What Is SERP?

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. These are the pages search engines, like Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo, show in response to a specific search query by a user.

These results pages are made of both organic search results and paid ads. Every SERP will look different, too. Not just the actual results, but layouts and features can vary depending on how much data search engines have on the subject and the frequency of common searches. Studies have shown that it matters where your website lands on SERPs in order to get high click-through rates (CTR) and improve overall website traffic.

Organic Search Results

No one can pay search engines to put their links in positions for a specific organic result. This is where SEO strategy comes into play. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quantity (and quality!) of traffic to your website through search engines.

Organic search still dominates the SERP in terms of number of results per page. Organic search results could also include the following features:

  • Google Maps results
  • Google My Business listings
  • Recent News feed
  • Featured snippets
  • People Also Ask tabs
  • Information boxes
  • Social media feeds

Paid Results

Search engines like Google and Bing offer a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model that allows advertisers to bid on highly-targeted keywords in specific geo-locations. This means their links have a higher likelihood to show at the top of search results for search queries that are likely going to convert users into customers. Paid ads on SERPs can be shown as search text ads or shopping ads.

Organic and Paid: Working In Tandem

Since the top SERP is almost always a paid ad, which traffic source dominates overall link clicks? While the first SERP receives the highest average CTR of 28.5%, 53% of all website traffic still comes from organic search. Of course, this doesn’t mean paid digital ads are a waste of money. Paid advertising returns $2 for every $1 spent – a 200% ROI rate. So which is more important? 

Well, your digital marketing strategy should focus on dominating SERPs as a whole. Users are more savvy than ever before. They can recognize when they’re being sold something rather than coming it across it during their own research. There are no guarantees with either organic search or paid digital advertising, but the opportunity for growth is stronger when your business dominates organic search and paid digital advertising as a whole.

If you are looking to improve your website visibility on search engines, contact Points Group today for a free online assessment.

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Points Group, LLC


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Bernardsville, NJ 07924

This document was last updated on July 24, 2014