Skip to main content
Marketing Strategy

SERP 101: How to maximize your influence on Google’s search results

By May 13, 2021No Comments

What is SERP?

SERP stands for “search engine results page” and is essentially Google’s holistic response to a person’s initial search query. Google designed their SERPs to help people find more precise information faster using a suite of different features.

Having a strong, consistent, and ongoing search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can influence your likelihood of Google recognizing your business or content as being relevant for a traditional organic listing or additional SERP feature — thus improving your chances of ranking on page one.

Google has come a long way from the days of serving 10 blue links on a SERP. So what are these additional SERP features and how can you appear in them? Some of the most common fall into the categories of rich snippets, paid results, and universal results. They’re really anything that’s not a traditional organic “blue link” result.

Continue reading to learn about some of the specific SERP features and how you can use them to your advantage.

SERP features and how they are influenced by an SEO strategy

Google Ads:

Google Ads are paid online advertisements that appear for a relevant search. While running Google Ads does not help your SEO rankings, these ads can help you connect with a wider audience and build brand awareness.

Universal results:

These results appear in addition to organic results. They include news results, image results, or featured snippets. Read our tips on how to win the coveted featured snippet on Google.


Google may determine that an image will provide a better user experience for the searcher. Including images in your content and optimizing them appropriately is an important SEO ranking opportunity.

Knowledge Card/Knowledge Panel:

This information appears as panels or boxes, such as information from Wikipedia.. Ensuring this information is up-to-date reduces misinformation and allows a user to get to the information they need faster.


Local SEO is about increasing visibility for businesses that serve people face-to-face. Google has an entire forum dedicated to helping businesses optimize their local rankings.


Google shows time sensitive and relevant news when they feel the user could benefit. If you are publishing information that you know users will be searching for, such as a timely topic related to a major technical advancement, find opportunities to tailor your content to meet the search intent of the user.

Related Question:

The related questions cards shows algorithmically generated questions that Google believes might relate to a user’s intent. Tip: Google loves questions.

Related questions are also used as a method of finding featured snippet keyword opportunities. If you find related questions on a SERP, try tracking the question as a keyword itself. In this case, the related question will likely have a featured snippet that you can win.


When a user searches for an exact website domain or brand name, Google may display relevant links to pages across the rest of the site.
How to optimize your site by writing relevant copy that achieves sitelink results.


Like images, video is a great way to keep audiences engaged and help your content stand out in search results. Read our 8 ways to improve your video SERP ranking.

Questions about SERPs, SEO, or improving your online presence in general?

Getting your information in front of prospective customers online shouldn’t be a game of chance.

Get in touch with one of our marketing strategy experts today!

Brian Shilling

Author Brian Shilling

Brian is our Executive Vice President of Client Operations with experience leading diverse teams of marketers and designers in strategic marketing, content creation, and crafting comprehensive messaging and positioning platforms for our healthcare and tech clients. To learn more about Brian's experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

More posts by Brian Shilling