What is a SERP?

May 3rd, 2010 by Jessica Runberg

If you’ve been doing some research on how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help improve your website’s performance, you’ve no doubt come across the word SERP. You’re probably wondering,
what exactly is it and what role does it play in SEO?

Contrary to popular belief (OK, maybe it’s not that popular), SERP is not something you put on your pancakes. It stands for Search Engine Results Page, which is the link to the Web page that populates when you type a keyword into a search engine and it returns a list of results.

The goal of any SEO campaign is to increase your rankings on a given SERP for a desired keyword phrase. So, in honor of the acronym that is so important to SEO, the following is a list of dos and don’ts that will help you get the rankings you want in the SERPs.

Select keywords you can rank for. If you’re in the travel business, it may seem pretty tempting to go for high-traffic keywords such as “hotels” or “airfare,” but the reality is that it will probably be very difficult to rank for these keywords unless you’re Expedia.com or the Hyatt. Choose keywords that your website can realistically rank for and that will bring qualified traffic to your site.

Earn quality links. One of the best ways to increase your ranking in the SERPs is to build a portfolio of high-quality links that point back to your site. Create great content that others will naturally want to link to and reach out to related websites that may be interested in linking to your site.

Research your competitors’ keywords. Are your competitors ranking in the SERPs for keywords that you want to rank for? Are they targeting keywords that you haven’t considered for your business? Research these keywords and think about how you might be able to apply them to your SEO campaign.

Prepare quality content. As the old adage goes, content is king. Good content leads to natural links and search engines generally like to see at least 250 words on a page. But content isn’t just for the search engines – it’s for your customers, too! Be sure to include content that will add value to your site from a customer perspective.

Not sure where your website ranks in the SERPs for your desired keywords? Use a SERP keyword checker such as our Ranking Report tool to see how your website stacks up!

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