Ranking highly on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is incredibly important. But for small and local businesses, competing for the number one spot is hard. Especially in your own area, where you want to appear top of the personalised results for searches in your local zone. Here at Pumpkin Web Design we are Preston’s leading web design and web marketing professionals. We provide a wide range of high quality, effective website solutions and content marketing services across Preston and the North West, from Southport to Wigan, as well as Manchester. This includes higher ranking on the SERP. As a result, we have produced this guide to everything you should know about improving the SERP ranking.
What is the SERP?
First of all, let’s look at what the SERP actually is, and does.
The SERP is the page that is shown to a searcher, after they have entered a search term. So the page of blue links and snippets of text, displayed after you have searched for something in Google or Bing, or any other search engine, is the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). And this is essentially an index of webpages with information that is relevant to your search.
Ranking highly on the first page will dramatically increase your website traffic, and help you snag more paying customers. But how can small businesses rank higher on the SERP?
So, how can SMBs improve SERP ranking?
There are a number of steps SMBs can take to improve the SERP ranking. These include:
- Keyword research
- Technical fine tuning
- Content marketing
Keyword research to improve SERP performance
The first thing you need to consider before you think about your website ranking is the keyword(s) you want to rank for. The SERP shows websites that are relevant to the search term used. So if you are local mechanic in Preston for example, you need to rank for “Preston mechanic” or “mechanic Preston”. Otherwise interested customers will not find you at all. This means you need to use this search term in page headings and copy, as well as image <alt> tags.
While your SEO across the whole site will be focused on variations of the same short keyword- i.e. “Preston mechanic”, so will that of all your local competitors. This can make it challenging to rise to the top, and this is why other factors need to be considered too.
Technical fine tuning to improve SERP performance
To help your page rise up the rankings, you need to make sure the website is fine tuned and well optimised. This includes:
- Performing a technical SEP audit
- Checking your websites load speed and optimising this
- Making sure your website is crawlable
- optimising your images
- checking your URLs and removing broken links
For more information and details about these, check out our handy guide.
Content marketing to improve SERP performance
Producing great content on a regular basis can help your whole website rank higher for the overall keywords, like “Preston mechanic”. This is because quality, original content can add authority and depth to your website and improve the user experience. It makes your business seem more reputable, and knowledgeable, and Google will reward websites that offer more to their users, with higher page rankings.
At the same time, content marketing is a great way to add to the link juice of your website, by producing more pages that link back to the homepage.
For more information or advice, get in touch with the professional today, here at Pumpkin Web Design.