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Demystifying SERP: A Search Engine Results Page Breakdown
The Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is the digital gateway between users and the vast expanse of information available online. It’s the virtual arena where search engines, like Google, present their findings in response to user queries. In this blog, we’ll dissect the different parts of the SERP, uncovering its various components and their significance.
Google Ads – Receives approximately 20% of page clicks
At the top of the SERP, you’ll often encounter Google Ads, Google’s paid advertising platform. These succinct advertisements appear when businesses bid on specific keywords or phrases. These ads are generally short and contain copy that gets straight to the point, encouraging a searching audience to click immediately. A business using Google ads will receive about 20 percent of the clicks between all ads at the top of the page. Here’s what you need to know about whether Google Ads are suitable for you:
Google Ads typically appear above organic search results, making them highly visible to users. Their placement is determined by a combination of bid amount, overall ad quality, and relevance to the user’s query. Google ultimately wants searches to be relevant, so getting the kind of click-through you want will be much easier if you have proper keyword research done and integrated into your ad.
Google Ads come in various formats, including text-based Search Ads, visually exciting Display Ads, and engaging Video Ads. Each format serves a unique purpose and caters to different audience preferences. For example, restaurant ads will benefit from Display and Video ads, as food visually stimulates people. Whereas someone looking for a niche service will be more engaged by a text-based ad that includes the exact search term they seek.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
Advertisers pay for clicks on their ads through a bidding system. The Cost Per Click (CPC) can vary widely based on competition and keyword popularity. High-value keywords often command higher CPCs. This means that depending on your industry and what words you’re trying to compete for, your budget and chances for success will look very different.
Ad Extensions provide additional information to users, such as phone numbers, site links, and product details. They enhance ad visibility and encourage user engagement, as they take up more page space when a user first conducts a search. They also give you the ability to add more content to your ad.
Map Pack – Receives approximately 30% of page clicks
When a user’s search query has local intent (e.g., “restaurants near me” or “dentists in Kelowna”), the Google SERP may display the Map Pack. This section showcases local businesses and their locations on a map while highlighting up to three featured businesses. These featured businesses are often organic searches, but you have the opportunity to post a sponsored ad here as well. A business listed in the Map Pack gets about 30 percent of the clicks between the Google Business Profiles included. Here’s what you should know about the Map Pack:
The Map Pack features local business listings that match the user’s query. These listings include the business name, address, phone number, ratings, reviews, and a link to the website. This function automatically helps narrow the list for the user from any number of relevant businesses to three highlighted ones.
Three-Pack or Seven-Pack
Google typically displays either a Three-Pack (top three listings) or a Seven-Pack (top seven listings) in the Map Pack. The businesses listed here are highly relevant to the user’s query.
Google My Business
To appear in the Map Pack, businesses must claim and optimize their Google My Business (GMB) profiles. Optimizing GMB profiles helps improve local visibility and encourages user engagement. Many people feel comfortable leaving reviews on Google, and your business can benefit from Google’s credibility.
Organic Results – Receives approximately 30% of page clicks
Beneath the Google Ads and Map Pack, you’ll find the organic search results. Google’s search algorithms determine these listings and are not influenced by paid advertising. Items that can help you appear higher on the page for an organic search include relevance to a user’s search terms, using best practice SEO, including links to other relevant web pages, etc. A business that is high up on page 1 of a Google search is likely to get 30 percent of all the clicks between all the organic SEO results. Here’s a closer look at organic results:
Google uses hundreds of ranking factors to determine the order of organic search results. These factors include relevance, quality of content, user experience, page speed, and backlinks.
Some organic results may feature a snippet at the top of the listing. Featured snippets provide concise answers to user queries and often appear as a “position zero” result.
Click-through rate (CTR) is a key metric for organic results. High-quality content, compelling meta descriptions, and enticing titles can increase CTR and drive more organic traffic.
Businesses invest in search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to improve organic visibility. These include keyword research, on-page optimization, content creation, and link building.
The Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape that plays a crucial role in how users access information on the internet. Understanding its components, from Google Ads and the Map Pack to organic results, is essential for businesses seeking to navigate the digital realm effectively and improve their visibility to potential customers. By harnessing the power of these SERP elements, businesses can enhance their online visibility, connect with their target audiences, and drive meaningful results in the digital age.
If all this sounds a bit complicated, we’re happy to help. At Buzz, our digital marketers conduct keyword research, re-write webpages to optimize their SEO and work with Google Ads to make your business stand out from the rest. Visit our website To learn more about our offerings