understand web search to improve business results

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Web Search

For a website owner, web search is one of the MOST influential external factors that impacts website success.

When a website operates as an online business, web search is critical for business success since effective placement in web search (organic or paid) delivers potential customers to the site in the form of website traffic.

The challenge is figuring out how to attract the attention of the searching public and then CONVERT the traffic once they've clicked to your site. Keeping in mind there's lots of competition for "eyeballs" and "click throughs" these days.

How Competitive is it?

Obviously the majority of this content is not direct competition for your website, but in some cases there are some highly competitive search categories.

To find out how much competition you may have for your website, conduct a web search using a reasonable search term that a potential searcher might enter in a search engine.

For example, if you own a home building and renovation company in Bournemouth, Dorset, UK then enter the search term "builders in bournemouth" using Google's search engine.

Let's examine the search results (note: all searches conducted on April 22nd 2015)

  1. The Google Ads (paid advertisements by the website owners to appear at the top of search pages) emphasize the search term "builders in bournemouth"
  2. The Google Map shows the number of businesses that have listed themselves in Google's FREE mapping service
  3. Business directory type listings dominate the top of the results page. 
  4. Google Map listings

If one tiny word is removed from the search term and instead look for "builders bournemouth" (semantically this is EXACTLY the same search term as above), the following DIFFERENT results appear:

Spot the Differences in Search Results?

  1. Fewer Google Ads at the top of the page and 
  2. Fewer Google Ads underneath the Google Map.
  3. This real website appears for the revised search term (nudging aside one of the business directory listing results)

It's subtle and perhaps of no consequence to the person conducting the search, but it is a HUGE deal for a business owner who is relying on Google, Yahoo or Bing to bring in leads and customers.

Honestly, what is the consequence of the word "in" when searching for a local business?

In this case, one simple 2-letter word could make a significant difference between appearing on page 1 of Google Search results (yes, we want users to click those results) or appearing on page 2, or page 3 or page 4 etc.


User "click behaviour" analysis: if your website appears past page 3 of a search engine results set, then it's UNLIKELY your website will receive any "impression" or "click" from a user.


Here's where web search gets more interesting

Remove ONE LETTER from the search term and search for "builder bournemouth" (instead of "builders") and then check out these search results:

Spot the Differences?

  1. No businesses competing for Ad space under the Google Map (opportunity for some pay per click advertising)
  2. Different set of business listings in the Google Map listing area

If you're a small business owner depending on search engines for business leads and transactions, this information can help you optimize your web pages for online advertising and promotion campaigns.


Promises and guarantees from Search Engine Optimization "gurus" claiming they can get your website on the first page of search results need to be carefully scrutinized. Ask for proof before parting with any money.


If you'd like to receive more information about my SEO or advertising and promotion services, please drop me a note.

How can I help you right now?

I'm happy to share my 12 Tips for Creating the Best Business Website as a free gift. And I do mean 'free' - there's no strings attached - not even a request for your name and email address!

If you need help, advice, a friendly push in the right direction, to rant or rave about a product or service ... please don't be shy about contacting me. Perhaps I can help you achieve your business goals.

You can do it ...


"That was fast! That is exactly what I need it to do. You are amazing! You just might be the secret weapon that makes a website less  about being BUSY on the Internet and more about being a BUSINESS on  the Internet." - Stan L., advice-for-lifetime-relationships.com

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