How to Rank Higher on the Search Engine Results Page's (SERP's)

How to Rank Higher on the Search Engine Results Page's (SERP's)

You already know that optimizing your website for search engine results pages (SERPs) is essential for driving organic traffic. But what are the best practices for doing so, and how can you make sure your website is as high up on the SERPs as possible?

In this article, we'll walk you through the steps you need to take to optimize your website for the Search Engine Results Page SERPs. We'll also provide some tips on how to troubleshoot any common issues you may encounter along the way.

Before we jump right into these tips and tricks, let's give a quick rundown on what exactly a Search Engine Results Page is.

What is a Search Engine Results Page

A Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is the page displayed after a user completes a search query. The SERP usually contains a list of results ordered by relevance, with the most relevant results appearing at the top of the page.

The purpose of optimizing your website for SERPs is to ensure that your website appears as high up as possible, in some cases to outperform competitors or even become the first result.

For the purpose of this article, we will mainly be focusing on Google Search Engine, however much of this information may still be relevant for search engines like Yahoo and Bing.

There are a number of ways to optimize your website for SERPs, but we'll be focusing on five main methods:


1. Creating keyword-rich content

2. Optimizing your website's title and meta tags

3. Creating backlinks to your website

4. Optimizing your website's structure and navigation

5. Using social media to promote your website


Let's take a more in-depth look at each of these methods.


Creating keyword-rich content

The highest-ranking and most relevant information is served to you in various ways depending on your search query. This makes it easier for search algorithms to determine the best content to show users.

This alone should justify why keyword research is integral to ranking well on SERPs. You need to make sure that you are creating content around keywords that users are actually searching for.

There are a number of ways to find out what keywords people are searching for. Google's Keyword Planner is a free tool that allows you to research keywords and get traffic estimates.

Once you have a list of relevant keywords, it's time to start creating content. Make sure to include your keywords in the following places:


  1. Title
  2. Headings and subheadings
  3. Introduction
  4. Body copy
  5. Alt text for images
  6. Anchor Text (Clickable text inside of the Hyperlink)


Properly managing and tagging your website's content is crucial for on-page optimization. Google's Webmaster Guidelines offer more insight into this process. Ensuring that this process is followed is vital as Google (and other Search Engines) rely heavily upon this information to make a decision on how to rank your business's website.

The most effective way is to place keywords at the beginning of the title. This not only tells the search engine what your website is about, but it also increases the likelihood of users clicking on your result. Headings and Subheadings are great places for your keywords as well,  as they help to break up the text and make it more readable for users.

Your introduction and body copy should be filled with relevant keywords, as this is usually the main reason users come to your website. It's important to note that you should never sacrifice quality for the sake of keywords. Your content should still be well-written, accurate, and informative. Creating keyword-stuffed content that is difficult to read will not only turn users away, but it will also likely result in search engines penalizing your website.

Additionally, placing keywords in your alt-text is highly recommended, as this is one of the few places where you can include keywords without impacting the quality of your content. The anchor text is important as it tells the search engine what the linked page is about.

Remember: Content first,  keywords second. Clear copy is looked higher upon than keyword-stuffed paragraphs and will always rank your website higher than others in the long run.


Optimizing your website's title and meta tags

The title tag is one of the most important elements of on-page optimization. The title tag is the title of your web page, and it appears in the SERPs as the clickable link to your website.

The title tag should be clear, concise, and describe what the page is about. It should also include your target keyword. For example, if you are optimizing a blog post for the keyword "SEO tips", your title tag might look something like this:

An example of websites that rank for the search term "SEO"

In this example, you'll notice that the title tags above are clearly described to be articles about SEO tips, and they include the target keyword "SEO".

The meta tag is another important element of on-page optimization. The meta tag is a brief description of your web page, and it appears in the SERP beneath the title tag, although it is unclear how effective meta tags currently are with newly released Google Search Updates

Including your target keywords in the title tag (and meta tag) is important for two reasons.

