If you want to boost traffic to your website and make money online, then you need to know what a SERP is and how it affects your online business. SERP stands for search engine results page - one of the most effective types of internet marketing. This is the webpage that appears after you type a search term into a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Below are several examples of SERPs:
Parts of a SERP
Most SERPs consist of two parts: the organic search results and the sponsored links. Each part has its own set of circumstances that must be dealt with, but both can be equally successful if implemented properly. A great deal of time and money can be wasted on organic search results and sponsored links if a project isn't carefully planned.
Organic Search Results
Organic search results are the links to websites that the search engine suggests on a SERP. These usually appear as the bulk of the content on the search engine results page. There will typically be 10 links to websites that pertain to the search term or terms entered in the search box. Without proper search engine optimization, your website will never attain a top 10 search ranking. Organic search results can only be obtained through careful SEO that follows the guidelines established by the search engines. SEO can be a very tricky business and good SEO techniques can keep your website from getting banned from using more damaging methods.
The goal of any search engine optimization campaign is receive a top 10 ranking among these search results on the first page. Research has shown that about 90% of all clicks occur on this first page. Very few people actually move on to subsequent pages when they're searching for something. In fact, most people will browse through the first 10 search results and then revise their search or completely change their search terms to gain better results.
Well written titles and description meta tags will not only help you gain better placement on the SERPs, but it will grab the searcher's attention more readily. For example, if someone is searching for widgets and they see your link with "Quality Widgets at Affordable Prices" they are more likely to click on your link rather than the competing "Acme Products" link.
Gaining top placement on a SERP for specific keywords is not an overnight project. SEO takes time - usually months to fully implement. Website owners should be prepared to accept the long-term commitment needed to do the job right.
Sponsored link is a fancy term for advertisement. Sponsored links are the links that typically appear at the top or to the right of the organic search results on a SERP. These are more commonly referred to as PPC or pay-per-click links since the advertiser is charged a search engine user clicks on the link. This fee can vary from just a few pennies to several dollars per click depending on the keywords selected.
PPC ad campaigns are useful when the desired organic search results cannot be obtained through SEO or when waiting for SEO to kick in after launching a new website. Unlike SEO, you can usually gain top ranking in the sponsored links by simply outbidding your competition. However, this can quickly become an expensive way of doing business if you're not prepared. If done correctly, PPC ads can be very effective in generating more traffic and increasing conversions on your website.
One of the biggest factors in the failure of a PPC ad campaign is the lack of landing pages. Many PPC ads will simply take the visitor to a generic page or sometimes even one that doesn't deal with their search terms. You will have a much higher conversion success rate if your PPC ads are directed to a landing page specifically designed for a set of keywords.
SERP Marketing Power
The power of SERP marketing is undeniable. According one study conducted in 2008, 49% of all internet users will use a search engine on a typical day. Given the continued popularity of search engines and the improvements they have made over the last few years, this number is sure to only rise. As a relatively cheap method of advertising when compared with other media, SERPs are an extremely valuable part of any marketing plan.