We relied on SEMrush to gather and analyze SERP Features data in this study. While some SERP Features linked to a domain, others didn’t. Consequently, our research took account of these SERP Features that did not link to domains.
You might be wondering why we focused on SERP Features here. And if the term is new to you, then you might even be wondering, “what’s a SERP Feature?”
Sit tightly. We have answers that work for you.
Search engines are continuously improving their user experience. One of their biggest and most successful efforts so far at boosting UX are SERP Features.
So what are SERP Features?
SERP is short for search engine results page — the page that results from a query on Google, Bing, or other search engines.
Search engines have noticed that query results can’t always be presented the same way. Hence, they’ve adopted certain features on search engine results pages to improve their searchers’ experience. These features are what they call SERP Features.
SERP Features help searchers find the information they seek without having to click on search results. From a webmaster perspective, you should be looking out for two types of SERP Features:
- SERP Features that lead to a domain
- SERP Features that don’t lead to a domain
Ideally, you want your e-commerce content to rank on a SERP Feature that leads to a domain. Albeit, you can also benefit from those that don’t lead to a domain.
If you’re still wondering why you should optimize for SERP Features, let’s explore the answers there.
The short answer is trust and visibility.
People trust websites that appear in SERP Features. And since SERP Features appear prominently in search results, they give those websites a lot of visibility that can lead to traffic.
If SERP Features are this powerful, how can e-commerce businesses earn them?
Well, you don’t have to spend countless hours or days to find useful insights on how to rank your content for SERP Features. SEMrush gets right to the matter and shows you SERP Feature opportunities. You’ll know what keywords rank for these SERP Features and discover keywords that have the capacity to rank for a SERP Feature – you’d make all these discoveries using SEMrush.
You can instantly spot SERP feature opportunities using any of SEMrush’s tools. Let’s explore them.
The On Page SEO Checker tool gives users recommendations to help them take advantage of SERP Features.
Go to SEMrush and search for a domain, like adidas.com. Filter its organic rankings, and you’ll find keywords that lead to winning SERP Features. You’ll also find the domain’s already won SERP Features.
Meanwhile, in the report’s Overview tab, you’ll find more details, broken down by SERP Features that links to that domain and those that don’t link to it.
You can find opportunities for SERP Features using the Position Tracking tool in SEMrush. You can discover SERP Features from keywords that you’ve set to monitor.
Position tracking shows you SERP Features that you gained or lost, and also the one you still have. You can filter the reports to discover viable opportunities to pursue.
On the Keyword Magic Tool, you can find SERP Features by using filters.
You can use the Sensor Tool to find which SERP Features Google features the most for their first 20 search results in any industry. The tool also shows daily changes in these SERP Features in the top 20 search results across the industry. These changes are shown in red and green percentages.
Some SERP Features are better suited for certain spaces. Hence you’ll see a higher percentage of the SERP Feature in those markets and categories. While you may find Local Packs in markets that are location-based like Real Estate, Travel, or Hospitality, you’ll see less of it in Books or Electronics.
Enter one or a list of keywords, and this tool would show you a report on their rank difficulty. Part of that report also shows you SERP Feature that a keyword would trigger.
You can learn how to use these tools on the SEMrush knowledge base.
What types of SERP Features can you optimize for, and how do they benefit you? Read on for answers.
Our research showed results from 24 SERP Features. Let’s look at them individually.
Featured Snippets summarize answers to questions on Google. It gives searchers instant answers so that they don’t have to click on those search results. This type of SERP Feature usually appears on the top of search results.
This feature is a dropdown of questions relating to the search query. You’ll find them not far away from the top results, typically within the top five results.
This feature is an excerpt from business, product, or service reviews or ratings that users have left on their Google reviews. For this SERP Feature, you’ll find a star rating and review count under the domain that’s featured on the SERP.
You will find a block displaying search results on flight schedules in response to your search query. This SERP Feature takes its data from Google Flights. It shows flight results data like flight duration, booking prices, schedule, number of airport transfers, and the like.
You'll find the Site links beneath the description of a domain in a search result. This SERP Feature shows you specific sections of the site. This feature is common with established brands.
The video SERP Feature uses a video thumbnail in search results to show that the search result has a video in it.
Searchers will find images in their search results if Google sees it fit to show them image results. Unlike Featured Snippets and People Also Asked results, Image Pack can appear on any part of a SERP.
Featured videos appear prominently on the very first search result on the SERP. Searchers can instantly play a featured video by clicking on the play button right on the search results.
Top stories show searchers’ blocks of news articles that are relevant to their search queries. This SERP Feature may appear at the top of the search or as the searcher scrolls down the SERP.
Google would usually show its ads at the top of search results. Those ads are Ad Tops. But ads could appear at the bottom of search results the same way as it appears at the top.
