Search engine results page (SERP) features aren’t just a great way for web users to find the information they’re looking for – they also give brands an opportunity to get their content in front of an audience. By ranking for SERP features, you can increase visibility for your brand and drive more traffic to your business.
Through this guide, you’ll learn about the different kinds of SERP features and how to win them on Google.
SERP features are any element on Google’s search engine results pages that is not a traditional organic result. In other words, SERP features are not the standard blue links that make up the top ten spots on the page.
While SERP features still fall into the category of organic search results, they take on nontraditional formats, such as boxes, drop-downs, and panels, adding a different dynamic to the page. These features enhance web users’ search experiences by providing them with more detailed results, giving them answers to their queries without having to click a link.
Every local business can benefit from ranking for SERP features. If you win SERP features on Google, you can expect to experience improved visibility for your site, resulting in increased organic traffic. With more site visits comes greater engagement from local visitors and increased conversions, ultimately leading to more revenue. Ranking for SERP features can also make your local brand appear more credible to consumers, making them more likely to trust you.
Ranking for SERP features also comes with unique benefits on the local level. One in three people searching on mobile are looking for location-specific information, and 88% of these individuals end up visiting related stores within a week of their search. That’s why ranking on Google for SERP features like local packs can result in increased foot traffic to your physical location, boosting in-store sales. You may also receive more direct phone calls to your local business, equating to more leads.
In short, ranking for SERP features will help your local business both online and offline.
Google has created over a dozen SERP features since its establishment in 1998, coming up with more and more ideas for improving the user experience. However, there are four SERP features that appear on Google most frequently. By knowing these elements, you can better understand how to rank for them.
Rich snippets are designated for specific search results, displaying extra data through visual elements like review stars and ratings, images, FAQs, recipes, and events. These features typically appear beside or below traditional organic results to draw users’ attention and generate a higher click-through rate (CTR).
Though most SERP features are organic, paid results are the exception. Also known as pay-per-click (PPC) ads or AdWords, these elements appear at the top or bottom of the SERPs. Though they have the same structure as traditional organic results – including a title tag, meta description, and URL – paid search results are differentiated by an “Ad” label that appears in the lefthand corner above the title tag.
Rather than earning PPC ads organically, sites purchase these results by bidding on keywords. Through this process, bidders establish the maximum amount they’re willing to pay each time a user clicks on their ads. Then, the paid ads are ranked by their relevancy to searchers’ queries.
Universal search results take content from within the search results categories that appear beneath the search bar, such as videos, images, news, shopping, and maps, and integrates them into the organic search results. That means searchers can see tailored results based on their queries without paging over to a different category tab. By incorporating this media into the SERPs, Google minimizes user search efforts by more accurately pinpointing their intentions.
Knowledge panels look similar to featured snippets, but appear in the form of panels or boxes on the righthand side of the page. When a user searches for a specific entity like a person, place, or business, Google will pull information from its Knowledge Graph, which automatically generates data from factual sources across the web. Then, it provides a knowledge panel containing basic information that answers the query.
If you observe Google’s SERPs closely, you can find a handful of different SERP features on a single page. Some of the many elements to look out for include:
Ranking for SERP features is a great way to get audience’s attention and drive traffic to your website. Strive to win SERP features for your brand and drive conversions with the following tactics:
Get your content to rank in the organic search results with BrandMuscle. Contact us to learn more.