Search engines shape online experiences.

Google is undoubtedly the most influential player in this game. With 91.9% of the market share, Google was the most visited website globally at the beginning of 2022.

No wonder, each algorithm update or announcement by the tech giant becomes headlines in the IT industry. But of course, the changes and modifications that Google makes to the search engine impact the business world just as much. Companies spend a lot of money on SEO services and PPC ad campaigns with the sole purpose of boosting their visibility in the search engine.

Well, if you are one of those businesses that are looking for a way to secure that top position on the search engine, you are in luck. We are going to discuss one such topic that will help you do that.

Without further ado, let us dive right in.

In a world where businesses are constantly obsessed with everything search engines, it would be inappropriate to not be acquainted with all they have to offer.

We assume that you already know what a Search Engine Result Page (SERP) is. For the uninitiated, it is simply the endless list of results that pops up when you search for any query on search engines.

So yes — from a user standpoint, search engines do offer solutions to their queries by producing a relevant list of websites. From a business standpoint, search engines connect them with the relevant target audiences.

The search engines in return, offer several features on the SERPs apart from the organic results. These are called SERP features. We are talking knowledge panel, the rich snippets, the People Also Ask section — all that and more.

So, if you are a business that decisively entered the world of SEO to dominate the SERPs, it is always a good idea to understand all of the features they offer. But of course, there are more reasons supporting why you should target the SERP features.

Let us talk more about that, shall we?

Are you wondering — but how do SERP features affect my website?

Search engines go to great lengths to ensure that only the most relevant results are displayed for any user query. Now, don’t get us wrong — ranking higher organically on the SERPs can be quite valuable. But additional Google SERP features can offer a lot of relevant information immediately to the users, which may not be clearly visible through the organic results.

SERP features can also offer a lot of insights into the keywords that you should be targeting and the kind of content that will grant you the most visibility. What’s more, you can leverage these insights to inform your content and SEO strategies.

If you are still wondering whether SERP features are worth it, how about the fact that only 2.65% of result pages are displayed without any kind of SERP features? Yes, it helps to win Google SERP features.

As SERP features use different kinds of content, businesses can also get inspiration on the specific content types that they should include in their content strategy. Basically, going beyond the good old “blue links”.

It is beneficial for companies to target Google’s SERP features to get maximum exposure and build credibility. That said, let us get right into exploring the different types of SERP features and everything that you need to know about them.

Now that you know what SERP features are and the potential benefits that they can offer for your business, let us look at the complete list of SERP features that you can use. We will delve deeper into each SERP feature by Google, and understand the best practices that you can follow to optimise for that feature.

That said, let us start with this detailed guide to Google SERP features.

Featured Snippet

If you use Google regularly for your search queries, you would have definitely come across a featured snippet. It is a large box that displays a specific section of the most relevant webpage on the SERP, based on your search query. The goal of a featured snippet is to offer an instant answer to a user query eliminating the need for the user to click on any of the website links.

Featured snippets usually appear at the top of SERPs, but in some rare cases, they can also take another position in the place of an organic search result. What’s more, unlike several other SERP features, featured snippets are mobile-friendly.

Featured Snippets can contain several types of elements such as tables, images, videos, listicles, and even widgets, depending on the search query.

Search Intent

The search intent for featured snippets will almost always be informational other than a few navigational queries. It can easily answer questions that contain ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’, other than simpler action-based search queries.

Featured snippets get more than 35% of the total clicks on the SERPs. That is a significant share to let go of, isn’t it?

Let us look at an example to understand this better. When we searched for “what are keywords in seo” - a common informational search query, this is what the SERP looked like:

Best Practices

  • Integrate keywords that you already rank high for
  • Identify the most commonly asked questions from Twitter, and Quora
  • Strengthen your on-page SEO efforts
  • Keep your content highly factual and organised

Using these best practices, you can optimise your content to reach the featured snippets easily. After all, they are now considered to be one of the top 10 organic results on SERPs and enjoy a much greater click rate.

