Search engine results pages (SERPs) are arguably one of the most critical factors in search engine optimization. SERPs are constantly evolving, which means you need to stay on top of your SEO practices.
A lot has changed in the past year, and search engine results pages are no exception. Continue reading this post to learn more about some of the most significant changes SERPs have undergone recently, as well as a few tips to staying on top.
Why Are SERPs Important?
Think about yourself as a consumer. When you go on Google and enter your search term, how long do you spend looking for a result? Like most people, your answer is probably “not long.”
Research has shown that websites shown on the first search engine results page receive almost 95% of web traffic, with only 5% of traffic reaching the second search engine results page and so on.
Now, think about your business. If you do not appear on the first search engine results page, you miss out on a great deal of traffic and potential sales.
There are several things you can do to improve your search engine results ranking, so keep reading to find out.
What Are Universal Results?
Universal search, sometimes called blended search or enhanced search, refers to the integration of media like photos, videos, and maps displayed among (or above) the organic search results on the first page.
Over the past few years, Google has started integrating embedded boxes with additional media. These results can have higher click rates and traffic.
Google decided to change from only showing URLs to integrating media to match user intent better. Universal search results are often referred to as “boxes” because they are distinctly separated from other URL results.
Not only do universal search results enhance the searching process on desktops, but they significantly improve the user experience on mobile devices.
Since you now understand why universal search results are so important, we will be discussing the most common types of universal search results and how you can use them to your advantage.
The more relevant and unique an image is, the higher the chance to use it as a universal search result. If you want your images to end up directly in front of consumers, consider using some of the following strategies.
If you have high-quality images that relate to your goods or services, edit them in a way that includes information about the photo and your brand. Tie this information into the description and tags you include with the photo (don’t forget your keywords!).
Not only do your images need to be visually appealing, but they also need to be user-friendly. Optimize the loading speed of each image because searchers are usually not willing to wait.
If you do not already have high-quality images, it may be a good idea to schedule a professional photoshoot. Once you have a collection of relevant images, you can use them repeatedly on your website, social media pages, and any other content you plan to publish.
Videos account for around 62% of universal search results. Many videos, especially those that answer “how-to” questions, will appear as excerpt clips as the first page’s first page.
If you have high-quality and relevant video content, make sure the content checks all of the boxes below.
- Publish videos both on your website and on a video sharing site (like YouTube)
- Ensure the video includes a call-to-action to drive traffic back to your website
- Add a transcript
- Include relevant keywords in the title and description of your video
High-quality video content can take quite some time to create between planning, production, and editing, but it will be worth it in the long run when you can continue to use it in different ways on different platforms.
“People Also Ask” Box
The development of the People Also Ask box corresponds with the increasing use of natural language in queries. In the Fall of 2019, Google announced the addition of the BERT Algorithm. BERT is Google’s neural network-based technique for natural language processing.
With many internet users utilizing both voice-to-text and search-by-voice features, Google needed a better interpretation of the natural language searchers are using. Many of these natural language searches are posed as questions, so Google integrated the People Also Ask box.
The People Also Ask box is clearly structured in a question and answer format. When a user clicks on a question, a one to two-sentence answer will be provided as a drop-down.
To take advantage of this new integration, you will need to create answer-based content built upon your business’ relevant keywords. While you may want to dedicate an entire blog to a common question, ensure that you include a concise answer to the question somewhere in the written content.
Regularly update your content to make sure it stays relevant with the changing times.
While getting a handle on universal search results is an excellent start to optimizing your SEO strategies, staying on top requires conducting a great deal of research regularly.
As society continues to evolve along with technology, Google is constantly making changes and improvements to its search engine algorithms. If you are not ready to take on the challenge of SEO yourself, Paton Marketing would love to be part of your marketing journey.
The experts at Paton Marketing stay up to date with any changes Google makes and can help you meet any marketing goals you may have!