If you ask a local business owner to describe what appears on a Google search results page (otherwise known as SERP), the most common answers are paid ads, organic search results, and Google Maps listings. The truth is that it depends on what type of information is being returned in your search result.
No surprises here! Google is continuously testing and enhancing its search engine results pages to deliver the highest value to their consumer (aka the searcher). This means that not every search brings back the same structured results. For example, a search for a specific business name typically results in an information box with the business information (assuming the business has a Google My Business profile), links to the businesses website (assuming they have one), links to their social media profiles (if they have them), links to other directory listings (if they are optimized) and links to published content (if they publish content). And this is a simple business search. There are an estimated 63,000 Google search queries being performed every second, that’s 5.6 billion searches per day. Needless to say, there is a lot of information to work with and ways to display the results.
Let’s take a look at 5 key components of a Google search engine results page.
1. Knowledge Panel
The Knowledge Panel is an information box that appears on Google when a user searches for entities such as people, places, and organizations.
Designed to help the searcher understand a particular subject quickly or explore a business more in-depth, Knowledge Panel information is compiled from various trusted sources across the web. When a company has claimed and optimized its Google My Business profile, this information serves as a trusted source.
2. Local Pack
Typically when a user searches for local business services, Google generates a map containing three local business listings it feels are relevant to the inquiry. If you have a business, it is a must to claim and optimize your Google My Business profile.
With each of the three listings, high-level information about the business is provided. The searcher can click each listing to view the full Google My Business profile. Underneath the Local Pack, a user has the option to view all businesses in that local area relevant to the search within Google Maps.
3. Featured Snippet
A Featured Snippet appears at the top of a Google organic search results page. The content is pulled directly into the search results from a webpage that has been indexed by Google. The goal is to answer your question right on the results page. It is important that your website has well-structured, organized content that is keyword-rich if you want a shot at having your site’s content considered for this section.
Featured Snippets are usually in the form of paragraphs, lists, tables, or videos and include a link directly to the source underneath.
Featured snippets are especially helpful for users on mobile or searching by voice.
4. People Also Ask
Similar to Google’s Featured Snippets, the People Also Ask section provides answers to additional questions related to the original search query. Using previous search data, Google’s algorithm displays follow-up or secondary questions.
Typically, several questions are presented. The user has the option to click and expand the question to see the answer. It also continues to populate additional questions as the user explores the initial question results provided.
5. Google Maps
Users can search for a place or type of place within Google Maps. The results appear as red mini-pins and red dots, where mini-pins show the top results. Users can then find more information about the place, get directions or click on the actual result.
The information presented on the map is fueled by content found within the Google My Business profile. And with 63% of all Google searches occurring on mobile, accurate location information is vitally important.
This is not a complete list of Google SERP components, but are 5 of the key components local businesses should strive to be found in. Want to learn more about how to ensure your business is featured on the Google SERP? Contact our team of Digital Marketing Experts!