People Also Ask

The fact that Google can display the probable questions that you may be having based on your search queries is nothing short of marvellous. How does Google do it?

You would have definitely seen People Also Ask (PAA) boxes — a list of frequently asked questions relevant to your search queries. Neatly embedded among the organic search results, the People Also Ask section helps you seek answers to questions that you may have on the topic that you are searching on.

It is Google’s way of showing off its intuitive capabilities by answering questions before you even pose them. Upon clicking it, each question expands to reveal an answer formatted as a featured snippet.

Like featured snippets, the ‘People Also Ask’ section displays on mobile devices as well as desktop searches. However, it is widely known that its frequency is higher on mobile devices than on desktops.

Whenever PAA is triggered, 75% of the time it appears in the first three positions, so it can significantly boost your visibility on the SERP.

Search Intent

As a rule of thumb, long-tail keywords are generally the way to go if you want to feature in the People Also Ask section. For instance, keywords like “how do you prepare buyer persona” might be more effective than a keyword like “prepare buyer persona”, when you want to target the PAA section.

In terms of search intent, you can cover different types of search intent in an equally effective manner. But the use of People Also Ask is definitely less common for transactional keywords.

Let us try it out, shall we?

People Also Ask (PAA) boxes

Best Practices

  • Include an FAQ section along with using the FAQ schema
  • Be on the lookout for missing PAA opportunities
  • Ensure that the content is authoritative and credible
  • Optimise your content so that it is easy to consume

It is always a good idea to incorporate these best practices while creating content so that the odds of featuring in the PAA section are higher.

Links.Links.

What would search engines and businesses be without them? No matter what we talk about in SEO, it always seems to come down to links, doesn’t it? Well, this is so for a good reason. Search engines identify and navigate web pages through links, and so do your potential customers.

While the organic results on the SERP are full of them, sitelinks are yet another SERP feature whose impact you need to consider. Why? Well, when you get it right, your domain can totally dominate the SERPs.

Sitelinks generally appear in two formats:

  • Links listing webpages on a website
  • Links pinpointing to specific sections on a webpage

The primary motive of sitelinks is to expand the traditional SERP result, and offer multiple link addresses that users can quickly choose from, based on what they are looking for. It is a highly useful feature for large websites that have higher traffic, so it is no surprise that you will often see sitelinks while looking for an eCommerce website.

Search Intent

It is possible to trigger the SERP feature by using keywords that comprise a branded term, brand name or domain. So the search intent of the users is pretty clear — they are already aware of what the brand offers and are looking for a specific transaction. Let us now better understand this with an example:

Sitelinks

Look at the amount of space that your website can occupy on SERPs if sitelinks are triggered for your website. Now that you know what they are, let us look at a few best practices that may help you optimise for this SERP feature.

Best Practices

If you do successfully get sitelinks to display on the SERPs for your website, you can significantly improve your visibility and your CTR.

Local Map Pack

97% of people come to know about a local business online more than anywhere else.

That is how powerful local SEO can be for your business to get discovered on the SERPs.

This Google SERP feature has a lot of benefits to offer, especially if you are a brick-and-mortar business. The local pack is triggered and works equally seamlessly on desktop as well as mobile devices.

Search Intent

The local map pack is triggered when the user search query indicates a local search intent. Google then works on fetching the most relevant results based on your query and geographic location.

Let us look at an example now. Say, you live in Adelaide and are looking for a good seafood restaurant nearby, to have dinner. You might search for something like “seafood restaurants in adelaide”, right? Now, this search query indicates to Google that you are actively looking for a seafood restaurant within Adelaide. To be fair, Google is smart enough to understand this even if you searched for something like “seafood restaurants near me”.

Nevertheless, let us look at what pops up when you search for this:

Local Map Pack

The best part about being a local business and featuring on the local map pack by Google is that you are likely to be featured on Position #0 if you get it right. For local business websites, it is difficult to compete on SERP rankings with the local directories due to the latter’s high traffic and domain authority.

