You want to know how your professional or company website is doing in its search engine optimization efforts. Easy! Just type something in at Google and see — right? Not necessarily. If you Google yourself, you will see the results Google thinks will be most useful for you as a searcher, not as a business owner or healthcare professional.
Choose the right search term
Googling your name or your company’s name can give you useful information. But often people choose to google what they figure is their best keyword. The thing is, you may not know what people really look for when they need your goods or services. For example, you may think of yourself as a behavioral health specialist…but patients are much more likely to look for “anxiety doctor” than they are to search for “behavioral health specialist.”
You might also search for the wrong form of the term. That is, you might search for “psychotherapy” rather than “psychotherapist.” People searching for “psychotherapy” are more likely to be looking for abstract information. Someone looking for “psychotherapist near me” is showing signs that they actually want to find a psychotherapist, probably with intent to make an appointment.
Looking for your website with search terms that your patients don’t use can be disheartening. Worse yet, it can lead you to bad strategic decisions. Check with your web team to make sure you’re checking on the right searches.
Avoid personalized results
Google doesn’t know that you’re trying to check your rankings. Google thinks you’re trying to find (to continue with our example) a doctor to help you with your anxiety, or maybe some basic information about psychotherapy. Google wants to give you the best search results possible.
So Google will take into account your location, your search history, maybe even recommendations made by your friends on social media.
You will get, if Google knows who and where you are, results custom-tailored to you. Those results might include the competitor you’ve been stalking, your own website if you visit it frequently, or reference websites similar to those you often choose in your own information-gathering.
That’s not what your prospective patients see.
To avoid this, choose a browser you don’t often use and make sure that you are not signed into Google. Then search for variations on the keyword you’re checking.
Use other tools for greater accuracy
The most important thing is to use the same tool every time you check. Their results won’t match, so trying out many different tools will just give you many different answers. However, these tools won’t use personalized search, so they tend to give results closer to the average user’s results.
Some of the tools also allow you to get a little insight into your competitors.
Are you happy with what you see? If not, contact us. We can help.