What Is SERP and Why Is It an Important Part of Your Overall SEO Strategy?
2016 July 06
Whenever you make a search query related to a topic on Google or any other search engine, it returns a page full of results which match the query you have made. This page full of results is called the search engine ranking page, or SERP. As a digital marketer it is important that you have a search engine marketing strategy up your sleeve in order to get a high ranking on the list of results displayed. Moreover, the manner in which your target audience or customers interact with the various results displayed on a page can give you a lot of insight that will be useful for your future marketing campaigns.
SERPs are always unique. There are always subtle differences between two SERPs even if the query involving a similar keyword has been made. Google takes into account geo-location of the searcher, the past browsing history on that IP Address and many other factors. Google uses a number of factors and criteria to assign ranks to different web pages fighting it out, which is known only to Google employees.
SERP is important because it gives your audience a chance to get acquainted with your website. There is a title and a small description about the site which is displayed on the search engine ranking page, which appear based on the proportion of keyword matches. The higher the proportion of exact keyword matches in the title and meta-description of your site, the greater are the chances that it will rank higher. Of course, it is not just about keywords or matches; there are a number of other factors that Google takes into account before assigning a rank.
There are mainly two types of content on any SERP- organic results and paid results. Although paid results can also be optimized for better returns, it is the organic results that SEOs have to work the hardest on, to make them rank high and drive traffic. For indexing a web page, Google uses its own parameters. Some of the well known are the number of quality backlinks from authoritative sources, search volume, HTML code used in the domain, crawl rate, bounce rate, average time spent on a page, keywords, social media sharing, responsiveness and loading time of a website and, of course, the quality of content. There are, obviously, many more factors.
Three important components of a search engine result and how they can be optimized are as follows:
1. Web Page Title
This is a heading which has to be attractive enough so as to engross the searcher and make them want to click. Google highlights the keyword queries made by the searcher in dark blue. It is important to ensure that not only the popular keyword searches appear in whole in the title but it contains some more actionable idea. Put a CTA here, or a call to action.
2. Web Page Description
This is a small description that appears below the title and again contains the search queries made; Google highlights the keywords. A successful meta-description is like dangling a carrot in front of the searcher but not revealing everything to them. It has to pique their interest enough so that they click the link. However, you must remember, just ensuring a click doesn’t guarantee success. If the content of your website is not relevant to the searcher, they will bounce out quickly. Also remember that Google has set an upper limit on the length of the description. So, it is important that you optimize the chances by phrasing it in a way that proffers just the right amount of information and stays within the size permitted. Otherwise it would be truncated and lose its essence.
3. Web Page URL
This is important for search engines. It should ideally contain the key search phrase or at least the root keyword; including the whole title may not be possible if it is very long because, again, it would be truncated. A small description allows the Google bots to index the page per its relevance to a particular search.
Optimizing search engine results is not that stressful. You need to focus a lot more on the content and other SEO requirements which help the page to move up the pecking order. Yet, the result page gives you a chance to impress your audience at the very first go. Grab the opportunity with both hands; you have much to gain from it. If you think you could use a little help, we're here for you!
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Posted In: SEO and Search Marketing