However, the SERP feature of local packs can grant you that visibility easily — provided you optimise your Google Business Profile (GBP) and integrate your profile with Google Maps. The benefit? More than 86% rely on Google Maps to find business locations.

So if you are a local business that wants to be discovered by local customers on Google, complete your listing and encourage customers to post reviews on your Google business profile.

Best Practices

With the help of these best practices, and by ensuring that your business profile is adequately filled, you stand to achieve better visibility and even feature on the first page of Google SERPs without any costs. Remember, local businesses can target a wide number of SERP features based on their ability and authority.

Rich Snippets

If you have not heard of rich snippets or know what they are, let us tell you that you have surely encountered many of them while searching for anything on Google.

You may not have paid any extra attention to it, but you would have definitely thought to yourself, “what a useful feature”. This is because rich snippets are nothing but subtle extensions of the organic results displayed on the SERPs.

Such results prominently stand out from the rest because they are more detailed. As Google continues to experiment with new ways to make search results more engaging and useful, the traditional organic results now include images, videos and in some cases, even snippets.

Since people are prone to clicking on results that provide more information, rich snippets can significantly increase your CTR. As people click on your page more than others, Google will notice that your page gets more preference which will positively impact your rankings.

Search Intent

Rich snippets are triggered by different kinds of search intents including most commonly transactional, and informational queries. You can use structured data to have your search results feature as rich snippets on the SERPs. Let us now look at an example of a rich snippet.

rich snippets

Best Practices

  • Add structured data to your website
  • Target specific types of rich snippets based on relevance
  • Validate the markup data regularly

SEO performance matters, especially if you are a small business, which is why it is important to enable and appear in SERP features like rich snippets.

Top Stories

We have googled a celebrity or dug up trending Hollywood gossip some time or the other. Top stories pop up when you conduct these types of searches. Like featured snippets and the People Also Ask section, the Top Stories section is a prominent SERP feature that you would have definitely seen or interacted with.

The ‘Top Stories’ section is displayed on the SERPs as a carousel of news articles or videos related to your search queries. If your search term matches a story that is getting a lot of traction, Google will display it in the Top Stories section. This SERP feature is another example of one that appears on the desktop as well as on mobile searches.

Pretty self-explanatory, yes?

top stories

While the position of top stories varies from search to search, it generally occupies a higher ranking on the SERPs, which again is a great thing for boosting your brand visibility.

Search Intent

Top stories are applicable for publications that create topical content and stories on ongoing trends. The search intent here as you can guess will be informational, where search queries point out to topics that have been covered in news recently.

So if you belong to a newsroom that wants to feature in this coveted section on the SERPs, here are a few tips you can follow.

Best Practices

  • Optimise your stories based on Google Trends
  • Conduct periodic competitor analysis, and A/B testing on stories
  • Optimise your content pieces as per the SEO guidelines
  • Follow the Google E-A-T principles

Needless to say, if your news article features in the Top Stories section, you stand to achieve more visibility than many of your competing publications. It is also likely to be shared more than others if you ensure high content quality.

Image Pack

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Well, at least sometimes.

In line with this tenet, Google displays an array of images as a part of your organic results for specific search queries. These are queries for which Google deems images to be more valuable than textual content. So, such search queries end up triggering the Image Pack feature — another organic SERP feature.

There are a plethora of benefits that you stand to gain from featuring on the Image Pack. Of course, it raises the chances of your image being reused by a user and gaining a backlink for you. Plus, if enough users find your image useful and click on your link, the additional visibility and traffic that it can provide is unignorable.

Like most Google organic SERP features, the Image Pack is triggered on desktops as well as mobile devices.

Search Intent

Image Pack is most commonly triggered for queries that indicate an informational, or commercial search intent. So, think of direct keywords that might best describe your niche. But remember, the ranking rules for the Image Pack go beyond the organic ranking algorithm.

For instance, if you are a distributor for branded cameras and peripherals, you may benefit from displaying high-quality product images on your website. So, for an image of Canon 200D, ensure to define it as such in the image filename, alt-text, and URLs. The result?

