Ever wondered why Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) matter the whole world to web owners. Even with billions of web pages filling up the World Wide Web, why would web owners pull an all out to get noticed by this one particular page?
Simple – SERP is the chief driver of any business you’re likely to find online. It’s the page that connects online visitors to the respective web pages they’re interested in, depending on their search queries.
What are SERPs?
As the name suggests, SERP is a simplified web page provided by search engines, and which lists all the relevant responses to online users every time they enter a query into the search bar. This is the page that shows up with a list of relevant links to sites and web pages befitting your search query.
Usually, search engines will rank the links on these pages based on an algorithm they’ve improvised. Designed to crawl and index every single web page in the internet, the algorithms used strive to ensure the results presented to an online user are as accurate and relevant to their search queries as it’s viscerally possible.
While a good number of web owners understand search engine algorithms and the role they play in online marketing, the public knows so little (if any) about it. This is the case even with the emergence of marketing analysts that have dedicated their life to digging out factors to which the algorithms are framed.
In actual fact, SEO is all about coming up with a marketing strategy that strives to get your site ranked atop in the SERPs. Goes on to show that the more you understand the algorithms, and calibrate your marketing strategy to be in line with the set standards and policies, the more you’ll be favourably ranked in the SERPs.
Speaking of which, as an online marketer, your goal should be:
- Secure a higher ranking in the SERPs
- Gain greater visibility in the SERPs, again
- Drive more traffic through SERPs
- Boost your popularity in the SERPs
- Set up a clear path to a successful brand
The results presented in the SERPs can be broadly classified into two:
- Organic search results
- Inorganic search results
Organic Search Results
Organic search results are the natural results presented to an online user based on their search query. This result are NOT influenced by an ad campaign but by the SEO effort applied in outranking your competitors and secure a favourable spot up the SERPs.
In which case, the better the quality of your content and the more it complies with search engines’ policies and standards, the more it’s likely to secure a prime ranking in the SERPs.
Securing a top slot in the organic search results presented don’t require any form of investment, apart from investing in high quality content coupled with a few SEO tricks. The SEO strategies you employ to generate an impressive amount of organic traffic must include link building, quality content generation, and strategic keyword planning to name a few.
Inorganic Search Results
While SEO can still get you a favourable spot in the SERPs, they’re sometimes NOT fast and reassuring enough. It’s for this reason that web owners shell part of their marketing money for inorganic search results, with an aim of propelling their site or web pages to the elite class first page.
Otherwise referred to as paid search results, these are the artificial respirations awarded to the highest bidder on a set of keywords. So instead of waiting for search engines to parse your online content and rank it accordingly in the SERPs, you simply bid on their respective keywords and secure a top spot without going through all the hassle of churning out great pieces of articles and waiting for search engines to crawl and index it for ranking.
There are numerous way to generate inorganic traffic. Among them there’s PPC and social media promotions and boosting.
So just in case you find yourself ranking poorly on a very important keyword, then consider setting up a PPC ad to climb up the search engine ladder and attain some visibility.
The point is to make sure that you at least appear in the first five search engine results pages. And just in case you cannot be seen anywhere in these pages, make an effort to get yourself featured through PPC as you work on generating great content in the hopes of being organically ranked favourably by search engine algorithms.
If worked right, both SEO and PPC could help you both secure and maintain a favourable spot in the SERPs.
Types of Searches
The searches users make online aren’t all the same. Categorically, there three types of searches users make whenever they’re browsing:
As the name suggests, informational searches refer to the queries where a user is more interested in digging out more information concerning a given topic or subject. For instance, when a user enters the name Lee Kuan Yew into the search bar, all they’re interested in is information on the eminent politician many consider to the father of modern Singapore.
So a web owner running an informative blog or website, placing an ad to direct an online user to an informative site doesn’t make any commercial sense. Meaning all your ranking effort must be directed towards SEO.
Keep in mind that almost all users searching for information have a near-zero intent to buy anything. So unless you’re selling a book or anything of the sort, investing in paid searches isn’t fit for this kind of search.
Navigational queries are often aimed at helping an online user trace a specific website through search engines. What happens is that a user wants to find a particular website they once visited or were recommended to. But since they can’t remember the URL, they choose to play around with the site names and its keyword derivatives and variation, checking on the results to see if it’s among the listed links.
Again, navigational searches aren’t worth investing in PPC. Come to look at it, the user keying in their queries in the search engine bar has already made up their mind on the site they want to visit. All they’re interested in is finding the site they have in mind, and unless they’re able to see the semblance to reconsider their options and settle for an alternative, then there’s no way a paid search is going to influence their decision.
Transactional Searches refer to the kind of queries where the user intends to buy something or take an action at the end of it all. They are the perfect kind of searches that web owners can pay for to be ranked high.
An online user making a transactional search has a high commercial intent. Their search queries may even include keywords that reveal their intention to go through with a product or service purchase. For instance, ‘where to buy’ followed by the name of the product or service they’re interested in.
PPC and SERPs
Unlike SEO, PPC is all about paying to secure a prominent positioning in the SERPs. It’s to be however noted that the process used in determining how one is ranked in the SERPs even after out-bidding all their competitors on a list of keywords isn’t a black and white undertaking.
Several factors do come in play, part of which involves using a special formula that also considers how relevant and useful the content presented is to an online user.
It’s a Wrap
SERPs are nothing more than the result pages presented every time you query your problem into a search bar. These pages feature a series of relevant links for you to filter through and decide which one among the list presented best suits your needs.
This post was created to help you develop a clear understanding of what a SERP really is. But just in case you wish to optimise a PPC campaign and identify the opportunities around you for PPC, then make an effort to check out MediaOne today for help.