Google is responsible for over 95% of the searches in Belgium and is therefore the undisputed market leader. CTR studies show that websites that appear on the first page of Google retain more than 75% of visitors’ clicks.
Therefore, it is crucial to know which type of results to focus on when optimizing your website. In addition to the position your website has, the space your search result occupies is also important, of course.
SERP What is it?
SERP is the abbreviation for Search Engine Results Page. (zoekmachine resultaat pagina).
That page appears when someone enters a search query into Google.
A SERP consists of two parts:
1: Your search inquiry
2: Search results: A list of web pages that the search engine displays when a search is performed. Each result has a URL pointing to the actual web page, a title and a short description. It may also contain visual enhancements, such as rating stars, thumbnail videos or images. /li>
We can divide the search results into 3 categories
1: Sponsored results: These are places you pay for. They are placed at the top and bottom of the search results. Google ranks them based on their relevance, cost per click, click rates and competition.
2: Organic Results: These are unpaid and are displayed below the sponsored results. They are ranked according to an algorithm based on their relevance.
3: SERP features: These are additional elements that Google displays. You can read more about them below.
Call-only ads are a type of text ads. They are displayed in the same way and place, but only on mobile. These are the ads where a phone number of the company is clearly displayed. By clicking on the ad, the user can immediately call the number in the ad. So, ideal for bringing in leads quickly!
Google Shopping ads
Google Shopping ads are displayed at the very top or top right corner of the results page. These ads are shown when a visitor searches for a brand or product name or performs a search with high commercial intent.
Google Shopping ads are labeled as “sponsored” or “ad” to distinguish them from other search results on the page.
These are the standard Google Ads listings. They are usually displayed both above and below the organic results. The position of your text ad depends on the quality of your ad and the bid you have set.
Thanks to a good Google Ads strategy, you can therefore ensure that you are always at the top of Google.
Standard organic results
Standard organic results are the ordinary unpaid search results whose ranking is determined by Google.
They are ranked based on their relevance to the search term using many factors.
Rich Snippets are relevant additional data in search results. Google is trying to improve organic search results with these.
These enhancements are visually appealing elements designed to improve the user experience and provide additional information, relevant to the search query.
They stand out, this usually leads to higher click rates compared to the regular organic results.
AMP is the acronym for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google-supported project designed to help you optimize your web pages for better performance and efficiency on mobile devices.
AMP results are displayed with a small “Lightning Bolt” icon.
While AMP itself is not a ranking factor, speed is an essential signal for mobile search results.
If you implement a proper AMP scheme on your web pages, you are more likely to be listed on mobile searches. As part of expanded results (e.g., recipes) and carousels (e.g., Top Stories).
There were also two downsides to AMP:
- For AMP content, Google can include promotional content on web pages and change the layout of your site (for example, email sign-up forms are no longer displayed).
- AMP diverts traffic from your pages, so users who have clicked on an AMP result remain on Google’s domain.
The breadcrumbs in search results represent the hierarchy of the website.
They categorize the content within the context of the search query. They also show a simplified version of the website’s navigation, with the home page and pages separated by special characters.
Sometimes Google adds a search box in conjunction with sitelinks. This is located between the page description and the recommended sitelinks.
This allows users to search the content of that website directly from the SERP. The only results that will be displayed are the results for that one website.
Sitelinks are additional hyperlinks that appear in the SERP with the title and meta description of certain pages of your website.
Usually, sitelinks appear for the main domain, but Google can also display them for blog pages and their associated categories. Unfortunately, you cannot influence these.
Because they allow users to access desired pages directly from the SERP, sitelinks are extremely useful for spreading organic brand traffic to multiple pages of your website.
Reviews & ratings
The ratings and reviews piece is displayed between the page title and the description. It contains a review score, the amount of reviews, and sometimes a brief overview of a review.
The rating value is the average of all reviews.
Because they attract users’ attention and provide credibility through social proof, organic search results with review stars typically lead to a significantly higher CTR than those without stars.
Standard Enriched Results
By standard enriched results, we mean everything you see between and around the normal search results. The best known example is Google Maps, which shows results in your neighborhood in the SERP. But Google changes the number and format of these SERP features every so often. We list the best known and most interesting ones for you.
