Search engines produce results based on keywords. These are the words that best describe the content, both for the user who is searching and for search engines providing the results. The more targeted the keywords, the better it is for achieving a higher ranking.

SERP reporting allows website owners to see what works and what does not and also for how long. To keep a website ranking high, measuring and constantly maintaining the results achieved is crucial.

There are various kinds of results that Google shows when you search. These are organic SERP results and paid ones. Let us take a look at each one of them.

Organic SERP

Organic SERP listings are generated by a search engine through its metrics that judges the relevance of a webpage based on the keyword to determine its ranking. The webpage that has the most relevance to the keyword is listed before any others. Every search engine uses its own algorithm to determine the relevance of web pages. The more optimised and relevant a webpage seems to a search engine based on its metrics, the higher the rank it gets.

To gain a better ranking at organic SERPs, web pages need to be optimised and monitored. Content optimisation strategies such as the use of targeted keywords, meta titles, meta description, authority of the website and content, backlinks, html tags etc. help web pages to rank higher in organic SERP while SERP reporting shows how well the SEO strategy is working.

For instance, a typical Google search engine page contains a maximum of ten organic results. Needless to say the results on the first page are the most clicked ones and the first five results normally get more than 90% share of the pie. Constant measurement of SERP allows companies to quickly spot a decrease in ranking and take appropriate corrective measure.

Paid Results

The SERP’s also show paid results in the side bar. These are sponsored or adsense links that are paid for by advertiser who want to find a quick way on to the top of the SERPs. Based on the position and the size of the advertisement, the prices vary.

Advertisements are placed on search result pages based on keywords. For example, a company selling air conditioners will buy space for their advertisement on results for the keywords ‘air conditioners', ‘buy air conditioners’, ‘best air conditioners’ etc. Paid results are always less in number than organic results, but can bring in considerable traffic.

SERP Reporting

SERP reporting helps website owners in determining how well their website is doing on a daily basis. Such things could refer to daily reports on domain ranking and measurement of progress of a website. These are very crucial to judge the outcome of a marketing or a promotional campaign and are designed for easily understandability and ease of use.

Using SERP reporting, businesses can make alternations in their campaign, develop better marketing strategies and plan their future marketing campaigns better. It is a crucial measurement tool that companies use to make their website(s) and marketing campaigns more effective.

SEO Tips for Understanding results and reports

It is important to clarify the context of applying website optimisation based off of search engine results. Please keep these key bullet points in mind prior to intepretting a report measuring serps.

  • SERPS are measured by a robot: With each search engine result being different depending on a person's browsing habits, location and demographic it will never accurately emulate a human user's search behaviour.

    Measured results are for that instance of time with zero biases in their behaviour. Because of this, it is best to treat a SERP report as a measurement over time, with traffic as they key metric to measure regarding the value a website brings to the business.

  • Ranking high is an egotistical goal - not a business one: Ranking highly for an individual broad search term is purely an egotistical measure - without understanding the browsing and purchasing habits based on an individual query it is difficult to justify the business case for these terms.

    Being on the first page for 'fitness equipment' for example might seem wonderful for a B2B treadmill manufacturer, however there are likely keywords with a tenth of the search volume that would generate more direct leads for the business with a hundredth of the resources needed to rank for that term. In fact, it is far better to rank well for a multitude of low volume, low competition terms than attempting to go after a highly competitive term without the horses to match your competitor's marketing efforts.

  • Do not get caught up in the SEO Metagame: With receiving reports, it may seem exciting to rank well for a term and devastating to fall out of favour in the search engine results. However the goal for Search Engine Optimisation is to diagnose where traffic is coming from - or lost - rather than to be an arbitrary goal.

    Getting caught in the SEO Metagame can lead to unreadable content, stuffing of keywords or terms that do not fit the intent of the page. After all, the 'O' in SEO stands for Optimisation and there is nothing optimised about a page that says 6 things when all it's really saying it nothing.

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