Gone are the days when you type a query into Google and get a page full of simple, written results. Google is constantly working on providing an improved experience for its users, and this means we see a variety of results to suit different queries.
The different features Google uses to display its results are known as SERP and it can be very beneficial for websites to show up in them.
One of the most commonly seen SERP features is the featured snippet. The featured snippet takes a short paragraph from a page that summarizes the searcher’s query, and places it at the top of the results.
Until recently, a website could win the featured snippet and still be listed in the organic results underneath. This gave a website huge visibility and a much higher click through rate.
Google recently changed this though, and the website that wins the featured snippet no longer shows up on page 1 of the organic search results. Even if winning the featured snippet isn’t quite as powerful as it used to be, it’s still a great click winner for websites.
If you’re a local business, then showing up in the local packs is very important. 46% of searches on Google are local, and many of them will return local packs.
When you type in a query such as “sandwich shops near me,” then it’s likely you will be presented with a map with local sandwich shops listed, along with their address, telephone number, openings times, and a star rating.
Focussing on your local SEO can help you feature in this important SERP feature.
When you scroll through the results pages, you will often see a box titled “People Also Ask.” This box helps users find out more about the subject they’re searching by suggesting more things they might like to explore.
These questions and answers are around 30 words in length, so if your pages can answer questions in a concise paragraph early in the text, then you give yourself a good chance of appearing in this feature.
Sometimes you will find that the individual search results have extra information included. If you’re searching for recipes, reviews, products, music, video, or events, then different information will be included to give you faster access to the information you need.
For example, if you search for “bread and butter pudding recipe,” you will see that the results contain a star rating, how long it takes to cook, and a calorie count.
By using structured data mark-up, your website can add specific information to its listing like star reviews and attract more clicks.
Video / Image Packs
Many searches will show video or image packs before the organic results. Google knows that people enjoy sites with good multimedia, so it often features these items in its search results.
These packs can take a lot of clicks away from the organic results, so it’s important to make sure you’re ensuring you have quality, optimized videos and images as well as your written content.