Google calls them “search result features”. In fact, this search engine offers several appearance options for displaying search results. These options set your web page apart from those of your competitors and put it forward. In this article, let’s find out about the main SERP features and how to get one.
What is a SERP
Before understanding what a SERP feature is, it is necessary to first know what a SERP is. The acronym SERP stands for “Search Engine Result Page”. It is a search engine results page. This page is displayed in Google when an Internet user enters a request.
More concretely, a Google SERP corresponds to the page that appears when you search for information and which presents the results found. There are two main parts of a SERP:
- The search box which contains the search performed and a possible suggestion in the event of an entry error.
- The results zone: this zone contains the results which correspond to the search carried out. Each result has a URL that leads to the web page that offers this result, a title (meta-title) and a short description (meta-description). There are also images, videos, and ranking stars.
Displaying results in a SERP
The results displayed in a SERP are classified into three categories:
Those are results that appear naturally in the SERP. They are chosen and ranked by an algorithm according to their relevance. They do not require compensation from you. These were the only results that appeared in Google during the first years of its appearance. So far, their display has not seen much change.
Appeared later in the SERPs, these are results that Google displays in exchange for remuneration. They rank at the top of organic results and are ranked according to:
- cost per click,
- the number of clicks,
- and competition.
In short, it’s Google Ads.
These are additional results that Google displays in a different way than organic results. As Google evolves, it comes with new features to display certain results in a special way to differentiate them from other results displayed on its search results pages.
They are interactive panels, visual elements. As a general rule, anything that shows up outside the standard on the SERP is probably a SERP feature. Along with paid ads, these SERP features highlight the page and enrich the user experience during search.
Google search automatically generates some of these types of results, but most can be obtained by a implementation through the site code. There are a large number of SERP features that you can aim for. Among the most popular are:
Still called Rich Snippets, they add additional data to classic Google results to enrich them. The most famous Richs Snippets are events, recipes and reviews. They usually contain a blue title, the page URL in green, and an image or description of the page.
They appear in SERPs in addition to organic results and have additional media like image results, featured snippets of new results.
They are bought by auction on specific keywords (Google Shopping or Adwords) and appear according to:
- the maximum amount of the auction,
- of its click-through rate
- and its relevance.
They can occupy up to four spaces at the top of organic results.
Still called Knowledge Graph, it appears as a panel or map and contains relevant information on the topic. Its display is generally triggered when the search relates to:
- a place,
- A brand,
- a movie,
- a famous person, etc.
Why get SERP features?
SERPs are arenas in which several SEO strategies face off against yours for get first place in the rankings. In reality, the importance of the positioning of a web page in the results displayed by Google is the same as that of the location for a physical store in a city.
But in addition to the position of the page in the displayed results, the way these results are displayed is also very important. By adding search result functionality to your web pages, you give the search engine the ability to display them with eye-catching formatting.
SERP features encourage Internet users to visit your pages and interact more with your website. On Google Search Center, you can read the following information:
- By adding SERP functionality to 100,000 pages, Rotten Tomatoes recorded 25% higher click-through rate on pages that contain structured data.
- Food Network recorded 35% more visits by converting 80% of its pages to add SERP functionality.
- Rakuten noticed that internet users were passing 1.5 times longer on pages that include search result functionality and on pages that do not contain structured data.
These studies clearly show the usefulness of SERP features and how they can improve a company’s business on the internet.
How to get SERP features?
Google makes many means available to web pages to obtain SERP functionality and highlight their content from traditional blue links. To benefit from these features, you must comply with Google’s requirements and guidelines based on the SERP functionality sought. But that’s not enough to ensure your page has search functionality.
You also need allow your web page to reach the top on the Google result page by optimizing its content with structured data. It is purely and simply to work on your natural referencing. If you are unfamiliar with structured data, you will of course need to study and test it. Then you can:
- Choose the content of your target which must target structured data and apply Google’s guidelines to them.
- Tag this content (job listings, FAQs, reviews, etc.) with properties org. For example, you can use Google’s guide to get the knoledge panel or to update it.
- Check if your content is rich to benefit from SERP features thanks to the Rich Result Google test.
Google doesn’t promise that content optimized with structured data will be top of search results. It also does not guarantee you to get any Google functionality. However, theoptimization of your content remains the best solution to obtain them. There are some particularly effective tools that can help you achieve this. This is the case with Semrush.
How can Semrush help you get SERP functionality?
Semrush is a word analysis tool with which you can get an overview of your competitors’ SEO strategy. You can therefore use it to surf the opportunities forgotten by your competitors and obtain Featured Snippets or other possible SERP features.
Indeed, there are certain tactics to fine-tune the optimization of your content and maximize your chances of being retained by Google for a SERP feature.
Analyze the functionalized SERPs occupied by your customers to find opportunities
By going through the list of your competitors’ keywords with the Semrush tool, you will identify those that trigger SERP features. And if you produce better content than your competitor based on these keywords, the latter’s snippet could be replaced by Google and linked to your content.
Identify the keywords that trigger SERP functionality and position yourself on them.
In addition to finding opportunities in your competitors’ keywords, you can research and find new opportunities. The tool Keyword Magic Tool of Semrush is ideal for this. All you need to do is enter a basic keyword and use a filter to retain only the generated keywords that trigger SERP features.
Track and seize opportunities to obtain SERP functionality
Semrush offers you the possibility of setting up a Position Tracking Tool through which you will track the ranking features of your target keywords and target features. This way you monitor the performance of your website, but also those of your competitors.
Make an on-page optimization of your content to have SERP functionalities
Semrush puts three different tools at your disposal to succeed in this step:
- SEO Content Template to find the content template that will help you rank for your keyword and SERP features.
- SEO Writing Assistant to guarantee the originality, readability and SEO performance of your content.
- On-Page SEO Checker to find specific optimization ideas.
You now know what a SERP is and how its features can benefit your website. Going forward, we recommend that you target a few of these features and try out some of our strategies to let us know what works for you.
Remember that patience and experimentation are the key words of SEO. It will take you time, but with the right tools, you stand a chance.
Do you have special knowledge of SERP features? Share it with us in the comments!