Here is a guide to the latest Google SERP enhancements and how to incorporate them in your SEO strategy.
Marketing teams spend countless hours strategizing how to improve Google search engine results pages. To keep us on our toes, Google has enhanced its SERPs with several features including:
- local map packs
- video thumbnails
- image and news results
- featured snippets
With all these extra features (and likely more to come) marketers have more than just simple search results to focus on. For in-depth information and stats, check out RankRanger’s Google SERP Features page. It gives you trending SERP features, insights over the past month, the most popular answer box types, and oh so much more.
Local map packs
About a year ago, Google reduced its local map pack from seven results to three. The geographical diet makes the local pack feature more mobile-friendly, but also eliminates good exposure for seven local businesses. Because three-pack results depend on a user’s location, it may be futile to try to work your way up to the top three. In the alternative, give Google as much information about your business—through web content, reviews, and Google Maps—to make your business stand out.
When customers search for a product, Google displays the page that features that product, which is not necessarily the home page. Breadcrumb trails indicate the page’s position in the site hierarchy. A user can navigate up the site hierarchy, one level at a time, by starting from the last breadcrumb in the trail. There’s nothing you need to do, really, to get tossed a breadcrumb, just make sure your links work!
The video thumbnail appears to the left of the search result. A video or image will generate more views than words alone. When uploading a video to YouTube, always create a thumbnail. Use an eye-catching image that represents the content. Video is becoming more valuable than ever in attracting visitors to your website or blog. Make the most of it.
Image and news results
Like the video thumbnail, the image thumbnail appears to the left of the link and description. Again, choose quality images that represent your content.
The Reviews feature displays your product or service’s rating on a 1-5 scale with both a star and numeric representation. This feature also shows a summary of the total numbers of reviews or votes that resulted in this rating. When appropriate, ask satisfied customers for reviews and include the most relevant reviews on your site.
Aside from the search results feature and positive press, there are many ways to make user reviews work for you. Positive local reviews boost SEO and sales, can increase conversions, improve ranking for long-tail searches, and more. Select reviews that match the tone of your brand.
Featured snippets, and extended featured snippets, answer a question or provide a concise definition for the user. When writing blog posts or articles for your site, consider ways to incorporate potential featured snippets. Try tools such as SerpStat to find out which questions users ask related to your brand.
To make the most of the Great Google, consider its SERP features in your SEO strategy. When you see an increase in quality leads or improved site stats, you will thank yourself for the extra effort.