What Is SERP?
Before we begin with SERP Features, let us first define what SERP is.
A SERP is a Search Engine Results Page, and it is defined by its keyword or the query that generated the results. Basically, a SERP feature is any result on a Google Search Engine Results Page that is not a traditional organic result.
What Are SERP Features?
Now let’s dig a bit deeper into the meaning of the SERP feature. Any additional element on a SERP that adds something new to the typical format of a results page can be considered as a SERP feature.
Some of the most usual SERP features are:
- Rich Snippets: adds a visual layer to an existing result, for instance, a review stars for product ratings.
- Paid Results: are bought by bidding on keywords for example AdWords or Google Shopping.
- Universal Results: they appear in addition to other organic results such as image results, featured snippets, etc.
- Knowledge Graph: a system that understands entities ( objects, events, people, etc) and the relationships between them.
Once we clarified the basics, let’s go through the list of SERP features that are considered the most popular right now.
The Most Popular SERP Features
Adwords Top and Bottom
Adwords are the first Google SERP feature.
They usually occupy the first four positions of a SERP and provide paid traffic to your website. Prices can alter as you will have a higher cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-mile depending on the search volume of the keyword you want to appear in relevant queries.
Even though these ads get the best positions in SERP, they don’t have the CTR value that top organic positions do.
Featured Snippets are parts of answers to a user query shown at the top of Google’s search results. This is probably the SERP feature with the highest click-through rate (CTR). The featured snippet is extremely important for instilling brand credibility, driving traffic, and establishing your brand authority.
Image Packs appear when Google thinks that visual content will be more valuable.
Image results may appear as a row or block of related images between organic results. Clicking on it will take you to the “Images” search tab, and from there can you get to the website hosting the image.
When it comes to image content remember that image optimization for users and search engines is crucial (Descriptive alt text, Human-readable URL, Optimized image size, Title attribute included).
In-Depth Articles are usually won by large publishers. They are often found at the bottom of a SERP and provide users with lengthy content (2000-5000 words). Other common attributes of in-depth articles are schema article markup, authorship markup, and unique, high-quality writing. Normally they are reserved for topics about people, organizations, and broad subjects.
A knowledge panel is a card that usually appears on the right-hand side of a SERP. It usually displays a short description and some additional important information about the topic.
This SERP feature doesn’t appear in all the queries, but when it does, the goal is to give searchers basic information about a topic without them having to click through the SERP.
Knowledge cards are an extension of the Knowledge Panel and work pretty much in the same way that Knowledge Panels do. Typically, they appear at the top of the SERP on a desktop search.
Knowledge Graph results can help you prioritize keywords to target, as well as understand how Google stores entity data about the world.
A Local Pack shows up in SERPs when a query includes a demand for nearby services.
The Local Pack is located at the top of a SERP under the AdWords results, although occasionally it may slide below the organic links.
On a SERP page, Google Local Pack usually consists of a map with locations’ pins, a 5-star rating scale for every location, and three search results.
Local Teaser Pack
Local Teaser Pack is a three-pack of local business results, similar to Local Pack. It shows mostly restaurants and hotels on a map, with extra information below, such as hours of work, reviews, and images.
The fundamental difference between local packs and Local Teaser Packs is that teaser packs serve with more information regarding hours, pricing, reviews, and images while Local Packs highlight a diversity of local businesses.
Related Questions (People Also Ask)
The Related Questions card points to algorithmically-generated questions that Google believes might be relatable to your search. Actually, they are similar to Featured Snippets.
You can use Related Questions as a method of finding Featured Snippet keyword opportunities related to your existing keywords. If you find Related Questions on a SERP, remember to try tracking the question as a keyword in itself. You will see that most of the time that keyword will have a Featured Snippet.
Reviews complement ordinary search results with a rating and an image. Results with review stars typically get higher CTR.
To get this feature your content has to have the right markup.
Site links enhance a basic organic search result by adding more links under the description. Normally, it appears for websites whose navigation system Google easily understands.
Type of query, site traffic, and implementation of SearchAction anchor markup are the factors that can drive the appearance of Site Links in a SERP.
Twitter search results favor the most recent and trending tweets related to a query. They can pop up anywhere on the SERP, but typically, appear after a few organic results. The interesting part is that the results can be shown tweets from both verified and unverified accounts.
Video results, particularly YouTube, may display a thumbnail. They used to be a true vertical but today are more of an organic enhancement. They can appear for certain keywords and require a video schema markup to exist on the page.
Wrapping Up SERP Features
Ranking in the SERP features will give your brand better visibility on the results page, there is no doubt about it. They define how your site appears on the first page of Google.
You can’t apply all the features to every brand but through the use of basic SEO principles and appropriate schema markup, most of the brands have a good opportunity to be featured in one of the SERP’s top spots.