It’s no secret that marketing has changed a lot over the years. First, it was word of mouth. Then the front page of the newspaper. After that, being featured in a magazine. Now, it’s all about getting on the first results page of Google. You might be wondering to yourself, “I sell this…,” or, “I do that. Why doesn’t my company pop up when I search my product or service on Google?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Today, we’re going to be talking about SERP.
SERP and SEO
Before we dive into SERP we highly recommend you read our blog about Search Engine Optimization or SEO. In short, SEO is the process of improving the quality and quantity of traffic that comes to your website. Think of your website like a physical store; just because your store is open, doesn’t mean that people will begin flooding in. If you would like more information on SEO specifically, check out our blog on What is SEO? In order to further understand how SEO works we need to define a few more terms.
What is SERP?
SERP is an abbreviation for Search Engine Results Page. This is the first page of results that appear on a search engine when you want to look something up. Basically, a search engine’s job is to determine what the most relevant information would be to bring up based on what you searched. Whether that’s a nice pair of jeans or a coffee shop near you, the first page of a search engine can tell you a lot about a website’s SEO value.
There are plenty of popular search engines, but by far the most popular without a doubt is Google. Google has become such a popular term that it’s actually a verb in the English language for looking something up online. For this reason, most business owners will follow Google’s algorithm for determining what the most important information is.
Organic Search Results and Paid Search Results
Let’s use this image below as an example. If you search “new watch” on Google, your SERP will show you ads, highlighted in green, which appear at the very top and the rest of the results, highlighted in brown, right underneath those.
We’ll get to paid search results later, but for now we’re going to focus on the organic search results. These are the results that appear based off of what Google thinks its users want to see. This is completely free and ideally, you want to appear here when people search for your business name, product, or service. There are multiple ways that a website can end up on a search results page, all of which have to do with the webpage’s SEO value. These may include:
- Use of keywords matching the user’s search query
- A similar service or product offered on the site
- Your company is local
- Similar name or industry
The problem with organic search is that sometimes it can be pretty difficult to appear or compete with big brands or corporations that have already established themselves at the top. This is where the next form of search results comes in.
Paid search results are what appear at the very top of the search results page. Similar to organic search results, ads appear based off of the keywords you chose in your search. Ads are easily identifiable because they have a little “Ads” symbol next to them. These listings appear here because companies paid Google to have their products or services shown to people who search for specific things. The reason some people might decide to pay to have their ads show up is because they can’t compete with SEO giants in their industry. For example, a mom & pop towing company knows that they probably can’t compete organically with the likes of AAA. In order to try and steal some of that traffic they might implement the same keywords that AAA would use in one of their own ads so that they appear alongside them.
If you’re interested in finding out how we can try to help you rank on the SERP check out our pricing page to see if we can be the right solution for you!