When I’m talking to new clients, I’ll ask them if they know where their site currently is sitting in the search results for certain keywords. They’ll often tell me “At the moment we’re on page 2 for *service they offer*”.
What happens next is that I’ll then do a manual check myself before running a position tracking report on their site. Usually, the results will come back and show that they’re way back on page 8 or nowhere to be found. Google’s search results are designed to deliver the best experience and most accurate results for what the user is searching for. The way they do this can have an impact on the way your website is appearing in search results.
There are two main reasons why not everyone is finding your website on page 2, I’ll explain them below.
Chances are you have, and this could be throwing out your search results. Google works in mysterious ways, one of these ways is that if you’ve visited a website recently, they will show it again higher in the results, just in case you’re looking to revisit the site. This can be beneficial in situations. We’ve all been there. For example, when you’ve found the perfect banana bread recipe, but you forgot to save it! And now you’re trying to work out which site you found the recipe. You go to Google search the recipe again, and Google steps in making the recipe appear near the top of the results so you can find it with ease.
In the case of checking your site’s ranking position, this is not so useful which can often trick you into thinking your website is performing a lot better than it is.
Hypothetically, if your business was located in the Brisbane CBD and you were wanting to rank for a broad keyword related to your business or services (eg. Hairdresser). If you were to search ‘Hairdresser’ from your hairdressing salon in Wickham Terrace, then its quite likely that your website will show up. Why? Because Google takes into account where the user is located when they’re searching so they can show them businesses closest to them. If you were browsing the search results on the south side of the river in Bulimba, you would most likely see completely different results.
I’ve heard clients say that they’ve used the ‘Incognito’ setting in Google Chrome. However, this isn’t entirely accurate since it still uses your location to determine the results.
There are a few excellent free tools for monitoring your sites performance and ranking positions. I’ve found these can be slightly inaccurate, but overall they are better than searching using a device that has viewed your website or is positioned in your office.
Keyword Rank Checker is very simple to use. You type in your website URL, your desired keywords, select your device and sit back and wait for the results. You are able to save your results and recheck them over time to monitor your progress.
SEO Edge is a free app for iOS devices. The free version is limited to tracking 2 URL’s and allows you to monitor 5 keywords per URL. There is also a paid version which allows both unlimited trackings of URL’s and keywords. The paid version also allows you to export your rankings into a CSV file if you were wanting to create any form of spreadsheet to monitor your movements.