Search Engine Optimization - 27 Jan 2022
Indented Search Results- What They Are and Why They Matter!
If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed a few subtle differences in how Google SERPs look. After months of testing, Google quietly rolled out indented search results in October 2021. While a change to SERP formats might not seem like anything to get too excited about, it could present a unique opportunity to help boost your business’s SEO strategy.
Here’s what you need to know about indented search results and how they can be advantageous to your brand.
What Are Indented Search Results?
The change is slight, but indented search results could have considerable implications for your business’s ranking. For example, a search for ‘moisturizer for dry skin’; underneath the initial search result is an indented secondary result related to the original query. Now, instead of occupying one space on the SERP, your website is taking up two spaces.
Two important notes to look out for on indented search results. Indented search results are different from extended site links and they are not reserved for the number one organic search result. Thus even if your website appears third or fourth, indented links are fair game.
Now, why does this matter? There are a few reasons.
How Indented Search Results can Impact Your Ranking
Intended search results are popping up on a surprisingly large number of SERPs and by some estimates, even as much as on 40% of the result pages. That’s pretty significant given how recently this new feature was rolled out. For that reason alone, indented search results are something worth paying attention to. But it doesn’t stop there.
Users have found that indented searches deliver a wider array of links and not only those related to product listings or navigational links. Indented search results can turn up blog posts, product pages, and e-commerce sites. Indented results are not limited to one result. MOZ has been tracking indented search results and found that while most domains displayed one indented result, some had up to 5.
Now, consider a typical SERP that includes up to 10 organic results and several ads. When competing for visual and keyword dominance on a limited SERP page, consuming all that extra space with one or more indented results. Therefore, consequently pushing competitors lower or, even worse, on to page 2 – can be a massive advantage to your business.
Conversely, if your competitors are earning indented search results, it could be pushing your business lower on SERPs and stealing clicks away from you.
How to Leverage Indented Search Results into Your SEO Strategy
Now that we know what indented search results are and what makes them powerful, what’s the best way to take advantage of them?
There isn’t much information currently available on how Google selects its indented features. There is no specific schema or markup that triggers an indented search result. Some preliminary data even suggests that indented results are pulled from lower-ranking sites. But that doesn’t mean businesses are helpless. Optimizing your on-page SEO can give your business the edge it needs to keep ranking higher on SERPs and potentially earn itself indented search results.
Here are four areas to concentrate on particularly if these strategies are not a part of your current SEO plan:
• Creating content clusters
• Optimizing title tags and meta descriptions
• Avoiding keyword cannibalization
• Optimizing internal linking structure
Content clusters offer an in-depth exploration of a specific topic of interest by creating and then internally linking several pieces of relevant content to each other. For example, if you wanted to create content around ‘puppy training’, you could write and link together several blogs covering:
• Tips for successfully potty training your puppy
• Puppy housetraining do’s and don’ts
• Your puppy’s first 8 weeks at home
• Easy puppy training how-to guide
A user searching for puppy housetraining information may click on a how-to training guide and read potty-training tips.
When done correctly, internal linking is a very effective tool to help map out your website for search engines, improve your domain authority, and increase user engagement. Linking for the sake of linking will not befit your business, and neither will link to poor-quality or irrelevant content.
Content clustering and internal linking require large amounts of content to be effective but be wary of appropriate keyword selection. Keyword cannibalization occurs when the same or similar keywords appear too frequently throughout your content thereby making it difficult for research engines to prioritize the most relevant content.
Title tags and metadata are other opportunities for your content to stand out on SERPs. Your title tags and meta descriptions should be kept short and sweet. Don’t throw the kitchen sink in with your captions. Effective tile tags and metadata should:
• Be concise and to the point
• Include the focus keyword
• Engage with a persuasive call-to-action
Capturing user intent is the key to winning on SERPs. If you already have an SEO consultant working with you on your content and SEO strategy, there is a good chance your website is already optimized for indented search results. However, if you feel like your current SEO plan fails to address some or all of these optimization must-haves, it may be time to bring in a partner who can pick up the slack.
Nirvana is a Vancouver-based web design development agency specializing in SEO optimization. Reach out to us today to find out how we can make your business website work harder for you.