Anatomy of a Search Engine Results Page

You probably see it at least five times a day. If not, you are familiar enough with it. But, do you know exactly what each part means?

I am talking about a search engine results page, or SERP.

Today I will go over Google's results page, what it all means, and how you can use it to your advantage.

I will refer to the color-coded image below to make things easier.


Google SERP for Insurance Technologies Corp

Red Section

This is the area where paid ads appear. Notice the green Ad icons. These make the advertisements extra clear.

If you want traffic and leads fast, and have the disposable income, set up an Adwords campaign. You will be able to bid on certain keywords. If your bid is high enough, and you have a high quality ad and landing page, Google will display your ad in this section.

It is relative easy to appear in this section, because all you need is money.

To appear in the organic results, the purple section below, you need to jump through many SEO hoops.

Purple Section

This section shows organic search results, or snippets. This is what most insurance agents are concerned with. Organic results, although more difficult to get, have more longevity.

Note the numbers I’ve added to this section. Let me explain what each of those numbers mean.

  1. The purple link (blue if you haven't clicked on it) is the title of your website. This is the most important aspect in SEO. This line of text draws a user's eye and tells them what your website is about. You can include keywords here. But, make sure you are adequately describing your website's products or purpose.
  2. The website address. Clicking on the little green down arrow next to gives the option to view a cached version of the website.
  3. The description of the website. You have more real estate here than the title. Describe what makes you unique. Communicate why someone should click on your website rather than anyone else's.
  4. These link to internal pages of the website. Unfortunately, we don't have any control over number four. Google decides which links to display based on popularity.
  5. You'll notice the search result for has a star rating as part of their snippet. This is done by adding certain code, called schema, to your website, which Google picks up and displays.

Green Section

The green section is the knowledge graph. This section is particularly important for insurance agents interested in local SEO.

Most of this information comes from your Google My Business page. That includes your address, phone number, pictures, reviews and Posts.

The first rounded square gives the most important information at a glance. How to navigate to your office, what your customers think about you, what your business hours are, and your company culture are all displayed.

The second rounded square showcases one of Google’s newest features called Google Posts.

Finally, the third rounded square displays reviews. Positive reviews from all over the web are imperative for insurance agents. Reviews give a good impression to prospective customers.

Black Section

Google likes to give everyone a fair chance, which is why it displays competitor links. Hopefully, by this point you've already made a great impression with insightful reviews, bright pictures and enticing information.

Yellow Box

Lastly, the small yellow box at the top of the page shows the number of results for the keyword you searched for. This is a good indication of the competition you have for certain keywords or even an agency name.

Try adding different qualifiers with your keywords, like geo-targets, or quote, coverage or online. While this method isn't a foolproof way of keyword research. But, it does give you a very rough estimation of search volume. Further keyword research is essential.

Now you know what is in a SERP, so make sure you are using every part of it to your advantage.


Does your insurance website appear in online search results? ITC can help boost your website’s visibility to reach online customers. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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