Having an optimized website that delivers clicks and engagement with customers and prospects is critical to the success of your business. SERP features are good tools to achieve your goals and improve your digital marketing and SEO. That’s why it’s important to know about these features and to master them to take advantage of them.
If you want to know more about SEO and why it is so important, we invite you to read our article on the subject: What is SEO and why is it important?
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What Is a SERP Feature?
Firstly, the term SERP, Search Engine Result Page, is a web page generated by Google’s algorithm to try to interpret the intent of a user typing a keyword into a search engine and present them with relevant information. The SERP offers the user a series of links and types of information that it considers to be most relevant to the keyword.
Today, the SERPs have evolved and no longer present only ten traditional blue links, but several other types of information that are called SERP features. Also known as SERP features or search result features, these are any elements that present additional information to the user other than organic website links and ads.
Why Is It Important to Appear in SERP Features?
SERPs features are a crucial element to integrate into your SEO strategy, as ranking for SERPs helps you to be in the top results of Google; not ranking well for SERPs features leads to less clicks, less visibility and less traffic to your site.
It is 13% of searches that contain a SERP feature. Not optimising your website to appear in the SERP features is not only a lost chance to get more traffic, but also a missed opportunity to be promoted by Google.
Also, a successful SEO strategy helps to eventually reduce paid marketing costs and increase the trust that Google has in your business.
What Are the Most Common Types of SERP Features?
Google is constantly testing features with the intention of improving the user experience. Today, there are more than 15 SERP features available on the search engine.
Here are some examples:
How Can I Appear in a SERP Feature?
The choice of which website will appear in a SERP feature is up to Google. This choice is made based on a user’s query and selected to match their search. It is not possible to force Google to use the content of your website. However, there are ways to optimize your content to improve your chances of appearing in the SERP features. Below are some tips.
How Can I Identify the SERP Features on Which My Website Appears?
First of all, it may be interesting to identify the SERP features on which your website appears before working on your SEO.
To do this, there are specialized tools that can show you these SERP features, such as SEMrush, MOZ or Ahrefs. However, these tools offer paid services, but there are demos that can give you an idea of what might be interesting for you.
How Can I Optimize My Content for Improved SERP Features Visibility?
Here are some tips to use to optimize your content and maximize your chances of having your website appear in a SERP feature.
1. Featured Snippet
Also known as “position zero”, the Featured Snippet appears at the very top of Google search results. It is a snippet from content on a website that best answers the user’s query. They can be presented as a list, paragraph, video or table.
Google chooses the snippet by selecting the answer that best matches the query. It is then interesting to try to answer yourself questions related to certain keywords for which your website ranks best. For example, in an FAQ section on your website, it would be possible to answer these questions to increase your chances of appearing in this feature.
Here’s how to do it:
- Answer succinctly and accurately
- Use phrases and words that your audience uses
- Respect the format of the featured extract (video, table, paragraph or list)
- Provide an answer as quickly as possible
By optimizing your content in this way, you increase your chances of appearing in the zero position, but also in related questions or People also ask.
2. People Also Ask
Related questions, which translate to “People Also Ask”, are questions generated by Google’s algorithm to answer queries that it thinks are related to the topic of the query. This feature is mixed into the organic results and its position on the SERP varies.
These related questions are also featured excerpts with keywords. Most websites that manage to appear in the zero position also manage to get a place in the People Also Ask SERP feature. This way you can answer questions related to the keywords you rank highest for by creating content that focuses specifically on those keywords and related questions. This is a simple and effective way to appear in this SERP feature.
3. Knowledge Panel
The Knowledge Panel is a feature that extracts data from various sources such as WikiData, Google’s index or data from private partnerships, and presents it in search results. Typically, the Knowledge Panel is found to the right of organic searches.
It can be difficult to appear in this feature as the data comes from specific sites and partnerships. Nevertheless, it is important to understand how Google stores data to prioritize which keywords to target.
4. Local Pack
When a user enters keywords that Google considers to have local intent, the SERP displays the Local Pack feature containing up to three locations that Google considers most relevant to the keywords used. This feature is brought to the forefront in the SERP, especially on mobile.
To optimize your website to appear in the Local Pack, you need to follow Local SEO best practices. To do this, you can :
- Optimize your Google Business Profile
- Increase your number of reviews
- Create specific landing pages for each of your locations
- Get accurate NAP citations (including your business name, address and phone number)
5. Image Pack
The Image Pack is a series of horizontally aligned photos that link to a Google Images search. These image packs can appear anywhere in the SERP and are present when Google deems that visual content may be relevant to help the searcher.
In order for your images to appear in this SERP feature, you will need to provide more context to your image.
Here are some best practices to adopt:
- Use consistent file names
- Specifying alt text
- Include your images with the right content
- Have a sitemap of images
- Wherever possible, use original/unique images
- Have a solid URL structure
- Provide a caption for your image
6. Video Carousel
The videos presented in the Video Carousel usually come from the YouTube platform and display the thumbnail of the video in question. They can appear at any position in the SERP. Video results are only available for certain keywords.
For your website to appear in these video results, the video schema markup must exist on your page.