A ‘Search Engine Results Page’ (SERP) is the first page of results and links what an end-user would see when searching for something on Google (or any other search engine like Bing or Yahoo). As the search engine condenses the top results it thinks are the most relevant, it becomes quite a crucial aspect to assess and factor-in within our Strategy work at netamorphosis: SERP easily indicates whether a website can be optimized for better positioning.
Even though search results are mostly triggered by keywords included in the query and people might indeed use the same keywords when looking for something, no two SERPs are the same. As part of the never-ending process of making algorithms more and more refined and user centric, search engines work hard to customize the experience to each individual user. This also means it has become growingly rare for a user to see the same results twice–even when using the same search engine.
Moreover, SERP pages are becoming more and more rich in content and now feature maps, images, and videos. Further to that, search engines also offer other search options, while the ‘Advanced Search’ option allows users to tailor the search, making it more specific.
WHAT LANDS ON GOOGLE’S FIRST PAGE
SERP results are displayed in order of relevance beneath the search field. Sponsored content (SEM) would appear on top, followed by organic results (SEO). The right sidebar would offer zoom-in types of further snapshots, such as the Google My Business or captured from Wikipedia. If Google Chrome is the browser of choice and the user is logged into the browser with their Gmail account, this first page would also show relevant data pulled from emails, such as upcoming travels, contacts, etc.
Each result would generally include the title of the page and a snipped with a brief description of the page, normally taken from the page’s description meta tag.
If a SERP ranking refers to a website’s position on the results page, then the higher up on page 1 the better, as that would bring closer to what neta CEO Lyde Spann calls ‘Google’s Golden Triangle’.
However, outside of SEO and digital marketing circles, SERPs refers to all of the results a query might produce: the first page is clearly crucial, but since there are huge amounts of different results per each query, there usually are several pages in response to a single search. From #2 onward, all succeeding pages will have lower ranking or lower relevancy results, and hence be less interesting–for both end-users and marketers.
WHY BEING #1 MATTERS
- Consumers trust Google (and the way it presents results to them), but they are not couch-potatoes: they are web savvy and know how to scan through paid and organic results, generally favoring the latter. So, the more visibility is obtained through SEO, the best it is for a company’s online business or eCommerce website.
- It brings credibility: branding in the digital context means finding ways to build trust online. The algorithm favors reliable and trust-worthy sources vs low-ranking ones. Hence, top rankings come with the benefit of inbound business development leads.
- It generates increased attention: appearing up top gives value to a brand/product/service which brings, as a consequence, media (and consumers’) attention.
Being #1 and owning the first page is what truly matters, and the goal we set to reach for our clients at neta is to achieve a point in which all that appears when their name is typed into Google (or any other search engine) is actually tied to their brand and therefore builds and strengthens their overall positioning.
We also work on keywords, identifying which are the ones that matter the most and strategizing how to use them: by capturing which search engine results page features drive traffic, we would optimize content and get better rankings, thus improving conversions.
We achieve this through a careful and strategy-driven mix of SEO vs. SEM actions, which relies heavily on analysis and content creation: through Google SERP checker tools, it is possible to do a SERP competitor analysis with localized results, which we would then compare to our clients’ digital footprint, evaluating the impact of SERP features on organic search results.
By assessing keyword performance across Google (+ Bing and Yahoo!), a Google SERP position checker helps us identify which competitors are ranking per each keyword and verify how much traffic those keywords have generated, locally and globally. Further, we would derive keyword opportunities to leverage through SEO-driven content creation, which will lead to ranking improvements in returns.
Over the years, this has allowed us to achieve outstanding results for key neta clients such as Francis Valentine, Newport Academy and others, repositioning or launching them online and making their web presence relevant, meaningful and visible.