For starters, you may find your image featured for this search query. Right above all the best-performing organic results that are displayed on the SERPs.

Search Intent

Best Practices

  • Strengthen your Image SEO
  • Keep your image names descriptive
  • URLs leading to the images should be readable by humans, and Alt-text should be defined

So, if you are a small business looking to level up your SEO and organic SERP visibility, this SERP feature for images can help.

How To

We have all been there — feverishly searching on the web for instructions on “how to” do something. Since such queries make up a significant amount of traffic to search engines, most go to extra lengths to facilitate such answers for such search queries.

Whether your business sells products or services, there is a good chance that you have a How-to guide on your website. A how-to piece can be as detailed as you want and generally offers detailed instructions to accomplish a specific task. Such pieces can and should ideally include a combination of varied elements such as text, video and images.

If you believe that you have a fairly detailed and informative ‘how-to’ piece that should definitely make it to the first page, Google’s SERP features provide you with the perfect opportunity. You can add the HowTo structured data ensures that each step in your how-to guide is read in sequence. Doing this will also help you secure a rich result for your How-to guide on the SERPs.

The feature is available on mobile as well as desktop devices.

Search Intent

As you might have already guessed, the search intent that you should be targeting is informational. You are looking at search queries that are posed as questions, so including long-tail keywords posed as questions might be beneficial. Here, you are looking at keywords such as “how to tie a tie” or “how to clean artificial grass”.

Here is an example of how this looks.

how to
how to

As you can see, there is plenty of value to be gained from triggering the How-to SERP feature as it gives you higher organic visibility.

Best Practices

  • Create detailed how-to content and structure them into step-by-step sections
  • Add the how-to structured data to the page
  • To trigger a more visual variant, incorporate images for each step

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are not an alien concept to any business that has designed a detailed website. FAQs are the most common questions that your users are likely to ask related to your product or service. So, as a customer-friendly business, you attempt to answer them in advance, with the help of keywords and research on your target audience.

But did you know that when you add FAQs properly on your website and optimise them correctly, they take a different form of a SERP feature?

The FAQ SERP feature works just as effectively on desktop as well as mobile devices.

Search Intent

The search intent that triggers FAQs is usually informational. The relevant search queries may include a wide range of long-tail keywords, and branded terms. In some cases, these queries may be transactional or navigational as well.

For instance, maybe you have a page dedicated to FAQs about refunds and cancellations on your eCommerce website. Now, many customers would have questions about these policies even before they decide to shop on your website. In such a case, they should be able to easily access the webpage.

Notice how, even though you did not specifically search for FAQs, the FAQs in the relevant search results appear in the form of an expandable accordion. This can be accomplished if you add the FAQ structured data to your schema markup.

You will also be able to identify and resolve any errors or red flags related to FAQs in Google Search Console.

Best Practices

The biggest benefit of triggering FAQs is leveraging the customer’s attention to help them make decisions that will push them further down the conversion funnel.

Job Search

Have you ever searched extensively for jobs on specific portals, only to revert to good ol’ Google? If you answered yes, the job search feature was created by Google with users like you in mind.

The Job Search feature is nothing but a long list of job listings aggregated from various job portals such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and other company websites that have posted jobs. All you have to do is search for your relevant job profile as a simple Google search and find a list of openings that may be of interest to you.

Not getting active job postings posted on your website, or displayed on the SERPs is just a wasted opportunity. You could be leveraging them to attain more visibility on SERPs and direct more traffic to your website.

Search Intent

The search intent does matter a lot when you want to trigger this feature. Keywords with intent modifiers such as “jobs” or “job opportunities” trigger the job search feature. So, in this case, the search queries will most often portray an informational, navigational or transactional intent.

For instance, if you are a digital agency based in Melbourne promoting an SEO position, you should target keywords such as “SEO specialist job” in your website posting. You can also use a more specific long-tail keyword phrase such as “SEO specialist jobs in melbourne”. The result? Let’s take a look.

job search

The job search SERP feature displays effectively on desktop as well as mobile devices. It would not such a bad idea to get some extra visibility for your business, would it?

