By next year, spending on search engine optimization (SEO) will hit nearly $80 billion in the United States.
What’s it all about? Why are businesses so willing to spend such serious sums of money on SEO?
It’s all to do with SERPs.
But if you’re new to SEO you might never have come across this pivotal acronym in the industry. You need to know about SERPs if you’re going to reap the full rewards of SEO. We wanted to help out.
Keep reading to learn all about how SERP defined can be used to benefit your business.
SERP Defined: What Are SERPs?
SERP is an acronym for ‘search engine results page’.
You know when you type something into Google and the results show up? Well, you’re looking at a SERP. You see a long list of results that you have the option to click on. There are usually millions of responses to a query, and dozens of pages available for perusal.
The results may have been crawled and indexed by the search engine (usually Google), or someone could have paid for their inclusion.
Results that are higher up a SERP are deemed more relevant to the search query. The information therein has been judged as useful, informative, and related to your search.
Why Are SERPs Important?
Now we’ve defined what SERPs are, let’s consider their importance to you and your business.
Here’s the deal: ranking in SERPs is the only way to attract an audience to your website.
No-one will be able to view your content (be it a blog post, video, podcast, article, or anything else) if you don’t rank in search engines. If you want an audience, you need to rank on a SERP. If you want a large audience, you need to rank high up.
For instance, 90% of all web traffic uses the first page of SERPs alone. That means you can only access 10% of your potential audience if your ranking falls outside of the first page.
Ranking in the top spot of the first page can be huge for your business.
Among the many benefits of SEO, it primarily helps you to beat the competition. The click-through rate of the top spot is almost 30%. That figure drops to 10% for the third position. Three times the traffic means three times the chance of converting on a sale. Your profits increase with it.
This is why SEO is so important, and why businesses spend millions of dollars vying to be #1 on SERPs.
How to Rank Higher in SERPs
Now you know what a SERP is and why they’re so important. In this final section, we’ll go through some SEO tips to improve your rankings.
1. Find the Right Keywords
Keywords are of primary importance when trying to rank on SERPs.
They’re the search terms and phrases that people type into Google. It’s your job to find out what people are searching for and create great content to fill that gap. Find the keywords using tools such as Google Trends, or Google Ads Keyword Planner.
Try to find words and phrases (they’re still referred to as a keyword even if it’s actually multiple words) that lots of people are searching for, but that other creators haven’t already written about. This way you have a better chance of ranking highly on SERPs.
Long-tail keywords are those containing multiple words (usually 4 or more). These are usually less competitive, and give you the best bet of ranking higher up.
Create your content with these in mind.
2. Utilize Keywords in Content
Once you’ve found your keywords you need to incorporate them into your content.
They should be included in your main titles and at least one header. Be sure to write it in your blog post introductions (preferably the first 100 words) and conclusions too.
Other places to include the keyword are the permalink of your URL, the meta-description of your blog posts, and any image alt tags.
The keyword will be picked up by the search engine bots that crawl your pages and tell Google what it’s about.
3. Prioritize the User Experience
It’s tempting to overuse your keywords in your content.
Don’t do it! Search engines such as Google will punish you for it with lower rankings. This is part of their endeavors to create a positive user experience (UX).
A central rule is to always create content for humans, rather than search engines.
Do so by striving to provide value to anyone who frequents your website. All blog content should be engaging, easy to read, and use images, videos and subheadings to break it up.
4. Generate Backlinks
Backlinks are crucial to high rankings.
Anyone aiming to hit the number one spot on search engines must gain high-quality links from other sites to their own. Google sees this as a vote of confidence for your content.
It is quality over quantity though. In the past, you could pay faux sites around the world for a set number of links to your site. This would be enough to trick Google into ranking you higher. These days things are more advanced and you can be punished for taking this approach.
Instead, you want links from high quality, reputable, industry-leading websites.
This is another incentive to create great stuff. You’re far more likely to attract backlinks when you’ve created something worth linking to.
Time to Get Ranking
There you have it: SERP defined, why they’re important, and how to rank higher on them!
Follow these rules and you’ll be beating the competition in no time.
Look for more SEO tips? Be sure to read about it here, and learn how we can help with all of your SEO efforts.