Many marketers approach Search Engine Result Page (SERP) features from the wrong angle. Instead of asking what you can do to rank for SERP features, ask what SERP features can do to inform your content strategy. By flipping this thought process, you can build a successful content strategy that speaks to your audience at every stage of the buyer’s journey, using the most efficacious language and content format.
SERP features are designed to provide users with the most relevant answers to their questions, and they’re formatted to package this information in the best way possible. In other words, the exact language and format of each SERP feature is the most accurate representation of the type of language and content format that your audience seeks (at least according to Google). As a digital marketer, this is gold. With a little digging, you can now mimic the keyword topics, style, and format of the SERP features present for your target keywords, creating content that engages your audience exactly where they are in the buyer’s journey, and in the format they desire.
While chasing the sought-after SERP features, many marketers fall short because they overlook the most important clue: the SERP feature itself. SERP features contain meaningful knowledge about your audience and how they prefer to consume information. Here are a few of the most popular organic SERP features used on Google:
In this next section, I’ll break down these features into stages of the buyer’s journey and explain how they can inform your SEO content strategy.
Aligning SERP features with stages of the buyer’s journey
The top of the buyer’s journey is the awareness stage, where your audience is aware that they have a problem and will begin to conduct research to better understand and define this problem. At this stage, your audience is seeking a concise explanation of the problem and is not ready for a solution yet. SERP features that indicate an awareness stage audience include:
Knowledge Graph: often illustrates high-level biographical information and keyword cluster definitions. This feature is a staple of the awareness stage.
Featured Snippet: often provides concise keyword definitions and explanations of concepts or problems. This feature is also a staple of the awareness stage when it provides definitions or answers “what is” questions.
More than 50% of North American back-to-school shoppers say they’ll check for in-store inventory online before heading to a store, according to Google. Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.