Google is in a constant state of improvement and evolution, but that doesn’t mean you can let up on doing everything you can to get your site to rank for keywords. Keywords are a critical part of your SEO strategy, and just in case you thought keywords were just words – have we got a few variations for you! We are going to break down some examples that will get your creative juices flowing and have you excited to better understand these search results to improve your Google ranking.
Do you want to be at the top of the SERP? When you see listings on search engines, do you wish you knew how to improve your own SEO and increase your Google ranking? You may know that search engine optimization is key to the discovery of your website, but do you know how to optimize the keyword types available to you?
All these keyword types can provide opportunities to rank higher on SERPs. Let’s get a better understanding of each keyword type. But first, let’s be sure we know what we are looking for in a SERP.
What exactly is a SERP?
A SERP is a search engine results page, which is the page you see after entering a query into a search engine such as Google. The SERP provides a list by Google ranking according to the search engine’s ability to understand websites and return information to the user that best matches their query. These Google rankings are directly affected by the keywords used – and how they are used – on the sites searched by Google.
Why is SEO Important for Google Ranking?
SEO is crucial because it turns queries into traffic to your site and, ultimately, into customers. SEO makes your website more visible to users and helps build long-term equity in your brand as well as a good Google ranking. Keywords are the phrases used to search for information – be sure your keywords inform all search engines of exactly what your website provides in the clearest way possible.
19 Examples of Keyword Types that Top the SERPs
1. Answer box
2. Knowledge graph carousel
3. Knowledge graph large carousel
4. Right/Top/Bottom paid block
5. Side/Top/Bottom shopping – paid and unpaid
6. Featured snippet
7. Local pack
8. People also ask
9. News pack
10. Image pack
11. Related keywords
12. Knowledge graph
13. Knowledge graph with a map
14. Knowledge graph disease
15. Video thumbnail
17. Additional information in snippet
18. Quick links
19. Refine by brand
1. Answer Boxes offer appropriate answers to a query.
A common search engine result is an answer box displaying the top answer to a query. A SERP position in the answer box is the best position for your website and can divert a significant amount of traffic. Owning the answer box is the result of a strong listing on search engines.
The answer box is a sure way to bring more traffic to your website. The answer box in the SERPs is often referred to as “Position #0.” This listing on the search engines appears above the first result and paid rankings, so this position can certainly increase traffic and build credibility for your website. And you thought being #1 was as good as it gets!
2. The knowledge graph carousel is a visual listing on search engines.
This search engine result is displayed as a horizontal carousel display of images against a black background at the top of the page. Users can scroll through the images and click through to find more information about each image. This Google ranking provides a selection of options to answer a query, generally used when searching for the “best” or “top” results.
3. Knowledge graph large carousel is like carousel.
The large carousel listing on search engines shows Google rankings in response to informational queries.
4. Right/Top/Bottom paid block are ads launched by PPC experts in response to search queries.
This listing on search engines is displayed either above the organic search results, below the organic search results, or to the right of search results on the SERP.
5. Side/Top/ Bottom shopping block ads are for paid and unpaid listings.
Google allows users to search for products on various shopping websites and compare the results without leaving Google. This Google ranking only includes essential information such as product name, price, a photo, and an online shop name.
6. A featured snippet is Google’s response to a simple question.
The information shown in the featured snippet is always taken from a top 10 search result, unlike the answer box. This listing on search engines is formatted this way when Google thinks it will help people more easily find what they are seeking. Featured snippets on a SERP are especially helpful for those on mobile or searching by voice.
7. A local pack is the result of a query about local establishments.
A local pack is a listing on search engines that appears in response to queries for services or products provided by local businesses. This listing is taken from Google My Business Directory. The Google ranking will include a map of the area on the SERP with links to “More Places” to help the user find the best result for them.
Ever find yourself in desperate need of a great cup of coffee, so you searched Google for “best coffee shop near me?” This keyword type was first on the SERP, offering you the information and location of the best coffee shops nearest to you at that moment. Those coffee shops were displayed in a local pack due to having the highest Google rankings based on their local SEO.
8. The “People Also Ask” box shows questions related to a query.
This Google SERP feature answers questions that are related to the user’s query, each coming from its own web page with a clickable link to allow the user to click through to the one that best applies to their question. The PAA box appears on the SERP within the results of the original query.
