In order to be the most visible and accessible for your audience, you’ll need to optimize your business’ website for the search engine results page (SERPs). Optimize your site’s information, ranging from images to FAQ pages, and update your approach to match modern searchers.
Search engines have evolved drastically over the course of the last decade. Every year, we see new SEO trends replace old ones. If you have seen what the search engine result pages used to look like a decade ago, you might be familiar with what I am talking about.
Search engine results page (SERPs) used to show you the meta title, meta description, and the link. It contains ten organic results and that’s it. You might find ads and other links on both sides of the page. Things have changed a lot since then.
Today, SERPs contain everything you can think of from ads to videos to images to featured snippets (a format that concisely answers a search without a user needing to click a page) and the list goes on. The same is true for mobile search.
This means that businesses have more opportunities to rank and increase their visibility online. For that, they will have to optimize their website for the latest features in search engines and grab some of the spots in search engine ranking pages.
In this article, you will learn about seven new elements of search engine result pages you must optimize your website for.
Elements to Optimize on Your Site for SERPs
- Voice Search Catches More Queries
- Featured Snippets Answer Questions Faster
- Knowledge Graphs Convey Gathered Information
- Local Search is Likely to Reach More Relevant Users
- Image Search Brings Users to Your Site
- Video Search Boosts Traffic for Businesses
- "Google My Business" Pages Connect You With Users
1. Voice Search Catches More Queries
Voice search is one of the hottest trends in search. According to ComScore, 50% of all online searches will be voice-based by 2020. This means that if your website is not optimized for voice search, you won’t feature for all those voice-based search queries.
As a result, you will be missing out on opportunities to attract new customers and generate more traffic to your website. How can you optimize my website for voice search?
Focus on answering user questions through your content and use structured data. Most people tend to speak question phrases when they are performing a voice search.
Instead of focusing on keywords and optimizing for that, you should optimize for these question phrases.
Use conversation keywords that people tend to actually speak, optimize your FAQ page, and other tactics.
2. Featured Snippets Answer Questions Faster
Users want instant answers to their questions and search engines are trying to cater to that demand by introducing new features.
One such feature is called feature snippet. It shows you the answer to your questions on the SERP and saves you from the hassle of clicking the link and finding the required information.
There are three types of featured snippets:
Use questions in your subheadings and answer these questions in a concise manner to increase your chances to get featured in paragraph snippet.
Create a list of elements to increase rank for list snippets. Structure your content in a table or chart by using the right tags and grab the table snippet.
Including information like this and wording it in an easily consumable way makes it more likely to be captured as a featured snippet, leading potentially more clicks on your link.
3. Knowledge Graphs Convey Gathered Information
With search engines becoming smarter with each passing day, they can now understand the relationship between people, places and other things. It acquires and compiles all the key information from trusted sources and presents it in search engine ranking pages.
Search engines like Google already have a massive knowledge base and they use it to show these types of knowledge graphs as soon as a user enters the search query and hits Enter. For example, a knowledge graph for Thomas Jefferson includes the dates he was born and died, his spouse, his presidential term, and a short description.
If you want to grab your spot in this type of knowledge graph, like Thomas Jefferson, you will have to use schema markup for listing important facts about your business. You could even consider creating a
Wikipedia page and mention everything about your company in detail.
This will increase your chances to get featured on the knowledge graph since the information is strategically structured.
4. Local Search Is Likely to Reach More Relevant Users
According to Social Media Today, 97% of users search for local businesses online, and 72% will visit a local business if it is located within five miles. That is why it is important to optimize your website for local search.
Instead of targeting traditional keywords, use location-specific keywords. Include the address of your business along with other contact details in your schema or markup so that users can easily contact you or visit your business.
5. Image Search Brings Users to Your Site
Most businesses focus all their energies towards ranking for organic searches, but they don’t realize that they can also rank for image search.
Many users search for images. If your image pops up in search results, they’ll click on it and land on your website. All you must do is to give your image a proper title and caption.
Make sure that your images are relevant and unique. Don’t forget to add an alternative text, as it can also help with image search rankings. Include relevant keywords where possible. Use schema markup to grab the attention of users and it will help you get your image to featured snippets as well.
6. Video Search Boosts Traffic for Businesses
Did you know that using a video on your website can increase organic search traffic by 157%? Yes, you read that right, but you will have to optimize your videos to rank in search engines to deliver those results.
Just like images, video results also pop up in search engine result pages and they are becoming more and more common. If you have a video, make sure you optimize it correctly. Here is how to do it.
- Use an eye-catching thumbnail
- Include video transcript
- Use an attention-grabbing video title and description
- Put relevant keywords in meta title and description
- Say your target keywords in each video
- Share your video on multiple video sharing sites
Combining these elements make it more likely your video will be picked up by search engines, and hopefully lead to more traffic.
7. “Google My Business” Pages Connect You With Users
Last but certainly not least is “Google My Business” pages on search engines. Having a “Google My Business” page helps Google show your business information to users who are searching for it or similar businesses.
Make sure your business’ information is accurate, updated and comprehensive. You can also ask satisfied customers to leave reviews and give a rating to your business. Those reviews also show up in search results along with ratings.
You can even use “Google My Business” messages to connect directly to your customers and share posts about business updates.
Optimizing Your Site Opens the Door to More Visibility and Traffic
One of the main goals when optimizing your site should always be to make it more accessible and visible to the end-user. Considering everything from those who use voice search to optimizing video content will lead you in the right direction.
By implementing these 7 elements to your approach, customers should have an easier time finding your site, leading to more traffic and business for you.