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Why is it when I Google the keyword we don’t come up first?

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This is a very complex question. It depends on a few things:

  1. Define “First” – The first position is typically an ad, and therefore not related to SEO. Alternatively, are we talking about organic results, or the local map pack? Both involve SEO but both require slightly different strategies to rank.
  2. The Keyword Used – If you’re not showing up for a branded keyword there’s probably a significant problem with SEO strategy or a bug with the website like pages marked “noindex.” If you’re not showing up for an unbranded term here are some questions to consider:
    • Do we have content that focuses on that term?
    • Are we consistently (monthly at least and from different sources) creating content for that term?
    • Has the property team provided the SEO team with good info for that term?
    • Are we focused on that term for the homepage?
    • Are we using that term in Google Posts, and social media?
    • How many ILSs and competitors are also trying to rank for that term?
      • Do competitors who are ranking for that that term have a higher star rating than us?
    • Is our website structure optimized for mobile & desktop search compared to our comps?

  3. Who is “we?” – a lot of times the owner or someone not at the property asks this question. Because Google bases the SERP on location of the searcher (among many other things) there’s a chance that you might not show up because the searcher isn’t in the area of the building and Google doesn’t think it’s necessary to show it.