By Helena Alcoverro, on 18 November 2021
A few years ago, Google's SERP (Search Engine Results Page) was very simple: a handful of text ads on the top and on the right plus 10 organic results with their titles, descriptions, and links shown on the first page. Being in the first position guaranteed the best organic traffic result.
Today, search engine results pages are much more complex and there are a lot of elements that have to be taken into account to get the most out of them at the inbound marketing and SEO level.
Zero-Click Searches are Google SERP's newest feature. Recently, Google has been showing more and more information directly on the results page. Thus, a zero-click search is one in which the user gets the answer they are looking for without clicking on any of the pages that appear in the results. Today, more than 50% of Google searches are zero-click.
The goal with SEO is no longer only just to get organic traffic to your websites, but also to appear in the advanced SERP elements, as this will get you visibility without the need for clicks. Let's see what these results look like and which ones are the most useful for marketers.
8 Advanced Elements of Google SERP
1. Featured Snippets: Position Zero
In recent years, the featured snippet or position zero has become one of the most important elements of search results pages. It is a result that appears directly above the organic results, with a summary of the page content, title, link, and, in many cases, an image.
Logically, appearing in this position generates a lot of visibility and traffic. To improve the chances of appearing here, use H2 and H3 tags and strategically position your content as a helpful answer to users' questions.
2. Knowledge Panel
Think of the knowledge panel as a factsheet that summarizes the most important information about a query. It appears in a column to the right of the results. The information for this section comes from different Google partners, Wikipedia pages, and company brand pages.
To ensure that the information that appears about your brand is correct, it is important to make sure that it is up-to-date on your website, business directories, and other online platforms. If there are any errors, make sure to notify Google so that they can update it.
3. Local Information
Google local information is especially important for businesses with physical locations, like restaurants. Normally, when a user makes a search related to local businesses, the information is shown through Google Maps.
To take advantage of this element of the SERP, you must have an up-to-date Google My Business account with all of your business locations listed. Reviews also increase your chances of appearing in local searches.
4. News Highlights
Featured news is displayed for trending issues. The results are obtained from Google News and prioritize pages that have AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).
Web pages can appear in the Featured News section if they follow Google News submission procedures. However, it is normal that large media publications occupy the first positions. Despite this, it is advisable to remember this element, especially when there are current issues that might be affecting your company.
62% of Google searches offer video results via thumbnails, mostly from YouTube. Videos are especially popular for "How to..." type searches.
To maximize your chances of appearing in the SERP with your videos, you should take into account SEO content optimization practices for YouTube like titles, descriptions, tags, categories, etc. It is also interesting to look for ways to attract audiences to your company page from your YouTube channel.
Reviews are a key element in building trust. Google's SERP often includes reviews for searches related to software, products, hotels, restaurants, recipes, and more.
Reviews appear below the page URL and above the description and show the average rating and number of votes. To increase the likelihood that this information will show up in your page results, you should mark your page reviews with structured data so that Google's search engine can interpret them correctly.
7. Site Links
In some cases, Google not only displays a description and link for each search result but also includes additional pages of the same site with their corresponding links and descriptions. This provides a shortcut for users to get to the key pages of your website. Additionally, they improve your visibility in relation to your competitors.
Organizing your website using structured data multiplies the chances of your site's links appearing in the SERP.
8. Shopping Results
Shopping results are not organic. They are a Google Ads format oriented to encourage the purchase of a product. They show images, prices, reviews, and more. Due to their high conversion potential, they are a very important to take into account for searches that have a high purchase intent.
Google is continuously experimenting with the search engine results page by adding and removing elements. Rather than focusing on positioning in a specific place, follow the best practices outlined below.
Be perfectly adapted for mobile.
Organize the information on your website with structured data.
Prioritize the user experience.
With these guidelines, you will give yourself the best chance of appearing in Google SERPs.