Published On: May 5, 2009
Ever heard of a SERP?
If yes, then you must know a thing or two about Search Engine Marketing (SEM). If no, then this little ditty might help. But why am I writing about a seemingly esoteric acronym? Because this gem actually tells Search Engine Marketers and Search Engine Optimizers quite a bit about a website.
To clarify, a SERP is a “search engine results page.” SERPs are results rendered by a search engine in response to a keyword query. To be technical about it, a SERP may refer to a single page of links returned or to the entire set of links. Some search engines cache SERPs and display the cached SERP instead of a live SERP in an effort to increase delivery / performance time. SERPs of The Big Three (Google, Yahoo! and Live Search) usually include an array of results, such as organic listings, images, maps, news, definitions, and even “sponsored” (read: paid) results.
Why do SERPs matter to a business owner?
Where your business or service shows up on a search results page matters a great deal. The higher up you are on the page, the more likely you’ll receive a click. A click sends traffic to your site. Traffic can translate into sales.
Search engines use the textual content within your web pages to index your site. The search engines take their cues from an array of components — one such critical component is the code behind your website. That code can direct the search engine bots through your page and tell the bots what things are important and what information you want the search engines to take special note of.
Perhaps what is most interesting about SERPs is that they can be measured. That means, your website can be tracked for targeted keywords across The Big Three. In other words, by using SERP tracking software, a Search Engine Marketer can know where your site is positioned against any particular phrase.
For example, if you search “web design franklin, tn,” in Google, you’ll see JLB listed in letter D of the map section of the SERP and first in the organic section of the SERP. (see photo above)
With these high results, our firm has a greater chance of (a) being seen, (b) receiving a click, and (c) netting new business.
If you have a website, you can (and should) know how well you’re performing for those golden keywords. Not knowing your SERPs is kind of like flying blind… like taking all of that money you’ve spent to get your site developed and the lighting it on fire.