How SERP Impacts SEO Keyword Research. Trying to compete for a number one spot on Google is an ambitious goal. One of the most important things to remember is that there are a lot of factors involved in search engine optimization or SEO, and you have to master all of them if you want significant results.
One of the most crucial aspects of SEO is having solid keywords you use throughout your content. This keyword research is an integral part of any marketing strategy. Get inside your customer’s head and think about what search phrases they are typing in.
This isn’t easy, but it is necessary to provide them with the best results possible. The good news is that there are plenty of tools available online to help you do this research. Like Google Adwords Keyword Tool or Ubersuggest, which will give a list of keyword ideas that you can try to reach new customers.
However, there is one factor that can affect this research, and it’s called search engine ranking or SERP volatility.
In this guide, we’re going to dive into what SERP volatility is and how it can impact your SEO keyword research efforts, thus keeping you from succeeding in your marketing goals.
What Is SERP?
SERP volatility is the measure of how often a website’s rank changes on search engine results pages. This, based upon which keywords and phrases are used during a search query.
This means that you can have two websites using identical content. But, because one has better keyword placement, it will get ranked higher than another site based solely on the keyword phrase that was used in the search. With millions of people typing in millions of variations of the same keyword, it’s nearly impossible to rank at the same spot all the time.
Things like location, age, and query intent can vastly change how a person is searching for something.
Thanks to the general unpredictability of search queries and searches, search engine ranking pages (SERPs) are constantly changing. There are even different SERPS for each keyword or phrase that a consumer uses when they are searching for their results on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Searchers are changing—and they’re changing all the time. So if you’re a content marketer or a business owner trying to drive traffic to your website, it’s important to pay close attention to these changes because they can significantly affect your organic search traffic.
You could have done everything right in terms of SEO, but if you’re not paying attention to these changes, and they happen to negatively affect your SERP ranking, then all that hard work could be for nothing.
You could have search relevance and intent right one day, and then the next day, that search intent could be totally different.
For example, “car wash in smithstown” could mean the person is looking for car washes in Smithstown one day, but if there’s an explosion or robbery at a car wash in Smithtown tomorrow, then the intent of the search changes.
What Does SERP Volatility Mean For Your Business?
As you know from conducting keyword research and SEO optimization, a company’s ranking can affect its traffic. This can be especially true for small business owners who do not have enough marketing budget to invest in PPC ads or social media campaigns.
While it’s a full-time job to monitor how quickly search intent can change, watching out for SERPs is important because it may tell you which keywords and phrases you could use.
High-quality keywords result from monitoring three basic metrics:
- Search Volume: this metric refers to how often a consumer is using the keyword or phrase for their search.
- Relevance: if the company’s website has content that matches what it takes to rank well, then it will have more relevance and be more likely to rank higher in organic SERP listings.
- Keyword Difficulty: how difficult the keyword is to rank for is a factor related to how much competition there will be in its industry.
The first two metrics are pretty easy to understand. The third one refers to how difficult it is for a company’s website to rank. The higher the number, the more competitive and less likely these keywords will be found in top organic SERPs.
This means if you have been ranking well on specific phrases with low keyword difficulty but suddenly notice that your traffic for that phrase has risen, a change in SERP volatility could be the cause. The same goes if you are losing traffic for a phrase that typically brings in a ton of new visitors.
With that being said, keyword research is almost an ineffective process if it is not done correctly—and done without considering SERPs.
How To Measure For SERPs While Conducting Keyword Research
Conducting keyword research is necessary in order to best connect with potential customers through Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). For this purpose, conduct a general internet search for your topic and filter out any irrelevant or unrelated information that may be found at the top of the SERP. Make a note of how many pages this search produces and use that as your beginning point for keyword research.
Once you have narrowed your focus to relevant topics that are being searched on Google, use these keywords as they will be most impactful when connecting with customers looking for that topic. It doesn’t hurt to consider what’s going on in the world and how searches might be changing when you’re optimizing your businesses content for SEO. This requires a little more effort, but it can help you boost your traffic when you can better align your content and keyword phrases with the ever-changing SERP volatility.
Some tools are helpful in showing you the SERP fluctuations for specific keywords. SEMrush is an excellent tool that can show how your keyword ranking changes over time and any spikes and dips it may have had within that period.
SEMRush’s Keyword Tool also has an “in-depth analysis” tab where you can look deeply into keyword phrases to find any other indicators of SERP volatility.
However, it’s important to note that measuring SERP volatility is not a one-size-fits-all method. Every keyword phrase is unique and has its own possibilities for varying search intent and SERP volatility.
While it’s worth monitoring, it’s also important to make sure that you’re balancing SEO with all the other marketing and branding efforts that are necessary for a successful business.
In conclusion, it is crucial to keep an eye on changes in how Google ranks web pages because those changes will impact your site’s organic search traffic.
Without the right keywords, it’s hard to stay in front of your competitors and maintain a ranking that will allow searchers to find you on Google. However, Google is always changing and tinkering with how it ranks web pages.
So while monitoring SERP volatility is important in overall SEO and can impact how much traffic your business gets on any given day, it’s also important to have a balance between sustaining an SEO-friendly website and maintaining all the other marketing techniques necessary for your company to succeed.
Author bio for this guest post
Jason started freelancing in SEO back in college, sold his first agency, and now is founder of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long-term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends, catching up on reading, and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.