We hear this all the time at Energy Circle, and we get it—you’ve been putting money and effort into SEO and PPC for your HVAC, solar, or home performance business, and you want to know whether it’s working. But Googling your own business isn’t as harmless as it sounds. In fact, when you Google your business to check rankings, you’re really just shooting yourself in the foot. Here’s why:
When you search for a term or phrase related to your business, Google will display what it believes to be the most relevant results.
Let’s say you’re a home performance company and use “attic insulation” as an example. You search “attic insulation,” and your business comes up, right at the top of the SERP. Satisfied with your top position, you close out the browser and go on with your day.
By not clicking on your website, you’ve just told Google that your company is not a good match for the term “attic insulation,” and it will apply that knowledge to similar searches coming from other users. Suddenly, your rankings are going down.
“Okay,” you might be thinking, “I’ll just click on my site when it comes up. No big deal.”
But clicking on your site can hurt you too. Unless you spend time on your site the way an interested customer would—reading a landing page, clicking on a few internal links, filling out a form—Google will see that you bounced quickly without taking any action and, again, deduce that the site wasn’t relevant to your search.
The same principle that applies to your organic search results also applies to your PPC ads. When you don’t click on an ad after searching for a relevant term, Google learns that that particular ad is not relevant to your search and may stop showing it to other users searching for the same thing.
You also have to keep in mind that Google charges you every time someone clicks on one of your ads. So if you do click on your own ads thinking that it will help boost performance, you’re wasting your ad spend. Save those dollars to pay for clicks from real leads!
Google takes a lot of factors into consideration before showing you search results, like:
Because of this personalization, everyone’s search results are different, and Googling your own business won’t give you an accurate idea of what your customers are seeing when they search for your services.
To make matters even more frustrating, the same person in the same location searching on the same device may see different results for searches placed just minutes apart. Again, if you do or don’t click on certain results, you’re teaching Google what your personalized search results should be, which means your business may not show up when you search for your own services.
Location is hugely important when it comes to search, especially for service businesses. Google will take your physical location into account when showing you search results and prioritize nearby businesses.
If you pull out your phone while you’re at home, for example, and search for your business that’s located 30 minutes away, Google might not consider it a relevant result, especially if there are other, similar businesses that are closer to where you’re searching from. And the distance doesn’t need to be that far in order to affect your results—searchers who are located just a few minutes away from each other are likely to get different search results.
We tend to get caught up in rankings here in the digital marketing world, but in reality, rankings, while an indicator of website and marketing health, are not really what you’re after. The number of leads your site and PPC ads are pulling in is a much better indicator of how well your digital marketing efforts are working. Think of your website and digital marketing as sales tools you can use to create more leads and judge them as such. While we would all love to be ranking #1 for every possible search term tangentially related to our businesses, obsessing over these rankings can become a bit of a vanity exercise that doesn’t really help your business.
Besides, Google is constantly making updates and algorithmic changes, so it’s not uncommon to see temporary volatility when it comes to rankings. Here at Energy Circle, we stay on top of these changes so that you can focus on your business while we pile up new leads for you.