What is a SERP Feature and how do I get one?

 A SERP Feature is a result that displays on the SERPs but differs from traditional organic results.

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Google calls them "search result features". In fact, this search engine offers several appearance options for displaying search results. These options set your web page apart from those of your competitors and put it forward. In this article, let's discover the main SERP features and how to get one.

What is a SERP?

Before understanding what a SERP feature is, it is necessary to first know what a SERP is. The SERP acronym stands for "Search Engine Result Page". This is a search engine results page. This page is displayed in Google when a user enters a query.

More concretely, a Google SERP corresponds to the page that is displayed when you search for information and which presents the results found. There are two main parts to a SERP:

  1. The search box which contains the search performed and a possible suggestion in the event of an input error.
  2. The result area: this area contains the results that correspond to the search performed. Each result includes a URL that leads to the web page that offers this result, a title (meta-title) and a short description (meta-description). There are also images, videos, or ranking stars.

The display of results in a SERP

The results displayed in a SERP are classified into three categories:

Organic results

These are results that show up naturally in the SERP. They are chosen and classified by an algorithm according to their relevance. They do not require payment from you. These were the only results that showed up in Google for the first few years of its appearance. So far, their display has not undergone major changes.


Sponsored results

Appearing later in the SERPs, these are results that Google displays in exchange for compensation. They are placed at the top of the organic results and are classified according to:

  • cost per click,
  • the number of clicks,
  • relevance,
  • and competition.

Basically, it's Google Ads.

SERP Features

These are additional results that Google displays in a different way than the organic results. As Google evolves, it comes up with new features to display certain results in a special way to differentiate them from other results displayed on its search results pages.

They are interactive panels, visual elements. As a general rule, anything that shows up outside of the standard norm on the SERP is likely a SERP feature. Along with paid ads, these SERP features make the page stand out and enrich the user experience during search.

Google Search automatically generates a few of these types of results, but most can be achieved by implementing through site code. There are a large number of SERP features that you can aim for. Among the most popular are:

Rich snippets

Still called Rich Snippet, they add additional data to classic Google results to enrich them. The most well-known Rich Snippets are events, recipes and reviews. They usually contain a blue title, the page URL in green, and an image or description of the page.

Universal results

They appear in the SERPs in addition to the organic results and have additional mediums like image results, featured snippets, and new results.

Paid results

They are purchased by auction on specific keywords (Google Shopping or Adwords) and appear according to:

  • the maximum amount of the bid,
  • its click-through rate
  • and its relevance.

They can occupy up to four spaces at the top of the organic results.

Knowledge graph

Also called Knowledge Graph, it appears in the form of a panel or map and contains relevant information on the theme. Its display is generally triggered when the search relates to:

  • a place,
  • A brand,
  • a movie,
  • a famous person, etc.

Why get SERP Features?

SERPs are arenas where multiple SEO strategies compete against yours for the top spot in the rankings. In reality, the importance of the positioning of a web page in the results displayed by Google is the same as that of the location for a physical store in a city.

But in addition to the position of the page in the displayed results, the way in which these results are displayed is also very important. By adding search result functionality to your web pages, you give the search engine the ability to display them with eye-catching formatting.

SERP features encourage people to visit your pages and interact more with your website. On Google Search Center, we can read the following information:

  1. By adding SERP features to 100,000 pages, Rotten Tomatoes saw a 25% higher click-through rate on pages that contain structured data.
  2. Food Network saw 35% more traffic by converting 80% of their pages to add SERP features.
  3. Rakuten noticed that people spent 1.5 times more time on pages that included search result features than on pages that didn't contain structured data.

These studies clearly show the usefulness of SERP features and how they can improve a company's business on the internet.

How to get SERP features?

Google provides many ways for web pages to get SERP features and make their content stand out from the traditional blue links. To benefit from these features, you must meet Google's requirements and guidelines depending on the SERP feature you are looking for. But that’s not enough to guarantee your page has search functionality.

You also need to allow your web page to rise to the top of Google's results page by optimizing its content with structured data. It is purely and simply a question of working on your natural referencing. If you are not familiar with structured data, you will of course need to study and test it. Then you can:

  • Choose the contents of your target that must target structured data and apply Google guidelines to them.
  • Mark up this content (job listings, FAQs, reviews, etc.) with org properties. For example, you can use the Google guide to obtain the knoledge panel or to update it.
  • Check if your content is rich to benefit from SERP features with Google's Rich Result Test.

Google does not promise that content optimized with structured data will be at the top of search results. It also does not guarantee you will get any Google features. However, optimizing your content is still the best way to get them. There are particularly effective tools that can help you achieve this result. This is the case of Semrush.

How can Semrush help you get SERP features?

Semrush is a keyword analysis tool through which you can get an overview of your competitors' SEO strategy. You can therefore use it to surf on opportunities missed by your competitors and obtain Featured Snippets or other possible SERP features.

Indeed, there are some tactics to fine-tune your content optimization and maximize your chances of being selected by Google for a SERP feature.

Analyze the SERP functionalities occupied by your customers to find opportunities

By going through the list of your competitors' keywords with the Semrush tool, you will identify those that trigger SERP features. And if you produce better content than your competitor based on these keywords, the snippet of the latter could be replaced by Google and linked to your content.

Identify keywords that trigger SERP features and rank for them.

In addition to unearthing opportunities in your competitors' keywords, you can research and find new opportunities. Semrush's Keyword Magic Tool is ideal for this. All you have to do is enter a basic keyword and use a filter to only retain the generated keywords that trigger SERP features.

Track and seize opportunities to get SERP features

Semrush offers you the possibility to set up a Position Tracking tool thanks to which you will follow the ranking features of your target keywords and the target features. In this way, you will follow the performance of your website, but also those of your competitors.

On-page optimization of your content to have SERP features

Semrush puts three different tools at your disposal to succeed in this step:

  • SEO Content Template to find the content template that will help you rank on your keyword and SERP features.
  • SEO Writing Assistant to guarantee the originality, readability and SEO performance of your content.
  • On-Page SEO Checker to find specific optimization ideas.

In conclusion

You now know what a SERP is and how its features can benefit your website. Moving forward, we recommend targeting a few of these features and trying out some of our strategies to let us know what works for you.

Remember that patience and experimentation are the key words of SEO. It will take time, but with the right tools, you have a chance.

Do you have special knowledge of SERP Features? Share it with us in the comments!

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