A search engine results page, or SERP, is what appears when a user does a search in a search engine such as Google, MSN, or Yahoo! It is a list of related websites, images, videos, local listings, and sponsored links. A search engine results page usually lists 10 results per page.
The most relevant links will be the ones you see on the first page. This is why website creators want to rank high on the results page. They want to be seen. Users will typically choose to view a result that appears on the first page.
How is ranking determined for a search engine results page? The following are some of the criteria that can determine where a website ranks:
- The age of the website: while this cannot be controlled, it does play a role in the ranking. Older websites may rank better because they have been around for longer and have had time to build up credibility.
- Backlinks: backlinks are considered an important ranking factor when it comes to search engine results pages. Building backlinks can be done by writing articles, blog posts, and even commenting on other’s blog posts, especially ones that are related to the topic of your website.
- Page loading speed: if pages take too long to load, this can affect ranking as the bounce rate from the page will increase.
- How mobile-friendly it is: with so many people using mobile devices to visit web pages, it’s important that they are mobile-friendly and not just desktop-friendly. All websites today are subject to mobile-first indexing.
- Relevancy: in order to rank in search engine results, your web page has to be relevant to a user’s search. To be more relevant, you must do keyword research.
What are the benefits of ranking in search engine results pages? Besides being more visible to users who do searches, there are a number of benefits to ranking, which include:
- Cultivating a better online reputation: users are searching for services, products to buy, and information. When you appear on the first page of results, you will build trust and familiarity with users. Your website will become visible to many people resulting in more visits.
- Increased conversions and revenue: the result of visits from more users will also increase converting traffic. Websites with higher search engine rankings are more trusted by users. When you gain trust, you gain new customers.
- Better brand awareness: even if a user doesn’t click on a link to your web page the first time, the next time they do a search and your web page appears as a top result, they are going to remember it from last time.
Doing your best to rank high in the search engine results page will pay off even though you may not see the results immediately. Know that posting high-quality content as well as using the best possible keywords and key phrases are only going to benefit your effort.