Over the weekend, my dog wasn’t too well so I typed “emergency vet Melbourne” into my laptop. Simultaneously, my partner who was sitting next to me asked her phone “Ok Google, I need an emergency vet in Melbourne.” While the intent was the same, what was displayed by each of our search results looked different.
Personalised search results based on historical actions of the consumer is not a new concept. Since 2012 there has been a shift in the way that search result pages appear based on behaviour and user experience.
This then raises the question: How do SEO agencies report accurately on the progress of their efforts, when keyword rankings are inconsistent to the individual experience of one person to the next?
Traditionally, a veterinary hospital in Melbourne would be able to accurately see where they rank for specific keywords such as “emergency vet Melbourne.” This data could give them visibility on where their local competition appeared comparatively and they could understand the click-through-rate of certain keywords in relation to their website rankings.
However, with people commonly looking for local keyword terms and using voice search it’s not as easy. As a business, you may consider using average positions based on impressions as a compromise, but that can be unreliable.
Here’s why: if 100 people type the term “ Vet St Kilda” into Google, you may appear on position one for 50 people or as far back as position six for the other 50 people. This gives you an average of position three which is actually an inaccurate perception of where your business is appearing.
So how can agencies deliver accurate reports on their efforts with data being volatile? The only answer is to move away from reporting on keyword rank and focus on empirical data that is unambiguous across all devices and focuses on what actually matters to local businesses – enquiries.
In 2014, ReachLocal developed innovative tracking software called ReachEdge. This accurately tracks enquiries such as calls, emails and form submissions across all devices. Moreover, it monitors leads not just from organic search results but any digital source including paid digital advertising, display ads, directories and social media.
The development intent of this technology was to be able to deliver accurate reporting and increased visibility on the investment our clients make towards their web presence. ReachEdge is at the core of our SEO offering as it the only unimpeachable demonstration of organic progress. It covers all devices and focuses on metrics that matter without complicating reporting conversations based purely on keyword rankings.
At ReachLocal, we offer clarity around the work we do and the results that are generated. If you’d like to find out more about our SEO solutions or know what to look for when choosing an SEO partner for your business, check out our website.
P.S. In case you were wondering, my dog is fine.