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Is your Website Optimized for all Google Search Results?

Google dominates the search engine marketplace with over 90% of searches completed through Google. The competition follows with Bing at 2.73% and Yahoo! at 1.47% of searches. Optimizing your website and its content for Google’s algorithms and search engine is the most important strategy to follow to improve the success of your business online.

There are over 40,000 Google searches per second but your business is competing for a fraction of those search queries. It’s crucial to understand how Google ranks search results so you can use the information to improve your website using SEO. For instance, in 2019, 85% of consumers conducted an online search before buying online, and you want users to find your site first to begin their research. Ranking on page 1 of search results is your top priority since 71% of website traffic comes from the first page of Google.

There are four main types of Google search results: organic searches, featured snippets, knowledge panels, and local searches. There are some key components to each type of search result that significantly impacts optimization to ultimately improve your Google search results, as explained below.

1. Organic Search Results

What are organic search results?

Google organic search results are unpaid search results that Google identifies as relevant to the search query and appear as lists of site links below the ads and additional result boxes (e.g. featured snippets, “People also ask…”). The goal of a website is to rank in the top 10 results in order to show up on the first Google search results page. To improve your SERP ranking, there are numerous SEO strategies to implement.

Search Engine Optimization with Keywords

Google takes into consideration many factors to determine what the best results will be for the search, including content relevance, user experience, loading speed, website security, and more. One of the most important factors is content relevance; delivering helpful information that answers questions or provides research for the searched query. Websites that are able to deliver relevant content to search queries will rank higher.

The first step in improving your content is with keyword research. Keywords are commonly searched words or phrases entered into search engines to find information. Keyword research begins with a topic that is relevant to your business whether it’s a product or service, project, or industry-related topic for a blog post. Once a topic is selected, you’ll want to research frequently searched words, phrases, or questions associated with that topic. The true balance is to incorporate words and phrases that people are looking for while writing your content in a way that is easy to read for your website visitors. You want people to find value in the information you share and when you do, Google will reward you for it with higher rankings.

2. Featured Snippet Results

What is a featured snippet?

Featured snippets are search results that are featured at the top of the page in a box under the ads. Featured snippets answer a question or provide information, so the purpose of it is to provide an immediate response to the query. The benefit of this result type is providing a quick answer where the user doesn’t have to leave Google. It may not result in a lot of click-throughs (people clicking and visiting your website) but it does increase brand awareness with your site showing as the top result.

There are 3 main types of featured snippets:

  • Paragraphs (can be accompanied by an image): the result is in the form of a paragraph. Typically, paragraphs answer questions that start with, ‘what is, who is, where is, or why is.’
  • Lists: the result is in the form of a list. Lists are often featured for content such as recipes, guides, how-to’s, or step-by-step instructions.
  • Tables: the result is in the form of a table. Tables are often featured for content such as data points, pricing/rate charts, or comparison and conversion charts.

Featured Snippet Optimization

Since featured snippets revolve around answering a question or providing quick responses, it is important to make your content concise and easy for Google to scan. The paragraph, lists, and tables types described above outline how content should be organized to improve Google search results.

  • To optimize for paragraph results, format the content as questions and answers. The question should be formatted as a header with the following answer as paragraph text.
  • To optimize for lists, format the content with bullets or numbered points as the paragraph text with a headline describing the list.
  • To optimize for a table, the content should be formatted as a table or chart with a clear headline describing the table or chart.

Using these specific formats allows Google to understand the content and relate it to the searched query. If you have relevant images to go along with the paragraph types, it may prove helpful to visually show the answer as well as have text. When one part of a page is used for Google snippets, other parts will also be used to answer additional questions. This is why we highly recommend adding FAQ sections to relevant product or service pages to increase the chances of those answers resulting in a featured snippet.

3. Knowledge Panel Results

What are knowledge panel results?

Knowledge panels are informational cards of entities, such as people, locations, businesses, etc., often on the top right of the page within the knowledge graph. In terms of businesses, the knowledge panel provides a profile of the company including its logo, contact information, daily hours, reviews, address, website link, social link(s), business description, etc. The knowledge panel provides quick and relevant information directly on the Google search results page for the user. The knowledge panel results are a significant way to boost brand visibility and readily equip the user with next-step actions (phone number, website link, etc.).

Knowledge Panel Optimization

The knowledge panel is created by Google when it has enough reliable information for a complete card. Therefore, optimizing your key information will give Google enough data to compile the knowledge panel. You can optimize your business information by following these recommendations:

  • Focus on Google My Business and Google Maps
    • Setting up or updating your Google My Business assists the knowledge panel to provide accurate data
  • Verify social media accounts
    • Social media accounts further validate a business, ensure contact information matches across social channels and Google My Business
  • Edit or strengthen schema markup on your website
    • Provide usable schema data that Google can pull in a format proper for the knowledge panel
  • Create a Wikipedia page for your business
    • Google pulls Wikipedia snippets and information when creating the knowledge panel, therefore, having a Wikipedia page will make the card more comprehensive.
  • Review your knowledge panel from Google
    • Review your business’ knowledge panel to keep the information up-to-date.

For example, if your business is a senior living center, you would implement these steps in order to provide Google with both accurate and comprehensive data to build your knowledge panel. Having a knowledge panel allows users to quickly view your information, including where you are located, contact information, and online reviews – all essential steps in the research and decision-making process. It summarizes information about the senior living center so the person searching can quickly get directions, visit the website to learn more about the center, or call the place directly.

4. Local Search Results

What are local search results?

Local search results are based on queries that involve a geo-specific area. For example, searching for ‘restaurants near me’ or ‘best financial advisor in Minneapolis.’ The local search results are often displayed by a map with businesses listed on the side, and when the business is selected the box expands to a larger descriptive card. Information on these cards includes contact details, company information, testimonials, and a list of products.

Local Search Optimization

Since local search results are based on location, it is useful to optimize based on your location, services or products, and contact information. Below are 4 local business SEO practices that improve Google search results.

Since local search results are based on location, it is useful to optimize based on your location, services or products, and contact information. Below are 4 local business SEO practices that improve Google search results.

1. Complete Google My Business Page

As mentioned earlier, ensure your Google My Business Page is completely filled out with up-to-date information. It’s also recommended to add additional information like FAQs, ask for reviews, and share frequent updates.

2. Focus on local keywords

Implement keywords that are associated with your business’ location within your website, particularly the Home page and About Us page. Some examples include city names, regional mentions like ‘Twin Cities,’ and other location-specific terms that fit naturally into your copy.

3. Maintain contact consistency

Ensure all your contact information (name, address, phone number) are listed exactly the same across all platforms, website, directories, social platforms, etc.

4. Provide product/service and pricing page

Outlining the products or services you offer and associated pricing information is frequently requested by users and can be helpful for someone choosing between a couple of local competitors if they’re able to find the most important information for their buying decision right away.

For example, if a restaurant is located in Minneapolis and serves Mexican food, you want the website content to include this information. Including keywords that incorporate your location and style of food will allow Google to recognize where you are located and what you offer, and therefore include your restaurant in relevant local search results. Following each of these local search optimization steps will boost your business among local search results.

Google is a powerful tool with numerous algorithms that impact SEO best practices and creates multiple ways to support and improve your business’ ranking. By intentionally implementing these optimization practices to target the different types of Google search results, it will significantly grow your business’ online presence and achieve real conversions.

The different types of Google search results impact your SEO priorities to improve your website rankings. We recommend an SEO strategy that utilizes all of the search result types. Evolve Systems®’ SEO and marketing team understands the confusing world of Google and how to develop a plan specific to your business’ goals, contact us today to get started.