Understanding Google’s Search Engine Results Page and Why It Matters

Marketers understand that in order to have a strong online presence, a website has to rank high on Google (or any other search engine) or prospects will likely have a hard time finding it. This is where Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) comes in. The SERP is the page of options that comes up when you do a search. Each SERP is unique depending on the keywords and search engine used. It contains two types of content: organic and paid results. It also includes featured snippets, images, videos, and location-specific results.

This is Google’s way of trying to make users’ search experiences easier and more relevant. The SERP enables users to see on-page content without having to click into an organic result. This is great for users, but it can be problematic for marketers looking to capture attention in organic search results.

Marketers need to stay current with SERP features to learn how to rank higher. Search engines are increasingly more sophisticated. A few years ago if you searched the word “pizza” you would get a listing of pizza restaurant websites, a directory listing, review sites, and maybe some blog posts. Today that same search provides so much more. You’ll see an ad, a map with the closest pizza location to you, a Wikipedia page with pizza nutritional information, etc. This makes it harder for even the #1 ranked pizza place to be visible. There are ways around this.

Rich Snippets Enable You to Share More Info Before A Click

Rich snippets allow you to include images, reviews, descriptions, pricing, etc. that will come up in the search so users are more enticed to click.

Paid Search Results Put Your Site At The Top Of The Page

These are the ads and sponsored posts that you see at the very top of the SERP. Google differentiates paid searches from organic using visual cues that include providing a “sponsored” or “ad” label or by boxing off the paid search results.

Organic Search Lists Your Site Below Paid Search Results

In an organic search your site will appear in the order Google ranks it based on your SEO. It will be listed below the paid search results. Ensuring your site has engaging, relevant, keyword-rich content will help boost SEO to keep your ranking high and your site visible in organic search.

Here’s a visual for what each of these options looks like on Google.

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