On-SERP SEO: How to Optimize for Google’s New Search Integrations in 2020
Is the top 10 of Google, really the top 10?
A recent study completed by Jumpshot and SparkToro has shown that from 2016 to 2018, the average organic mobile click-through-rate fell 20 percent and number of no-click searches increased 20 percent:
With the influx of search integrations employed by Google – Featured Snippets, People also ask, maps, etc. – within the SERPs (search engine result pages), concentrating solely on the “10 blue links” brings diminishing returns.
So, with that in mind, is the once much-desired and vaunted top 10 of Google, really the top 10?
No. No, it isn’t.
They (Google) Don’t Make Them Like They Used To
Look at all those lovely organic listings staring back at you, back when “No. 1 position” weirdly meant you were the first item appearing on the SERP.
In 2020, you now get:
That’s the above-the-fold view of the SERP for the same term as in the first image. Not one “traditional” organic listing in sight. Not a sausage.
With Google deciding to focus on “journeys” as opposed to “queries” and “discovery” rather than “searching.” the previous idea of the first page of Google and strategies designed to organically feature there requires rethinking.
In assessing keyword performance for a client of ours, a 10th placed ranking for a key term of theirs was the 27th option on the first page of Google when you factored in Paid ads and the many SERP features present.
Equating rankings with success is no longer possible, with Google favouring its own search integrations that are designed to keep users on-SERP rather than lead them to your website.
A 2020 SERP is undoubtedly much more intuitive and engaging for the user, but what about the SEOs I hear us cry?!
SERP Optimization in 2020
Good content is still good, but good content is no longer the only reason your website or landing page is appearing prominently for your desired search query.
There is a need to optimize further outside of just words on a page, with a wealth of search integrations that should be in your crosshairs as you eye up the first page of Google.
Below is just a snippet of what Google has on offer and how you can make these work for you and your website.
People Also Ask
The ever-expanding “People also ask,” or PAA, SERP feature will generate search query related questions, with the resulting answer generated from content which Google feels is of sufficient relevance and quality to present the user with, complete with a link to the page that houses said content.
Optimizing your content with an inquisitive user’s eye is your best bet for a place on this particular podium, with content featuring, or at the very least alluding to, follow-up questions and subsequent answers around the chosen topic of the piece considered for PAA.
An Ahrefs study states that you receive 31 percent less traffic by NOT owning the Featured Snippet position, even if you rank No. 1.
In the pursuit of “position 0,” formatting your content in such a way as to be chosen as a featured snippet is needed. For example, if your heart is set on appearing as a table snippet, positioning your table high in the content alongside a keyword optimized heading.
Capable of showcasing your businesses’ imagery, location, bio, hours of operation and a multitude of other information for the searcher, the Knowledge Graph is a fixture of people or organizational SERPs.
Ensuring your Google My Business profile is up to date, as well as your “About” and “Contact” pages or Wikipedia entry, is the best way to optimize for accuracy of your Knowledge Graph.
As this is just a mere morsel of what Google provides on the 2020 SERP and with your interest understandably piqued, you can find a complete breakdown of all available search integrations and how to implement these to Google best practice right here.
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