Semalt Advice On How To Improve Brand Awareness And CTR With On-SERP SEO
A website's ability to stir up more interest and awareness from its target audience directly influences the ROI. SEO experts like Semalt spend years figuring out the best strategies to improve brand awareness and convince viewers to take that next step by clicking blue links on SERP.
As search marketers, we want to be as visible as possible on SERPs because it almost guarantees more traffic. The issue with this plan is that page one of the search results is constantly in flux. Every day, another website or link competes with you for the user's attention. That is why we have SERP features like paid ads, maps, videos, featured snippets, knowledge panels, and more.
To improve your brand awareness and click-through rate, you must understand the challenges that lie ahead.
Understanding The Challenges of Competitive SERPs
The first page on any SERP is becoming more competitive than ever. Today, it's no longer just about the name of the page or the snippet you use. Google bot and users analyze many different types of media elements as well as other factors that go beyond the text.
The importance of keywords in generating organic traffic has seen an obvious decline because there are new elements on the page that reassures users that they are on the right link. As these elements continue to develop and prove to be more useful, we now have zero-click searches.
A zero-click SERP is where answers to search queries are displayed directly on the search result page. In cases like this, users are satisfied right on the SERP without clicking further.
Conditions like this make it increasingly difficult for SEO professionals to stay effective and generate CTRs from SERP.
Optimizing for On-SERP SEO To Stay Competitive
On-SERP SEO is all about optimizing the entire first page. This goal is to take up as many positions as on page one. Doing this will require a paradigm shift for SEO professionals.
Everyone has their own unique strategy, but we will be showing you a bit of ours so you can understand better. Like many other marketing campaigns, on-SERP SEO will need an effective strategy to increase page one's search appearance and brand awareness. Our singular objective is to gather as much Google traffic as possible despite the alternatives around it.
In a time where about 44% of all SERP searches are no-click searches, SEO pros need to use every media resource at their disposal to dominate every aspect of the first page. The new reality of SERP means you must adapt your efforts to factor in:
- Featured snippets
- Decreased CTR for organic results
- Keyword difficulty
- Other media elements
- Monthly search volumes
- Search terms
This list is a combination of traditional and present-day SERP factors that dictate our new reality.
How To Optimize Your Website for Competitive SERPs
1. Optimizing your Top Ranking Keywords to Win a Featured Snippet
Optimizing to win a featured snippet seems to be more of an art. Google chooses which snippets get featured from the top 10 rankings in the pool of links.
So to stand a chance of getting a featured snippet, the first step is to check your current organic rankings and find keywords that already display a featured snippet.
Tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, etc., can help you find this information easily. Once you've identified these keywords, you can create target pages or edit the ones you currently have to optimize them for a featured snippet.
A featured snippet is very useful because it provides straightforward answers to users right on SERP pages without them clicking or typing a new search query.
The next step is to take note of what type of featured snippet is displayed for your target keywords.
There are four main types of featured snippets, namely:
Featured snippets are mostly used for long-tail queries and question queries. To optimize for the featured snippet, you should add related keyword terms and questions in the subheading of your content.
2. Optimize For Google Sitelinks
Sitelinks are essential SERP tools because they increase the visual space of your search result - the more real estate you own on SERP, the better. Sitelinks help you stand out by displaying the most important pages of your site directly within your search result.
The downside here is that you can't force Google to display sitelink. Instead, you can create a proper site structure and place strong internal links so Google Bot can tour and index your core pages. You should also use anchors and alt tags that are descriptive. A combination of all of these increases your chances of Google displaying your site link.
3. Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Verifying and optimizing your Google Business Profile is another way to win a lot of SERP space, especially when you're optimizing for local SERP. Not only will your web page stir up awareness, but it also helps increase your presence on Google maps (another crucial aspect of SEO).
Your Google Business Profile Listing should have all features, amenities, and details of your business to provide users with easy-to-digest bits of information, and it helps your profile appear longer.
4. Run Branded PPC Ads
Regardless of what your personal convictions are, the main goal of any SEO campaign is to drive traffic, and pay-per-click (PPC) is a super useful tool in achieving that goal. Learning to run effective ads on your branded terms can drive significant traffic and convert search engine users into clicks.
Letting your competition occupy your ad space is a risk you shouldn't take. You should at least have a basic branded Google Ads campaign running for your brand name terms and keywords.
5. Optimize Images
It is important to research your target keywords and take note of the kinds of pictures that are included on their SERPs. This is important because a lot of SERPs feature images, and by optimizing for images, you increase your chances of ranking higher on SERP.
Basic image SEO can go a long way in increasing your chances of image ranking. When using images, make sure to use relevant images on the page where the headlines and URL are all in sync.
Here are some image SEO factors to consider when using images:
- The image file name and alt tag: choose appropriate and keyword optimized names.
- Image context: Strategically place images on the part of your page where its surroundings help show the importance and have relevant keywords.
- Image Captions: images should have short and relevant descriptions.
- Use the standard image size: the size and quality of the images you use should be such that it doesn't slow down the page or disrupt the page layout.
6. Add Schema Markup When Relevant
Schema markups are mostly used on the product, business, and review pages to give Google a better understanding of what the pages and content in them are about. Implementing a schema markup on pages can allow google to display star ratings within your organic search result.
In the e-сommerce industry, these ratings are a crucial selling point because customers want quality service. Having a 4 or 5-star rating shown directly on SERP increases truth, credibility, and CTR.
Dominate SERP By Focusing On Topics, Not Keywords
Over the last few years, Google has made noticeable changes to the way Google Bot crawl, understands and indexes content. These updates have come with sophisticated enhancements to its natural learning processing and machine learning models like MUM and BERT.
The purpose of these updates is to help Google better understand what people are searching for and what type of content is most likely to satisfy their needs. Using the right topics is a more authoritative indicator that a page or content is most suitable for satisfying a user's query.
A topic is made up of several relevant terms and queries that can match the needs of a user in the different stages of a buyer's journey. The type of content created around a given topic can give you the winning edge in SERP.
Another thing to note is that users read the topics when deciding what link to click. A topic that stands out and encompasses relevant terms besides the main keyword is more likely to be chosen.
Understanding the intent of your potential audience will also help you develop a suitable topic for your pages.
Following these tactics will enable you to achieve effective wins on the page that goes beyond ranking. As you improve, your brand grows in authority because it will appear in more SERPS relating to the services or amenities you provide.
With a bigger presence in competitive SERPs, you also enjoy greater odds of getting clicks that convert to leads, therefore leading to a greater ROI.