Hello and welcome to the exciting world of Google’s search results! You might have noticed that when you search for something on Google, there’s a lot more than just a list of websites. Let’s dive into what these features are and how you can get your website to show up in them.
What Are SERPs?
SERPs stands for Search Engine Results Pages. Think of them as the pages you see after you search for something on Google. In the old days, these pages were pretty straightforward – just a list of websites and some ads. But now, there’s a whole lot more!
The Many Faces of Google’s Search Results
Here’s a rundown of the different features you might see on a SERP, along with some handy tips:
Here is a list of additions since the old days:
- Featured Snippet
- These are displayed above the organic listings and answer the question that people type into the search bar resulting in zero click searches.
- TIP: To get your website listed as a featured snippet find a search that people ask often that is not a featured snippet yet then answer the question on your website for Google to discover.
- Flights Block
- When you do a search for a flight Google will display the information for you in a block detailing departure and arrival times, destinations, etc. Both paid and organic listings can be shown here.
- Google Ads
- Pay-Per-Click campaigns sometimes display their ads here.
- TIP: All you have to do is create an account with Google AdWords, create an ad, and make bids to show up in this area of the SERPs.
- Hotel Pack
- Similar to the ‘near me’ searches and Local Pack Google will display the hotels that are near you when you do a search.
- TIP: You can get your hotel listed here by creating a hotel ad with Google.
- Image Packs
- When you do a search for images and the SERPs fall under the ALL tab instead of the IMAGES tab Google displaces a condensed block of images related to your search above the organic search results.
- TIP: Add alt tags, image descriptions, and name the filename to what the image is to increase your chances of showing up in the pack.
- Job Listings
- If you do a search inquiring about a job at a certain company Google will display a list of job postings for that company which can lead to zero click searches.
- TIP: To take advantage of getting your website listed here post your job at places like Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and other job posting websites.
- Knowledge Panel
- This information box gives you additional details about your search on people, places, or things.
- TIP: The information that is displayed here is powered by the Knowledge Graph. To help get listed here your information must appear in Wikipedia, the CIA World Facebook, or be compiled from searches done about you.
- Local Pack
- When you are searching for something close to you (a ‘near me’ search) Google will display a local pack that details where you can find your search nearby with addresses, directions, reviews, brief descriptions, and links. When an item in the local pack is clicked on you will be taken to a page where you can see more information.
- TIP: Getting your business listed on Google Business Profile and Google Maps will increase the chances of getting yourself listed here.
- TIP: Voice searches and mobile phone searches resulted in 60% of the people contacting the business from the local pack.
- People Also Ask Block
- When you ask a question online Google will sometimes display a block in the middle of the SERPs showing what other people have searched for that is similar to your search.
- TIP: This is a good source to use for keyword research where you can get a feel for what people are looking for (searchers intent) and maybe answer these questions on the FAQ page of your website.
- TIP: To get your website to show up here you will have to markup your content with the FAQ schema.
- Related Searches Block
- When you do a search in Google you will get a list of related searches that have to do with the search that you used at the bottom of the SERPs.
- TIP: This is one of the sources I use when doing keyword research to get more ideas to expand on my research and get more knowledge on searchers intent.
- Below the organic listing Google will sometimes display reviews of the person, place, or thing if it is available.
- TIP: To get reviews for your website make sure the web page has the proper schema markup and you have the option for people to leave reviews on your website.
- TIP: If you have a lot of positive reviews show up for your website your CTR (click-through rate) will increase.
- Rich Snippets
- Reviews and other information are powered by schema to display in the SERPs as rich snippets along with additional information that Google will display with your listing directly in the SERPs.
- TIP: Using Schema and Rich Snippets will increase the chances of click-through rates to the point that Google’s RankBrain will improve your rankings.
- Shopping Product Listing Ads
- When Google’s AI thinks you are looking to buy an item it will display a carousal of products for sale so that you can quickly scan and compare.
- TIP: Get your products listed in Google Shopping to increase your chances of getting your products listed here.
- If your website is popular enough Google will display sitselinks below your listing directing them to other pages of your website. An example is below.
- In addition to the extra links, your website can get a Sitelinks Search Box. You can power it by your website’s internal search engine if you implement the structured data correctly.
- TIP: Make sure you have a sitemap set up on your website so that Google can find it easier and if you have an internal search engine for your website you can use it to power a Sitelinks Search Box that can show up along with the Sitelinks that Google puts there.
- Top Stories Block
- When you do a search that is related to top news stories Google will display a block of recent news sources that you can read about your search.
- TIP: Do a little PR (public relations) and submit your story to the major news sources and if it is interesting enough you can get displayed here.
- Twitter Feed
- Back in 2015 Google struck a deal with Twitter to display a block of Twitter Feeds to display if a search brings up comparable results.
- TIP: Be active on Twitter and other social media so that you can take up this ‘real estate’ in the SERPs as well. If you use WordPress to build your website then you can set it up with the JetPack plugin so that when you make a post on your website that it will automatically post to your social media accounts as well.
- When you do a search that has a lot of videos associated with your search Google may show you a string of videos that you can watch also.
- TIP: If you create how-to videos and put them on your website you can gain some ‘real estate’ of the SERPs by appearing there as well.
- Your Business on Google
- If you manage a business on Google Business Profile this information box shows up detailing your profile and/or how well that particular search is doing for your business.
- TIP: Getting your business listed here does a world of good. When creating posts for my customers here they got a lot of traffic to their website because the posts also show up in Google Maps.
There you have it – a tour through the different features of Google’s search results and how you can make your website stand out in each. Remember, each type of result is an opportunity to increase your online visibility and drive more traffic to your site. Happy optimizing!