PPC 101

PPC 101: Intro to the SERPs

As someone new to online advertising, I have arrived at a troubling truth: there are seemingly a million different acronyms that sum up everything! CPC meet CTR. SEO meet PPC. ROI…everyone’s worried about their ROI! OMG!!!

One term referenced quite often is SERP (Search Engine Result Page) What are SERPs? In short, they are list of web pages that populate when you type in a keyword.

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The SERP features both sponsored (paid) and organic (free) listings. In the image above, the sponsored results (in red) occupy the more prominent positions on the results page and are obtained using pay per click (PPC…I know, I know) advertising. The organic result positions (blue) care obtained through the use of search engine optimization (SEO…you can’t escape them) techniques and best practices

Why should this matter to you? One of your primary goals as a marketer is to increase your ranking on your most relevant keyword phrases. There are many factors in play as how best to do this, including:

Research your keywords (Sponsored+Organic SERPs)

Keyword relevance can have a huge impact not only in where your rank in the SERPs, but also how much you pay for your ads. Select highly relevant keywords, but, just as important, select keywords that you know you can rank for. Consider the keywords your competitors are bidding on and ask yourself “Can I afford not to be here?”

Put Out Quality Content (Sponsored + Organic SERPs)

Web surfers and search engine spiders both like one thing: quality content. It is in your best interest to make sure your content is informative, yet engaging to your target audience(s). Major search engines also take into account Page Quality Scores as a part of their ranking algorithms, which can affect your advertising budget significantly, as well as your organic positioning. When it comes to content, the “devil is in the details”, and mastering its creation is a must.

Earn Quality Links: (Organic SERPs)

Although sometimes this is easier said than done, obtaining quality links can have a major effect on your organic rankings. There are seemingly endless websites offering to sell you high quality back-links to help skyrocket your position. Our advice? Stay clear. If the recent wave of Google Panda updates has shown anything, it’s that the major engines are “hip” to the link hustle and will penalize your business accordingly. Focus on making natural connections with relevant websites, as well as perfecting the content creation aspect of your marketing, to provide an effective boost to your organic positioning.

Fear not,loyal readers! The SERP is your information superhighway! Remember toTEST! TEST! TEST! by continuously optimizing your campaign using different strategies. In the end, this will lead to time, and money, well spent.

One Comment

  1. […] In our continuing PPC 101 series, we are exploring the staple of paid search optimization: the Search Query Report. This report is the key to learning which keywords or phrases surfers use to trigger your ads in the SERPS. […]

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