How is Your Business Ranking on Google?

Published on 9 June 2023
by HeartBeat Digital Marketing
High position ranking on Google's search engine results pages is sure lucrative, but what does it all mean and how do you get there (and stay there)? We investigate.
Man searching on Google on computer

Reaching the first page on Google search results is awesome. It’s often seen as free advertising, brand awareness and a lucrative business channel.

Get to the holy grail Number 1 and it’s party time—literally many businesses celebrate when reaching this milestone.

So, what’s the deal with ranking high on Google?

We investigate.

The gist in 30 seconds

  • Ranking on Google means the position a website appears in SERP (search engine results pages)
  • You can pay for your website to be displayed at the top of a search results page (sponsored), otherwise it’s known as ranking organically
  • The goal of SEO is to get websites to rank high for general search terms, and keep them there
  • Many, many things impact your search results from where you are to your device and personal settings

Ranking on Google explained

“Oh, and Google’s market share in Australia is around 93%.”

When people say ‘ranking on Google’, ‘page one of Google’ or similar, they are referring to Google’s search results pages.

Known as SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), the results are displayed per what Google thinks the user (searcher) is looking for when they enter a search term (the words you type into Google).

This means ranking high is all but guaranteed to appeal to the user, resulting in them clicking through to the website and, with a well-designed website, making a purchase, appointment or whatever the goal is.

Rank low in Google’s SERP, like number 18 for example (which is on page two), and you’ll get far, far less users clicking through to your website.

Google displays 10 results per page, meaning that page two is another click away.

Here are the stats:
#1 – 30% of clicks
#2 – 19%
#3 – 10%
#10 (bottom of page 1) – 2.4%
#11 (top of page two) – less than 1%

Oh, and Google’s market share in Australia is around 93%.

*These stats are based on multiple sources from 2022 to 2023 in Australia and the US.

Side note: You can pay to rank high

Businesses can pay to have their websites displayed at the top of a search results page. This form of advertising is labelled on Google as ‘Sponsored’.

If you don’t pay, which means Google ranks you per user search intent, the quality and relevance of your website, etc, it’s called ‘organic’ and means your website is basically displayed to people for free.

Here’s an example:

So, the goal is to organically rank high… But how?

Three letters > SEO.

Search Engine Optimisation means updating, editing and curating a website so that it ranks high organically and is as findable and visible as possible.

Some things that good SEO strategies use:

  • High-quality content
  • Mobile optimisation (looks good on phones)
  • Clean, uncluttered and modern designs
  • Fast loading (e.g. small file sizes for images)
  • Clean and up-to-date coding (e.g. titles, meta tags and descriptions)

🧐 Learn more about SEO (plus tips) here.

There are a few caveats when it comes to ranking organically

“Rank high for general terms, and you reach a large audience, position your brand as an authority on the topic all while massively increasing business.”

Unique search terms aren’t anywhere near as special.

For example, take us, HeartBeat Digital. If someone was to search for exactly that, ‘HeartBeat Digital’, we’d expect to rank first, or close to it, as it’s our unique brand name.

The same can be said for Qantas, Toyota or any other unique brand name.

General search terms are the most sought after.

General search terms are the ones that prospective customers or large numbers of people are searching for.

For example:

  • ‘Best restaurant in Melbourne’
  • ‘Skin check’
  • ‘Car loan’
  • ‘Doctor for women’
  • ‘Driving lessons’

Rank high for general terms, and you reach a large audience, position your brand as an authority on the topic all while massively increasing business.

Ranks change.

The very idea of ranking high, or getting to a high position, explains that these ranks aren’t permanent.

As trends change, websites become old or contain outdated information and Google’s own algorithms and criteria change, so do rankings.

This is why SEO is so important. Part of the strategy means regularly checking, updating and ever overhauling content to suit.

If you don’t keep your content fresh, your competitors will and therefore, will creep up in search results pages.

Factors that affect search results

If you simply whip out your phone, search for something related to your business, like ‘coffee’ if you run a cafe or ‘GP’ if it’s a clinic, you’re not getting a very accurate picture.

Google’s search results are not always the same even if the search term is the same.

This is why you might get different results from a friend who’s standing next to you.

Here are some things that influence rankings other than search terms (the words you type into Google):

Google uses personalisation when displaying search results, meaning that results can be based on the user’s personal preferences/settings, search history, language and other factors.

Content and websites are constantly updated, the high-ranking good ones at least, so search results can change over days, hours, even minutes in some cases.

Time of day has an effect on businesses displayed in search results as opening hours are relevant.

Where you are geographically makes a big difference on search results. For example, the term ‘doctor near me’ will of course display results based on your location.

Location can affect search results for other terms too.

Desktop, iPhone, Samsung, tablet… They all play a role in search results as some websites are more optimised per device than others.

Hint: Well over 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so ensure your website is optimised as such!

The type of operating system, iOS, Android, Chrome and so, can also have an impact on search results.

How to check your website’s ranking positions

While checking your website’s ranking on your phone or computer can give you an idea, don’t take it as gospel.

This is for a few reasons. The first being the factors listed above and secondly, you likely rank for dozens, sometimes hundreds of different keywords and search terms.

Taking search results for men’s health and medical services as an example, here’s what we mean:

  • ‘Male doctor’
  • ‘Best GP for man’
  • ‘GP for men’
  • ‘Men’s health clinic’
  • ‘Men’s health’
  • ‘Men’s health GP’
  • ‘Health tips for men’
  • ‘Checkup for man’

Then there are questions:

  • ‘How often should a man visit a doctor?’
  • ‘When should I go to a doctor?’
  • ‘What is men’s health?’

The list goes on, and that’s just for one service of the many that the average medical clinic offers.

Tips for checking rankings

1. Use private (incognito) windows to check search results. These are more (but not completely) unbiased.

2. Use different devices. Have a look at your rankings on a desktop and a few different phones, you might be able to borrow a friend’s phone to have a look at theirs.

3. Try searching for multiple keyword and search term combinations. This may take a while but can give you more data.

4. Use professional services. Search algorithms are complicated, rankings change and there’s a huge number of search term combinations.

An SEO professional will be able to provide you with a report of your website’s rankings per a list of keywords and terms applicable to your business.

Of course, these reports are only temporarily accurate, so most people check their rankings once a month or so.

Search rankings at the end of the day

A high position for a general search term is certainly lucrative and worth optimising for, but it’s not a set-and-forget switch.

Similarly to how all good businesses update and evolve their processes, premises, products and services while keeping staff well trained, you’ll need to do the same to your website.

🧐 Check out the Wayback Machine which shows how popular websites looked over the years, so you can see them evolve.

If your website hasn’t been updated with new information in a while, or it feels a little outdated, you’re likely missing out on business and possibly harming your reputation.

Consider adding a fresh blog (which can also be shared on social media), updating images and adding or editing your products and services—it can make a huge difference.

Better yet, get in touch with our team of experts, as seeing businesses reach their full potential online is something we pride ourselves on.

Start reaping the rewards of high search results rankings today.

About HeartBeat Digital

We help businesses thrive through creative and digital growth strategies. There has never been a more important time to get your digital presence in order. Put your website to work and attract new customers to your business. Increase your visibility and consolidate your online presence across all platforms.

Follow Us

Recent Posts

Get in Touch

Get in touch with Heartbeat Digital today and reach your business potential.