A SERP, or search engine results page, is the page returned by search engines, like Google, when someone searches for a particular keyword. Websites interested in getting more traffic must strive to appear on page number one of search engines for keywords that are relevant to their content and/or products since sites appearing on page one receive 92% of the clicks.
How do sites appear on a SERP?
This question is the crux of SEO (search engine optimisation), and the answer is there are a number of factors which influence whether a website appears on a SERP. Search engine algorithms, which dictate which sites are most relevant to each keyword, are complex.
Crawlers, also known as spiders, are search engine scripts that browse the web and index pages and websites. So when we make changes to our website that we believe will have a positive effect on SERPs, we should not expect these changes to be instantly reflected in our search engine rankings.
Changes to search engines
Penguin, panda, hummingbird – not a random list of animals but updates to Google’s algorithm. Google remains overwhelmingly the most popular search engine. It’s a dynamic platform, and with each of these updates, Google moves ever closer to its mission of returning quality, relevant content. SEO strategies today, therefore, must adapt by focussing more on producing quality content. Keyword research remains an important part of the process, but keywords must appear naturally within the flow of the content.
Changes to paid search
Getting more traffic quickly can be difficult with organic search alone since conducting keyword research, producing lots of quality content and gaining backlinks from authority sites is a time-consuming process. For this reason, website owners are increasingly looking towards PPC (pay per click) advertising for faster results. However, Google has moved away from its “highest bidder wins” approach to PPC. Of course, an advertiser’s max bid still comes into it, but just like organic search, content quality is now also taken into consideration.
As you can tell, there are lots of reasons why SEO, and now PPC, takes some time to implement successfully. Patience is key, since producing lots of quality content is important. If the focus of your website is somewhat niche (and hence you struggle to produce content on the focus subject), adding a blog section to your site is probably a good idea, since it allows you to write about broader topics.
Contact us if you would like to explore ways of getting your business to rank higher on SERPs.