Today, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in creating a website or blogs to generate more traffic. However, making your site stand out from millions of pages on the web can be a difficult task since you need to process several factors to get a higher search engine ranking.
For instance, SERPs play a crucial role in gaining more traffic from Google users. Many SEO agencies like Novus Digital use several white hat techniques to make sure they take advantage of SERPs. But, you probably have no clue about the term or how you can use it to improve SEO results.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about SERPs and why they matter for Search Engine Optimization.
What are SERPs?
SERPs or Search Engine Result Pages are web pages presented to users trying to find something online using a search engine like Google. In other words, the users search for a term or a phrase, and the engine provides them with a SERP.
Every SERP has its features and stands out from the others, even when the user searches the same keyword or term in different search engines. It’s because a search engine customizes a user’s experience based on their location, browsing history, and several other settings.
The appearance of a SERP keeps changing because of tests conducted by search engines in an attempt to offer users a better experience. That’s why SERPs differ in appearance today compared to a few years or weeks back.
Types of Results in SERPs:
A SERP shows two variations of results, organic and paid. Both significantly increase traffic to websites, meaning a good SEO strategy should consider both.
Organic Results in SERPs
Organic results are listings on the SERP that appear because of high relevance on the topic, better quality, more authority, etc. These results earn their place on the SERP by using SEO strategies.
Google has several ranking factors, which consistently change to ensure a better user experience. Regardless, search engines hold around ten spots on the SERP’s first page.
The primary objective of any SEO strategy is to ensure its website gets and maintains its position on the first SERP and avoids falling to other pages with a lower reach.
Some SERPs will display more organic results than other pages because of the different intent of searches. They fall into three categories: navigational, transactional, and informational queries.
- Navigational queries: Queries when someone looks for a particular website but doesn’t want to type the site’s URL
- Transactional queries: Searches or queries when the user wants to buy something like a specific product or item
- Informational queries: Queries where a searcher would like to gain information or facts about a topic
Paid Results in SERPs
Websites need to give a fee for paid search results to appear on a search engine. They are shown in different forms and cater to the advertiser’s needs. Typically, they follow the same setup as organic results, with little distinctions like the green ad box on Google.
Paid search results fall into two routine categories of the internet structure: pay-per-click (PPC) and cost-per-mile (CPM).
- PPC: Paid when searchers click on ads
- CPM: Paid every time the website receives one thousand impressions
However, search engines like Google continue to add SERP features that take up space on the top page instead of organic or paid results.
What are SERP features?
A SERP feature is any section on a search engine page that isn’t an organic search result. Search engine providers like Google add these features to provide a more convenient experience for searchers by displaying more detailed and relevant information.
1) Featured Snippets
Featured Snippets showcase a piece of content from one of the top-ranking websites, made to answer queries in a short and precise form. More than 99% of featured snippets are taken from pages in the top ten search results.
Therefore, to get a website’s information featured as a snippet, it must be on the top page of the SERPs.
2) People Also Ask
The “People Also Ask” section shows systematically generated questions that Google thinks are related to a user’s search. Clicking any question will reveal brief answers in a format similar to Featured Snippets.
3) Top Stories
This SERP section features trending stories and news related to a search query. Google will add a thumbnail, publisher name, and release date for each article. They often appear on the top of the SERP and only show articles from websites approved by Google News.
4) Knowledge Panel
A knowledge panel is a box showing facts about a search location, a business pulled out from Google Maps, or a My Business listing. It’s typically shown for queries about a business, brand, or organization.
A knowledge panel consists of images, social media links, and other related searches. It appears on the right side of the page on desktops or top of the search results on mobile.
5) Knowledge Card
A knowledge card is an area displayed on the top of the SERP giving information or application related to the searched topic. Search engines like Google display these cards by gathering facts from over 2 billion data points.
However, knowledge cards feature data pulled from Google-owned and verified third-party sources, meaning it’s difficult to rank for these spots.
6) Image Pack
This SERP feature functions on any search queries that directly relates to images or would have a better explanation from visual results. But, whenever a searcher clicks on the image, they are taken to the images section of Google, not to the website where it originates.
Search engines like Google use a different system to rank images. Therefore creators should follow these rules to rank their pictures better on the SERP:
- Give proper image captions and alt text
- A readable and informative page URL
- Posting images of high-quality and resolution
- An engaging title for the page
- Relevant tags and file names
Video results are organic results that feature a video link and thumbnail on the top of the SERP page. Popular search engines like Google also show the upload date, duration, and the uploader name of the video in the section.
Websites need to embed videos in their pages to become eligible to appear on the SERP video results.
8) Local Pack
Local Pack appears when someone enters a location or when Google learns that the searched item is available nearby. It’s displayed as a map with pins showing nearby business and brand locations related to the search term. Under the map, Google gives the names, contacts, and ratings for the pinned areas.
9) Site Links
Site Links are links to different pages on a particular website, helping users find relevant contact quicker. Search engines like Google pick out these links from the website. Hence, a site must have precise and clear headings, like “About Us” or “Contact”.
The more links a website gets in the search engine, the easier it becomes for the search to navigate through the website.
10) Shopping Results
This SERP feature appears during any transactional queries and shows products from paid advertisers. These results are presented on the top of the page or the right side of the search engine. However, the products featured are limited to eight for every keyword, meaning the section can get competitive.
Therefore, a website must present high-quality images, the best item for the query, proper pricing, and bid a high amount to display their brand in the shopping results.
Why is SERPs Important for SEO?
SERPs are important because it shows how a website will appear on Google’s first page. It’s also where a page will compete against other websites for the top spot. So users must develop well-planned SEO strategies to reach the first SERP.
Here are some factors showing the importance of SERPs in an SEO strategy:
Increase in click-through rate
Taking a look at every aspect of SERP is necessary to increase the chances of users clicking on your link over thousands of other results. Good practices include giving an informative title and Meta description that searchers can read while scrolling down the SERP.
A great title and Meta description will increase the likelihood of searchers clicking on your link, bringing more website traffic, which will boost their rankings.
Creating More Brand Awareness with Identifiable URLs
You can boost your brand awareness and increase traffic by making your pages stand out with identifiable or readable URLs. To explain further, computer-generated URLs are filled with a string of random numbers, letters, and symbols, making them indistinguishable from other websites.
Therefore, instead of opting for something like “Novus.digital/section213/2io)ud0-0ufg”, use a simple and instructive URL like “https://novus.digital/2022/05/20/easy-effective-seo-techniques/”. Domain names and URLs with readable text make a page look more attractive and help in boosting an SEO campaign.
Promote Your Business with Google My Business
Since Google tends to recommend local businesses from navigational search intent, it’s recommended for local businesses to register for a Google Business Profile. It helps create potential to gain foot traffic and promote a physical business.
Having a Google Business Profile can help searchers find the address, phone number, and other details. It also offers the opportunity for a business to establish its place on SERPs and increase brand awareness and sales.
The Final Verdict:
Understanding SERP is important to plan out site content and design. Websites need to adapt to the ever-changing Google policies to be highly ranked in the search engine.
Therefore, writers and website owners use various SEO tactics to improve their website performance and get featured on the first SERP. Anyone that needs any help regarding SERP and SEO planning can contact Novus Digital for more information.