You have probably noticed that Google tries to answer your question for certain search terms. For these searches, the answer to your question is displayed at the top of the Google results.
Google usually plucks the answer from a web page located high in the Google results.
Usually the box contains a partial answer, the title and URL of the web page, and a small image.
Featured results usually appear for informational searches, and depending on the intent behind the search, they may appear in different formats and display sizes.
Google Knowledge Panel
The Google Knowledge Panel contains information about the main topic of the search. This panel is usually triggered when searching for a brand, place, famous person, book, movie or painting, and so on.
Information about these topics is stored in the Knowledge Graph, a database where Google bundles a lot of relevant information about companies, people, locations and so on. The information displayed in the Knowledge panel comes from your Google MyBusiness page, but also from all kinds of websites all over the Internet.
Because the Knowledge panel takes up a huge amount of space, this is a very interesting feature for your business. In addition to your location, opening hours and contact details, ratings and reviews for your business are also displayed.
Not surprisingly, positive reviews will improve trust in your business, making your potential customers more inclined to contact you.
The local pack generally appears when the search includes a local establishment such as, a swimming pool, a barber store, etc.
Local boxes are usually located at the top of the search results page and consist of a map with three local establishments below.
The map has pins to indicate where the local branches can be found.
Below the map are details about the business; the name, physical address, phone number and website link.
Which branches you get to see depends entirely on your location. The local pack displays the businesses that are near your location.
Local Teaser Pack
Regular Local Packs can be displayed for all kinds of local establishments, such as car rentals, hair salons, auto repair shops, gyms and many others. But for reservation-based businesses, such as restaurants and hotels, the search with local intent can return a different type of local result, called Local Teaser Pack (also called Local Snack Pack ).
With these results, all kinds of interesting additions are displayed in this view. For hotels, for example, you can immediately see the price per night in the local teaser pack.
Direct Answer Results
For some questions, Google displays the answer as a light gray box containing just a brief answer to what you are looking for.
These results, also called Rich, Quick or Instant Answers, instantly answer basic questions about the weather, sports scores, nutritional value of food, etc. The information displayed is in the public domain, but can also come from Google’s Knowledge Graph and data partners.
Google Image Pack
Google’s image pack is displayed for searches where visual aids are considered relevant and beneficial. They are displayed as a horizontal carousel of relevant images and can be placed anywhere on the results page. Sometimes, instead of a carousel, the image pack consists of two or three rows of images that appear at the very top of the SERP.
If you click on the image or title, you will be directed to the Google Images branch and from there you can go to the websites where the images are hosted.
The “Top stories” feature, also called “Front page news”, is displayed as a block of three or more cards. These cards contain popular articles or the latest news relevant to your search. Front page news is typically displayed in the top half of the first page of results. Each card is enhanced with a thumbnail and the title of the article.
This feature is often reserved for large news sites, as it is intended to display the latest news relevant to your search.
People Also Ask
The “People Also Ask” feature, also called “Related Questions,” displays questions and answers related to your search. These are displayed as a series of fold-out boxes, which seems endless. For if you click on one question, new questions immediately appear below it.
Since this feature is meant to answer questions, you are more likely to be among them if your website scores for long tail search terms and search terms with more words. Also, make sure that both the question and the answer are clearly found on your webpage.
This SERP feature consists of a vertical list of up to four videos deemed most relevant to the search query being used. The videos are usually from Youtube, but videos from Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion or even your own website can also be displayed.
This feature is shown when you search for a movie, video clip or how to do something (e.g. “how to lay a floor yourself”). At the bottom of the videos you have the choice to view all videos.
The video listing appears above the organic results, but below the ads from Google Ads.
The most common video platforms have a lot of features to make your videos search engine friendly. By choosing a clear title and adding relevant tags, you can make it clear to search engines exactly what your video is about.
Recipes are individual cards displayed below the ads. Each card links to a page from which the recipe can be found.
To get a recipe card, you must use structured data to make it clear to Google that it is a recipe such as the ingredients, preparation time and reviews.
Structured data is added to the code of your website. Most common platforms for building websites and web shops have this capability. If this is not the case for your website, you can engage your developer to make these adjustments.