Every business wants to rank well on Google. It can be frustrating when you conduct a search on your phone and find your business in the top three organic search results only to go home, do the same search from your desktop, and find your business on the second page. Why does this happen? Which ranking is correct?

The truth is, Google’s algorithm changes all the time, and the rankings will always be different. Here are some of the biggest reasons your rankings change.

  1. Location. Most Google searches are done on mobile devices. People want to know what’s around them, so the phrase ‘near me’ is added to a lot of searches. The closer your business is to the searcher’s location, the more relevant it is to them. Let’s say you want to rank for the search term ‘Mexican Restaurant.’ If someone who is ten miles away from your restaurant types this phrase into Google, your business won’t rank as highly as it would for a searcher only one mile away.
  2. Time of Day. ‘Open now’ is also a phrase people add to their mobile searches and it affects your Google rankings just like location does. If someone searches for ‘Mexican restaurants open now’ and your restaurant is closed, it won’t rank as well as it does when it is open. Even without that search modifier, Google takes your business’ hours into consideration when it determines relevancy.
  3. Desktop Searches. Location is still an important relevancy factor in desktop searches, but the searcher’s location is harder to pinpoint when they’re using a desktop device. A search for ‘Mexican restaurants Kansas City’ will bring in results for restaurants in a wide radius. Your restaurant might actually be closer to the searcher, but rank lower than it would if the same search were done on mobile. Also, desktop users want more information. They conduct more in depth searches — think comparison shopping as they get further down the buying cycle— while mobile searchers want a quick answer to a fairly simple question. You need to have information and content on your website that will appeal to both users.
  4. Your Own Search History. How often do you check your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts? Google wants to give you the results that you seem to be the most interested in. So, if you’re always looking for ways to find your business online, it’s going to show up in your search results often because that’s what you’ve been interacting with. On the other hand, your neighbor probably isn’t running the same searches that you are. Your business will only show up in their search results when it is relevant to them.

So, how can you get consistently higher rankings? Remember, content is king. The best way to improve your rankings is to create good content around the search terms you want to rank for. Create content to meet your customer’s needs. Getting the results you want through search engine optimization is a marathon, not a sprint.

Need help creating content, plus other marketing services? Reach out to the Zephyr Digital Design team today — we’re happy to help.