Image SERP Features show image thumbnails mixed with other organic search results for that query.
The Image Carousel SERP Features are scrollable images that appear in search results.
The Hotel Pack SERP Feature shows results for queries related to hotels, including their location, pricing, ratings, and availability.
Featured Images appear in mobile search results. This SERP Feature appears at the top of search results. This type of results follows a search query whenever Google deems visual results more appropriate for the search term than text results.
The Job search SERP Feature appears at the top of search engine results pages. It shows the company hiring, job title, geographical location of the job posting, and other helpful information about the job listing.
Instant Answer comes from Google’s knowledge graph. This SERP Feature gives a searcher instant response to a query.
This feature could also give answers to math word problems.
This feature can convert currencies or use numbers from currency conversion websites.
These are paid SERP Features, but they occupy highly visible positions on search engines. Adwords Top fill the top four spots on search engines. When Google Ads appears for a keyword, that occurrence may be an indication of high demand for that keyword.
The Video Carousel SERP Feature appears as scrollable videos at the top SERP.
Shopping Ads apply to Businesses that use the Google Shopping network. While this is mostly an advertisement, it has a high impact on rankings because of the real estate it occupied. Searchers can see this result at the top of search results.
Knowledge Panels provide background knowledge on topics. Searchers find them on the right side of their SERP. This SERP Feature shows results for searches about people, places, or things that are famous.
Google is prioritizing websites that give an excellent mobile experience. Hence the recognition of accelerated mobile pages (AMP). These are sites that use light-weight coding to make their pages load fast on browsers both on the mobile and web.
When accelerated mobile pages show up in search results, they appear with the “AMP” notation on them.
FAQs are a list of questions that reflect what searchers want answers for, so when searchers click on these FAQs, they get relevant answers to their questions.
This SERP Feature shows the trending or most recent tweets related to a search query. Although this SERP Feature doesn’t provide a link to the Twitter account owner’s domain, it does link to their Twitter page, which can be valuable exposure too.
Local Pack is the SERP Feature for location-based businesses. Queries that show Local Packs have maps accompanying them showing specific details of the address, ratings, open and close times, phone numbers, and more.
We took our own advice. So we used SEMrush to find and analyze traffic distribution across the SERP Features for five categories of e-commerce stores.
Across categories or markets, SERP Features aren’t born equal. SERP Features enjoy different traffic volumes for different e-commerce markets. Our research shows you how each SERP Feature performed across five e-commerce markets:
- Home and Garden
- Health and Beauty.
This study focused on e-commerce stores in Italy only.
In the electronics category, the top ten domain-linking SERP Features, based on the traffic volume they get are
- Image pack
- Site links
- People also ask
- Featured snippet
- Video Carousel
- Knowledge panel
- Local Pack
The list above from a total of 14 SERP Features that link to originating domains. Whereas 22 SERP Features in this category do not link to domains.
In the electronics category, the reviews appeared in 865,136 keywords, taking nearly 75 percent of all the keywords in this category.
Image Pack came second at a far 15.68 percent and appeared in 181,008 keywords. Site Links came third, appearing in 6.31 percent of the keywords, which is 72,816 keywords.
For SERP Features that do not link to domains, reviews still led the pack but dominated less. It showed up in 4.09 million keywords and controlled 25.42 percent of that market. Image Pack controlled 21.82 percent of the market, with an appearance in 3.21 million keywords.
Whereas, the Video SERP Feature bumped up to the fourth position with over 1.88 million keywords, just Site links. Site links had 2.25 million keywords.
It’s only logical that reviews dominate the electronics category. Buyers shop for electronics more than anything else online, as 69 percent of buyers shop in this category. Electronics shoppers are always comparing features and functions before they buy, and they often leave their feedback on review websites too.
Hence, e-commerce stores and product owners can win SERP Features by building their strategies around reviews, image packs, site links, and videos. So if you sell electronics, trying to optimize for featured snippets or shopping ads may be unprofitable.
The top five SERP Features that link to domains here are
- Image Pack
- Site Links
- Knowledge Panel
- Local Pack
The Home and Garden category follows almost the same pattern as the Electronics category. The critical difference is in the share of keywords carrying each SERP Feature. Reviews, under the Home and Garden category, has almost 45 percent of the keywords with 180,444 keywords; that figure is much higher in the Electronics market.
Image Pack received a boost here. It has 117,590 keywords, which represents 29.28 percent of this category’s keywords. All these figures represent DERP Features that are linking to domains.
Of the 14 items on the linking-to-domain group, 11 have less than 0.5 percent keyword representation. Knowing what SERP Features are getting the most attention might be signs of what kinds of content and engagement, the audience here wants to experience.
For SERP Features that do not link to domains, Image Pack leads the list there, followed by Reviews, Site Links, and Videos.
