Search engines are one of the most popular features, used by individuals on the Internet. There are so many questions that people need information about and for various reasons. The type of information could be related to research work, something the individual just saw, a question the individual was asked and the recipe to create ice cream among many other types of information. Furthermore, there are instances when they need information about what they want to buy. All of these lead them to the Internet.
Search engines do not provide answers to this question. They provide links to web pages from other websites that have the answers to the questions on their Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) based on some rules. Thus, such websites are able to get the much-needed traffic to sell their products and services. However, most people only check the first SERP. The implication is that only the websites on the first page for a particular keyword enjoys over 90 percent of the resultant traffic. Every website owner wishes to be on this page. The rules for search engine results can be followed by web owners towards optimizing the site (SEO) to rank on the first page for certain keywords. This article will discuss SERP analysis and how it is crucial for SEO.
Definition of SERP
Search Engine Result Pages, written SERP for short, are the list of results that show up when an individual uses the search engine to search for information about a particular topic. The search engine searches for major words of the topic searched for and look for websites that have related keywords. The search engine algorithm is then used to list the web pages with the keyword in descending order. Thus, the perceived best webpages are the first and so on. The search engine result will usually consist of a heading and web page URL that links to a particular web page that should have the information the search engine user is looking for. There will also be a small description that can guide the user about what to expect on the web page. The title, URL and the description are known as snippets, of which Google displays 10 per page. Each of these pages makes a part of the SERPs.
SERP analysis entails searching for different keywords in your niche and seeing the result that comes up. With this, you can know who your competition is, what they are doing and try to check if you can beat them. When you can, you come up with a strategy to do so. When you can’t, you can look for other keywords that are related but that have results that you can beat. This will most likely entail opting for a longer tailed keyword. You can carry out SERP analysis manually or use tools.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization and is used to determine how your website will rank. There are a lot of factors including usage of keyword, article length, links to and from higher authority website among others that search engines follow to rank your website. Following the rules will increase your chance of ranking higher on the search engines.
Other Factors That Should Complement Your Analysis
In the early 2000s, SERPs were almost the same for everybody, irrespective of where they were searching from or what device they were using. As long as you searched for the same keyword, you probably get the same information. However, a lot of progress has been made by Google and most other search engines in determining how results show up. Some of the factors that now influence what you see apart from the actual information you searched for include:
- Device: If a user is using a computer to search for a piece of particular information, even when other factors are the same, he would see more mobile phone related results when applicable. For example, if a user should search for software for photo editing, he will find links and play store links to mobile applications for photo editing. On the other hand, when he uses a computer, he will get information that is more computer related.
- Location: Your location can also determine the result you get. Searching for the national anthem in the USA should have most of your results showing links where you can listen to and see the lyrics for the USA national anthem. Doing the same thing in Spain should have more of Spain national anthem and lyrics.
- Browser History: Based on your browser history, it is possible for Google and some other search engines to check what you have searched for in the past, and which websites seemed to provide the answer you wanted. It determines this, by the website you spent the most time on and probably made use of last. Chances are that you would immediately close the one that doesn’t contain the information you want while spending more time on the one that had what you were looking for. It can use it to know which websites have the right information for you and give such that of websites prominence on your own searches.
- Registered Users: If you have an account with Google, from their GMAIL to dropbox and other services, it can monitor your activities across devices where your Google account is logged in. it can also use this to determine your results if your data protection settings on Google platform permits it. This implies you can disable the feature.
Importance of SERP Analysis for SEO
By carrying out SERP analysis, you can see the snippet of websites that are ranking highest in your niche. You can then check their strategies and try to implement it for your website. It can help you find the right keywords to use to rank higher and also to know more about your competitor.
A lot of web pages that recently started to rank on the first page in search engines utilized SERP analysis. They were able to use it to increase their SEO, thus leading to first-page ranking.