Google’s search engine results page (SERP) is one of the most important things every online marketer needs to know.
The search engine results page lists search results that Google’s search engine, Google Search, returns for a given search query.
This guide will teach you the basics of configuring and optimizing your Google SERP to show your website at the top of the list whenever someone searches for your product or service.
What Is The Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?
The search engine results page is the page that shows up when someone searches for a product or service on Google. It is important to note that this differs from a Google search using either a search widget on a static page or a Search Console (organic search results).
A Google search using a mobile device or a desktop computer will return a results page with all the relevant search results. Users can then click on any listings to the website or webpage hosting the content. In this case, the results page is considered “local.”
Why Should You Care About The SERP?
The search engine results page is the first page of results that your target audience will see when they click on a search result link.
This is because the engine will prioritize showing a user relevant results over other page results. For example, if someone searches for “Apple,” the results page might show them dozens of news articles, product reviews, and other unrelated content.
However, if someone searches for “Apple iPhone XS Max,” the results will show them content that is highly relevant to their search query because the search engine knows that they are more likely to be interested in buying an Apple product than reading about the latest movies.
The Difference Between “Organic” And “Generated” Results
Organic and generated search results are two contrasting types of results you will see on your Google SERP. Let’s discuss what each one means.
“Organic” results are the results the search engine returns when someone uses a search query without manipulation. The search engine does not generate organic results; rather, they are the results that will appear for any given search query.
On the other hand, “generated” results are the results that the search engine returns after it has been “manipulated” in some way by the search engine optimizer (SEO).
For example, let’s say that you are a shoe store and you have an online store as well as a physical store. You might want to optimize your product searches to show up on the search engine results page for web and mobile searches.
In this case, you would want to generate the results for “product” and “shoe” searches. This can be done by setting up keywords for each search type in your Google Search Console.
So, in summary, “organic” results appear without any manipulation by the search engine, while “generated” results appear after the SEO has “manipulated” the search engine in some way.
What Makes For A Good Google SERP?
To get excellent results from your search engine rankings, you need to consider a variety of factors, such as:
- The popularity of your search term. (i.e., If you search for “Apple,” you will see a lot of results because many people are searching for this particular term.)
- The quality of your content.
- The relevance of the content to the search query.
- The anchor text is used in the linking structure of your content.
- The country or region the search engine configures to crawl and index from.
- The number of times your website has been (or is being) hacked.
While paying attention to all these factors is important, no single factor guarantees excellent search engine rankings.
How Can I Improve My Google SERP?
Depending on how experienced you are as an online marketer, you might be able to manually increase your website’s visibility in Google’s search results. (Note: if you are reading this, you probably need to improve your SERP. Take a look at our SEO audit tool to get started.)
The first step is to conduct a keyword analysis of your website content. Next, you will want to create highly relevant content for your target audience’s search queries. Use the keywords that you found during your initial analysis. Finally, you should regularly update your content with new information. =
If you want to see how your SEO is doing, use Google’s free SEO analyzer tool. (Note: you will need a Google account to use this tool.)
How Long Does It Take For My Google SERP To Rank?
The length of time that it takes for your Google SERP to rank varies from case to case. (Note: this is one of the most difficult things to figure out. You will need to test different scenarios for different products and see what works best for your business.)
In general, it takes a while for your Google SERP to rank. However, you should know that the process can be slow or fast depending on various factors. For example, if you are a locally-owned shoe store trying to rank for “shoe,” you will likely see a significant decrease in your shoe-related searches. (Note: this is because nearly all of Google’s search results will be show-related content because that is what people are searching for.)
On the other hand, if you are a large corporation with multiple websites trying to rank for “Apples,” you will see an increase in your apple-related searches because nearly all of Google’s search results will be related to apples.
Is There Any Certain Country/Region That My Google SERP Will Rank Best?
Yes, there is a specific country and region that will have an influence over the rankings of your Google SERP. (Note: this depends on the search engine you are using. For example, Google.ca will give your Canadian website a leg up on Canadian searchers, and Yahoo! Japan will boost your Japanese website above most others.)
To find out which country/region your Google SERP will rank best in, use this simple trick: enter your keyword in the URL of the homepage of your website—ideally, the homepage should be a landing page or a specific product page. (Tip: you can also enter the keyword in your browser’s address bar.)
If you want to test another country/region, use Chrome’s incognito mode to open a new browser tab and type in the URL of your first search result page. (Tip: if you are using Google.com, you will need to enter the URL of the first search result page directly into your browser’s location bar.)
When you type a URL into the browser’s location bar, you are opening that URL in a new tab or window. You can then check the rankings of that URL in other countries/regions and compare the number of keywords you see in the URL to the number of keywords you typed in.
What About The Competition?
In addition to having a Google SERP, your competitors also have one. (Note: you should not be afraid of your competition. Learn from them. )
So, it is important to check the competition for your keywords to find out constantly:
- What are they ranking for? (Keywords)
- How are they ranking for these keywords? (Analysis)
- What can I do to improve my ranking? (Strategy)
If you use Google’s free SEO tool, you can easily find your competitors’ keywords and the analysis of their rankings. (Note: you will need a Google account to use this tool.)
Improving Your SEO Through Content
While the design is important, so is content, especially regarding SEO. SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” meaning that the content on your website should be structured so that search engines can find and index it easily. As a result, the content on your website should be relevant to your target audience and contain the keywords and phrases discussed earlier.
To avoid potential penalties from Google, ensure that none of your content – an article, a video, or an image – exceeds three minutes in length. Also, ensure that all your content is unique and relevant to your target audience.