A few weeks ago I posted a newsletter titled, SEO Tools Since There is Not a Miraculous SEO Pill. I discussed several elements that affect your SEO ranking. I mentioned things such as
- keyword phrases,
- taking the time to do the SEO work,
- structured content,
- website visitors,
- keeping your location updated,
- maintaining up to date site plugins and security,
- customer reviews, and so forth.
I’ve been practicing what I preach. Since that earlier newsletter, my SEO ranking has changed.
My SEO rankings
When I wrote the SEO newsletter that I mentioned, I wanted to know how Web with Grits ranked in the search. I conducted Google search number one using Chrome browser, and search phrase
“web design Lexington GA”
At that time, I found that I ranked #3 for web design in the Lexington, GA area. Since that time I’ve been working on things such as regularly publishing a newsletter. I also take time to publish on social media regularly. Lastly, I have been working to build my Google business profile. All of these helpful items are playing into how well I rank on a search using Google. Today, when I performed search two the same as before: Chrome browser, Google search with phrase “web design Lexington GA”. I found that my results improved. WOO HOO! I now am showing up as the first web designer in the area. (Caveat: you may have different outcomes if you do the same search after reading this article. Search results act like the stock market by continually fluctuating every time a search is conducted.)
Search number two results for “web designer Lexington GA” today were drastically different from my original search. The listings this time had several paid advertisements that “rate web design companies.” Scrolling down past the paid results, I found a small map displaying dots for various businesses located in a larger geographical search area. Below the map were three web design companies. Web with Grits was listed as #1! The second business was about 15 miles away, and the third was about 25 miles away. I continued to scroll down the page. Search results varied drastically with advertisement listings and web designers in Lexington, KY (over 400 miles north).
I recently heard about a new search engine, duckduckgo.com. I decided to try the same search phrase using this site: search number three. The results were significantly different. The Duck results listed several web design companies. None of them, though, were nearby. Places in Lexington, KY, and Lexington, MA, for example. I also conducted search number four using bing.com. The results were similar to duckduckgo.com.
Same search different results
I have always found it intriguing how the different search engines provide results and SEO rankings. You must keep in mind that each company has its own dynamics and criteria for search results. Just like people, you cannot make all of the search engines happy. Google is considered the top search engine. What you practice is focusing your efforts on Google SEO practices. Now, if you know for certain that your customers and likely visitors consistently use another search engine you might want to consider another strategy. I, personally, do not think that is a great idea. Regardless of the search engine, having an SEO plan and working that plan will pay off. As I stated before it takes
- dedicated work,
- an SEO plan, and
- time to boost your rankings.
On a whim, I thought to try another Google search number four but using a different browser. I used the same search criteria, “web designer Lexington GA.” Google provided results similar to that I had from my first search. The first few listings were paid advertisements. Then, approximately a third of the way down there was the location map. The map shows dots for web designers listed in proximity to Lexington, GA. This time, however, I am listed as #2 in the rankings (same search, different browsers, slightly different times). Another surprise was that the third business was not the on the original or second list. It was a completely different business.
So why the different results?
I have been sitting here looking over the two different search results. I am wondering why the differences. To be honest, I do not see anything specifically different that would cause varied effects. The first search provided advertisements followed by the location map where my SEO ranking was #2. The second search, conducted today, showed me with #1 SEO ranking. The fourth search, using a different browser, listed paid advertisements before the location map showing another company as the first rank with me back to #2.
Now to make this conversation a bit weirder, I opened up a third different browser and conducted the Google search number five. This time there were no paid advertisements listed at the top. In fact, I did not see any indication of paid ads. The location map was presented first thing. I was listed first. The second company was as before. The third company listed was the unique company that was recorded in the second search result, but not the first. The results below the map listed other web design companies in Athens GA, Lexington KY, and a few companies that rank web design businesses.
SEO ranking plan
This little experiment, if nothing else, shows that your SEO ranking is continuously in flux. The results that I found should not discourage you from keeping your company information on the web current. Instead, the data shows the importance of current information on your website and having an active presence on the web.
For the small business owner, I suggest that you continue doing your updates and continue following a few simple pointers. First, it is always good to keep the keyword and keyword phrases in mind as you write for your website. Think of what visitors would type in a search to find you and the information you have posted. Second, conducting keyword research is always useful. This may provide you with insights into potential visitors to your website. Third, I suggest that you keep your Google business listing updated and include regularly posted bits of information on your Google business. Fourth, like other businesses, it is always good to have positive customer reviews. Your review section can be on your website, you might use Facebook, and you might use Google business. Fifth, providing visitors and customers various ways to talk about you and to make contact with you tends to have good results.
As I have stated before it is crucial to have an SEO plan. Once you have a plan, it is essential to work the plan to help improve your company visibility.
Continue doing the basics that were mentioned in the previous paragraph.
- Get customer reviews published that are positive and give other potential customers an idea of your business.
- Most importantly, however, is your communication with people. You can do that in person as you meet different people. You can communicate through newsletters.
- You should always have an elevator pitch in mind for when someone asks you what you do.
- Send out regular postings with information that people may find enjoyable or informative.
- Respond to any email messages that you receive promptly; I would say within 24 hours.
- Historically the best way to promote a business is to have satisfied and happy customers that talk about you and what you have done for them.