First, it helps search algorithms understand what your page is about.  Second, it helps improve your click-through rate (CTR) from the SERP. A higher CTR means more traffic to your website, which can lead to higher SERP rankings.

The meta description appears under your title tag in the SERPs, and it should give a brief overview of what the page is about. The meta keywords tag is a list of relevant keywords for your web page. Although the meta keywords tag is not as important as it once was, it can still be helpful to include it.

Alt-text is also important for on-page optimization. Alt-text is the text that appears when an image can't be displayed. It should be descriptive and accurately depict what the image is referring to. In addition to Alt-text, you can also optimize your website's URLs for better SERP results. Your URL should include your target keyword, and it should be readable and easy to understand.


An easy way to rank on major search engines is by providing your links with structured data markups, Structured Data is a type of markup that you can use to improve the visibility and comprehension of your content. Structured data is used by search engines to understand the content on your website, and it can also be used to display your content in a more user-friendly way on the SERPs.

hallam localbusiness schema example
An example of schema structured data markup for local businesses

One common type of structured data is schema markup. Schema markup is a code that you can add to your website to help search engines better understand your content. There are many different types of schema markup, but some common examples include product reviews, recipes, and events. Adding schema markup to your website can help improve your SERP click-through rate, as your content will appear more user-friendly on the SERPs.


To learn more about how to add schema markup to your website, you can read more here


Creating backlinks to your website

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. They are an important ranking factor for SERPs. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank in turn.

There are a number of ways to get backlinks to your website. One way is to reach out to other websites in your industry and ask them to link to your website. Another way is to create high-quality content that other website owners will want to link to. Creating infographics is a great way to do this alongside publishing highly resonating content that breaks down the key aspects of the subject you are writing about.

What are Backlinks? And How to Build Them in 2021
A visual of how backlinks work, and the importance of having high quality backlinks.

When seeking backlinks, ensure you perform a Domain Authority Search (DA) prior to reaching out to the business. In some cases, this will give you an indication as to how difficult it will be to get a link from that site. DA is ranked on a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being unreputable and 100 being recognized publicly as a major brand.

In general, you should avoid sites with a DA below 40 as these can appear to be spam or not fully trusted by major search engines. you should also attempt to gain backlinks from the same field of study as your business, If you are a flower shop it's best to avoid getting a backlink from a construction business as this could be considered irrelevant. A great way to check DA ranking is through websites like Moz.com

Guest blogging is also an effective way to create backlinks. When guest blogging, you write an article for another website in your industry in exchange for a backlink to your website. This is a great way to get exposure for your website and create high-quality backlinks at the same time.

Relevancy is key when it comes to backlinks as well as the quality of the site itself. A link from a low-quality website will not have the same effect as a link from a high-quality site. It's also important to note that you should never pay for backlinks as this is considered black hat SEO and can result in your website being penalized by search engines.


Optimizing the structure of your website and navigation

More and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet. In fact, over 60% of all internet traffic is now coming from mobile devices.

This means that it's more important than ever to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. If your website isn't mobile-friendly, you're likely to lose a lot of traffic as people will simply leave your site and go to a competitor's site that is mobile-friendly.

10 examples of great website navigation and why they're awesome - Part 2
An animated visualization of website structure/site path

Making your website mobile-friendly is relatively easy, and there are a number of ways to do it. One way is to use responsive design, which means that your website will automatically adjust to fit any screen size. Another way is to create a separate mobile version of your website. This can be done by using a mobile plugin or by creating a separate mobile site.

Either way, it's important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly as this will ensure that you don't lose any traffic and that your website will rank higher in the SERPs.

In addition to making your website mobile-friendly, it's also important to optimize the structure of your website and navigation. This will make it easier for people to find what they're looking for on your website and will help improve your website's SERP results.

Some ways to optimize the structure of your website include using keyword-rich titles and descriptions, as well as adding internal links. Internal links help improve the overall structure of your site and can help improve your SERP results by providing other relevant content  for people to read.


