A client told me today that she was concerned about a particular keyword. When they typed this keyword in at Google, she told me, their site didn’t show up at all.
She typed the term into her laptop to show me. She hit “Enter” with a flourish. There was her website in the search engine results, at #1. And #2. And #3. And on the map, in two out of the three places.
I know this feeling. It’s the feeling you get when your car is making that “whoop whoop” noise when you approach a stop sign, but it won’t do it for the mechanic.
But it also shows something very important about tracking how your page is performing at Google. You can’t tell by Googling.
What you see in searches is different from what other people see — or what you see on another machine or in another location or on a different day. Your search results are not showing you your rankings, and they’re not the best measure of how well your website is performing on Google.
So how can you tell?
You can track how your page is performing at Google by checking a variety of things:
- How often does Google show your page to searchers?
- Where do you show up on the SERPs for your keywords?
- How often do people click through and visit your page?
All of these metrics can be tracked with a fairly high degree of accuracy through the Google Search Console.
Here we see that our lab site has been offered to searchers more than 100,000 times a month, that almost 5% of searchers click through, and that for the top thousand queries, we’re on page 2, on average.
This data gives you an overview of the performance of your website. You can see progress as you work on your website and see increases in impressions and clicks and decreases in position. We like to see our clients on page 1, on average. We want to see more impressions and a higher click through rate. It warms the cockles of our hearts.
It’s also a good indication of the overall health of your website. If my client is on average at #3 for 1,000 keywords, I can much more easily get them to #1 for their chosen keyword than if they’re averaging #52 for 17 keywords.
But you should also use more business-oriented metrics.
We like to see clients at #1 for their most important keywords. Google Search Console will show you the terms for which you show at #1 on average. Our lab site shows at #1 for lots of terms. The screenshot below shows a few of them.
This is where awareness of your business goals is very important. Our lab site provides lesson plans for K-12 teachers — it’s our community service. We’re fine with being #1 for “Ancient Persia Lesson Plan,” but it’s not exactly aligned with our business goals. Indeed, we have no business goals for that site. If you have business goals for yours, they should be part of your understanding of your website’s performance.
You should be watching and working on the keywords that your customers will use to look for your services. Your prospective client wants a personalized nutrition plan that come with a food-tracking app? Then you need to show up when she searches “personalized nutrition plan app.” That’s more important than being #1 for “Why Cauliflower is the New Broccoli.”
It certainly doesn’t hurt to show up for those cauliflower searches — the more questions you can answer, the more frequently you provide value to your potential clients, the more likely they are to choose your particular personalized nutrition plan app.
But your website’s performance on Google should certainly align with your business goals.
There are many more metrics that can give you more information about how your website is performing for your business, but these items are good to track for your website’s performance on Google.
Do you want help improving your website’s performance on Google? We can help.