We say it all the time, and for various reasons: searching for your business online not only skews the results you’re seeing, but you can be single-handedly hurting your own Google AdWords performance. Here’s some insight into how your search behavior can affect your organic results and paid ad performance, and some tips on how to search smarter.
You’re skewing the results.
Google’s mission is to serve up the most relevant results for any given search so that you continue to use Google to browse the web. One of the factors that determines when and where your website appears in Google is your own browser memory and behavior. That is, if you’re constantly searching for “auto repair” in your area to see where your website ranks, a number of situations can occur. If, when searching, you never actually click your website when it appears within the results, Google will begin to push your website down the list as it appears that it’s not something you want to click. Alternatively, if you click your own website every time you search, your website will begin to appear higher in Google because it appears to Google that you like this search result.
Other factors that will influence your search results: the exact keywords you’re typing into Google, your physical location while searching, and your general search behavior (for example, if you often visit competitor websites, they’ll likely show up higher for you than they would for others), just to name a few.
We use a number of third-party tools to help determine your average organic position in Google, so if you’re unsure where you stand, just ask us!
You’re affecting your AdWords performance.
As noted above, your search behavior can affect what you’re seeing on your own computer. In addition, your search behavior can actually have an impact on what everyone is seeing when it comes to paid ads.
The reason is simple. One of the main metrics that Google uses to determine the position of your paid ads is called your click-through-rate (CTR). Your click through rate is a percentage calculated by taking the number of times your ad is clicked and dividing it by the number of times your ad is seen. If you’re constantly searching Google, seeing your ad and not clicking your ad (because why would you want to charge yourself!), you’re bringing down your account’s CTR, and your ad positioning and overall performance can suffer because of it.
Practice smarter searching.
We understand that you’re going to want to search for your business online from time to time – just don’t make it a daily habit. You’ll benefit from seeing more accurate results when you do search, and you’ll have less of an impact on your AdWords performance.
Check out the Google Ad Preview Tool. This tool allows you to search a live version of Google without affecting your CTR, and in turn, your AdWords performance.