Lesson 4, Topic 3
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Advanced SERP Features

John May 25, 2021
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There are quite a number of SERP features within results. In this section, we will cover some of the most common features that Google provides. These include:

Featured Snippets

These are answer boxes that show a portion of content when you carry out a search query.

Featured snippets are rendered in a number of formats such as:

Paragraphs

Bullet Lists

Tabular format

Numbered

Optimizing For Featured Snippets

Add well-structured, factual, and number-driven content

As an example if you want to have a numbered featured snippet, you will need to include a list with names and numbers within your snippet.
The content should also be well formatted and structured specially in the HTML tags used.

Provide Succinct answers and explanations

To accomplish this, you can for example create a question as a subheading and include a target keyword, provide a short answer paragraph (50 to 97 words) and elaborate further within the page or article.


Use Eye Catching Images

Paragraph snippets with images tend to be eye grabbing to users. It is hence vital to use eye catching and well annotated images so that the image(s) Google features are well displayed.

Knowledge Panel


These are displayed on the right hand side of the search result page on desktop. They mainly render images, a map snippet, relevant business information and a link to Google Maps. 

Knowledge Panels only pull data from Google Maps or Google My Business listings, which thereby distinguishes them from Knowledge Graphs.

Optimizing For Knowledge Panels


This can be achieved mainly by creating and optimizing your Google My Business Listing as well as Google Maps

Knowledge Graphs

These are mostly displayed on the right side of organic results on desktop. This information is from sources such as Wikipedia. However, at times, Google also links to social profiles.

Optimizing For Knowledge Graphs


Fill in all schema markup information

Elements in Schema.org can be utilized by the Knowledge Graph, so it’s important to leverage on markup as much as possible.

Get Featured on Wikipedia

If your business does not have a wikipedia page, you will need to create one for it.

Optimizing your Google My Business Listing as well as Google Maps

If you don’t have a Google My Business page, you will need to set up one and fill in all the relevant details.

Social Media Accounts Verification

It’s important to make sure that your social media accounts are verified and especially Youtube and Google Plus as this helps in gaining recognition from Google.

Local Pack

As defined within our previous lesson, these are the first three businesses with a map of their locations, that appear after a search is carried out, and are rendered just below the map.

Optimizing For Local Pack


Optimize your Google My Business Page

This will include:
Adding crucial business details

Adding Photos
Having customers leave reviews that you can manage within the Google My Business Dashboard


Optimizing your contact page

A contact page is crucial for a local business.  Here you can add a map as well as details such as phone numbers, addresses, emails and many more.

People Also Ask

This is a new feature whereby Google appends a set of questions related to the original search query.

Optimizing For People Also Ask

Incorporating Related Keywords

Adding related keywords to your content will provide more details to Google which can be used in the “People Also Ask” section

Adding Questions and Answers to Your Content

You can write content with the questions users could logically ask. Ensure that you provide short and complete answers to the questions.

Twitter Cards


Here, Google displays the latest tweets on a particular topic.

Optimizing For Twitter Cards

What you mainly need to do is post short and meaningful content as well as encourage user engagement.

It is also important that you use hashtags # within your tweets.

Image Pack


These are a group of images rendered upon a search query.

Optimizing For Image Pack

In order to optimize images for Google Pack, you need to use descriptive alt texts, file names and image captions.

Top Stories

These are recently-published articles, live blogs, and videos relating to a specific topic.

Optimizing For Top Stories


Some of the applicable techniques include:

  • Publishing fresh and timely content on current events.
  • Use NewsArticle structured data to describe your articles: For this feature, you can use the News SEO Plugin that easily helps in configuring this.
  • Keep an eye on the performance in Google Search Console “Google News” section: This will help in providing insights on how users interact with news content within your site and hence know on which aspects to improve on.

Video

These are videos displayed upon a search query. Most videos are also from Youtube.

Optimizing For Videos

Some of the optimization techniques you can use include:

  • Create an engaging title and description for your video.
  • Ensure that you don’t embed a video in multiple places within your site.
  • Set a first priority on the video you wish to have ranked first. This is because Google indexes only one video per page.

Rich Snippets

This is additional valuable data that is displayed alongside search results. This data in most cases comprises reviews, recipes or events.

Optimizing For Rich Snippets

This requires the use of schema markup as it is the recommended format by Google for implementing structured data.

You can use the Schema Plugin to add schema markup to your website.

Shopping Results

These are results that appear as a result of a search on a product keyword.

These will mainly contain the product image, rating, title and price.

Optimizing For Shopping Results

In order to optimize your content for shopping results, you will need to set up a Google Ads campaign that will appear in shopping results.

Sitelinks

These are plain blue links to pages or sections of the ranking page.

Optimizing For Site Links

These are automatically generated by Google and hence you can only control how they are displayed.

You will need to create a proper navigation structure to your site and also ensure that you use unique page level metadata.