The People Always Ask box allows the user the opportunity to refine their search with queries that are related and commonly searched. By offering suggestions, Google is better able to understand the user and ultimately return the results they are looking for.
9. The news pack displays the top news stories.
When searching current news keywords, a SERP will display images that click through to the top stories relevant to the user’s query. These images typically are above the main listing on search engines according to the Google ranking.
The updated Google News has a friendlier focus on local news while providing access to a diverse range of sources. Returning a news graph on the SERP ensures that the top results have been narrowed down to the user’s query but also offers additional news stories that may be related.
10. An image pack is a Google ranking result showing a row of images.
These images click through to Google Images and may appear in any organic SERP position. They tend to appear in a listing on search engines for specific queries where Google determines the visual content would be valuable.
11. Related keywords are variants of the main keywords targeted on your website.
These keywords can be long-tail keyword variants to the main keyword you want to rank for on the SERPs. These are words in Google rankings that are not as obvious unless you know exactly what the user is searching for and what words they are using. This list is most often shown at the very bottom of the search page.
Searches for keywords related to what the user has entered are very helpful and allow the SERP to provide the user with alternatives to their specific query. The related search keywords are made up of keywords used for similar queries and may bring the user to a better result and convert a click to a customer sooner.
12. A knowledge graph is usually about a proper noun.
A knowledge graph contains detailed structured information. A general source in listings on search engines is Wikipedia.
The knowledge graph can appear to the right of additional listings on search engines on a desktop while appearing above listings on a mobile. Google knowledge graph has been available for about ten years but is more recently available in a mobile format.
13. A knowledge graph with a map responds to local queries.
A SERP returns a knowledge graph with a map for a user who has entered a specific query looking for data such as location, hours, or reviews. The result of this listing on search engines is that real-world information is being captured in a meaningful way for the user.
Knowledge graphs are compiled from Google’s database of billions of facts about people, places, and things. This listing on search engines helps users receive publicly known, factual information about their query. This is a big win for local SEO because the user most likely is searching for a location where they will purchase soon, if not immediately.
14. A disease knowledge graph displays with brief but crucial information.
The disease knowledge graph appears in a Google ranking in response to a specific query on the medical subject contained in the graph. The knowledge graph is a response to a medicine-related query to provide the user with basic information such as symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
15. Video thumbnails are provided on SERPs related to the user’s search.
Google will return search results with video thumbnails to the left of individual search results if related to the user’s search.
16. Breadcrumbs are a trail back to where the information originated.
Often a SERP will show the breadcrumbs of the search results, leading back to the web page’s location in the website hierarchy. This is where an organized sitemap is an important part of improving your Google ranking. For example, a result may have returned with breadcrumbs describing its origination as Home Page > Collection Page > Product.
17. Facts and additional information may appear in snippet.
A featured snippet on a SERP may provide additional facts and links to other information from the landing page to further define the user’s query. It appears within the body of the featured snippet itself.
18. Quick links give further definition and direction to the user’s inquiry.
These are included in the site’s snippet and provide links to the key sections and landing pages on the website that appear in the listing on search engines. These links are provided to give direct click-through to the information that may most directly answer the user’s query.
19. The refine by brand feature is a newer search refinement from Google.
“Refine by” is a new search feature introduced by Google to let you filter results in the listings on search engines by images, among other search parameters. These SERP results allow the user to see images of the item they are searching for and filter by, in this case, brand.
Refine by brand is a feature best used in searching Ecommerce websites. But refining searches can help narrow down other searches when the query subject is too broad. For example, if a user searches for a health condition, refining labels can help the user drill down on more specific information such as symptoms, treatments, or risk factors.
Best Way to Rank on Google
Images make your information more interesting and easier for readers to understand. Images add value to your SEO strategy by increasing user engagement and making your website more accessible. Optimizing your website with these keyword types will help give your site credibility and help it rank higher.
All the keyword types discussed here are achievable! With the help of an SEO specialist, you can help your website build in the Google rankings and maybe – just maybe! – achieve that coveted SERP position #0 spot! Staying up to date with keywords, optimizing your website on a regular basis, and never underestimating the power of a keyword in an image alt, product description, or other content are concepts to live by when maintaining a website that consistently converts users to customers.