Search engine results pages (SERPs) are web pages users see when they enter queries into search engines like Google to look for something online. Publishers compete stiffly to rank on the first pages of Google search results as websites that succeed receive more than 90% of user traffic. But don’t worry if your website isn’t there yet. You can use several strategies to improve your ranking and grab more traffic. Let’s find out how.
What is a search engine results page?
It’s essentially the page you see after typing a query into the search bar on Google, Bing, Yandex, DuckDuckGo, and other search engines. SERP design varies by company, but since Google is the most popular (with over 80% market share), we’ll concentrate on its features and algorithms.
The search engine results pages show a list of results – images, videos, text blocks, and more – or websites relevant to your query. Every SERP contains both organic and paid search results.
Types of search queries
Some SERPs will have more organic results than others because different searches have different intents. Let’s briefly discuss search intent.
Navigational queries are what users type into the search box when looking for a specific website but do not type the entire URL. For example, [Facebook]To Contents ↑
Informational queries occur when users want to get specific information. For example, [what’s the current price of bitcoin in USD]To Contents ↑
Transactional queries occur when users are thinking of purchasing an item. For example, [Cheap cars under $15k]
Transactional searches have strong commercial intent, and search queries that lead to transactional SERPs may include keywords like “buy” and other terms that indicate a strong desire to buy.
How to get in the SERPs
The SERPs may differ for each query, but they’re all made up of the same three components.
You can find paid search results at the top, side, and bottom of SERPs. Google displays a maximum of four paid ads at the top of SERPs on a desktop computer and three ads on a mobile browser.
Google considers the bid amount, the quality of the landing page, the ad itself, and the relevance to the query before ranking your ads.To Contents ↑
Search engines use webpage quality, relevance, and authority algorithms to determine organic results. Google ranks thousands of identical results. As a result, the most relevant and high-quality pages usually appear first in search engine results.To Contents ↑
There are some exciting features in the SERPs that make specific results stand out. Google and other search engines have added helpful boxes, visuals, and interactive panels.
SERP features are designed to provide information without the need to click a result, but they can also generate revenue for Google (e.g., Shopping ads).
What are the features of a SERP?
A featured snippet is a small section of content taken from a website or video. Featured snippets usually appear at the top of the SERP, though other results may sometimes appear above them. To get a featured snippet, your website must be on the first page of the search results, so get there first.
Not every snippet is text. Google sometimes shows videos (referred to as suggested clips)
Here are some examples of snippet formats:
- FAQ: A short paragraph in response to queries that start with “What is” and “Who is.”
- Bulleted and Numbered lists: For rankings and “best of” lists. Also used for instructions, DIY, recipes, and tasks completed in a specific order.
- Tables: A visual representation of dates, prices, rates, or any other data displayed in a table.
Knowledge Cards appear at the top of the SERP and provide a clear and precise response to the query. They are available in a variety of formats. They’re helpful for informational queries because they provide the requested information and additional related data.
The three primary data sources for Knowledge Cards are Google’s Knowledge Graph, data partners, and other highly authoritative sources such as Wikipedia and official government websites.To Contents ↑
Knowledge Panels provide information on the query’s main subject. They usually appear near the top of the SERP on mobile, and on desktop, they typically appear on the right-hand side.
Like Knowledge Cards, most of the data in Knowledge Panels comes from the Knowledge Graph and trusted sources like Wikipedia.To Contents ↑
Image Packs display a few thumbnails with a link to a Google Images search. You can commonly find an image pack at the top of the SERP, but they can also appear further down the page.To Contents ↑
Top stories display in carousels of recent articles, live blogs, and videos. Each result on Google has a thumbnail, title, publisher name, and timestamp, and they are usually near the top of the SERP. It’s important to note that most of these rankings are temporary, as the SERP feature’s goal is to show new results, and pages can’t stay fresh for long.To Contents ↑
People also ask (PAA)
People also ask boxes display related questions users ask Google. Each question leads to an answer emerging from a web page, shown similarly to Featured Snippets.
Google usually places PAA in the middle of its SERPand loads more questions whenever you reveal an answer.To Contents ↑
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are shopping results that show relevant products from paid advertisers. Every result includes the product name, price, and retailer, with some reviews and special offers.
Google usually displays recent tweets from the company’s official Twitter account for brand searches (e.g., “Ahrefs”). Relevant tweets from your account may still appear in the Tweets box for non-branded searches.
Sitelinks are hyperlinks to other pages or sections of the ranking website. Sitelinks are links to specific pages on a website. They’re more related to organic results than a SERP with enhancing features Because they appear as ‘extra’ links below a result.
Google’s web crawlers pick up Sitelinks from your website, so ensure to structure your site with clear and relevant headings like “Products” or “Blog.” The more site links you have, the easier it will be for visitors to navigate your website.To Contents ↑
Video results are organic results that include a thumbnail of a video. Only pages with embedded videos are eligible, and Google usually consists of the upload date, duration, and uploader’s name in the SERP. Like images, make sure your video’s description, subtitles, and title are accurate and descriptive.To Contents ↑
How can you use the SERP to get more organic traffic?
Despite the paid ad competition and a large number of no-click searches, plenty of organic traffic is still available to capture. The benefit of SEO is that you have complete control over the content you publish and how you appear on search engine results pages. Learn more about SEO (on-page) optimization here.
To rank higher, your page must do two things. It must first be relevant and of high quality. If you don’t help searchers achieve their goals, Google won’t list your website on page one.
What your target audience wants can be determined by keyword research. You can attract visitors to your website by providing hyper-relevant content.
Make your listing stand out
You have complete control over how your SERP listing appears. You can take advantage of this opportunity by changing your title, meta description, and other aspects such as structured data.
Gain a knowledge graph with Google My Business
Google My Business listings are a helpful resource in the SERPs, and having a solid presence in the SERPs can boost brand awareness and sales. Registering for Google My Business can help people find your address, phone number, and other business information when searching online.
SERPs can help unleash the potential of your website. You can take essential steps to rank well in the SERPs and drive the organic traffic you want. Although search engines are constantly changing search algorithms, SEO, and quality, relevant content will help you stay top.