How to Improve Google Search Results

One of the Most Common Problems Small Business Owners Experience is Frustration Over Performance in Google Search Results


How to Improve Google Search Results for Your Business

One of the most common frustrations small business owners share with us is performance in Google search results.  We’re commonly asked how to improve Google search results.

Here is a brief, plain English discussion of:

  • How search engine results are determined
  • What businesses should do to improve performance in Google search results
  • Where the future of search is headed with innovations like AI and audio search

What’s a SERP?

It’s great to understand the term SERP, which stands for Search Engine Results Page.  WordStream has a great primer on the term SERP.

Most SERPs have these primary sections:

  • Sponsored Results
  • Map & Places List
  • Organic Results
  • Featured Content & Listing

It’s important to point out that the vast majority of searches are happening on a mobile device anymore.  And the SERP looks very different on a mobile device than it does on a desktop or laptop computer.

Desktop SERP Example


Mobile SERP Example


How Search Engine Results are Determined

Every business that does what you do has “ranking” for just about every conceivable combination of words or phrases that people type into the Google search engine to find businesses like yours.  It’s referred to in many ways, but we think of it much like a credit score.

Everyone has a credit score; not everyone knows what it is.  The same is very true for most businesses.  Bottom line, if you search a certain word or phrase and you don’t like how you rank organically, chances are good your ranking, or credit score, for that word or phrase is low.

The process of Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is basically improving your credit score to rank higher.

What Businesses Should Do to Improve Performance in Google Search Results

There are a few basic things every small business should do to rank higher in search results.

Start with our Google Best Practices Guide.  It takes you through a checklist of items that build your ranking, or credit score, quickly.  Many of our clients see dramatic improvement just from getting these basics done right.

There’s an old military saying, “Only take the hills worth owning.”  The basic idea here is don’t fight for things no one else wants.  Businesses do this all the time with SEO.  The most common mistake is optimizing around “insider” terms your prospective customer never uses and doesn’t even know.

We recently shared our best practices with keyword research here.  Keyword research is basically just familiarizing yourself with what people actually type into the search engine to find your product or service.  That allows you to fight for the most important search terms.

Where the Future of Search is Headed with Innovations like AI and Audio Search

Many experts believe search is about to undergo a pretty major shift because of the integration of AI tools like ChatGPT (added to Bing search) and Bard (added to Google search).

It’s believed that these tools will make search more of a conversation with the AI; a conversation that allows the searcher to keep asking follow-up questions until the search narrows to the ideal result.

If you’re not performing well in the traditional style of search, you’ll fall behind rapidly in this new style of conversational search.

Need Help to Improve Google Search Results?

This is a conversation we have all the time.  Just schedule a free consultation with our team and we’ll include our SEO experts on the call.  It’s our way of investing in you long before you invest in us, and there’s no obligation.

Or just join our free Local Marketing newsletter that arrives periodically be email.  It’ll keep you informed when we publish new articles like this one.

Thanks for visiting today!


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Steven Ludwig
After 3 decades as a professional marketer, serial entrepreneur and business consultant Steven Ludwig shares his best practices for small business marketing for owners, managers, and marketers with limited time, money, and expertise. Steven started his professional marketing career in broadcasting in the early ‘90s in Chicago after attending Valparaiso University. After a brief stint at an advertising agency specializing in entertainment and sports marketing where he worked with radio and television stations, movie theatre companies, record labels, musicians, and professional sports teams, he moved to Nashville to form The Marketing Group with his long-time business partner, Jim Wood. Having worked with some of the largest brands in the world, in 2010 he returned to local marketing primarily out of an interest and excitement for working with small business owners to build stronger companies. That desire comes out of early days in radio, where he worked closely with everything from car dealerships to restaurants, insurance and real estate agents, banks, home services companies, and specialty retailers of all kinds. Over the past decade, he has been on the bleeding edge of digital marketing technology, constantly seeking to understand complex strategies employed by giant corporations and then translate those capabilities into tactics small businesses can execute at a local level. Today, in addition to other business ventures with his wife and other long-time business partners, he still lives outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee and currently serves as Executive Chairman of EmpowerLocal, a digital marketing company building a nationwide network of digital, hyperlocal news and lifestyle publishers to provide efficient advertising opportunities for local, regional, and national brands.


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