The SERP (search engine results page) is a confusing place to be for some. Between paid ads and an ever-increasing amount of Google SERP features, making your organic result stand out on the first page of Google is no mean feat. Our SEO team can help you understand what your website is up against in SERPs, and offer their best tips to help you stand out.
Why Is It Difficult To Stand Out In The SERPs?
In theory, all you should have to do is create a strategy that gets your website onto the first page of Google and let the traffic roll in. Once upon a time, this was enough, but no longer. Google is constantly changing the landscape of its results pages, introducing more and more zero click SERP features that not only draw attention away from your first page organic result, but actually give users a reason to not click on your result at all.
To make sure that your result gets noticed, you’ll need to tackle three areas; making sure that you gain organic SERP features, finding keywords that present only a small amount of features on the SERP, and adding extras to your result to make it stand out.
Target SERP Features
Zero click SERP features are one of the most difficult challenges that websites need to overcome, as they take away the motive for users to click on your organic result. Zero click SERP features aim to present the information Google thinks the user is looking for directly on the SERP, whether that’s the answer to their question, products, or images.
Some of these SERP features work directly against organic search, but some of them can be used to our advantage...
If users are making a product-focused search, Google will likely generate the Google Shopping SERP feature at the top of the page. This displays product images along with relevant pricing so that users can find the best product for the best price without ever having to leave the SERP.
Another way that Google is removing the need for clicks is through answering questions on the SERP. Featured snippets appear above even paid ads, offering what they determine is the best answer for the user. This can mean that if your landing page or blog post answers a search query well enough to appear in a featured snippet, you’re liable to lose that traffic.
The good thing about featured snippets is that they do offer the strongest position of visibility, and if your answer is long enough, the user will still need to click through to your article in order to view the full answer. Because of this, SEOs have become increasingly focused on gaining these featured snippet positions, meaning that while featured snippets can be hard won, they are the new holy grail of search rather than ranking #1 for a search term.
Choose Your Keywords Carefully
There are a few different considerations to take into account when choosing which keywords to target as part of your organic strategy, but one of them should be the amount of SERP features that are generated for that keyword. Short tail keywords tend to generate SERPs with lots of features, whereas long tail keywords tend to generate less features on their SERP.
This is important because the more SERP features there are, the further down the page your organic result is pushed. While Google may display 10 results on the first page, there’s no guarantee that your result will appear above the ‘fold’.
The fold is the point at which a user would have to scroll down to see more results. While it’s a myth that users don’t scroll below the fold at all, they are unlikely to scroll down far enough to see and click on your position 4-10 result on a SERP full of features already offering them the solution to their search.
Many keyword tools can tell you exactly how many SERP features you can expect to find on the SERP for your chosen keyword, but if you don’t have access to a keyword tool that provides this information, a good rule of thumb is to choose a long tail keyword strategy.
Take Up Space
One advantage of SERP features pushing organic results further down the page, is that you also have the opportunity to push other organic results further down the page, decreasing their chances of being clicked over your result.
The best way to bulk out your organic result is to use rich snippets...
Aside from bulking up the size of your organic result, rich snippets can go a long way to convincing users to click through. With SERP features appearing all over the page, users need a reason to click on your organic result. Any extra bits of information that could entice users to click on your result over another website’s are going to set you in good stead.
Rich snippets can provide this enticing information – some of the more common rich snippet formats are small bits of data such as reviews, recipes, and price, and larger bits of data such as FAQ and How To markup.
Let’s take recipes for example – If someone is looking for a chocolate brownie recipe they can make in around an hour, and they can see that the recipe for chocolate brownies on your website is a 5 star recipe that takes 1 hour to make, they’ll be enticed to click on your result over another result that doesn’t have the recipe rating.
Key Standing Out In The SERPs Takeaways
Need help creating a strategy to help you stand out in the SERPs? Get in touch with our SEO team at Visualsoft via the form below.