Google has been making it harder to convert in organic search. In recent years, the search giant has been crowding out SERP real estate with a wide assortment of new SERP features to better match search intent.
The ten blue links that marketers used to rely on have been shrinking, with no end in sight. Rank Ranger has put together a helpful tracking tool to visualize how extensive these new features are in SERPs today.
According to data from Jan 2nd,
- The average number of sites on the first page is 8.212
- Ads appear in 64.94% of SERPS
- Videos appear in 17.33 of SERPS
- Local Packs appear in 43.23% of SERPS
- Featured Snippets are surfaced 5.9% in SERPS
- Related Question appear in 30.47% of SERPS
With the added SERP features introduced by Google, it is even harder to rank in the coveted top 5. Many pages that used to sneak into the top 5 are now being pushed down to page 2 because of the new features. Despite these challenges, companies in Long Beach, CA should know that online business reputation management companies have proven techniques to access these emerging traffic sources.
What are the new SERP features and what can you do about them?
SEO platforms have adapted quickly to the rise of new SERP features. They will indicate which SERPS have new features, which helps you plan content around it. Optimizing your content is, of course, the solution. Here are some ideas to help you optimize for new SERP features:
- Local Packs. Local packs are business locations in the vicinity that Google surfaces in response to a query. As local packs include store hours and other information (like reviews and a business description), these constitute very direct queries from searchers looking to buy right away. Given that over 40% of searchers surface local packs, they represent valuable real estate. To land in local packs, a business needs to have consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information across all platforms, including off-site locations like local business directories. The other push needs to be in mobile-responsiveness ratings. Rendering of a site needs to be quick in order for Google to surface it in place of competitors.
- Related Questions. Related questions appear at different spots in the SERP – at the top, the middle, or the bottom. Although they do push other sites off the first page, they also represent a potential ranking opportunity of their own. You can collect the most common related questions that surface for one of your target keywords and write content to optimize for the related question. You can repeat this process for other keywords until you have supporting material for follow-up, or related questions, that people query.
- Videos. Google will surface videos when it makes the most sense – and it’s making more and more sense these days. Searchers like to have options when learning about a new topic, and video is the best alternative to text. The solution for businesses is, of course, to create videos and get into Youtube SEO.
Find the Best Avenues to Optimize
Click through rates might be declining on a meta scale, but that does not spell the impending death of SEO. There are still many avenues to optimize for, and new ones will emerge in the future. Executing on strategies around featured snippets, local packs, or videos is pretty much the only way to find placement in the ever-crowded SERP landscape.
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