A search engine results page (SERP) is the listing of web pages returned by a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, et al) in response to a keyword query. Results normally include a list of web pages with titles, one or more hyperlinks, and a short description of web pages you may choose to explore. A SERP may refer to a single page of links returned, or to the set of all links returned for a search query.
Being on page one of a SERP is the holy grail of search engine marketing. When people open up their browser and search for something you sell, your hope is that you show up on page one of a SERP. The searcher then sees your link and clicks through to your web site. Once on your web site, the searcher contacts you or they buy one of your products online.
In this example above, you didn’t even need to look for this new customer, advertise to them, call them, or even mail them anything. They found you!! How cool is that?
How do businesses show up on page one of a SERP?
Well…the answer to that question is called search engine marketing or search engine optimization (SEO). It almost always takes some effort. And quite frankly, SEO work is really (just between you and me) all about “sucking up to Google” and doing what Google wants you to do. Why should you care about that?
Google is the world’s most popular search engine. Search engine market shares look approximately like this at the time of this posting:
- Google 78.48%
- Bing 9.26%
- Yahoo 9.14%
So, hopefully, you can understand my “sucking up to Google” comment made just a moment ago. Clearly, any sensible SERP strategy would put the majority of money, time and effort into setting up and optimizing one’s web presence focusing mostly on making Google’s search engine algorithms like you very much.
The Value of Page Rank Position
Page rank position #4, #6, #1? What’s the big deal? There’s a ton of opportunity in moving up from position #6 (which is closer to the bottom of a page one SERP) to position #1. Consider this: Position #6 on a page one SERP only draws about 5% of the clicks, while position #4 gets 8%, position #2 gets 17%, and position #1 gets about 34% of the clicks!
The 3 Steps to SEO
If you have any competition at all in your business, and any one would ever to think to use Google to find your company online, you need to get some help from a search marketing expert. Search engine optimization is not easy or obvious, and it has 3 parts:
- SEO research
- SEO website adjustments
- SEO on-going optimization efforts
Taking short cuts or skipping anyone of those 3 steps always hurts. How does it hurt? It lets your competitors that take search marketing more seriously get the business that you should have gotten. That’s bad.
FINALLY - What’s the hardest part of all of this to accept?
Step 3 – “SEO on-going optimization efforts”
Why is step 3 so hard to accept? Because like it or not, SEO never stops and it costs your business a modest amount of time and/or money every month. Yep! Just like running Yellow Pages ads of the past, SEO is something you need to budget for month after month, every month going forward if you really want to dominate in the online SERP competition to gain new customers. Sorry…that’s just the way it is. Don’t shoot the messenger. But the return on your SEO investment can be phenomenal when it’s done right. Call me to learn more: Paul DeBernardi 651-261-4581.