SEO Defined- What is a SERP and Why it is Important

April 28, 2009

SEO

search-engine-results-pageWhenever you plug in a search term in your favorite search engine, the page returned is the SERP or Search Engine Results Page. Not only should you have a search engine marketing strategy to be in one of the top coveted positions on this page, but recognize the importance of the information on this page, as it often determines how searchers respond.

SEO Defined- What is a SERP How Important is it?

The Search Engine Results Page is a very valuable piece of web real-estate that is often overlooked or forgotten. Yet it comprises a “first impression” opportunity for those searching for what a webpage (your webpage) claims to provide. It should stand out uniquely while remaining relevant to searchers.

SEO Tip- A SERP Example

If you think about it, it serves as an advertisement to sell the ‘click’. This may be the only introduction a searcher has to your site or business, and therefore it is very important. Here is an example of three different SERP listings, for the keyphrase how to lose weight.

search-engine-optimization-strategy

Which one do you find most compelling? This is a highly competitive market (Google returns 20M+ results at the time of this writing). What makes one listing more compelling than another?

An Observation: Notice that the searched words are bolded. To help sell the click and demonstrate relevance, Google has bolded the text allowing it to stand out to the searcher. This is the case for the page title (all blue), the description text in the middle (black), and the link itself (green).

SEO Tip- 3 Components of Your Search Engine Results

Most online marketers want to make the most of their search engine optimization strategy. One way to do that is to evaluate your competition, looking at the example there are generally 3 areas to optimize to make your results most successful.

SERP Page Title

This is the first line of a given result, in the example it is blue underlined. What text is placed there has more to do with copywriting (for which there are entire courses), but there is much to learn from this example. The first two results contain the search phrase, but the third result I find more compelling, as it invites a searcher to also take action.

SERP Description

Again, this must have the keywords in it in a natural and compelling way, further motivating the searcher to come and take a look at what is offered on the page. Again, the third result does a good job of this, it provides a piece of information supporting the promise in the page title, but leaves the reader hanging, wanting to learn the conclusion of the sentence.

SERP the URL

This is the actual address where the page lives. This isn’t so important to the searcher, but is important to the search engines. It is important to consider carefully the URL, in most cases it should have the keyphrase in it, or at least the root keyword. Don’t make too big a deal of this, but be aware of it. Consider the third result again, it only has one of the words (lose) from the keyphrase in it, and still is at #3 position overall for a very competitive niche, not too bad. As you consider the search engine optimization tips in this article, evaluate your own market and search terms and see if you can’t provide more compelling, motivating copy for your search results pages. Done properly you will stand out well to searchers and the search engines alike.

Chime in: What are your observations in the example provided? Questions, thoughts, ideas? Use the comment boxes below.

*Image credits to michaelangeloew’s

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About Travis Campbell

Husband. Dad. Marketing automator. Author. Educating and coaching others in their online business endeavors. Here's his Google profile.

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4 Responses to “SEO Defined- What is a SERP and Why it is Important”

  1. Ron Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to introduce me to a new, and important term, SERP, and for breaking it down.

    Reply

    • Travis Campbell Says:

      Ron-

      Glad you found it *important*. Here’s hoping you can make it profitable in your business.

      Reply

  2. portable air conditioner Says:

    Serp has envolved a lot recently. It is more and more complex. About future? I think in future will be a huge number of real time search available when you are going to search for average search terms.

    Reply

  3. Graeme Goldie Says:

    when I shut down my computer serp comes up as not shutting down and my computer will not close how do I fix this

    Reply

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