I speak with a lot of people who have a hard time understanding the results of a Google search. The Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) can be confusing to someone who is not familiar with Google’s logic. One client in particular insisted he was showing up as number 7 on the search results when in reality he was showing up as number 2. I explained to him that the first few results are actually ads.
I decided to create this post to help everyone gain a better comprehension of how to rank higher on the different sections of a Google search. It’s not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. The keys are diligence, testing, monitoring and understanding..or just hire me!
Google Places for Business
The first image below the listings for Google Business. If you have not claimed your Google Business listing I strongly encourage you to do so to prevent inaccuracies in contact and description information. These results typically show up below the second or third entry of the organic search results. So if you’re showing up 4th on the organic results it may appear that you are further down because of Google Business. This is another reason to ensure that your Google Business information is accurate.
Google is going through some changes with these listings. The plan is to incorporate Google+ with Google Places and as of this writing it seems as though they are pretty close to accomplishing that. Some indicators are there if you set up a Google+ Page today.
Google Search Results
The next screen shot I have has 3 distinct areas.
The Blue section is Google Adwords. These are listings that the business is paying to have placed on Google Search Results, and possibly partner sites. Typically there are 2 or 3 ads at the top of the page and 5 to 7 on the right side of the page but it depends on the search query.
Adwords are a great way to generate traffic, especially for new websites. Imagine having your business listed in the ads, and in the organic results. That would increase your credibility and potential clicks by 100% among users of Google.
Adwords uses a bidding system to determine how much your ads will cost. Using appropriate keywords and good ad copy will decrease your cost per bid. Careful research is critical to a successful campaign.
The Red section are Google Organic search results. The people using Google to search for things almost never go past the first page. In fact 98% of Google users do not go past the first page. While it’s impossible to rank for every keyword for most businesses you can rank for your most popular keywords.
You will want to research what keywords your business should be found with. When I created this blog I used CT Plumber as an example. I didn’t just use Plumber. Google does narrow your search down based on your IP address but searching just plumber turns up sites like Wikepedia, BBB and List Directories dedicated to plumbers. Broad keywords usually mean more competition which makes it tougher to rank at the top. This is also true for Adwords although Adwords factors in ad copy.
The Green section is a map which places a peg with a letter in it. The peg references a Google Business listing from a list similar to the one above. Having an accurate listing is very important to your clients. Potential clients do not like to be inconvenienced and will likely go elsewhere if you’re not where Google thinks you are.
Hopefully that clears up any confusion for those of you using Google. If you have any questions, or want to move your business up on Google feel free to contact me or call 203-806-0736.
Have any feedback? I’d love to hear it.