What are SERPs?
The pages that a search engine display after receiving a user’s search request is known as SERPs. Search engine results pages (SERPs) typically feature sponsored search and pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements in addition to organic search results. Since consumers are more inclined to click on results at the top of a page, ranking position on a SERP may be quite competitive thanks to SEO. SERPs are getting significantly more complicated as a result of the introduction of schema markup in an effort to predict user wants.
The top page of Google search results receives more than 90% of all visits. Don’t worry if your webpage isn’t there yet. There are tactics you may employ to raise your rating, but you must first comprehend the nature of search engine results pages and how they order results.
The page that appears when you input a search into Google, Yahoo, or another search engine is known as a search engine results page, or SERP. Since Google dominates the industry with over 80% of the search engine market share, we’ll concentrate on its features and algorithms despite each search engine’s SERP design being unique.
What kinds of search queries are there?
Following a search, different SERP features will display depending on the Kind of search query input. The three types of search queries that are most often used are transactional, informative, and navigational.
1. Navigational Queries
When someone is seeking a specific website but doesn’t input the whole URL, this is known as a navigational query. It might be challenging to appear on the first page of these results unless the searcher is explicitly seeking you. Consider purchasing advertisements for the keywords you want to rank for, like your company name, to make the most of navigational inquiries for your website.
2. Informational queries
When looking for background information on a subject or instructions on carrying out a certain action, a person submits an informative question. Even if the searcher isn’t often looking to buy, the correct information may frequently point them in the direction of a certain company. Because of this, it’s critical to provide pertinent content that appeals to your target audience’s needs, requirements, and interests.
Increasing the amount of multimedia material on your website can help you attract visitors who are looking for information. Here are a few popular instances to think about.
- A how-to video with references to your goods or services
- A blog article containing instructions and advice for your readers
- Sharing-friendly infographic
- A downloadable guidebook or whitepaper
3. Transactional Queries
When considering a purchase, such as a specific item or anything from a large category, people ask transactional questions. Since transactional inquiries offer the most potential for income, keywords frequently receive high bids for pay-per-click positions. That implies that users will also receive relevant sponsored results for their transactional inquiries in addition to organic search results.
Businesses like sponsored advertisements because they work; according to data by online advertising firm WordStream, paid ads to account for over 65% of clicks on transactional SERPs.
Comparing paid ads and organic listings
On a Google SERP, paid and organic results are quite similar to one another. You should think about developing a plan that incorporates both of them because they may individually assist you to increase traffic to your website.
The benefit of sponsored advertising
Paid advertisements are displayed by Google at the top of the search results page, often in a 4-ad format on desktop computers and a 3-ad format on mobile browsers. However, because there are sometimes more than 4 companies contending for a single search phrase, Google must also choose whose advertisements appear on the first page of results.
Google takes into account the bid price, the quality of the page people are sent to when they click your ad, the quality of the ad itself, and the relevancy to the search when making that choice. You’ll show up on the top page if Google decides that your site is superior to the competitors and more relevant.
The value of organic results
Search engine optimization (SEO), a constantly evolving collection of strategies you may employ to help your site rank better on SERPs, is how organic listings earn their positions. A high-quality website is necessary to achieve a good organic position, much like paid advertisements. The guidelines, however, are not very clear. It’s crucial to be informed of any recent or impending adjustments because Google is continually adjusting its algorithm to deliver the best results.
What Features does a SERP have?
There is more visual variation in the SERP of today than there was in the past. Searches can also provide results that include photos, shopping recommendations, Tweets, or information cards in addition to basic results that only show the site name and metadata. Generally, each feature belongs to one of the following categories:
- Knowledge graph features: These can be seen on the SERP in a panel or box, frequently on the right.
- Rich snippets: These enhance a result with additional images, such as product reviews with stars or news results with photographs.
- Paid listings: These are available through keyword bidding on relevant keywords. Paid results will have a notice stating that they are advertisements at the top.
- Results that are universal: These are distinct outcomes that coexist with natural outcomes.
A list of the features that could appear on a SERP is shown below. Consider how you might modify and restructure your website to obtain the precise appearance you desire for your page.
1. Ads by Google
The top or bottom of the SERP is where Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, most frequently show up. Although it’s simpler to obtain an advertisement towards the bottom of the page, you’ll receive more views there.
Depending on how competitive the keywords are, getting to the top of the SERP necessitates a high-quality site and maybe large pay-per-click spends.
2. Featured snippets
On the SERP, the Featured snippet is displayed in a box that is separate from the list of search results. Because it shows website content that contains relevant search terms, it attracts attention. People will be more inclined to click on that link if they perceive the information given to be valuable.
