Have you ever wondered if potential clients are finding you on the first page of Google? Here’s a simple way to find out.
One of the challenges of seeing if your studio is listed on the first page of Google is that Google gives priority to your browser’s past searches. For example, if you’ve searched for your studio on Google before, it will tend to rank higher than other studios the next time you search for it.
To solve this, most people think they can go into the browser’s tools menu and select the option to delete the browser history. The problem with this is even after you clear your browser’s history, Google still knows where your computer is located. If you’re on a desktop, it knows your computer’s IP address. If you’re on a smart phone, it knows your GPS location.
There’s a better solution.
Google has created a free tool that lets you know what the first page of a search looks like for any town in America. It’s called the Adwords Preview Tool. Although originally made for Adwords user’s it can be used by anyone who wants to see what their customers would see on Google.
1. Select the pencil icon next to location and type in the city you want to search. This is important because search results will be different for users in different towns.
2. Select the Device. Note that as of January, 2017 Google has announced it will serve different search results depending on whether the user is on a desktop PC or a mobile phone.
3. Type in your search phrase and click the preview button.
How could I use this tool? For example, I discovered that if I Google “professional photo lab michigan” I’m #2 in organic search, but not listed in the “3-pack” of labs (listed on the map). Since I know that being in the 3-pack correlates highly with Google star rankings, I’ll encourage more of our clients to rank us (hopefully well!) on Google.