You're pretty much not going to like what I have to say here. You might find it disheartening, dismaying, disempowering, disappointing, and likely a few other dis- words I'm not thinking of at the moment.
Admit it - you've Googled yourself (along with a few exes...) It is interesting to see what comes up, and if you go back a few pages of search results you will learn that once upon a time back when I was doing my Masters of Science in Nursing, I coauthored an article on Improving Readability of Patient Education Materials in the Journal of Community Nursing...
What about your business? Most likely, if you have Googled a term such as "town + your service" you've seen pretty darned good results. Often you will see your doula website included in page one of search results. We pat ourselves on the back, sit back satisfied that we have rocked the search engines, and assume that the inquiries will come flowing in.
The truth about your doula search results
Here's the catch (now would be a really good time for a relaxing deep breath): Google does personalized search. This means that Google shows you what it thinks you want to see in search results. If you've visited a site before, or are connected to that site, Google will prioritize it in the rankings assuming that you want to go there again. Google's intentions are good, on the whole; they want to make sure you are seeing results that are a great match for whatever you are searching for.
Basically, while you might see your website show up in the top five rankings of page one of search results for Denver Doula, you might be on page three of results for a random family searching for your services. OUCH. Google takes into account your location, your search habits, your online social media connections, and a host of other factors in deciding what to show you.
What to do?
1) Go to Google Chrome.
2) If you're signed in to Google - get out!
3) Looking at the top right corner of the screen you'll see a tiny grey & white circular person outline (see below)
4) Click on the person symbol and select "Use as Guest". A new window will open up that allows you to search without the results being personalized.
5) If you see your site listed for your desired search terms, then congrats! You really are at the top of your website game. Be sure to try a few different terms; for example, if you are a doula, you can try town + doula, birth doula, doula services, doula care labor support, etc...
6) If you don't, it's totally fine - with time & effort, you'll get there! Your goal, in fact is to show up for a whole bunch of related terms - not just the main one people use to search for you. This means variations on your primary service, as shown above for a birth doula, and related topics of interest that your clients are researching.
How can you improve your doula search results?
The best way to learn the steps you need to take to make the most of your website SEO settings (search engine optimization) is to take my SEO for doulas ecourse: The SEO Birth Plan. It's self-paced, designed for beginners, and includes a private facebook support group!
If you're not ready to take my SEO course for doulas, take a look at these helpful blog posts>
SEO and Birth Work
Vaginal Steaming and SEO (likely the only thing ever written on this oh so important topic!)
My article on DONA about keywords for doulas
Russian Spam and your Website Analytics
Why your doula website isn't showing up in search
Link Building for your Doula Website
SEO FOR DOULAS
Don’t miss out on clients simply because your website doesn’t show up well in search. The SEO Birth Plan will take you step by step through everything you need to know to get your birth or holistic practice found online. This eCourse offers a perfect blend of self-paced DIY video lessons and homework together with a private facebook group for extra support. >> Learn more...