Since Google introduced the company’s first search engine result page (SERP) in 1998, organic listings have not changed in many ways, however, search engine result pages have changed drastically. As a small business owner, it can be difficult to keep up with the changes in your niche market. Knowing the 11 different types of items that may be shown on SERPs for your keywords may help you create content shown on the SERP page instantly increasing your click-through rate without having to win the organic listing battle.
Types of Items Shown on SERP Pages
There are at least 11 touchpoints that you can use to be found on Google SERP pages including:
- Google Ads
- Featured Snippets
- In-depth articles
- Knowledge panels
- Local packs
- Related questions
- Shopping results
- Image packs
- News boxes
Learning the details about some of the most important ones can help get your site found there.
Formerly Google Adwords, Google Ad listings appear at the top or the bottom of the page. They are marked with a green ad button under their title. The new program is meant to be more user-friendly for small businesses, but they can still be costly. They also push organic results further down the page. Google says that ads for particular search terms are shown based on their usefulness to the searcher.
Featured snippets appear at the top of the page, and they are intended to give users a direct answer to their search query without needing to leave the SERP page. They appear most frequently on pages where users are looking for who, what, when or where information. Therefore, you need to produce content by answering these questions to have it chosen as a featured snippet. This content appearing above the organic search results can be in the form of a paragraph, a numbered list, a bullet list or a table. Usually, featured snippets delve in deeply to content so cut the fluff on your website. Optimize YouTube to provide videos for featured snippets. Generally, featured snippets are chosen from pages organically ranking from one to five.
Image packs are the pictures that you see on Google’s first page. Making yours more unique than your competitors is a great way to capture Google’s attention and have your image appear as a chosen image. At least 12.5 percent of all searches result in an image pack, and the percentage is even higher in some industries. Once clicked, the user is taken to a larger view of the image and given the option to visit your webpage. Make sure that your photo is optimized for Google to find it by giving each image a file name, a caption and have it be a common size. It also needs to be on a page that is relevant to the original search query.
Many small businesses can be found in local packs. These listings show users where to find a business near them offering a particular service. They may contain three or six choices based on the query with the option to view more choices. Clicking on that link takes the user to Google Maps where 50 percent of users do business with one of the top three choices. Google says that getting chosen for a three-pack requires relevance, distance, and prominence, so make sure that you are proving these through your presence on the web. Make sure that your business information is consistent across the internet. According to research conducted by BiznessApps, 63 percent of the number one listing has the most reviews. They also report that getting found in the top three local pack results in 472 percent more views.
If you regularly feature content tied to your local community or your niche market, then submit your website for consideration in a news box. Google has a special team that reviews these sites. Generally, they are looking for content that is fresh, diverse, original and has in-depth coverage.
Google will continue to increase the number of ways that they are trying to meet user intent without leaving the SERP page. Making sure that your site is found on the front SERP page no longer requires that you win the organic listing war. The rewards of concentrating on being found there can greatly increase your small business revenue.