How to prepare your website for personalised search

If both you and I googled the words “restaurants near me” right now, we would very likely get two completely different search results… Why? Personalised Search!!

Well with location, browsing history and choice of device all factors in creating personalised search results, the concept of gauging just how well your business website ranks for keywords in search engines can quickly become frustrating and almost impossible to track right?

With so many search engine result page (SERP) variations to choose from, which would you consider accurate? Don’t worry, in this article our Cheshire WordPress agency will take a closer look into the different ways Google personalizes search results, what impact these results have on SEO and how to prepare your website for personalised search… Ready? Let’s get to it!

What is a personalised search?

Historically, ranking factors such as authority and the relevance of the web page based on the keyword search enquiry is how search engines would typically display your search engine result enquiry. Although these remain important factors, search engines such as Google and Bing have put more effort into personalising search results so you can access instant, relevant information related to your search.

Personalised search results are web search results that are tailored specifically to an individual user’s interests and habits which are captured by search engines based on your location, search history, demographic, social media and many other variables. Combining traditional and personalised data, search engines modify the user’s query based on the information to re-rank search results based on these factors.

location personalised search


Today, particularly with Google Maps, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Google has a pretty accurate guess of your search location if it can tell you what time the next bus is… even if you are not connected to Google via a mobile device, it can still calculate your location based on your IP Address.

Now, having captured data on your location, if you were to search Cheshire WordPress Agency or Chinese restaurants near me, search engines are going to re-calculate traditional ranking factors by including your location and what business/service is relevant to your search based on distance to calculate new search results.

What’s the SEO Solution?
If you are a small to medium size business with one address, look to focus your SEO efforts on both location and desired keywords. With free tools such as Keyword planner, you can quickly gage how many monthly searches there are for services you offer in your area. For example, as WordPress specialists, we may want to target Cheshire WordPress Agency instead of WordPress agency as it would be much easier to get on the first page based on location and relevant content.

Browsing History

Have you ever attempted to search for something only for Google to guess your search enquiry? Have you ever seen search engine rankings change after your original search?

If you said YES to either of both of those questions, you’re browsing history has effected search results. With your previous searches, the search results you have clicked on and your browser history, Google collects all this information in the shape of cookies to build a profile you to try and personalise your search engine results based on your browsing history.

From an SEO point-of-view, although this will not have a factor on search rankings based on a clean browser, it will impact where you rank if a user is searching and search engines have browsing history to use. So, while you may rank position #3 for the keyword Cheshire WordPress Agency, you are likely seeing biased results based on this where I may see #9 for the same keyword if I am using a clean browser.

What’s the SEO solution?
Sadly, there is no control or magic fix when it comes to personalised search with browsing history. However, this does place even more importance on first impressions of your website and loyalty. When a user clicks on a clean search result, you will want to present a great experience so they will want to return to your website or if they forget and don’t clear your browsing history, you will still rank well based on their previous visit.

Personalised Social Media and Email

When you sign-up or login into your Gmail or Google+ Account, you already provide search engines with so much data about yourself, but here search engines are presented with the opportunity dig a little deeper and learn more about you by viewing your connections in the shape of friends. When signed in, Google may add social media posts from your connections based on search results and even push results endorsed by your connections higher up SERP to personalise your search.

What’s the SEO solution
Take advantage of social media! Social media present the perfect ranking opportunity as not only can content get shared across many social networks, your content will more likely to be found by your connections, giving you the edge over competitors.

Type of Device

Today, pages are ranked completely differently on mobile and desktop devices. With authority, relevance, and location all remaining factors for both, the one major difference is the importance of mobile friendliness so you may very well rank better on one device than another for the same key phrases.

What’s the SEO solution?
With mobile queries surpassing desktop, mobile search has truly grown into its very own search engine. First things first, make sure you have a mobile friendly website otherwise you will plummet down mobile search results. As a tip, look to track both mobile and desktop rankings separately to allow you to concentrate on what you need to improve.

Personalised Search Summary

Although there will now never be one consistent search experience for users based on personalisation search, it is now critical you look to track your keywords based on location and device if you are putting any effort into search engine marketing.

If you would like to discuss how you can keep track of your keywords across numerous devices and locations, why not get in touch with untitled™. We are a Cheshire WordPress agency based in Knutsford who can designer, deliver and grow your business website.

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