If you’ve been keeping tabs on Google, you would know it’s continuously been modifying the first page of results to accommodate users in finding what they want. One of the most notable developments has been rich results.
What are rich results?
Rich results are almost everything that’s not a blue link. They are enhanced results that Google uses to highlight specific features on the search engine result page. Rich results are favoured because they draw additional attention to the listing.
There are rich results that Google puts together itself that we have no control over. Depending on the search, you might see shopping ads, sitelinks to a website and Google news are just to name a few.
What rich results benefit your business?
Despite the random appearance of Google rich results, there are a few ways that we get your site to appear as rich results. The end result of a rich result is a higher click-through rate to your website and a boost to the monthly traffic your site receives.
Not all rich results can be achieved the same way, so we’ll detail a few different features that we commonly aim to get our clients to appear for in a search result.
FAQ rich result
Here’s one of the newer releases where Google has disclosed the structured data required to make your site eligible for a frequently asked question rich result.
Offering the answers to frequently asked questions has a number of advantages, but most notably is the ability to add links within the answers. This gives publishers the opportunity to offer internal links to their site-all from one search result.
This can work to a company’s favour in most situations but in the case of product sales, this was a huge opportunity for businesses to use long-form content to rank for keywords and yet still be able to offer a link to their products.
During the first stages of implementation one publisher was able to see an increase of 2.75% in his click-through rate to product pages.
FAQ schema is also a way to brand your company as an expert in its field. The rich result takes up a large chunk of space on the SERP and pushes the competition further down the page.
When used correctly the FAQ rich result is sure to get more attention from users within the SERP, which results in more traffic to your site.
The Local Pack
Google’s local finder has created a monumental shift in the way local businesses are found and because the feature only displays the top three results, it makes your local SEO strategy more important than ever.
Getting into the local pack is never a guaranteed thing but by incorporating some of the most important aspects of local SEO you can rank your site to the top positions. Moz published a very informative graph of the most important ranking factors that go into ranking organically as well as local ranking factors.
Some things have changed since then, and the 2020 Report On The State Of Local SEO will confirm that factors like on-page optimization are now weighing in heavier to get your company in the local pack.
This fact has led fake business names that are keyword stuffed in order to get search visibility. It’s a rampant issue that has a lot of people stumped, as keyword stuffing was believed to be a thing of the past. Right, Google?
To appear in the local pack companies need to have a complete and optimized Google My Business listing. Google extracts most of its data about your company from this profile and uses it whenever applicable in keyword searches.
A strong local presence is also key in creating strong relevance to search terms that include a specific city. Creating local links and publishing local content make up a large part of the ranking signals that will get your website into the Local Pack.
Reviews and ratings
If you’re looking at a search result and one of the results has five stars right under the title-wouldn’t you be drawn to take a closer look? This type of rich result can be created by implementing the correct schema through structured data markup.
Highly reviewed sites will always get better click-through rates than websites that have little to no reviews. This type of markup is only available to websites in specific niches.
The featured snippet
Google has slowly increased the appearance of this feature since 2015. The featured snippet, also known as position zero, is the most prominent feature on the SERP because it’s typically shown as the first thing a user sees when searching a query.
The featured snippet is often put together by Google itself in an effort to provide the user with the most comprehensive answer in summary form. You can optimize to appear in the snippet but there’s no guarantee Google will select your page to feature in this position.
The featured snippet leads to higher click-through rates and is an excellent way to brand your company. It’s position and enhanced appearance give your company more presence in the SERP which translates to the perception of having expertise in your field.
People Also Ask Box
The PAA boxes are Google’s way of providing a series of questions that are directly related to your search query. This feature is similar to the featured snippet in the sense that you can win another spot on the SERP for your website. The click-through rates from PAA boxes are the main benefit as well as the boost in branding.
Optimizing for the PAA is as simple as using H-tags for headings and phrasing them as questions. Write your answer to the question directly underneath in less than 60 words and you’re eligible to appear in one of these snippets.
The beauty of the PAA box is that, unlike the featured snippet, you don’t have to be on the first page of Google to appear in the featured position. Your pages can appear in the PAA box as long as they’re optimized and have some credibility to back up your content (links and website traffic to your pages).
Although it’s not as common in the search results, implementing the How-to schema in your content can create a stunning and attractive display for users to click on.
If you’re in a competitive industry where there are a lot of sites publishing how-to content, this can be the competitive edge you need to set yourself apart from the rest of the SERP.
Keep in mind that SEO is about traffic generation. Although your ranking can go up and down, this type of markup can attract the click from wherever you are on the first page of results (yes, most rich results only work on the first page of search results).
Have you ever searched for a company and seen a bunch of different links to its pages be featured in the search result? Those are what Google calls sitelinks rich results.
Although there’s no official markup to implement to get these to appear if you have the most important elements of navigation implemented on your site it helps Google to figure out what pages are the most important.
Sitelinks can help your company because they take users to inner pages on your site faster, reducing the chance they bounce from your site from not finding what they wanted. Google will typically show these when it deems it’s beneficial to the user.
Rich results add to the number of visitors on your site
When it comes down to marketing, rich results are considered a tool for marketing your website pages in the SERP. They are exactly what they sound like; enhanced search results.
Take every opportunity to use schema and structured data markup to enhance the way your pages look in a search result. Improving your click-through rates a few percentages in a few different places contributes to more revenue on a regular basis.