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    Explaining the SERPS: Where do we want to be?

    In this article we’re going to talk about the ever changing SERP (Search Engines Results Page), talk about the features in which we can optimise for. And discuss where exactly we want to be, because nothing is equal in the game of SEO. We want to be where the clicks/interactions are.

    We’re also going to briefly discuss how you would go about making sure you’re visible in the SERP features that make sense for your business/website, this will just be a basic overview. Expect a follow up piece on each feature where we can go into much more detail in the future.


    General Search:

    In the above image you’ll see there are 4 different parts of the of the search results we could potentially be visible for.

    1. Featured Snippets
    2. People Also Ask (PAA)
    3. Knowledge Panel
    4. Images
    5. Organic

    Not all of these features will show up at once, but in terms of most valuable from a clicks standpoint it’s comfortably the featured snippets that provide the most value.

    Editors Note: This might be replaced in the future with SGE, we’ll keep this up to date.

    Featured Snippets:

    Optimising for featured snippets varies depending on the keyword you’re trying to target. Here at Arken we go through the process below when we’re trying to claim the featured snippet for a keyword.

    1. What is already ranking? Is it a short paragraph? Is it a list? Something else?
    2. Can we create the same style content? Or at least a similar section to what is ranking?
    3. Is it a question/query we can truly answer within a paragraph?

    For example:

    If I was looking to claim the featured snippet for the term “how long does SEO take?” my first step is always to take a look at what’s already ranking.

    At the time of writing WebFX have got the featured snippet:


    Look at what Google is serving us, typically what I’d do now is create a subheading within my document and try to answer this query better than they’re doing. Answering this query better than WebFX have done here is actually quite simple, they’ve given us a range of 3 – 12 months with no real reason why.

    So can I add some reasons why some SEO takes longer than others, for example competitiveness, website freshness, or a general lack of domain strength.

    Editors Note: Whilst I’ve already done this, our current page isn’t close enough to stand a chance of taking the featured snippet. WebFX has an extra 55,000 extra referring domains than us currently. So whilst it’s a good example of a way in which we could improve, likely it won’t result in us getting the featured snippet here.

    Typically you’ll need to be on or around the first page (top 10) where an optimisation like this would result in you claiming the featured snippet.


    Local Search:

    In the image about you’ll see 4 sections highlighted, and this section is going to be slightly different because we have 2 sponsored sections. And although we’re a SEO first agency, we still help our clients with Google Guaranteed. So we’re going to talk about that, and also how to make sure you’re visible on the map pack.

    The features you will come across in local search are:

    1. Google Guaranteed
    2. Sponsored Ads
    3. Map Pack
    4. Organic

    Google Guaranteed:

    The only paid SERP feature we’re going to talk about in this post, and the reason it’s the only paid feature we’re going to talk about is because it’s so powerful. And also we need to get on the map pack for it to work.

    But it’s still very powerful.

    Google Guaranteed is their way of connecting verified businesses with potential customers, if your industry has Google guaranteed you should absolutely take advantage of it. We’re still fairly new to having this feature, and chances are it isn’t actually going to be present for your industry.

    At the time of writing there are only 52 industries that it is available on, but it’s worth checking out as compared to most other paid marketing channels it offers a great ROI and very little in terms of setup.

    Once you have your Google Business Profile setup (more on that below) all you need to do is go through the signup process here:!/


    Editors Note: Much like showing on the map, when you’re dealing with a lot of local competition it’s your reviews that will set you apart from your competition.

    Map Pack:

    Without a doubt, the most valuable piece of real estate when it comes to search for local businesses. If your business serves a local area, this should be your main goal when it comes to your organic strategy.

    For your business to show within the map pack it’s relatively simple, not easy, but simple. You need to make sure you have setup a Google Business Profile, here’s the link to do that:

    From here you need to have three things:

    1. A fully filled out profile
    2. Proximity – Are you in the area that is showing? For example is the centre of a city showing when you search, but your business is located on the outskirts?
    3. Reviews – Do you have enough legitimate reviews coming in to your business on a regular basis?

    Simple to sort (other than moving if you’re not in the right area of course!), but not easy to get and maintain. The key thing here is making sure you’re getting enough regular reviews from your customers.

    Editors Note: Once you setup your GBP you will inevitably get cold called/cold emailed about reviews. People will offer to provide you with reviews for a fee, it is my recommendation you DO NOT do this, not only are they usually clearly fake. But you’re putting your profile at risk and when you have earned the right to rank there, it’s very valuable. Don’t risk it for short term gains.


    eCommerce Search:

    With all of the different types of intent; whether local, eCom, or anything else. All of these features can show up, depending on the term. But in the image above we’ve decided to focus in on the two main features you’ll see that are common in eCommerce searches.

    Shopping & organic.

    Google Shopping:

    Google shopping is a weird one (in comparison to other features) because there is a free and a paid version. To check if you’re eligible for the free version check the link below:

    It seems silly now to take advantage of free marketing when it’s there!

    Google Organic:

    Most eCommerce searches result in an organic click still to this day, and this article would be 10x as long if we covered everything that’s needed to appear here. But we’ll keep to the main points.

    To rank organically we need to make sure we have a few things in place:

    1. A technically sound website – If Google can’t crawl and index our website, we stand no chance.
    2. Optimised content, that matches the intent of the search – Not only do we need to make sure our content needs to match the intent of the search. For example we need to make sure the ‘type’ of content we’re creating matches the search.
    3. Website authority – I’ve refrained from using any of the big tools metrics here, as Domain Authority (DA), Domain Rating (DR), Trust Flow (TF), or Authority Score (AS), none of these are ranking factors. However they do give a general idea of the strength of the domain, IE a low authority domain cannot typically rank for ultra competitive keywords.

    Here are Arken Digital, our SEO services can help your business show up in all or some of these features. Depending on the type of business, and the type of SEO you need.

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