Best Practices

Podcast

Podcasts are all the rage now, aren’t they? More than 80% of podcast listeners finish all or at least most of the podcast episodes that they start.

Google has identified the rising popularity of this content format and has elevated the visibility of podcasts on the SERPs. Now, every time you search for a podcast or any information related to it, Google displays three podcast episodes in a dedicated section. The best part?

These episodes are directly playable from the SERPs. You can play, pause, rewind and fast forward these episodes from podcasts.google.com. For other advanced features, one can download the podcast platform from Google Play and continue listening.

Some even go as far as saying that this may be the beginning of Podcast SEO.

So, if you have a podcast to promote, you should be looking at leveraging this feature to its fullest. And yes, this feature is available on desktop as well as mobile devices.

Search Intent

Needless to say, this Google SERP feature will be triggered if your user’s search intent can be satisfied by displaying podcasts as results. Specifically, you are looking at users that are carrying out informational or commercial searches. Using keywords such as “content marketing podcast” or a specific podcast name such as “everyone hates marketers podcast” triggers the SERP feature.

Take a look at the results that popped up when we tried it out.

podcast

If your team has the necessary expertise and resources to create podcasts, this is truly a great opportunity to gain more brand visibility and traction organically. What’s more, with an increasing number of people listening to podcasts, you can be assured of consistent traffic over time.

  • You should add structured data for getting your podcasts displayed on SERPs
  • Use some keywords in the podcast and related transcript

Recipes

The worldwide lockdown because of COVID-19 made one thing clear — everyone needs to learn how to cook for themselves. Rightly so, 2020 and 2021 witnessed a sharp increase in the number of home cooks looking for new and basic recipes. It would not be wrong to say that many survived because millions of recipes were available to them in just a few clicks.

Just a few clicks. How did that become possible? Why, because of Google, of course.

Google understood the steady demand for recipes worldwide and decided to optimise them into a SERP feature years ago. The Recipe feature is displayed in the form of a rich snippet that describes the duration, main ingredients, and details of the recipe poster, supported by images. It is one of the SERP feature examples that are available for mobile and desktop devices.

Search Intent

The Recipe feature is triggered every time users search for anything related to food. The search queries that trigger the feature can take many forms. These keywords could be, “how to make a banana bread”, “banana bread at home”, “banana bread recipe” or even just “banana bread”. The recipe section aims to address all keywords that portray an informational search intent.

recipes

This tells us that if you are a cook or chef wanting to gain some extra traction on the SERPs, you can benefit from incorporating a wide range of recipe-related keywords in the content. Additionally, you should also consider optimising it for SEO.

Best Practices

You should add details such as cook time, ingredients, and nutrition-related information to the structured data to raise the odds of featuring in the recipe section. The way your recipe displays on the SERP and its visibility rely heavily on how you mark up your content. Track the SERP feature consistently to assess how you are doing.

View in 3D

3D today is not just a thing in the world of entertainment anymore. With the widespread applications in the world of business today, it is no surprise that Google has introduced it as a SERP feature. This new SERP feature allows users to view some images empowered with 3D and augmented reality.

With the ‘View in 3D’ SERP feature, you can view specific images in 3D as well as interact with them using AR. Note that this is a Google mobile SERP feature. This feature is supported only on mobile devices that are powered by Android 7 and above, or iOS 11 and above.

Search Intent

Though Google has been working on the widespread application of this SERP feature, it is currently limited to searches about animals, cultural heritage sites, human anatomical systems, and biological terms among a few more categories. Google displays the ‘View in 3D’ feature only for queries whose search intent is identified as informational.

So, the View in 3D is likely to be triggered if your search queries are simple such as “lion”, “eiffel tower”, or “tiger”. Let us take a quick look at how this feature works.

view-in-3d

Once you click on the ‘View in 3D’ button, Google displays an AR version of your search, that you can interact with. This AR version is displayed along with the relevant sounds. So, in this case of a lion, you can hear the roar while you interact with him.