Your first objective should be to bring your site to the first page of search results because it is the requirement for receiving a featured snippet. In the meanwhile, make sure your page’s content is educational and has all of the required keywords.
3. Image pack
Google’s algorithm will display a row of photos and a link to a Google Images search in the SERP when it thinks that visual information would be highly relevant to a search.
Although Google’s algorithm for photos is different from its algorithm for textual material, following the tips below can help search engines find—and rank—your image content.
Ensure you employ:
- Precise and evocative file names
- Alt text and descriptions for images
- Suitable supporting text A precise and appealing page title
- A clear page URL
- Photographs in the shape of a rectangle with average dimensions (think 16×9, 4×3, and squares)
Additionally, your chances of showing up in the SERP image pack will increase if you can get your picture included on other websites.
4. Detailed articles
Google introduced in-depth articles to promote longer-form articles with evergreen content. They may not include the most recent or up-to-date information, but they do contain knowledge that is timeless, and they are frequently produced by qualified authors or distributed by trustworthy media.
People began to notice that the box for in-depth articles was gone in 2019. These articles no longer have a dedicated section, although Google claims that they still receive preferential attention.
5. Knowledge card
Similar to a small Wikipedia article, a knowledge card is a box on the SERP that lists specific details about the searched subject. These data points are chosen by Google from a database of more than 3.5 billion data points.
They are helpful for informational inquiries since they offer connections that the searcher may not have initially considered in addition to the material that was requested. For instance, you could find links to Matt Groening’s books and the IMDb profiles of the voice actors for The Simpsons in his knowledge card.
6. Knowledge panel
Similar to a knowledge card, but more focused, is a knowledge panel. For instance, a navigational search for a certain restaurant may provide a knowledge panel including the establishment’s address, contact information, website, and popular hours.
7. Local pack
When a user types in a query that includes a place name or when Google’s algorithm determines that a sought item is accessible nearby, a local pack is displayed.
A map with pins indicating locations of companies that could be related to the search query represents the local pack. Google provides names, reviews, and contact details for the companies shown on the map.
For instance, a search for “pharmacies” can provide a local pack containing the addresses and phone numbers of the pharmacies nearest to you.
8. Teaser pack locally
Similar to the local pack, the local teaser pack has more details about each business. You may get more information about the products a company sells by clicking on the image next to its name.
9. A Newsbox
If a search returns results that are time-specific or current news articles, news boxes appear. You may submit your website to Google’s News Publisher Center regardless of whether you run a full-fledged news website or only have a section for news. If you have the correct sort of material, the news box is a terrific approach to attracting views because Google’s news algorithm automatically scans accepted pages.
10. Related questions
There are several related searches using various terms for each search. These are frequently shown by Google in the “People also ask” or “Questions related to” sections of a SERP.
The amount of “similar inquiries” results in clicks has increased over the past few years. Each connected query includes a single link, and in order for your website to appear there, it needs to be on the first page of the results. Once there, you may make some SEO adjustments to influence Google’s decision to select your website as a “related questions” response.
Occasionally, review information—represented as star ratings—will show up on a SERP after a transactional query. Naturally, listings with four or five stars typically receive more clicks.
You must expressly publish reviews with star ratings on your website in order to access the reviews function. Think about including a plugin on your website that enables users to leave reviews and rate your company out of five stars.
12. Shopping results
For many transactional queries, shopping results may be seen in SERPs. There is a lot of competition because there can only be eight of these results per term, which are often shown at the top of the page or in the right-hand column.
If you want your company to appear in the search results, you must also have excellent photographs, great sales figures for the item, and a competitive price.
The sole warning: The keyword for your shopping results is chosen by Google Merchant Center, not you.
Sitelinks assist users in locating particular pages on a website. For instance, the site links function would provide a link to Amazon’s account page nested within the main Amazon URL if you searched for “change my Amazon password.”
Your website will be picked out by Google’s web crawlers for site links, so be sure to arrange it with distinct and pertinent titles like “Products” or “Blog.” The easier it is for users to get to the pages they want to see, the more site links you acquire.
Since 2015, Google has started displaying tweets in some SERPs. Despite the fact that tweets aren’t constantly present (they’re more likely to do so when a topic is hot), this feature can entice users to visit your Twitter feed.
If a website provides embedded video material that is pertinent to the search, Google video results will show up. Make sure your video’s title, description, and accompanying text are all precise and detailed, just as you would with photographs.
The more you understand about SERPs, the better your content and site design planning will be. Keeping your website in shape to be ranked higher requires staying current with Google’s standards.