Too many business owners on the path to “being ranked #1 on Google” don’t realize that #1 on Google is very different for different people. When we conduct a search on the internet these days, the results aren’t universal: they are affected by a number of different factors, from where you are located to what you like. Specifically, Google personalizes searches in a number of various ways these days – and search has gotten more and more personalized over time. Let’s take a closer look at the four major ways that search is personalized:
- Where you are located. This might be the personalized search feature that you notice most: if you search for a mechanic, Google will offer up a few local businesses before listing sites with the overall best SEO. Google assumes that you need a mechanic near your location and that you are in need of a local product or service.
- What device you are using. Are you on a desktop, laptop, smart phone or tablet? Your search results may differ if Google believes you are mobile or stationary. If you are on a mobile device, sites with better mobile user experiences, such as responsive websites, fare better than sites who have been ignoring the mobile trend.
- What you have searched for in the past. What sites have you liked on Facebook? What sites do you click on most often in past search results? What kind of links do you share on Twitter? Google assumes that if you have sought something out in the past, you want more of the same. This is sometimes true and sometimes not true.
- Your friends and family. If your friends have reviewed a local mechanic or if they have liked them on Facebook, don’t be surprised if that mechanic is ranked highly in your search results. Here Google is guessing that you value your friends’ and family’s opinions, information, and likes. Again, this is accurate only some of the time!
Now that you know how personalized search works, how should this knowledge affect your online marketing plan and search engine optimization strategies?
First and foremost, you should understand that being #1 on Google for your favorite keywords is no longer the holy grail of SEO. Instead, you should focus your efforts on your users’ experience and your ideal clients’ needs. According to what we know about personalized search, if a user likes your website, he or she will be offered links to your website more often. So if you give that user a great experience, offer that user the information he or she is seeking, and convince that user to share links to your content on a social media site, you are increasing the chances that they will return to you. In addition, if you can convince a good number of users to review your business, like your pages, and visit your site, their friends and family will also be directed to your content.
Feeling overwhelmed by personalized search, SEO, and marketing your law firm? We are here to help you every step of the way as you successfully establish yourself online. Give us a call to get started: 855-529-6465.