The goal of every brand and marketer is to appear on page one of Google’s highly allegorized search results. Are there ways for marketers to get the attention they crave on the omnipotent search engine?
The short answer is yes, but the explanations take a little longer — and are encapsulated in a new Searchmetrics report entitled “Universal & Extended Search Study 2016.”
According to Searchmetrics, it’s true that the number of traditional organic links displayed on page one of Google has now fallen from 10 to around 8.5 links. But the company’s fresh research and major report offer suggestions for marketers “to give their content a chance of appearing in search results in other ways.”
“Almost every search query today throws up at least one related Images, Videos, Twitter card, App Pack, Knowledge Graph, or other type of integration box on the first results page according to a study by Searchmetrics,” reads the report summary emailed to MAW. “Each of these has the potential to be targeted by marketers to showcase their content.”
Researchers dug deep into the data for approximately half a million frequently Googled search terms. The goal? To track where Google inserts Universal Search or Extended Search boxes such as these to enrich and enhance user experience.
The Google-centric study could be a boon to marketers who want to optimize content for better search payoff.
The first major piece of advice concerns the differences between desktop and smartphone searches.
“There are significant differences between Google’s smartphone and desktop results, with, for instance, 34 percent of desktop results including at least one Images box compared with only 14.4 percent for smartphones. This is presumably because Google is trying to discourage image-laden pages with long download times on smartphones. Phone results also include more Google Maps and Twitter Card integrations and fewer Product Listing Ads integrations related to search queries.”
The upshot? Marketers who understand what Google is more likely to feature on the different devices can inform search strategies and improve results.
Another Searchmetrics observation from its analysis is that about one in ten (9.76 percent) smartphone searches includes app suggestions.
“Appearing in App Pack boxes represents a significant opportunity to attract downloads and to transport searchers into the closed environment of your app,” notes the report. “Marketers can try to increase their chances of inclusion by following App Store Optimization (ASO) techniques, including carefully researching and selecting the keywords and descriptions used in their App Store titles and descriptions. The number and frequency of app downloads and positive user evaluations all play a role in whether Google chooses to include an app.”
The report is chock full of interesting data and creative advice for making the grade on Google Search.
The Searchmetrics study can be downloaded here.