Google has also now enabled this SERP feature for eCommerce websites, so customers can view and inspect the products before purchasing them.

People Also Search For

One of the best things that work so well for Google as a search engine, is its obsession to ensure that every user who uses it gets the right solution. The People Also Search For section is completely in line with this philosophy.

Even though all of Google’s SERP features are aimed at maximising the user experience, this one takes the cake in terms of forward-thinking. The People Also Search For (PASF) feature every time a user clicks on a search result and immediately returns to the SERP page. This indicates that the user did not find what they were looking for, so Google displays this section with search queries that are relevant to the original one, to help users with their searches.

Let us take a quick look at how this works before we talk more about it, shall we?

Say, you are looking for professional pest control services for your residential property in sydney. So you did what anyone would do. You opened Google, and typed “pest control services in sydney”. Here’s what popped up.

people also search for

So, you clicked on the first organic result because you were drawn to it. But once you landed on the website, you realised that it did not quite meet your expectations. So, you went right back to the SERP to look for alternatives. Only now, you have a ‘People Also Search For’ box eager to help you with alternate keywords that you could use, to find the right solution.

people also search for

While this feature is triggered after the initial search on the desktop, the People Also Search For section displays right from when you conduct the initial search on your mobile devices. While this Google SERP feature does not have many implications for businesses, it does give you a list of keywords that you should incorporate to rank for relevant search queries.

Twitter Section

In 2015, at the peak of Twitter’s popularity, Google introduced a new SERP feature — a box displaying tweets directly in the SERP. The Tweets section will display the most recent and trending tweets relevant to the search query.

The Tweet SERP feature displays on mobile as well as desktop devices. So, it does pay to cover trending topics on your Twitter feed, after all. The Tweets section can appear anywhere on the SERPs, however, their general position is right above the organic results.

Since the section displays tweets from verified as well as unverified profiles, even small businesses with limited followers have the potential to boost their SERP visibility with this section. Users can click on any of the tweets to go to the Twitter profile and check out other tweets.

Let us now see how this section looks.

twitter section
  • Tweet frequently on trending topics
  • Leverage hashtags and strengthen engagement on tweets

For companies that struggle to appear on the first page of SERPs, let alone rank on the top, featuring on the Twitter section can grant you the visibility your brand needs.

Videos

It is not uncommon for users to prefer video content over textual blogs and content when looking for detailed solutions. For marketers, videos can help in various sales and marketing related tasks. For starters, more than 86% of marketers say that videos help them generate leads for their brand.

With that in mind, Google introduced the video carousel as a prominent SERP feature. A prominent carousel is displayed as a part of the organic results when a user searches for a query. These videos are fetched from platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, and websites containing embedded videos.

The video carousel displays just as effectively on mobile devices and desktops. It is important to note that not all keywords would trigger the video feature. You will also need to include the video schema markup data. This video section can appear at any position in the organic results.

Search Intent

Videos tend to appear more often for keywords that indicate an informational or commercial search intent. For instance, keywords such as “what is a black hole” or “what is a metaverse” are more likely to trigger the video feature compared to other kinds of keywords.

Here’s what the results looked like when we conducted the search.

videos

Best Practices

  • Optimise your videos for Video SEO
  • Add the video schema markup when adding videos to your website
  • Leverage timestamps to acquire key moments for richer video snippets on SERP

Videos are definitely more engaging and tend to perform well compared to other content formats. Not to forget, featuring in the video section is an easy way to boost your visibility and secure your position on the SERPs.

Knowledge Card

Ever searched for specific quantitative data on Google and have a detailed graph relevant to your search query appear on the SERP? Eliminated the need to click on any of the results, right?

Well, that is a knowledge card.

Knowledge cards are generally a part of the knowledge graph and can present semantic data and data-rich content seamlessly within SERPs. The knowledge card can fetch data from human-edited sources just as much as other sources in the Google Index.

