Increasing importance of direct answersDirect answers and business cards are the information provided immediately in the search results.
What information can you get today without clicking on any search results?
- Information about hotels. Now you can find a hotel in a convenient location, check prices and availability or even book your stay without the necessity to visit the hotel or price comparison websites. Everything in Google.
- Weather. Want to know how to dress? All you need to do is to type “weather” into the search engine and you’ll immediately get a response tailored to the location and upcoming days. Moreover, you can even check weather in various places around the world.
- Flights. Just type the name of the city you want to travel to + “flights” and Google will automatically compare prices of different airlines. Everything without clicking and visiting airlines or comparison websites.
- Definitions. Don’t know what does “matroneum” mean? Well, me neither but we can easily check it by typing it into the search engine. Apart from providing a definition, Google also displays pictures from Google Images. This is another time-saving solution as you don’t need to click on the search results to see what something looks like.
- Celebrities. Even the SERP provides you with a lot of information if you enter a name or a nickname of a famous person. Just type “Rihanna” and you’ll find out what’s her full name, that she’s a singer, how old and tall she is, what are her most popular songs and where to look for them. Moreover, you’ll be even shown the most important news and videos. Sounds overwhelming? And all of these without entering a single website.
- Comparisons. Want to find out what different varieties of potatoes or cat breeds are distinguished? Again, Google turns out to be very helpful and provides the results in the form of the carousel ads.
- Sports. A summary of the most notable sports results and events can also be found immediately in the search engine.
- Dictionary and translator. If you’re searching for a translation of a foreign word, you’ll automatically be provided with its meaning or even numerous meanings.
- Currency conversions. With the use of Google you can also conveniently convert currencies.
Traditional SEO on its last legs?Many could probably accuse Google of becoming a monopoly which, instead of redirecting users to particular sources, collects information from various websites and displays it to the interested users. So if the answer is so easily accessible in the form of a search result, does the traditional SEO still make sense? Of course it does, and this is why:
- On the desktop devices, over 60% of queries lead to a click on an organic search result. On mobile ones, the percentage is lower but it’s still over 30%.
- Pages that are in the top 10 will still be displayed on the first page of the search results, additionally, they may also appear in direct answers.
- A person who types “cats breeds” into the search engine in order to buy a cat is a more valuable customer of a pet shop than a person who browses the net only to find some cute photos (here we come across proper selection of key phrases but we’ll come back to it in a while).
- Appearing in the top positions is equally important as the way in which you do it. That’s the moment when On-SERP SEO, meaning optimization of how the page is displayed on the first page in the search results, comes in handy.
1. Yes, if you use and display appropriate keywords
2. Yes, if your strategy is deliberate
3. Yes, if you care about an expert image.
On-SERP SEO. How do they see you?OK, now you know how to start. But how to influence the way you’re displayed in the SERPS?
1. Start from optimizing your title and meta descriptionAlthough these are basics, people tend to forget about them. Today, adding a title and a meta description containing keywords and indicating what’s on the website isn’t enough. In the era of search without clicking you need to encourage the user to enter your site. Take care of the CTA or make your content appealing enough so that people aren’t satisfied only with direct answers.
2. Make your business card look attractive on GoogleThe information about your company displayed after typing in its name is also crucial because in such a situation users will usually see your Google business card (Google My Business) with photos, opinions, maps and entries. On our blog we’ve already discussed how to run Google My Business. Depending on your industry, you can put various information on your business card. Museums, for example, can publish information about current exhibitions or works of art: Companies that run a blog can publish their articles: However, your Google business card is much more than just the information provided in Google My Business. Apart from that, it also includes:
- Feedback and reviews from various websites - e.g. Facebook, TripAdvisor, Ceneo or GoWork. Therefore make sure you’re present on these platforms and you get the feedback.
- Snapshots from Wikipedia - not all companies can publish an entry about themselves on Wikipedia. But those which can will surely benefit from it when the information about them is displayed in the search results.
- Data from comparison websites - if you run e.g. a hotel, you can ensure that the search results compare different portals and prices they offer for a room. Remember to add your company to the comparison websites and catalogues.
3. Implement AMPAMP is an accelerated mobile website. Having it is required to be displayed e.g. in the Google Top Stories Carousel and in cookery recipes in the mobile search engines.
4. Get to know the schema attributeThe schema attribute enables Google to assign a given category to a specific content item on your website in order to display it later in direct answers. You can mark up a video, a recipe or even an article. For more information on marking up your content items go to: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/mark-up-content
5. Add breadcrumbs to the search resultsBreadcrumbs indicate the users the website structures to which given subpages belong to.
6. Tailor your content to direct answersDirect answers are, at the name itself suggests, answers to the search queries. Thus, if you want to be displayed in direct answers, your website content should be structured in terms of question - answer sequences.
7. Create a transparent page structureProper design of your page structure will increase the probability of internal links being displayed in the search results.
8. Optimize photos for your websiteIf you do it, the likelihood of your photos being displayed in the Google Images search results is much bigger. The most important rules include:
- adding an alternative description and a proper title of the graphic,
- publishing your photos in the right context,
- adding a photo description and a caption under your graphics.
9. Optimize your top 10 for Featured SnippetsPhrases displayed in the top 10 may be shown faster in the search results with the so-called Featured Snippets with:
- texts in the boxes,