Using Social Media to promote your website

An animated visualization of key social media platforms on a cellphone.

Social media is a great way to promote your website and increase traffic. In fact, social media in general accounts for over 30% of all internet traffic. This is a large enough metric to give a business owner that is not keen on social media the means to start producing content for these platforms.

The most important social media platforms for promoting your website are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are the three largest social media platforms with the highest number of active users, this is due to the vast amount of daily active users and the large spectrum of age groups that are present on each platform.

When creating content for social media, it's important to keep in mind that each social media platform is different and that you should create content accordingly. For example, on Twitter, it's important to use hashtags and to keep your posts short and to the point, whereas on Facebook, you can be a bit more detailed in your posts and use longer sentences.

It's also important to post regularly on social media and to interact with other users. This will help you build a following and will also help increase traffic to your website.

When using social media to promote your website, it's important to post high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience. You should also include links back to your website in your posts, as this will help increase traffic.

Finally, you should make sure to interact with other users on these platforms. This will help you build relationships and gain followers who are interested in what you have to say. Creating a network based on your social media outreach allows for organic traffic that can be extremely dependable when it comes to analytics, something that is hard to come by with most other marketing strategies.

Social Media outreach will take some time to fully mature. However, your business will benefit from this, Social Media is definitely worth it in the long run, don't give up; the results take time!

Additionally, Social Media platforms tend to use the same structure as major search engines when it comes to SEO,  so it is beneficial to learn more about how they work in order to get the most out of these platforms. Many social media platforms index your social content creating high-quality backlinks to key major players. In general, social media is a great resource and helps build SEO structure in the long run while providing quality traffic in the meantime.




Useful tools for SEO

There are a number of useful tools that can help you with your SEO efforts. Google Analytics is a great tool that can help you track your website's traffic and see how people are finding your site. Google Search Console is another useful tool that can help you troubleshoot any issues with your website. Finally, Yoast SEO is a great WordPress plugin that can help you optimize your website for better SERP results.

Take advantage of these free tools as they will make all the difference in your search engine optimization process.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool that can help you track your website's traffic and see how people are finding your site.

If your looking to create an account:

Go to Google Analytics and create an account.

Click on the Admin tab, and then click on the "+ New Account" button.

Enter your website's URL and choose your account name.

Click on the "Get Tracking ID" button to get your tracking code.

Copy and paste your tracking code into the header of your site


Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another useful tool that can help you troubleshoot any issues with your website. Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site's presence in Google Search results.

If you're looking to create an account:

Go to Google Search Console and sign in with your Google account.

Click on the "Add a Property" button.

Enter your website's URL and click on the "Add" button.

Click on the "Verify" button to verify your website.


Yoast SEO (WordPress)

Yoast SEO is a great WordPress plugin that can help you optimize your website for better SERP results. Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plugin that helps you improve your website's SEO by optimizing your website's title, description, and keywords.

If you're looking to install the plugin:

Go to your WordPress Dashboard and click on the "Plugins" link.

Click on the "Add New" button.

Search for "Yoast SEO" in the search bar.

Click on the "Install Now" button.

Click on the "Activate" button.


If you're serious about ranking higher on SERPs, then you need to be using these tools to your advantage, Harnessing these tools can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is definitely worth it if you want to rank higher on SERPs. These tools will help greatly benefit your SEO efforts.


Concluding Remarks

Wrapping up, you've learned that SEO is an important part of any online marketing strategy. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that your website will rank higher in the SERPs and that you'll get more traffic.  Remember to keep your content relevant and updated, and to use the tools at your disposal to improve your website's SEO. With a little effort, you can see a big difference in your website's ranking.

To learn more about Search Engine Optimization, read up on our other articles that provide useful information about leveraging the power of search engines. You can find a list of our topics below

How can search engine optimization help your business?

10 tips for search engine optimization

What is Local SEO?




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