Unfortunately, the knowledge cards, are widely out of reach for usual business websites as the data is taken from human-edited websites approved by Google, or the ones they have data agreements with. Unless you have a high domain authority and a steady stream of traffic to your website.

Search Intent

It is a good idea to keep track of the keywords that trigger the feature so that they can be leveraged in your content. Regardless of the subject, the search intent to trigger this feature would mostly be informational.

It shouldn’t surprise you at this point that SERP features offers SEO benefits. And yes, knowledge cards are triggered on desktop as well as mobile searches.

Let us now see what a Knowledge Card looks like. For instance, we searched for “australia prime minister age”. Here’s what the SERP for this search query looked like.

knowledge card

Knowledge Panel

Let us now talk about the knowledge panel — a definite extension of the knowledge card, also known as the Knowledge Graph.

Knowledge Panel is one of the most common SERP features that we all have encountered. Like knowledge cards, they extract information from various credible sources that have partnered with Google or have the highest authority in the domain.

The Knowledge Panel appears on the right side of your organic results when triggered. A true demonstration of the fact that SERP results and features go hand in hand. They typically appear on desktop searches as well as mobile searches. Only the positioning differs, as it appears right on the top for mobile searches.

Search Intent

The search intent that triggers this SERP feature is informational. Simple queries that indicate that the user wants to learn more about the topic in the query trigger the knowledge panel. Let us understand this better with an example.

For this example, we searched for “Albert Einstein”. The search results for this query looked like this:

knowledge panel

Like knowledge cards, most websites will not be able to contribute to the knowledge panel. However, you can take note of the keywords that trigger the feature and use it in your content. This can help you boost the visibility of your brand on the SERPs.

Shopping Results

85% of product searches online take place on Amazon or Google. Let that sink in for a bit.

We know you are one of those people who go on Google and search for product reviews and comparisons before making a purchase decision. We do it, too. And that is precisely why Shopping Results work so well for people like us.

The shopping results are triggered on desktop as well as mobile searches as soon as you search for a product.

Search Intent

The search intent that triggers this Google SERP feature is transactional and commercial. So, if users search for queries that indicate they want to purchase a product, or are looking for alternatives, Google will trigger the shopping results. Right away, keywords such as “buy iphone 13” or “iphone 13 price” are shoo-in triggers for the feature.

For example, we tried searching for “buy iphone 13” on Google. Here’s what popped up.

shopping results

It bodes well for companies to check which keywords trigger the Shopping Results feature and incorporate them into their content. However, remember that it is a paid placement. But regardless of how many serp features you rank for, this one needs to be on your list if you are an eCommerce company.

The main purpose of this feature is clear — users get a wide array of options for their search queries compiled from various websites. They would not need to search for any additional queries or at the least, get guided in the right direction.

Best Practices

  • Segregate the winners and losers among your products
  • Make periodic bid adjustments based on your budget

Top and Bottom Ads

We might be used to seeing Google Ads pop up as often as we see the organic search results, but it is important to distinguish between them. You can, of course, identify the Google Ads with the ‘Ad’ label next to them.

But one of the other categorisations that you should know about is — top ads and bottom ads.

There is not much difference between the two ads other than their appearance. In most cases, the appearance is not that different either.

Search Intent

The search intent does not play a role as Google bases ads on user preferences and locations.

About this, Google Support says, “Ads are ranked primarily based on how relevant and useful they are to what the person searched for, your bid, and a few other factors.”

Here is an example of a top ad that we came across when we were searching for “buy iphone 13’ for the previous example.

top and bottom ads

For the same search query, these were the bottom ads that popped up:

Top and Bottom Ads

Best Practices

  • Align the search intent of the user to the CTA used in the ads
  • Optimise ad campaigns based on the metrics and KPIs for your goals
  • Optimise budget to spend more on locations having most customers

Google Ads are no way the organic way to go, but for small and medium businesses it can often be the lifeblood of their marketing efforts. Optimising the top and bottom ads is essential to converting more customers and getting a better ROI — of course, better visibility on the SERP.

