The term SERP might sound complicated, but it’s not. SERP stands for Search Engine Results Pages. And SERP are the pages that search engines like Google display in the results of search queries.
Before your start working on Search Engine Marketing campaign, it is very crucial to understand the SERP features and your success depends on how well you understand SERP.
SERPs contain both paid and unpaid search results.
Importance of SERP features in search engine markeing
The first page captures close to 71 percent of traffic in search results –MOZ.
For some searches, this percentage can be as high as 91 percent.
This is the reason due to which websites compete for a spot on page 1. If a website is on page 2 or beyond, it’s practically invisible to most users.
But if you want to generate a good amount of organic traffic, ranking on the first page is not enough.
Ranking on the first page doesn’t entail that you’ll generate lots and lots of organic traffic. Instead, most of the traffic goes to the first few pages on the search results.
Another factor you need to consider is that some paid searches are displayed on top of organic searches. Therefore, a lot of traffic is diverted to these paid searches because of their positioning in the search results.
Another feature that affects the click rate is quick answers by Google.
If someone is searching for Brad Pitt’s age, they find the answer without clicking on any results in the SERPs.
Here are some other examples of these quick answers
For searches like these, the click rate is substantially lower than the search rate.
How your website can show up in SERPs
SERPs differ from search to search, but they are made up of the same building blocks. The three building blocks of SERPs are mentioned below
- Features like quick answers
- Organic pages
Let’s take a look at all three of them
Advertisements are paid searches that are displayed in the search engine results. These advertisements can appear both before and after organic searches.
Organic and paid searches appear very similar, the only difference is that the words ”ad” are mentioned on the paid searches.
These advertisements work on a PPC basis, which means Pay per click. Paying on a PPC basis means that the advertiser will have to pay a fixed amount on every click he receives. To win a spot in the paid searches for a keyword, advertisers bid against each other.
Generally, the higher the bidding amount, the better the spot. Search engines like Google alsoconsidert factors like “relevance” before they grant these spots to advertisers.
The highest bid usually gets the prime spot.
A big advertising budget is required for a website to appear in the prime spot of paid searches.
Search engines use their index for displaying organic search results. For one keyword, there can be thousands of relevant search results.
Search engines like Google use various factors to rank these web pages. There are hundreds of ranking factors. Due to these factors, only high-quality and relevant web pages are displayed on the first page of search engine results.
Identifying all these factors is not possible,also considers but we already know about some of them.
For example, we know that backlinks play an important role in the search engine rankings of a web page.
This is what an organic search looks like in the search engine results.
You should mention the page’s Title, Meta Description, and URL slug in the HTML document of your web page.
Meta Description along with title and URL are displayed in search results.
Sometimes content that is present on your webpage is displayed in place of the meta description.
High-quality snippets can also get featured in Google search results.
If you want your web page to appear in organic results, create high-quality and unique content.
Google always prefers high-quality web pages.
Also, make sure that your content is relevant to the keywords you are targeting.
Search engine result features
Search engine result features are non-standard results. These results can be both paid and organic.
These are organic results but they, are displayed in a non-conventional way.
The same goes for these results
These are the features present in the search engine results to help users out.
Google generates a good amount of money by displaying paid searches in these features.
The main purpose of these features is to minimize the need for clicking on search results.
If someone searches for basic information regarding Bill Gates, they will get this information without clicking on any web pages in the search results.
These features have significantly impacted the click rate of search results.
According to Ahrefs, only 50 percent of searches result in clicks.
Getting featured in these SERP features can increase your website’s traffic.
There are many kinds of SERP features.
Let’s look at some of them
KC is short for a knowledge card. These knowledge cards appear at the top of search results. They are present to offer direct answers to some queries.
This is a knowledge card.
As you can see, it is displaying the age of the supermodel Gigi Hadid.
The information present in these knowledge cards is gathered only from trusted sources. These sources are Google’s data, data provided by governments, and data provided by reliable resources like Wikipedia.
Appearing in a knowledge card is almost impossible for most websites because Google pulls this data from highly trusted sources.
Google pulls snippets of content from the top ranking pages in the search engine results. These snippets can be in form of written content, videos, and images. These snippets usually appear at the top of other search results.
Sometimes, other results can appear above these snippets. A snippet can also be in form of a table or a list.
If your website is high-quality and well-optimized, chances are that Google will display snippets from your website.
These Images are usually displayed at the top of search results. Clicking on these images redirects you to Google Images.
In some instances, these images can appear below other search results.
If your website has good-quality images, they’ll get displayed in Google images. You can generate organic traffic through these images if people click on them.
Google also displays top stories from credible websites.
These stories can include articles, blogs, and videos.
Most of these results are related to the current news. And these pages are indexed in Google news.
If you have a news website, high-quality content can get you featured in these top stories.
Google tries to display the recent events in top stories, so most rankings here are short-lived.
Google Knowledge pack
The knowledge pack contains some basic information about the subject of your query.
A knowledge pack usually appears on the right side of your screen. In the case of mobile phones, it can appear at the top.
A knowledge pack is very similar to a knowledge card because the information present in it is pulled only from trusted sources.
Google can also link to some social profiles in these knowledge packs.
Google also displays information regarding brands in its knowledge pack. Your website can appear in the knowledge pack if you have a well-known brand.
Getting featured in the knowledge pack can increase the flow of organic traffic for your website.
PAA stands for People also ask. These boxes are present to answer questions related to a search query. These boxes only contain the questions. Answers are displayed when you click on these boxes.
The people also ask feature is displayed in a similar way as featured snippets. The PAA feature is usually present in the middle of a search page.
When you click on a single box, Google loads more questions under it.
If you provide unique and relevant answers to some queries, your website can get featured in PAA.
Spending time and resources on a website that no one is going to see is useless. Making sure that your website is present in the search results is crucial for the success of your website.
Learning about SERPs can help you with this task. Search Engine Results Pages follow some unique trends. Gaining knowledge about these trends can help your website’s rankings.
If you want your website to reach its full potential, you’ll have to learn how to feature this website in paid and organic results. Getting featured in paid results requires a lot of money, and getting featured in organic results requires a lot of hard work.
Let me in comments, What have you learned so far and how do you plan to implement this knowledge?