“How to Elevate Your Search Engine Marketing in 2021”
By Lois Wandless
In the dynamic environment of search engine marketing, it can be demanding, yet greatly rewarding, to battle your way to the top of the SERPs. We’ve got the best new strategies for you to prize the top SERPs spot.
The newest trend in SEM is no-click searches, this refers to a search engine user locating their required results instantly without browsing the search engine results pages. This is the result of emerging SERPs features such as media elements or featured snippets which have eliminated the need to click on search results for solutions. Internet technology is constantly evolving, an important change to consider is the shift from desktop format becoming replaced by mobile user experience. This shift generates the importance for websites to maximise their mobile user experience giving priority to social site compatibility.
Traditionally, for businesses and digital marketers alike competing in the SERPs, the leading page to rank was position number 1. However, with the development of no-click searches, that once prime page 1 rank is now threatened by this emerging phenomenon. The no-click search momentum has been rapidly building over the course of a few years – in 2019 the data intelligence platform Jumpshot published insightful zero-click data. The data revealed zero-click searches accounted for just under 55% of all Google searches in June 2019, in 2021 it is estimated to have far exceeded this.
The data proves this an emerging threat, but how can we as marketers respond?
First we have to understand the phenomenon, why search engine users gravitate towards no-click searches. With the constant evolution of internet technology, search engine users expect growing speed and reliability with their searches. In today’s increasingly fast paced and hyper-connected society, there is a lack of time and patience for unnecessary clicking and scrolling. In addition the development of voice automated devices such as Siri or Google Nest have increased the need for instant result formatting.
In the mind of a search engine user in the new age there is an overriding need to find a solution the fastest possible way and using the least amount of energy. Therefore, how do we compete in this no-click search era?
Top Tips for Zero-Click Success
- Understanding feature snippets
Google explains that feature snippets are “special boxes where the format of a regular search result is reversed showing the descriptive snippet first”.
In basic terms a feature snippet appears as a definitive answer to a google search query, for example when asking Google what time is it GMT? A query with a definitive response as such will activate the featured snippet of the answer located at the top of the SERPs. The content which creates the feature snippet answers is streamlined from information on the web pages in Google’s index. Now we can understand the nature of a feature snippet we can begin to recognise advantageous strategies to optimise our SEM potential.
- Optimise Your Content
As internet technology is adapting, such as featured snippets for example, sites must adapt also to maintain competition on SERPs. Luckily, there are known qualities which are found to be SERP friendly. There has been a traditional emphasis on keywords and phrases when considering SEO however in order to adapt the content of the site must be high quality. Search engine users recognise strong quality content, it is important to represent to become a reputable competitor in Google’s index.
- Don’t Forget Format
To really maximise your site potential don’t only adapt your content but your formatting too. Create your title and snippets for readers ease while staying below the maximum character count to show all content in the SERP. Certain formats are more favourable for feature snippets such as brief lists or instructions, when generating featured snippets aim for 54-58 words in total. It is useful to remember that the text and image on a featured snippet are usually sourced from different sites, with the correct formatting your site can compete for the image. Simply add an image into your feature snippet text, and use an image alt tag similar to your feature snippet headline.
- Understand Types of Search Queries
Marketing embodies navigating the landscape of consumer needs and desires, it vital to apply this curious approach to understanding search queries. Understanding the intentions of a user’s keyword choice in a search query generates ideas as to how your site can reflect the result desired by the user. The three most common types of query are: datestyle searches e.g. date or time, navigation searches such as directions to a location and dictionary searches often using the keyword “define”.
- Constantly Evolve Your SEO
Don’t focus all your energy on the feature snippets, instead invest that energy into maximising the potential of your site. Continue to develop your SEO strategies around your keywords and content to become a more reputable site within Google’s index. A site viewed as reputable and valuable by users is more favourable to reach the goal top spots in the SERPS.
Combining these top tips along with an engaging social media strategy will allow you to acquire audience engagement and reputability. Search engine marketing can be an intricate process involving constantly evolving with the new technologies developed to maximise all opportunities available. Fail to keep pace with the internet’s fast-paced environment and prepare to exclude dynamic marketing possibilities.