The Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are the pages of the organic and paid search results that show up on Google (and other search engines) in response to your search query.
The SERP that Google presents you with is uniquely tailored to you. It takes into account your geographical location, and your past browsing history. That means that no two SERPs are ever the same between users.
It’s crucial for your business that you feature high up in the SERPs, because most people never scroll beyond page 1 of the search results. They assume that the most relevant response to their query will appear near the top of the list.
You need to know the secrets to SERPs to get yourself appearing on that first page. In turn, you’ll increase traffic to your website and (hopefully) convert more clients.
If you’re new to all of this, or you simply don’t have the time, a digital marketing company can help you with your strategies.
Here are the key things you need to know about SERP.
The paid ads usually appear first
Paid results usually appear at the top of the list. You’ll be familiar with these from any search you do online. The paid ads are the results with “Ad” before the url.
With a pay-per-click (PPC) ad, you’ll pay Google for each user that clicks on your ad. PPC campaigns are a highly effective way of getting listed on the first page of Google and increasing traffic to your website.
But you need to make sure you’re paying the right price for your clicks. You’ll bid for certain keywords and pay Google the amount you’ve offered, provided you’re the highest bidder. Often the highest ranking results are those that have paid the most for the keywords that the person searched for.
In order to maximise your ROI, you’ll need a well-researched campaign, including keyword research, a review of your target audience and an agreed daily or monthly budget. Breeze can build a successful campaign for you if you need a hand.
But organic results are equally important
While paid ads can give you high-ranking exposure, some people are sceptical of the ads, and scroll down to the organic results anyway.
A PPC campaign can only be a part of your overall search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. You need to work hard on your SEO to get on the first page of the SERPs for organic searches.
You can tell Google what to display in the SERP with your title tag, url slug and meta description. When you optimise these sections for the keywords you want to be found for, Google will see you as more relevant in those areas and pop you higher up the results list. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, just ask your web design agency.
But as you’re probably aware, the Google algorithm is one of life’s great mysteries. It changes frequently and nobody except the top brains at Google know all of the ins and outs. But we do know a host of techniques that will get Google to recognise the authority of your page and propel you up the rankings.
You’ll need content that’s optimised for your keywords, backlinks, and relevant title tags to name a few. It takes a bit of time to get everything in place and see results (often around six months), but it will pay dividends in the end.
Make use of the SERP features
The aim of SERP features is to provide the information to the search query without the need to click on the result. As such, they’re not necessarily so useful in driving traffic to your website, but they can assist your overall SEO strategy and raise your profile online.
You’ve probably seen a range of SERP features in your own Google searches. They include the following sections of your search results page:
- The image pack at the top.
To get into the image pack, make sure that your alt-tags are updated and accurate on all your images online.
- People Also Ask (PAA): That little box at the bottom of the page with suggestions of other searches linked to the search you just carried out.
To appear in the PAAs, create content that answers one of these questions. Try it out by doing a search related to one of your keywords. Note the PAAs at the bottom. Then create content to answer the questions.
- Top stories: Often near the top of the page with a range of stories related to your search. Most rankings here are short-lived and Google tends to prefer items indexed to Google News. So this is a bit of a long-shot!
How can you improve your SERP?
Here’s a bullet point list of some of the things you can do to improve your position in the SERPs.
- Do a SERP analysis to find out why you’re not ranking on the first page.
- Review your keywords
- Do a full keyword analysis to make sure you’re getting found for what people are searching for.
- Optimise your on-page SEO for keywords
- Use keywords in your metadata
- Launch a PPC campaign
We’ve helped companies boost their SEO with successful PPC campaigns, and targeted SEO strategies. For professional help with getting found on the first page of the SERPs, please do get in touch, or check out our website for more information.