The New SEO Homepage: The SERP

When you think of search in general, you think of a group of listings that take you to websites. At least, that is the way search has worked.

Now though, users have as many (if not more) opportunities to learn and convert before ever even getting to a website. So, what does this mean for the SEO and search community in general?

It means, treating the SERP page like the landing page, rather than the portal to get to a landing page.

What Does ‘SERP’ Mean?

Before we can jump into the specifics as to why and how you should be treating the SERP as a landing page, we should first discuss what ‘SERP’ even means.

For any novice digital marketers, you have probably been reading and hearing the term a lot. SERP stands for “Search Engine Results Page”, which are the web pages that populate every time someone online enters a keyword or search query using search engines like Bing or Google.

Every SERP is unique, even for search queries performed on the same search engine using the same keywords or search queries. This is because virtually all search engines customize the experience for their users by presenting results based on a wide range of factors beyond their search terms, such as the user’s physical location, browsing history, and social settings.

The SERP can be made up of, Google Ads, Organic Results, Google My Business listings, Google Maps, Images, Videos, etc. Based on the query and Google's interpretation of what your search intent may be will determine the layout of what your SERP will look like.

Two SERPs may appear identical, and contain many of the same results, but will often feature subtle differences.

Why Is the SERP so Important?

The SERP is unique for each different search query based upon the keywords and phrases used when a consumer is searching for their results. These results can vary from person to person based on Google’s algorithm. This ensures that the consumer is being served up relevant results that match the intent behind their query.

SERP is important because the higher a company's website ranks, the more searchers will click on the website. It’s believed that nearly 75% of online users do not go past the first page of search engines, so it’s important to develop a strong SEO strategy in order to rank higher on the SERP and capture leads.

If your website is stuck on page 2 for a few keywords, you may need to reestablish a strategy in order to bump them up to the first page.

With the SERP being the new landing page for many websites and businesses, how will you get yours to stand out amongst the other ads and organic listings? Read on to find out.

BE CONSISTENT

Running a PPC, SEO, and local search campaign separately just doesn’t get it done any longer. All of these campaigns need to be working together, creating consistency on the SERP that will make a business recognizable and in turn increase your CTR.

This includes making sure the business name being used is the exact same across all search campaigns. For example, if your business name is Jake’s Roofing Associates, be sure to use the exact business name is PPC ads, title tags, and Google My Business.

Far too often, you will see variations (Jake’s Roofing, Jakes Roofing & Associates, etc.) which can be confusing and lead to a lower CTR on search.

Consistency also means using similar phrasing in the listings. If you have a CTA in your PPC ad, mirror it in your SEO title and create a GMB post about the offer you’re promoting. Again, having this consistency will lead to a higher CTR of the overall campaign.

BE STRATEGIC

Knowing that many users may not ever actually end up on the website, understand the intent behind the searches that are being conducted every month.

For education searches, make sure you are drafting content that specifically answers the question and don’t be subtle about crafting the content to answer the question directly.

With more and more searches displaying rich snippet content, this can lead to expanded visibility right at the top of the search.

For more conversion-focused keywords, be sure to bid on them in your PPC campaign. You will also want to make sure you have ad extensions and have linked the GMB listing with your PPC campaign, especially for those bottom of the funnel keywords, as these users generally are looking to convert and giving them that opportunity right on the SERP will boost overall ROI.

In today's marketing climate, it's not only important to use a top notch strategy when developing your SEM campaigns but it’s also crucial to stay up to date on any changes. Google is constantly changing its algorithm, layout, even bidding pricing.

To stay ahead of your competitors, you need to make sure that you’re feeding your brain with the latest industry news and trends.

BE INNOVATIVE

While a lot has changed on the Google SERP, there are even more changes that are still to come. We’ve seen Local Service Ads, Shopping Ads, GMB Offers, Video and Image results, Direct Booking apps and so much more. You need to be taking advantage of as many of these as possible. Not only because they offer opportunity, but also because that will allow you to take advantage of what’s next.

The farther you fall behind with what Google is offering, the more difficult it will be to catch up. Our PPC team has crafted an extensive list of Google Ads Tips and Tricks for you to try out on your next PPC campaign so you can stay ahead of competition.

This is especially true since there are now more businesses taking advantage of these opportunities than ever before. With competition growing more fierce for SERP visibility, and with users relying more on the SERP than ever before, not being there can make a business invisible.

The good news is it’s not too late. With a strategic SEM campaign from a full-service digital marketing agency, you can take full advantage of these opportunities. Implementing a search engine marketing solution is more than adding a credit card to Google Ads.

Having the right digital marketing agency is the difference between a true marketing campaign and putting money into a product.

With Conduit, our search solutions are designed to work together, providing a true search engine marketing solution that will impact the entire SERP.

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