Let’s say you achieve a page one ranking for a core keyword term. Yes, it’s a banner moment for your SEO marketing team, especially if the keyword term is a particularly competitive one. But remember, you’re only halfway there.
Even with a page one ranking, what’s to say search users are going to choose to click on your site and not one of your same-page competitors?
Visual appeal has a lot to do with it.
The more you can do to stand out on the search engine results page (SERP), the better. This is especially true for page two rankings and beyond. The deeper a search user goes into results, the harder you’re going to have to work to catch their eye.
Here’s how to stand out on the SERP.
1) Write a compelling meta description.
If you’re depending on the first sentence or two of your page content to represent you in the search results, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Even the best opening sentence of an article is not necessarily (and probably isn’t) the best description of the entire page of content.
Instead of just copying and pasting text from your web page — or worse, leaving it blank — take the time to write something unique for the meta description that appears underneath the link to your page in search results.
It should encapsulate the essence of what search users will find on your page, including a call-to-action that inspires a click-through.
You know that extra bit of info that turns up underneath links and descriptions in search results? Things like author pics, video, gold-star ratings, store hours, event schedules, and the like? Those are rich snippets and they are our favorite results to see, read, and click!
However, Google does not generate rich snippets automatically. Through structured data markup, you have to tell Google which info to display. Now, there is no guarantee these rich snippets will appear, but by all means, give Google the option.
At the very least, you should add Google Authorship. You increase the likelihood of clicks dramatically when search users see a friendly, smiling face promising a click-through to your site will be a helpful one.
3) Use pay-per-click advertising.
Whether you’ve already achieved a page one rank, or you’re still striving toward it, pay-per-click advertising can be an invaluable supplement to organic search results.
If your page already appears organically on page one, a same-page pay-per-click ad doubles your exposure and can increase the chances of a click-through. On the other hand, if you’re not on page one yet, pay-per-click enables you to buy that page one position.
Think pay-per-click isn’t right for your business? Consider this. Trust in online advertising is growing, with nearly half of internet users trusting pay-per-click search results.