Should you pay any attention to SERP?
Businesses pay attention to their search engine ranking page (SERP) results because they want to be found – they want to come up if someone is searching the Internet for them or for what they offer. You can go SERP yourself, and you should do that a few times a year.
- Do an incognito search so that your past search history won't affect your results.
- Google your name and see if you are on the first page of results.
- Google your business name and see where it is coming up.
- Google for your keywords (phrases) that you use to describe your business and that you use on your website.
You're wanting to position yourself so that you show up on the first SERP screen. If you don't, you need to work on your visibility in search engines. It's your responsibility as the CEO of your business to know where you stand. Or if you even show up at all.
What is SERP?
Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP) simply refers to the results you get when you do a Google search on a term. Click To Tweet The results you see when you do a Google search are based on the words you placed in your search bar. SERP is important for your business, you want your website and other online presence to be found when a prospect is looking for you or what you offer.
SERP depends on other things besides the words you placed into your search bar. You'll get different results for the exact same search term that I use, did you know that? SERP is based on your geographical location, what you've searched for in the past, and many other factors. You can sit on a couch with a friend and both Google the exact same term, and you'll get slightly different results! Click To Tweet
Using SERP to find relevant keywords and phrases for your business
There's an entire industry of service providers who will, for a fee, analyze your own SERP results along with the SERP results of your competitors. Big corporations do this all the time. It's a reverse engineering. They look at the SERP of the companies who sell what they sell (like toilet paper or toothpaste) and they see which companies are ranked first, at the very top of the search engine results. They then analyze those web pages to glean the keywords and phrases used, and attempt to replicate that on their own site so as to increase their own SERP results.
As a small business owner you more than likely are not going to spend the money it takes to do that. For one thing, it's not going to be cost effective to go up against big companies. This is why you have often heard to niche down into a narrow segment and specialize, because it's easier to stand out. This is why you also hear that “long tail key words” are important for you. Instead of “toothpaste” you pick a niche and your keyword phrase becomes long-tailed – whitening toothpaste for kids. See the difference?
You can do some of your own sleuthing. Pick 3 of the top businesses in your field and go search for their website. See where they are on your screen. See if you can discern the keywords and phrases they have used in their copy. Think about whether you should change some of your copy to get a better result for your own business.
Bonus tips about SERP
- Your SERP results are a combination of everything about you on the Internet – your web presence not just from your website but also on social platforms, guest blog posts, and backlinks.
- If you want to increase your online presence, remember that LinkedIn profiles usually show up in SERP when you Google your name, so make sure your LinkedIn profile is fresh and has good key words to describe what you do. You might want to read this article about improving LinkedIn contacts, too.
- Gaining top Google rankings takes some work over time. One place that people fall down is throwing up a website and then never adding any new content. Google likes fresh and new, not old and stale.
- Use original content on your website.
- Make sure your load speed is up to par (websites that take a long time to load get pushed down in Google rankings).
- Be a guest blogger on someone else's site and get a backlink to your own site from there.
Related article: 5 Creative Ways to Increase Your Company's Visibility
What is SERP? It's a measure of how visible you are on the web, and how easily potential new customers can find you. Remember to go check your SERP a few times a year.