How to Optimize Your SEO with Google’s SERP Features

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Tobit Odili

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Google and other search engines significantly impact how many people visit websites.   Companies and individuals must optimize their websites to rank higher in search results. However, optimizing your website for search engine results can take time due to Google’s ever-changing algorithm. 

One way to improve the visibility of your website in search results is to use Google’s SERP features. We’ll examine how to tailor your SEO strategy for featured snippets, knowledge panels, local packs, and other SERP features in this guide to assist you in improving your search engine optimization and generating more organic traffic to your website.

What is a SERP?

The page a search engine displays in response to a user’s search query is a SERP or search engine results page. It typically presents a list of URLs to websites that the search engine’s algorithm determines are most pertinent to the user’s query. 

SERPs may contain features besides the standard organic search results, including ads, local listings, featured snippets, knowledge panels, image packs, video carousels, and more. The particular elements on a SERP can change depending on the user’s location, search history, and search query.

What is a SERP Feature?

SERP (Search Engine Results Page) features are various elements that can appear on a search engine results page in addition to the traditional organic search results. These elements can include rich snippets, featured snippets, knowledge panels, local packs, video carousels, image packs, and more. 

These features provide users with more relevant and helpful information in response to their search queries while helping businesses and websites gain more visibility and traffic from search results. SERP features evolve and vary depending on the search query and user location.

Important SERP Features

Important SERP Features - iRocket VC

Here are the most common SERP Features that appear in Google. These also tend to impact how people interact with Google’s search results significantly.

Featured Snippets

Large boxes called “Featured Snippets” draw attention to a website section. And then include that portion of the results themselves. Featured Snippets typically appear at the top of the page (below the advertisements) but have recently begun to appear alongside search results on Google.

In the Featured Snippet, Google highlights a section of text or a video from a website to offer a concise, direct response to the user’s query. Featured snippets significantly influence the rates of organic click-throughs.

The domain from which the information is retrieved is linked in featured snippets. This SERP feature is typical for searches involving people, things, scientific information, sports, conversions, math, choosing colors, etc. However, unlike typical organic search results, the link appears after most text.

Top and Bottom Ads

It’s pretty simple. There are two primary Google Ads advertising spaces on Google’s SERPs: one at the top of the page (above the organic results). And another at the bottom of the page.

Video Carousels

In the search results, video carousels are lists of videos that are typically taken from YouTube. On a SERP, among organic results, a video SERP feature associated with a search query is displayed.

This SERP feature might direct users to a website with an embedded video or a video-hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo. This used to be a fixed set of three outcomes. Today, however, you can click the tiny arrow button to view up to 10 additional video results. 

For the vast majority of searches, Google doesn’t display video results. Despite this, video carousels are vital because they occupy much SERP space. They also frequently appear at the top or close to the page, increasing users’ likelihood of clicking on them.

Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are extra information that appears next to one specific result. They’re SERP features for a particular result in the SERPs.

As you probably know, most Google results comprise a title tag, a description, and a URL. Rich snippets add information that goes well beyond those three elements, which helps users decide whether or not to click on it.


Sitelinks are special links that Google features underneath the website result. Google displays these links to help people quickly navigate to a particular part of a website. Usually, it appears for websites when Google quickly understands the navigation system. 

Sitelinks come in two forms: Links that take searchers to a page on a website. Or those that take searchers to a section of a page. Site links are designed to present a list of links underneath a traditional result. Users can jump directly to a page or content.

The most common forms of site links appear underneath a homepage for branded searches.

‘People Also Ask’ Boxes

People Also Ask (PAA) is the term used to describe questions that Google automatically creates based on searches it thinks are connected to yours. Users can click on the answers to the questions in the PAA box to read them on Google SERPs. This can help people better understand their initial question without clicking on other results.

PAA boxes are familiar to you. They are miniature FAQs integrated into the organic search results; they expand with a response and prompt further inquiries. 

Google wants to make it simple for users to find solutions to their questions without actually searching for them. You can access the website that offers the solution by clicking on the response to a related question. Although related queries may appear anywhere on a SERP, they typically stay near the top, frequently beneath the featured snippet.

Local Packs

Local Packs are three local results that show up for a query that Google considers “local.”

Local packs are distinctive in that they have a parallel algorithm. Although backlinks are a significant component of many of Google’s ranking factors, local SEO emphasizes optimizing your Google My Business profile, obtaining positive reviews, and having accurate NAP citations.

The Local Pack is displayed above the AdWords results on a SERP, though it may occasionally appear below the natural links. A Local Pack usually consists of the following:

  • A map with pins marking locations
  • For each place, a star rating out of five
  • Three search results—three of which may be advertisements—

You can access a company’s Google Business Profile listing by clicking its icon. This listing contains more specific information about the company, such as its contact information, working hours, and addresses.

