Welcome back! I assume you’ve already read my post about what SERP’s are? If not, you should really start there. I’ll still be here when you get back, don’t worry.
So now that you know what SERP’s are, and the different types of searches and results, it’s time to talk about how the SERP’s are actually generated. In my last post I glazed over how the process works. Remember I said that if you’re in Maine, you probably won’t appear at the top of an SERP in Arizona? Well that’s true. It’s also true, that even if your user is in Maine with you, they could have your competitors in their browsing history and it will default that company higher up the page.
The first big part of this is the type of result. Organic, or paid.
So if you have optimized your pages to the best of your ability, Google (or whichever other search engine you prefer) will pull your information based on exactly what has been typed into the search bar. If you’re looking for information on Shakespeare; date of birth, birthplace, how many plays he wrote, who his wife and children were; there are relevant pages to each of these things. It’s not usually fit into one page like the papers we all wrote in high school. These are the things that organically populate based on the search engine’s database relating to the keyword or phrase.
In comparison, paid results are exactly what they sound like. You pay for the result you want. There are many kinds of paid ads that you can choose from too. Sometimes you perform a search and see the top few results that have that little tag that says “Ad”, those have been paid. The box that pops up on the side of the website? The one that says sponsored? That was paid.
What about the map that shows up all the time? That’s not necessarily a paid ad. It’s courtesy of the Google My Business listing feature. This is a “directory” listing that enhances the visibility of your business online. It is a very important feature, especially on mobile devices.
The SEO you did for your website will create organic results. These results are then filed into a database that Google can scan whenever a search is performed. There are hundreds if not thousands of different ranking factors that Google uses, however, nobody knows exactly what they are. Some good guesses are location, the number of external links that lead to that website, and your SEO.
If you’ve seen any of my other “Work With Me” articles, you know how important SEO is for your website by now. But did you know there are two branches of search engine optimization?
On-page SEO encompasses the best practices that those of us with websites should follow to ensure visibility of our content. We create this content to be discovered and shared right? Well, how do we accomplish that? You give each page you create as much detail in the background as possible. Every element should have details linked to it. Image tags, unique keywords, static URL’s, relevant subheadings and clean titles.
Off-page SEO refer to the strategy behind the page. This is where you (and definitely I) need to talk to professionals. From what I understand in research, some of the common techniques include:
- Link building : this is where you try to get as many links to come back to your website as you can. If you’re a marketing agency, or you work freelance in the field, a quick way to do this is the “website built by ______” in the footer of the page.
- Content marketing : the process of picking a niche and sticking to it. Consistent content in the same market attracts an audience and gives your site value, which increases shares or profits.
- Directory listings : where you list your website, on listing websites. Simple as that. Google My Business is a huge plus in this regard. Depending on they kind of business you have, the sites you will want to list on will differ. Do some research. See where you can find your competitors, and list there too!
- Social media : that’s all you need to know for this one. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. YouTube if that falls in your wheelhouse. Anything that fits your business, get on it.
If you can find yourself an SEO professional to join your team, it is well worth the investment. If not, there are many out there for hire. Freelance, small agencies, large agencies. Or, you can teach yourself, by reading my articles! Questions? Comments? Did I miss something? Drop me a comment or fill out the contact form.