Although 22 SERP Features appear in the not-linking-to-domain group, it’s the first four features that dominate this space.
It’s revealing to find that Featured Snippets, Image, and AMP don't get a lot of attention here. However, the absence of these SERP Features might actually represent untapped opportunities, depending on the volume of traffic those keywords might be getting.
In the Clothing and Fashion space, people seem to care more about images, for obvious reasons. People wear clothes partly because they want to look attractive. Hence, the top SERP Feature is Image Pack with 148,937 keywords representing 41.88 percent of the category.
The top five Fashion SERP Features are
- Image Pack
- Site Links
- Local Pack
- Knowledge Panel
However, 97.77 percent of keywords in this category belong to the top three SERP Features.
The remaining eleven features share 2.33 percent of keywords. So, people are attracted to visuals, reviews, and brands. A similar fate befalls SERP Features that do not give out links.
Nearly 84 percent of keywords in this category belong to the first five SERP Features that do not link to domains. The remaining 17 SERP Features share just over 16 percent of the remaining keywords.
Image Pack not linking to domains had 3.46 million keywords. Reviews, Site Links, Video, and local Pack had 2.79 million, 2.12 million, 1.1 million, and 0.77 million keywords, respectively. You can translate this as buyers read reviews of brands, watch product videos, and then visit local stores to buy.
The top SERP Features in the Sports category are
- Image Pack
- Site Links
- Knowledge Panel
- Local Pack
However, it’s only the top two SERP Features that dominate that category. In short, people trust sites with reviews and product images 90 percent of the time.
The remaining 12 items on the list share ten percent of the keywords. Out of that ten percent, 8.56 percent goes to Site Links, leaving less than 1.5 percent of keywords to the bottom 11 SERP Features.
Almost 67 percent of the keywords in sports have the Review feature on their SERP. Over 23 percent of those keywords show Image Packs. Conversely, Image Pack takes the lead in SERP Features that do not link in domains under the Sports category.
The combined percentage of keywords from the top five SERP Features that do not link to domains is 80.84 percent. The bottom 17 SERP Features share the remaining 19.16 percent.
However, the sixth to eighth SERP Features, which are Shopping Ads, Local Pack, and AdWords Top, hold 12.71 percent of the keyword used here. Given the buyer-intent nature of these SERP Features, their keywords might be worth pursuing.
Image Pack, Reviews, and Site Links have 0.80, 0.76, and 0.43 million keywords, respectively. Hence, the Sport SERP Feature has the least amount of keywords.
Like in the Electronics market, people rely on reviews to decide whether a Health or Beauty product is suitable for them. Consequently, 76.72 percent of the keywords in this market that link to domains favor the Review SERP Feature.
Image Pack is at a distant second place with 18.23 percent of keywords in this space. In third place is Site Links with only 2.49 percent of keywords.
Based on those numbers, the top three SERP Features that link to Health and Beauty domains are for 97.44 percent of keywords in this space. The remaining 11 SERP Features share a paltry 2.56 percent of the keywords in this space.
For SERP Features that do not link to domains, 28 percent of them are Reviews. However, this figure represents significantly more keywords than SERP Features linking to domains. Image Pack, in the second position, has 1.2 million keywords representing 24.07 percent of the group.
We’ve talked of keywords distribution across these SERP Features. How about actual site traffic? It makes no sense to rank for keywords and gain no traffic from them, right?
The traffic performance of these keywords across categories shows some correlation to their keyword volumes. So as you might expect, the Electronics category receives more traffic than others.
The Electronics category, at its peak, received 5.425 million visitors in November. The category’s lowest-performing month was April, with 3.558 million visitors.
The categories with the second-highest traffic performance is Home and Garden, which got 1.55 million visitors in November at its peak and 1.142 million visitors in March, being the least performing month.
Clothing comes third at highest and lowest traffic performance being 1.085 million visitors in November and 680,266 visitors in August, respectively.
While each category has a different month for its lowest performance, all categories share November as their best performing month. This trend could be due to holiday shopping, coupled with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in November.
The three dominant SERP Features for e-commerce keywords are
- Image Pack
- Site Links
Reviews and Image Pack almost tie at number one. This trend shows that people care about two things more than anything else when buying from vendors online:
- Product or vendor reviews and
- Product images
One thing is clear from this research, though. Google is assigning fewer links to more SERP Features and keywords. So it’s one thing to appear on the search engines and quite another thing to get the clicks. Hence, winning SERP Features with links is brutally competitive.
Businesses must now do more than compete for SERP Features with links. Those that will thrive must now seek out strategies to leverage those SERP Features that have high traffic volume but no links.
Savvy businesses would rather take advantage of these SERP Features to instantly gain credibility and stand out on search engines. So if you care to attract traffic and grow your business using SERP Features, then this SEMrush guide will come handy.