and tweak your strategy to push you up the rankings – then keep you there.
When you partner with us, we’ll work with you to define a strategy based on queries that help your target market find your solutions.