Doesn’t it always boil down to increasing visibility and authority on the SERPs, for every business and growing organisation out there? Rightly so. Businesses spend thousands of dollars to get the kind of online visibility and engagement that can bring a steady stream of traffic and visibility on the first page of SERPs.

SERP features are the way to accomplish all of that and more, in an organic way that will indirectly impact your website performance as well. We hope you now have a significant understanding of all things SERP features. Get started with your journey to target these features, by optimising your website and content.

Need help with it and don’t know where to start? Reach out to us, and let us work on it together.

What are Google SERP features?

Apart from the organic results, Google constantly works on additional features that enrich the user experience. Each time a user searches for queries on the search engine, multiple features are triggered based on the search intent behind those queries. These are Google SERP features. They generally appear as a part of the organic results or in addition to them on the SERP.

What are the major features of SERP?

Among Google’s SERP features, there are several useful ones that you should be aware of. Some of the most common SERP features include Featured Snippets, Knowledge Panel, People Also Ask, as well as the top and bottom ads. Each of these features helps users find solutions to their queries more easily.

How do you get a SERP feature?

There is no one way to answer the question of “how to get SERP features?”. Each SERP feature is triggered by specific kinds of search intent and search queries. For example, if your search query indicates a transactional search intent, and includes intent modifiers such as “buy” or “purchase”, the shopping results are likely to be triggered.

How can my pages display SERP features like reviews on google?

To target SERP features, it is important to first get your website and content in order. Optimise your website according to prescribed SEO standards. Seek the help of an adept SEO agency if need be.

Moreover, you can also improve your content and include keywords that would target the search intent that may trigger a specific SERP feature. Taking these steps and consistently building a domain authority will help you appear in current Google SERP features.

Why Target SERP Features?

Current SERP features generally take up a significant position on the SERPs — either above, between or beside the organic results. Regardless of the position, the SERP features are prominently displayed on the page, assigning a lot of visibility to those that feature in them.

Businesses that struggle to find their place on the first page of SERPs, can target SERP features to get there. They can offer higher brand visibility, recognition and even more credibility to the brands that feature in them.

How Do SERP Features Affect My Website?

Google SERP features when leveraged right can bring a lot of traffic to your website. Not to forget, by appearing in the SERP features, your brand stands to gain more visibility and credibility among potential customers. Plus, SERP features generally get a higher rank on the SERPs compared to the organic results which can also benefit your website’s SEO performance.

How To Boost Rankings With SERP Features?

SERP features generally appear higher than most of the standard organic results on the result page. For any query, SERP features are likely to be the most highlighted and prominent results, immediately engaging users and prompting them to click on them. The qualified traffic that brands can get from these SERP features can significantly boost their organic SERP rankings.

How To Find SERP Features Opportunity?

It is important to have an understanding of the different kinds of SERP features and how they are triggered. Once you identify the triggers and the search intent that can bring on the SERP feature, you can easily incorporate these insights into your web pages and content.

Additionally, appearing in certain SERP features requires you to mark up the content with the necessary structured data. Take all of these steps proactively, and then incorporate the right keywords for a chance to appear in SERP features that can help you get more visibility.

How To Rank for SERP Features?

Google SERP features are triggered based on different kinds of keywords and search intent. As a rule of thumb, websites that have a good domain authority do get more preference while ranking for SERP features. You can work on improving your backlink profile, and including keywords that are likely to work well for your website’s SEO performance.

It also bodes well to analyse competitors who rank for SERP features to understand the aspects that you might need to change in your strategy.

Which SERP Features Show Up For My Keywords?

The specific SERP features that get triggered heavily rely on the search intent that Google identifies your search queries to have. For instance, if your keywords indicate an informational search intent, you are likely to trigger SERP features such as the Knowledge Panel, and People Also Ask. On the other hand, if your keywords portray a more transactional or commercial search intent, they are likely to trigger features such as Shopping Results, or Ads.

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