Google has introduced many SERP features to help its users find the solution or product they are searching for based on the buying journey stage they are in. If leveraged properly Google SERP features can be incredibly helpful for marketers to optimize site content and think through which keywords to target as you can figure out related keywords, better understand user’s search intent along with opportunities for placement on the SERPs organic ranking. SEO specialists and marketers can use these features to gain more traffic, get better above-the-fold visibility, and significantly improve the users' experience. Table of Contents: ShowHide \tWhat are SERP Features? \tWhy do SERP Features Matter? \tTypes of SERP Features \tOrganic Results in SERPs \tFeatured Snippets \tPeople Also Ask (PAA) \tImage Pack \tVideo Carousel \tLocal Map Pack \tKnowledge Panels \tRich Snippets \tSitelinks \tPopular Products \tPaid Results \tGoogle Text Ads \tGoogle Shopping Ads In this article, we will look at the types of Google SERP features available and the benefits you gain by showing up on those SERP features. Let’s begin! What are SERP Features? SERP features are any additional form of listing that appears on Google’s search engine result page. It is important to consider SERP features when choosing keywords and optimizing your content for organic CTR (Click-through rate). Each SERP feature displays different types of valuable and relevant information to accommodate their customers at varying stages of the shopping journey and to provide a better overall shopping experience. Some of the examples of Google SERP features include an image carousel, video carousel, map pack, knowledge panel, People Also Ask, etc. Why do SERP Features Matter? SERP Features matter because they help users get the most relevant information they are looking for. Google’s main priority is to provide the most accurate and relevant search results to the user. Different types of SERP features allow businesses to optimize their sites in multiple ways to increase their visibility, traffic, and clicks on the SERP. Types of SERP Features The SERP Features that appear in Google have a significant impact on how people interact with Google’s search results. Here are the 11 most common SERP features that are seen on Google. Organic Results in SERPs \t Featured Snippet \tPeople Also Ask (PAA) \tImage Pack \tVideo Carousel \tLocal Map Pack \tKnowledge Panels \tRich Snippets \tSitelinks \tPopular Products Paid Results in SERPs \tGoogle Ads (Top and Bottom) \tShopping Ads (Product Listing Ads) A. Organic Results in SERPs Organic results are the listings on the SERP that appear organically due to factors such as relevance, quality, authority, and more. They get their position in the SERP through SEO. SEO helps your website show up on specific Google SERP features while improving your position on the SERP. Let us go through detail about some of the most common organic results that appear on Google. 1. Featured Snippet The Featured Snippet is a large box located at the top of Google SERP where google displays a snippet of content from one of the top-ranking organic results in the SERP. It is showcased when the search query shows informational intent. This feature provides valuable pieces of information in a precise form giving searchers a quick answer to their questions. It features text or video from a website that intends to directly answer the search query. The different formats for featured snippets are paragraphs, bulleted lists, and tables. As per Ahrefs, the Featured Snippet gets about 8% of all organic clicks which shows it has a significant impact on the organic click-through rate. Featured snippets put your website at the top of the SERP and make it much more clickable on mobile or desktop. Benefits of Featured Snippets Besides appearing at the top of SERPs, some of the benefits of owning featured snippets are: \tIncrease in organic traffic and clicks to the website. \tIncrease in organic conversion. \tHighest visibility over more authoritative brands. \tBoost website and brand’s credibility. \tIncrease in the keyword’s ranking. 2. People Also Ask (PAA) The “People Also Ask” box shows an infinite list of algorithmically-generated questions related to the search query. It is a dynamic Google SERP feature that answers the list of questions closely related to the searcher’s intent and quickly displays additional information to users from their initial search query. According to Advanced Web Ranking, People Also Ask (PAA) boxes show up in 8.5% of all US-based search queries. They are mini-FAQs placed in the organic search results. The goal of PAA is to provide an easy way to answer the user’s initial query and possibly the subsequent queries that may follow. Learn more about how to optimize for People also ask. Benefits of PAA \tDiscover related keywords and create long-tail keywords that can be used to optimize your website. \tHelps to create better content. \tAids in getting more traffic and improves the click-through rate which is important for ranking higher. \tAvoid brand degradation with better answers for branded queries. 3. Image Pack An image pack is a series of images that Google displays in the search results for any search query that particularly refers to images. Google identifies search queries with visual intent and provides searchers with a carousel of images related to the search term. When Google's algorithm determines that visual information is particularly relevant to a search, the SERP will include a row of images. Clicking on one of the images takes you to the images tab of Google. 4. Video Carousel Video carousels are a set of video results or video snippets that appear in the organic search results enhanced with a video thumbnail. They have a title and a description and most often they link back to YouTube. A video carousel is Google’s response to a query it identifies as having visual/informational intent. Google video results appear only if a site has embedded video content that's relevant to the search. SEO Inc reported that 62% of all Google searches include video carousels, and video is 50 times more likely to rank organically than plain text results. Video carousels are significant as they take up a lot of SERP real estate. They often appear at or near the top of the page which makes people more likely to click on them. It is better to upload your videos through YouTube as YouTube is a product of Google and allows you to create a time-stamped video outline that helps searchers and Google find exactly what they’re looking for. 5. Local Map Pack Google will show users a local map pack when Google recognizes that a search query has local intent. A local pack appears when someone enters a query with a location name or when Google's algorithm finds that a searched item is available nearby. The local pack appears as a map with pins indicating businesses that are potentially relevant to the search term. A local map pack includes the top three physical locations that Google considers relevant, along with reviews, hours, contact information, a link to the website, and directions via Google Maps. Local packs are important for local businesses or businesses with a physical location. Learn more about it in our blog post to optimize for Local SEO. Benefits of Local Map Pack \tIt helps improve your visibility as it is almost always shown at the top of the SERP \tYou increase your chance of getting clicks as the top 3 Google Search results get 75% of all the clicks. \tThe pack shows your reviews which can greatly influence searchers. 