Last updated on November 19th, 2020 at 09:41 pm
Here's an excellent introduction to SERPs and the basics of how to give your content the best chance of landing a top spot.
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The online marketing world is full of possibilities, but it can also be very overwhelming. From social media to emails, influencers, and pay per click ads, there are numerous ways to use the digital landscape to promote even small- and medium-sized businesses.
One of the most effective ways to market online is by using search engine optimization (SEO) to help search engines discover, analyze, and distribute your content on SERPs.
What is a SERP?
A search engine result page, or “SERP,” is the web page that search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing use to display the results of a search query. SERPs typically display a list of results that can include links, images, and videos.
Often, the first few results on a SERP are tagged with a word like “ad,” “paid,” or “sponsored,” indicating that someone paid for them to show up at the top of the search results. Under these first few paid ads, you can find the bulk of the non-paid or “organic” search results, which can stretch on for hundreds and even thousands of pages.
Why Are SERPs Important?
Why is a SERP important to your small business? Simple. The results displayed on a SERP are specifically meant to direct search engine users to websites that can answer their questions. When these results are clicked on, they send traffic to the sites that contain the necessary information. This is the online equivalent to driving foot traffic into a brick-and-mortar business.
In other words, the higher your web pages rank on a SERP, the more traffic you’ll be able to drive to your website. Once that’s done, you can use your site’s content to convert these visitors into followers, patrons, and sales leads.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to provide a subscription service, sell products across the globe, or generate leads for a local business. SERPs can have a significant impact on how well your business performs in the modern online marketplace.
Simple Ways to Increase Your SERP Rankings
If you’re aware of the importance of SERPs but you can’t seem to get your site to rank well, here are a few quick and easy steps that you can take in order to boost your SERP rankings. Each of these addresses various aspects of your site’s SEO (search engine optimization), which translates to better placement within the SERPs themselves.
With so much online competition, it’s absolutely essential that you maintain a lean, mean site loading speed at all times. A laggy page that takes too much time to load can lead to a higher bounce rate (people who come to your site and then leave within seconds).
A high bounce rate is very bad for SEO. You can make an effort to increase your site’s loading speed by the following methods:
- Using minimal pictures with compressed file sizes.
- Switching to a faster hosting service.
- Utilizing a Content Delivery Network to speed download time.
Good loading speed is a critical aspect of online marketing that, when left unattended, can significantly damage your SEO.
Linking is one of the classic ways to boost your website’s SEO. By embedding hyperlinks within the text of your website, you can increase the authority and traffic of your webpages.
Each backlink acts as a lifeline, connecting that particular page either to another area of your website (known as an “internal link”) helping to tie your site together or to another website (known as an “external link”) passing authority to your web page.
Both kinds of links are important and should be chosen with care. For instance, when looking for internal links, try to find pages on your site that already perform well. For external links, look for authoritative web domains, such as .edu or .gov websites.
In addition, you can add tags to your links, identifying them as “no-follow,” “sponsored,” “ugc,” (user-generated content), and so on. The way you should tag your links varies depending on Google’s current crawling rules, which are worth staying up to date on.
Another classic SEO tactic is using keywords in your content. This can help search engines better understand what, exactly, your content is about. It’s important to use a variety of keywords within your text in order to provide a thorough explanation of what your content contains.
You can do this by using a keyword tool or even by simply searching a keyword in Google and referring to the “searches related to” section at the bottom of the SERP to gather other keyword phrases worth including.
Rising Up the Ranks
While you can’t directly tamper with the content on a SERP other than by purchasing expensive pay per click ads, you can certainly do so indirectly. Addressing your website’s SEO including backlinks and keywords is a great way to optimize your content. Increasing your site’s loading speed can boost your SEO as well.
If you can focus on optimizing your website as much as possible, you’ll be able to rise up the ranks of the search engine results and consequently, direct more traffic to your e-commerce site in the future.
Indiana Lee is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest with a passion for covering workplace issues, social justice, environmental protection, and more. In her off time you can find her in the mountains with her two dogs. You can follow her work on Contently, or reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @indianalee3