What are SERP features?
SERP features are featured results in the search engines that differ from normal organic results. They can come in the form of:
- Featured Snippets
- Knowledge Cards
- Knowledge Panels
- Answer Box/Instant Answers
- Search Boxes
- News/Top stories
- Phone numbers
- In-depth Article
- Local Teasers
- Local Packs
Why are SERP Features Important?
SERP features can be extremely valuable because they can often times outrank marquee brand websites and provide excellent click-through-rates (CTRs) and provide a lot of traffic. CTRs will vary depending on the type of SERP feature, the position it has on the page, and the other relevant results placed on the page. Take our previous domain at Positionly. We optimized an article for a Featured Snippet about White hat vs. Black Hat SEO.
Optimizing for a Featured Snippet isn't a painless enterprise; you need to already have your page ranking well on the first page before Google will format it into a feature. But if it does get turned into a SERP feature that's positioned well, then you can expect a bump in traffic and a higher CTR.
If you're ranking in the top 5 positions for an organic result, you would normally have a pretty good to decent CTR. However, if there are a lot of SERP features present on the page, the value of your top five ranking is diminished as the CTRs for each SERP feature before it will lessen its own CTR value. Thus, it's good to know when there's an opportunity to try and optimize for SERP features by knowing which of your keywords is featured on a SERP that contains a lot of features.
Which SERP Features Can I Rank for?
As noted above, you can't just wish yourself into a SERP feature. Some need to be paid for, others you need to optimize your content for and do a little wishful thinking, and others you simply cannot have linked to your website.
These include Top Adwords, Bottom Adwords, and Shopping results. Your relevancy to the search query is also extremely important. While paid results do have a better position in the SERPs, the CTR is actually lower than the top organic results.
Features Obtainable Through Optimization
These include Sitelinks, Local Packs, Local Teaser Packs, Related Questions, Videos, Reviews, Featured Snippets, and Images. Each feature has it's own checklist of optimizations for it to show up as the desired SERP feature. You may also need to set these up via certain HTML parameters or Google Webmaster Tools.
Features That Require a Strict Set of Rules
Features That You Cannot Rank For
Knowledge Panels, Graphs, or Cards. These features, outside of listings for your own business, require a strict set of rules to have them appear as Knowledge cards, panels, or graphs, and even if you do follow them, their is no guarantee you will find your site in a knowledge panel.
SERP Features in Unamo SEO
Within Unamo SEO, you can now see when keywords you're tracking appear on pages with SERP features, how many SERP features there are, and if you're keywords are ranking as a SERP feature.
Furthermore, you'll have a timeline available to see how long your domain was linked to within a SERP feature to explain any dips or increases in traffic from specific keywords.
The appearance of SERP features is now a standard functionality within Unamo SEO, so you can try and optimize some of your content to be picked up by the Search Engines as a feature and reap the benefits of higher exposure in the SERPs.