6. Knowledge Panels A knowledge panel often includes images, facts, social media links, and other relevant information to the search query. Knowledge panels show up on the right side of the organic results for queries with informational intent about businesses, brands, or organizations. This feature normally appears when the search is for specific places, organizations, people, events, etc. Usually, Google pulls information for the Knowledge Panel from Wikipedia or the specific entity’s website. The benefit of having your businesses show up on the Knowledge Panel can boost both authority and credibility for your brand. 7. Rich Snippets Rich snippets are SERP features for a specific result in the SERP which adds extra visuals to a result, like stars in product reviews or photos in news results. It adds additional information other than a title tag, a description, and a URL which helps users decide whether or not to click on it. FAQ snippets are a common form of rich snippets. The chances of your listing getting clicked increases due to the relevant extra information added to your listing. 8. Sitelinks Sitelinks are a list of links to different pages on a specific website under the result’s main URL and description. It is picked out by Google's web crawlers from your website which helps users quickly find a page or content within that site. The more site links you get, the easier it is for visitors to navigate specific pages within the site. Sitelinks come in two main forms: Links that take searchers to a page on a website or those that take searchers to a section of a page. Site links usually appear in a search for a specific brand and Google decides on which site links to display. For branded search terms, Google serves an expanded search result with up to 10 extra links to one site which allows users to directly reach the page on the site they are looking for resulting in a better CTR. 9. Popular Products Popular Products is an unpaid and organic display of Google shopping product listings. It is a carousel of products available to buy which contains products related to your search term. It is displayed in the middle of the search result page. Users can filter by price or by product category within the popular products feature. Learn more about it in our blog post to optimize for Popular Products. Benefits of Popular Products: \tIt allows smaller e-commerce stores to compete with stores with a larger budget. \tThis feature occupies a large real estate on the SERP so you can get good visibility when you show up under it. \tIt creates more opportunities for retailers to have a presence on the Google SERP B. Paid Results Paid results cost a charge for advertisers to appear on the search engine result pages opposed to organic results. The paid SERPs include a label at the top to state that the result is an ad. Paid results have a wide range of forms and formats that serve advertisers’ needs. The two types of Paid SERP features are Google Text Ads and Google Shopping Ads. Paid ad spots are won by bidding on keywords. 1. Google Text Ads Google Ads are paid advertisements by advertisers who want to have their link appear in Google’s results for a keyword. It includes headlines, the display URL, descriptions, and a call-to-action and sometimes also includes site links, phone numbers, reviews, and other search features. Google SERPs have two main advertising positions for Google Ads: at the very top of the SERP page above the organic search results and another at the bottom of the search engine result page. The placement of the ad depends on the advertiser’s bidding strategy. The top ads are more effective and have higher click-ability and visibility. Reaching the top of the SERP requires a high-quality site and a high pay-per-click bid depending on the competitiveness of the keyword. Benefits of Google Text Ads: \tIt generally shows up above the organic results which increases your visibility. \tAllows you to show up on specific keywords of your choice. \tThe ads are shown to people that are interested in the product or service you are offering. 2. Google Shopping Ads Shopping ads are SERP features with paid ad placement on Google. It displays a carousel of products relevant to a user’s keyword available for purchase from paid advertisers. It allows people to quickly browse products across multiple e-commerce websites on the SERP. Shopping ads display the product name, an image, retailer, brand, price, along with special offers, product ratings, number of reviews, and links to the website. How do SERP Features affect SEO? SEO is a significant part of your business which helps to reach new leads and doing SEO properly gives your business an edge. You must leverage SERP features to attract more prospects to your pages and optimize SEO to rank higher in the SERPs. Understanding when and how various SERP features show up on Google is very helpful for SEO. As a digital marketer, you can use the keyword topics, style, and format of the SERP features available for your target keywords and create the content to engage your audience which can help your SEO strategy. Featured snippets, local packs, image packs are some of the SERP features that can be optimized with your content to enhance the visibility of your site in the search results. It also helps you with keyword research to track your keyword rankings and know which keyword should be targeted so that you can prioritize your efforts to optimize for SEO. Google SERP features help you understand how and where your website is positioned in the SERPs so that you can start your website enhancements, improve rankings, and ultimately meet your SEO goals. SERP features help to boost click-through rate with titles and descriptions which increases the chance of users clicking on your results and boosts your ranking. Marketers and website owners can use different SEO strategies to boost your marketing campaigns to make your pages stand out and optimize your website’s performance. Conclusion Knowing about all the available SERP features, now you can better strategize your content on your site that is optimized for specific SERP features. The effect of each SERP feature depends on a particular business’s niche so SERP monitoring is important to track the search rankings and the features for important queries and focus on keywords you can rank for. If you can rank for certain SERP features, it can provide you with a huge boost in traffic and click-through rates (CTR). To show up on certain them, you should focus on understanding the SERP before you optimize your content for it. Figure out what type of content is ranking for each SERP feature before building your strategy.