Search engines offer multiple opportunities for brands to increase their visibility, boost awareness, and drive more traffic to their websites.
The key to taking advantage of these opportunities is to understand the type of information search engines are serving, and how to create the content most likely to be displayed.
In this article, we will cover the various features of Google search engine results pages, which can help you increase brand visibility. Then, we will discuss a few of the major websites that can help your brand assume more real estate in search.
Let’s get started.
Helpful Features of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
SERPs have many more features than they did years ago, and this is helpful for brands looking to drive greater awareness. To be clear, we’re not including organic results as part of these SERP features, but there are plenty of other opportunities.
Paid advertising is one of the best ways to increase your brand visibility in search because ads are sometimes the first feature to be displayed on search engine results pages, depending on the search query used.
Whether it’s product listing ads (a.k.a. shopping ads) or text-based ads, these are positioned ahead of any other feature – or can also be found at the bottom of SERPs, in some cases. Both shopping ads and text ads are shown here:
Featured Snippets, also known as “Answer Boxes”, appear at the top of a Google search results page or directly underneath the paid ads at the top of the page. They offer a brief amount of information in the form of a paragraph, list, table, menu, or video. And they’re one of the best ways to get in front of people without advertising.
The Knowledge Graph feature on Google SERPs can be found at the top of the page and to the right of ads, Featured Snippets, and organic results. Typically, this information is sourced from sites like Wikipedia and other third-party sites, which makes it a bit out of reach for most sites. However, there is some benefit to establishing a Wikipedia page for brand visibility, your brand leadership, your products or services, or other identifying concepts. This way, Google may pull data from that source to give you more visibility in search.
The Local Pack is Google’s dominant SERP feature for local business listings. Usually, you will see these types of results on mobile, and when people use search terms like “pizza near me” or “pizza in Chicago.” To help ensure your local business appears in the Local Pack, you’ll want to keep your Google My Business listing up-to-date and full of online reviews.
Related Questions are like Featured Snippets in that they provide brief answers to questions, and they often appear in relation to the search being performed. You may have seen these before in something called “People Also Ask,” which typically displays a list of questions with pulldown answers. Once you click on a PAA question, Google will display additional related questions. If you find Related Questions on a SERP, you may want to try tracking the keyword and creating content for that keyword to win a Featured Snippet.
Video content can be highly favored by Google’s search engine results, regularly displaying YouTube thumbnails and Key Moments in top search results. If you have video assets, be sure to consider optimizing video content to increase your chances of showing up in search.
While these are not the only features available in Google’s search results pages, they are a great starting point for boosting brand visibility.
Now, let’s look at some sites you can optimize to get more awareness for brand-related searches by taking up more search real estate.
Sites to Use for Brand Visibility in Search
If you’ve ever noticed some brands have multiple organic results related to their brand keywords, then you may be wondering how you can do the same for your own company. Aside from optimizing your own site using SEO, there are a few other third-party sites that Google seems to rank highly.
Brands with social media pages typically dominate the page one search results for their own branded keywords. For example, a search for “Wayfair” shows most search results are for the company’s own accounts on various social media platforms:
If you don’t already have social media pages established, then this kind of result is a great reason to start.
Brands with Wikipedia pages can boost their visibility in search engine results pages. This is because Google views sites like Wikipedia as legitimate, highly reliable sources of information. Here’s a page one result showing the influence of a Wikipedia brand page:
Major publishers are highly regarded sources of information for Google SERPs, so brands with authorship or articles written about them on these sites could show up in branded searches. For example, here are some of the page one results for the author Malcolm Gladwell:
Do you want to master the essential disciplines in digital marketing? Check out the Digital Marketing Certification Course now!
Google’s algorithm offers brands many opportunities to appear in search results, whether it’s for a branded or non-branded search. By optimizing your content for these features, and establishing a presence on relevant third-party sites, you can start improving brand visibility in many areas of search. For a manageable approach, start with just one feature and see if you gain any traction. Then, grow your strategy from there to dominate search results!
To master all of the tactics, tools, and techniques in digital marketing, taking courses and getting a certification is a great way to go. Simplilearn provides a wealth of online training options in this exciting and ever-growing field, like its Digital Marketing Specialist Master’s program. This comprehensive online bootcamp is delivered through a mix of online self-paced courses, interactive, instructor-led live classes, real world projects, masterclasses from experts at Facebook, real-world case studies from Harvard Business Publishing, and much more. Check it out today!