For consumers searching for goods, services, and information online, the first search engine results page (SERP) on sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing is often as far as they will scroll to find the most accurate and relevant results for their search query. For businesses, securing a top place on this results page for branded and unbranded searches is extremely valuable and can help drive additional foot traffic to their physical locations.
A search engine results page, or SERP, refers to the page displayed by a search engine in response to a searcher's query. The main component of a SERP is the listing of results that are returned by the search engine in response to a keyword query, however the page may also contain other results such as sponsored listings and ads.
Over the years, the composition of search engine results pages have changed dramatically. Most recently, the world's number one search engine, Google, removed ads from it's "right rail" on desktop search, and moved these ads where organic search engine results used to live. This new SERP layout now pushes organic search results well below the visible page fold on desktop, leaving only the Ad blocks and local pack visible to the searcher.
With this, appearing in Google's local pack is now more important than ever. In 2014, Mediative conducted an eye-tracking research studying where users look on Google's SERP. The study showed that users often focus their attention near the top of the page, on the local search results, and the first organic search result. In addition to this, several studies have concluded that organic search listings receive more than 90% of the clicks, with users favoring local search results the most.
In order to provide the best possible search experience for its users, Google continues to push for better local content from businesses. Regardless of future algorithm updates from Google, investing in high quality and locally relevant content will help businesses compete in the local pack and rank higher on search engine results pages.
In order for businesses to appear in Google's local pack and rank high on SERP, they need to have a comprehensive local SEO strategy in place. This requires a combination of optimized content on a business' website, as well as up-to-date data across business directories.
Here are a few things your business should start with if you're looking to rank high on SERP:
Ensure your business' NAP Data is accurate and up to date across all online entities. Accurate NAP data not only increases how many customers arrive at a physical business location, but also increases the visibility of its listing to consumers on a search engine results page.
Enhanced content such as images, videos, and product lists is another key part of SEO and can also help businesses rank higher on the SERP. Search engines are wary of local listings that are not rich with details about a business and favor results that are reliable, accurate, and consistent, and oftentimes this includes listings that include a lot of enhanced content.
Yext can help your business rank high on search engine results pages through accurate digital knowledge across all online entities — including maps, apps, directories, search engines, and more. Learn more about Yext Listings and Yext Pages products.