I got this question from a doula on the Heart|Soul|Business page where I am a moderator, and thought I'd turn my response into a blog post because it touches on some important points to remember when evaluating how your site is performing in search. (Also, a great example of how to make blogging easy!) If you're interested in learning more about SEO, be sure to check out my new SEO Birth Plan eCourse!.
My business website is not coming up for some people when they search. Family Love. Any suggestions on how to make this more visible?
Note: I have changed the business name to protect her identity, but used a similar name that uses words that are not specific to doula care.
Ok, so I hear this question a lot. Let's take a look first at what happens in search:
When I type family love into the search bar I get the following results with no local doula practices:
If i type in family love doula, however, I get these birth practices >
Google is closer this time, showing birth related practices using variations on the name Family Love. Still, because there are no practices close to this name so it's pulling nationally from national search. If I lived in the town where our fictional "Family Love Doula" was based, their site would likely be higher up in this mix of results.
So what's going on here?
1) GOOGLE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND
Without the service descriptor, Google really doesn't know what we are looking for. Information about family love? If there were a local business in my community with the name family love then it might<!--???? > show up when I made this search, but even then without the descriptor of a service or a town, Google has no way to gauge what I am actually looking for.
2) SEARCH IS PERSONALIZED
Search is personalized. This means that when I search the results will be different from when you search based on my search & click history. So people who are your friends who may have clicked on your site before, will be way more likely to see it show up in search.
3) LOCAL VS. NATIONAL SEARCH
Search is either local or national, and google does its best to discern between the two. Here it is drawing from national level search results that are as close to that phrase as possible. If they typed in your biz name + your town, you may well show up more easily. Generally people will refine their searches if they don't find it the first time - i.e. they'll get smart and add your town name or your service descriptor. Note: It's a LOT easier to rank locally than nationally...
4) SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
While the above scenario isn't showing up initially in search largely because of Google being confused by her business name, if you're not showing up well in search for your primary service then it's time to take a closer look at your SEO!
Ready to learn more about Search Engine Optimization?
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...