Recently, for example, a client company was trying to boost its SERP (search engine results page) outcomes. The president wanted to surface on the first page. One specific search-term placed one company link on page 3 of the Google SERPs, but in every other instance, the company was buried deep in the results, after page 5.
The web experts wanted to charge megabucks (yes, there’s gold in them-there SEOs) to optimize the company websites. The company president asked for help in testing the recommended search terms before he took the plunge with the web folks.
I executed a series of disciplined, systematic tests, which demonstrated the recommended terms would virtually never land the client on page 1 (or pages 2, 3, 4 or 5). This was a negative finding, the opposite of what the president had hoped for. It was valuable nonetheless.
With that knowledge in hand, we worked with the client team to use our combined knowledge of the business and its customer base to identify terms and phrases that produced better results. We helped refine the website copy to incorporate these terms and phrases, and encouraged the team to boost findability by adding them to website page headings and metatags. These and other steps helped the company surface on page 1 of a Google search with far greater consistency.
Negative findings can be powerful and useful. Knowing what terms will NOT produce results brings you closer to understanding what terms offer better SEO outcomes.
Have you tested your own F-factor lately? Can customers and prospects enter likely terms and phrases and find you on page 1? Page 2? Page 3?
Is it time to run your own tests and find out?
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