Local packs frequently take up significant real estate in search results. This is because they also include a Google Maps interactive map. But, thanks to other visual components, it also stands out from the natural Google search results.

Knowledge Panels

Google’s knowledge panels, which frequently include important dates, a concise summary of the subject, and some images, give a quick overview of people, places, or things. When viewing SERPs on a desktop computer or a mobile device, the panel is located in the top right corneKnowledge Panels are boxes similar to featured snippets that show Google’s information on a particular entity (such as a well-known person, business, or event). 

Knowledge Panels differ from featured snippets because the data isn’t pulled from a specific webpage. Instead, Google gets the information from The Google Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph itself is sourced from various sources, like Wikipedia.

Image Packs

When Google believes that visual content will contribute to a more detailed results page, Image Packs are displayed. An image pack is a series of images that Google displays in the search results.

In other words, Google recognizes search terms users use to request a collection of images. These searches are occasionally popular (such as “pictures of dogs”). But other times, based on user behavior, Google can determine which queries should return an image pack.


With a yellow star rating and occasionally an image, review snippets supplement standard search results. A rating out of five stars is a common symbol used to convey value to all different types of searchers. According to studies, search results that include reviews have a higher average CTR. 

If users can evaluate, your content and the page contain the appropriate schema markup. Google will examine the reviews’ reliability and determine whether they are “self-serving” or appropriate for the web page.

Twitter Cards

Google indexes Twitter. When you search for something many people talk about on Twitter, they frequently display a Twitter card.

When you perform a specific entity search (such as one for a person or a brand), they also display Twitter cards.

Top Stories

Top stories display outcomes for keywords associated with a popular news item. Top stories are helpful when people are interested in learning more about a significant event or breaking news. 

Similar to how Twitter cards operate, this SERP feature also does. Google monitors hot topics in the news, specifically in Google News, and recognizes when a search results in a story that is gaining a lot of attention.

In response to the query, Google presents a carousel of news articles with information about the publication date and author. Google can technically pull any Tweet into a Twitter card. But with Top Stories, every single result in the news box comes from a website approved by Google News.

Related Searches

Google also presents users with a “related searches” section at the bottom of the SERPs, encouraging them to conduct additional searches connected to their original one. To help you find the information you’re looking for, Google provides you with a list of related searches, some of which you may not have considered.

Getting Google SERP Features Through Content Optimization

Getting Google SERP Features Through Content Optimization - iRocket VC

To get your brand featured on a SERP, you must optimize the content of your website. To accomplish this, ensure your content is explicit, informative, and well-structured so that Google will understand it immediately.

If you start to get nervous when you see your competitor’s content highlighted in one of those unique SERP features, all you need is a plan. With a few straightforward techniques, you can target some SERP features if Google trusts your website and your content is understandable and valuable. 

Utilize structured data to optimize for SERP features.

Implementing schema markups and structured data will improve search engines’ understanding of your website, which may result in Google showing you rich snippets on the SERP. 

Researching keywords for SERP features

You can quickly identify the precise queries that result in the rich snippets and impressive results you’re after using a keyword research tool like Semrush.

You can examine the keyword profiles of your competitors to find opportunities for rich snippets. Google may substitute your site’s snippet for that of your competitors if your website can offer something superior to theirs, which currently occupies a rich snippet. 

Optimize Your Content for Featured Snippets 

By producing superior content to your rivals, you can optimize for featured snippets. There are a few straightforward ways to influence Google to choose your page for a featured snippet, even though it’s never simple to beat out a formidable rival. 

It’s crucial to understand the most typical featured snippets. Lists, tables, videos, and paragraphs make up this category. Creating better content than your competitors makes it easy to read. On the other hand, long paragraphs may be more complex. Break up your content into manageable chunks to target a featured snippet. 

Ensure That Your Structured Data Is Sitelink-Ready 

Sitelinks are the blue links displayed in addition to an organic search result, leading to different pages on the same website. Thanks to this SERP feature, users will have more ways to access your website, and your brand will have more real estate on the results page. 

You can optimize your structured data for site links using the so-called WebSite structured data, as coined by Google.

Additional techniques for getting links from Google to your website: 

  • Sitemap submission (make sure it’s tidy) 
  • To make your site more accessible for crawlers to navigate, create breadcrumbs. 
  • Validate the search field on your website. 
  • Appropriately use canonicals 

Spending some time on site link optimization could increase traffic to your website.

Final Thoughts

Having a well-optimized website that encourages clicks and engagement is essential for both the success of the website and the business.  Success takes patience, data collection, SERP analysis, and experimentation. Hopefully, you are now prepared to navigate SERP to the top. 

By examining SERPs and their features, the appropriate tools can assist your site in attracting your target audience and improving your digital marketing. With this knowledge, you can enhance your website and raise its search engine optimization goals.