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search engine results page, serp

Search Engine Results Page



The search engine results page or SERP is the page(s) of website listings that a search engine shows you in response to submitting a search to that specific engine. Ideally, you would like to show up in the first three results pages in a search engine for specific keywords that your site is designed around. Beyond the top 30 listings, you have less and less chance for someone to visit your site via organic search.

There are a number of things you can do to help your informational or ecommerce website rank high in the SERPs. But be aware that even if you follow all of the best techniques to a T you may still not rank highly if the keywords you are competing for are extremely generic or are part of a saturated market. For example, if you are competing for the search word/term "seo", good luck. You will be fighting an uphill battle.

But this does not mean that you shouldn't follow good seo practices when designing your site. If you honestly feel that you will not work on your site once you've put it live, then don't expect anything magical to ever happen. But, if you work at maximizing your site over the long haul, you may yet get some excellent results without spending a fortune on web advertising.

Some important factors in helping your site succeed in the SERPs...

Keyword Research

 - First and foremost you must perform keyword research to determine what keywords and keyword phrases you are going to design your site around, as this will lay the groundwork for all of the meta data, text and links your site will contain.

As I mentioned above, if you are targeting generic keywords, you will have little or no chance to rank highly in the search engines. The key here is to target words and phrases that are more unique and are longer rather than shorter. For example, if you are selling "tape", you'll have a better chance of success if you design your site around "box sealing tape" or if the tape is of a certain kind, use descriptive elements such as "acrylic tape" or "natural rubber tape". The longer the keyword phrase and more descriptive, the better chance you'll have to garner organic traffic. Designing your site around keywords is the most important element.

Meta Data

 - Once you've decided upon the keywords you want to design your site around, you need to customize the meta data located on each page of your website. It is important to have unique meta data on as many pages as possible of your site, all of them if you can. If a search engine sees that every page has the same title and meta description tags, you will get worse rankings than if every page was unique. Search engines want to know that every page is different from the last and has specific information to back that up. In addition, the title and description tags are what the end-users see in the search engine results pages of the search engines. If the titles and descriptions are non-descript or all the same, you are not doing your potential customers a favor. If you have a 50 page website and every page has unique content but all the titles and descriptions are the same, a web surfer will have a hard time determining which page is worth visiting.


 - Following with the theme of unique content, it is just as important to have each page of your website full of unique text and information as it is to have unique meta data. The spiders read all the text they can on every web page of your site that they are capable of reaching. They analyze keywords, the amount of times keywords show up (keyword density), and if the text surrounding the keywords would make sense or follow the theme of the keywords (latent semantic indexing).

Do your best to write specific text for evey page of your site. In addition, always err on having more text on a page rather than less text. A web page with two paragraphs worth of text will likely be less highly considered than a page with ten paragraphs worth of text for example. Keeping in mind that the given page should be designed around specific keywords.

New Content

 - Continuing, again, with the theme of content, another key element to making your site more favorable to search engines is to regularly add new web pages full of unique content to your site. Adding a new page every day to your web site and linking to it from within your site will tell the search engines to come back and visit your site on a more frequent basis (in order to spider and hopefully index the new pages). The greater number of unique pages you get indexed in the search engines the better.

Link Building

 - Another key element to making your website more favorable to search engines and giving you higher rankings is establishing inbound links from other websites. The greater number of websites that link to your website, the more important your website must be (this is a generality). Even better, having links from external websites that share similar topics or keywords count even more. It is assumed that if a site about cars links to your site and your site is about cars, that inbound link is more relevant than having an inbound link from a cookbook website for example.

Link building is probably the hardest part of building your web presence. It takes time, effort and sometimes money (to be added to directories, etc.). One great way to get inbound links is to immerse yourself in the world of blogs.

I hope these tips help all of you with your personal or corporate websites. For more information or for a complete SEO audit of your site, please contact me.

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