Understanding Search Engine Results Page - SERPs

What is Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?

SERP stands for “Search Engine Results Page”. It is the list of results for a user’s search query. For example, if you go to Google and type in “restaurants near me”, you will be redirected to a page with a list of websites that offer you that information.

Every SERP is unique, even when searching the same words. All search engines will customize the SERP based on location, browsing behavior, and other settings. Even for the same query, there will always be subtle differences.

Studies show the higher up you appear in search results, the more likely someone searching will click on your site. Websites that rank higher up in search engine results pages are the ones that are likely to get the most traffic. If you want high traffic on your website, you want to rank high on SERP. The number one spot is coveted by many, and can be hard to obtain unless you pay for it. If your website is on the first page, and one of the top selections, it means your site is probably doing well as far as traffic is concerned.

 

2 Ways to Get your Website to the Top of SERPs

 

Organic Search Results Placement

Organic Search Results

These are the standard placement results of a search engine. When your website contains great content, useful information, helpful links etc., the site may naturally receive a high ranking in search engines. If your site contains information relevant to a popular search, chances are good that your ranking will be towards the top.

There are 3 types of search results in Google: Informational, Navigational, and Transactional. Informational are the basic results that show as a result for a given topic. Navigational results appear when the user is looking for a specific website, not necessarily just a topic. And, finally, transactional searches are the ones where the paid results will appear. These tend to have commercial content and suggest making a purchase.

 

Paid Search Results Placement

Paid Search Results

The name says it all. High search engine ranking can be purchased. A company can buy ads for their site that will allow it to come up at the top of a SERP. These are known as “pay per click ads” because the advertiser only pays when a user clicks the link to the site.

There are several different paid ads a user will see in the SERP. Some are shopping ads, with image-based results. While others are text-based, which take the user to a specific page on the website.

 

Top Ranking Signals for SERPs

The organic results you see have been indexed by search engines based on ranking signals determined by an algorithm. While no one outside of Google knows exactly what these factors are, through research and old fashioned trial and error, SEO’s have a good idea of what works. Here are some important ranking signals:

1. Backlinks: Number of links, link authority, and diversity

2. Page-Level Factors: Keywords in the website title tag, meta description, and H1, keyword density, content length, and page speed

3. Mobile-First User Experience: Mobile optimization and speed

 

Top Signals Negatively Impacting SERPs

The organic results you see have been indexed by search engines based on ranking signals determined by an algorithm. While no one outside of Google knows exactly what these factors are, through research and old fashioned trial and error, SEO’s have a good idea of what works. Here are some important ranking signals:

1. Crawl Errors: Missing page titles or meta descriptions, broken links, and 404 pages

2. Duplicate Content: Duplicate page content, titles, and meta descriptions

3. Site Speed: Slow page loading time

 

There are many more aspects to understanding SERPs, but this guide is a good overview. The bottom line is that the competition for top spots (whether organic or paid) is quite heavy. That’s where hiring a SEO company (like Logic Web Media!) comes in handy. With search algorithms constantly changing, you are likely to see your website fluctuate in the SERPs. A solid SEO strategy based on research and planning, will help you get the placement your business needs for greater visibility.