SERP refers to the list of pages returned by search engines every time we search for something. The word is an acronym for Search Engine Results Pages which is a page full of results for the query entered by a user. It is made up of organic and paid pages and in most search engines Google in particular the paid pages are on top of the organic ones. It is essential to understand SERPs from an SEO perspective.
I have already explained what are SERPs, but there is more to learn. In this article, I’m going to help you understand the types of SERPs, how to rank higher and why SERPs are important in your overall digital marketing strategy. In our most recent article on On-page SEO Techniques, we explained that websites that show up on the first page of SERPs get over 90% of the traffic. And that is one of the most important reasons why you need to build an understanding of SERP and see how you can also be on the first page. If you are interested in learning more continue reading.
Why Is SERP Important in SEO
As you can imagine being on the first page of any result page is synonymous with stumbling on a pot of gold or hitting the jackpot in a casino. But here is the catch, it can only feel like that if you organically appear at the top. As I have mentioned, 90% of the traffic goes to the first five pages on top of SERP. Your goal as a digital marketer is to understand the factors necessary for your business’s website to come first in results.
To get your website, you first need to understand the conditions necessary to get there. So let me explain the different features of SERP and in the process how you can rank higher. If you can rank high organically the better because it means you will get a lot of free traffic. However, as you will in the next section there are other ways which you can use which are not entirely free.
Understanding Seach Engines
Whenever you enter information into the browser, google or any other search engine responds with possible answers based on your query. There are many factors that can determine the results retrieved in your browser. In most cases, two people can enter the same query but will be presented with different results. Although the results may be related.
Factors that may influence the results you will see include, the language, browsing history, and relevance. It is important to understand that the algorithm is constantly being updated to give the best results possible. The most common set of results will be paid ads and organic results. Paid or sponsored results will be displayed on top and organic results will be at the bottom. Hence no matter how good your SEO is, in certain cases, you can never be organically on top of the results page. Case in point on Google. So how can you rank high in the SERP?
How To Rank Higher In SERP
there are 3 ways and two I have already mentioned. The three common ways are as follows:
- Paid Ads
- Organic results through optimization
With paid ads, you are guaranteed to get traffic to your website and this is by far the easiest way to rank high in SERPs. For as long the keywords in your AdWords campaign match or is aligned to the searcher’s intent you are guaranteed to get traffic. There are different types of ads which are shopping, app, display, video, and search. In search engine results you will mainly encounter search and shopping ads.
Search ads are a result of media buyers or advertisers who want their ads to be displayed in SERPs. These ads will show whenever keywords that satisfy a condition specified in a campaign are entered. The same can be said for shopping ads. Shopping ads will reveal the seller, the price, and the picture of the item being sold as in the image below.
Organic results are from Google’s list of indexed websites. They show up on the first page based on several factors which are influenced by good SEO. one of those factors is a high number of backlinks. Backlinks tell google that your website is relevant and authoritative. Another factor that influences high rank is domain authority. Aged domains tend to get more traffic than new domains. Content length or article the number of words in an article has also been known to contribute to SERP. From studies articles that show up in the top 10 positions of google have more than 1800 words on average.
To rank organically and attract a lot of traffic, you need to have a lot of content on your website. Second, you must implement Technical SEO, On-page, and Off-page SEO. Incorporating video content is also another way that will help your content rank faster and higher.
To be the best you must seek continuous improvement and development. Google makes changes on a regular basis to its algorithm on the factors that will influence the rank of a website. One way Google is constantly trying to answer queries is through features. Features have been constantly changing over time. According to ahrefs there are about 10 features that Google uses to respond to queries.
10 SERP Features
- Featured snippets
- Knowledge card
- Image Pack
- Top stories
- People also ask
- Shopping Results
- Tweets boxes
- Site links
Through google’s partnership with Twitter in the past few years, tweet boxes have become a norm in search results. Every time you search for something you can be guaranteed to see a carousel of tweet boxes that are relevant to your search query. In the image below. the query arsenal invokes several latest tweets that mention arsenal.
I have often mentioned the importance of SMM or social media marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy. Your use of social media platforms such as tweeter is beneficial in this instance. As your tweets will result in more engagement and traffic to your social accounts and website.
People Also Ask
One of the most visible features is the people also ask. This feature show questions related to your query which have been asked by other users on Google. The incredible thing is that every time you open an open question it then displays even more questions. The other new questions displayed will be more related to the question that you opened. And this is a continuous cycle.
However, It is important to understand that your content can appear on the people also ask snippet. and many other snippets that we are going to discuss. later on, we will discuss how to win these snippets, for ow we are going to focus on the different types of snippets. Next, we are going to discuss the Knowledge card.
The knowledge card can contribute greatly to the traffic you can get from google. It often shows up on the right of search results with detailed descriptive information about an entity. Below is the perfect example of a knowledge card. If you type google in the search bar on google.com it will the below knowledge on the right.
The image above it tells you what is the entity. It also tells us when google was founded and who were the founders at the time. In addition to that, we also get information on related searches and the entity’s social media profiles. Another way Google attempts to answer questions efficiently is through the use of featured snippets. And the next section we are going to look at what featured snippets are and how you can possibly win one.
SERP Featured Snippets
A featured snippet is a short text that appears at the top of search results and seeks to provide a quick answer to a question. The text which shows up in the featured snippets is pulled from Google’s indexed webpages. common types of content that usually appear include lists, tables, and steps. Since this text is pulled from different websites indexed by google there is a great chance that your website can also win a featured snippet. In the previous sections, we discussed why it is so important to be in the first five positions of search results. Featured snippets will give you the place, therefore, increasing the number of clicks to your website dramatically.
As you can see from the image above, featured snippets are considered as position 0. This is because you don’t need to be a big website in order to win this position.
In closing, SERP is search engine result pages and this means more in digital marketing than just an acronym. Understanding how SERPs are propagated by search engines will help you rank higher. Coming first in SERPs is key for brand visibility and increase in click-through rate. This ultimately results in more sales and leads as your business gets more traffic.