Two years ago Google introduced Universal Search, and the impact it has had on search engine results pages (SERPs) has been felt ever since. Universal Search displays product, video, image, local, paid, blog, news, book — and of course natural results — all on one page. While this has indeed enhanced the user’s experience, it has also clogged up the SERPs to the point where solid SEO rankings of 7, 8, or 9 are now pulling in less traffic than before Universal Search was introduced. To overcome these losses, savvy marketers are taking advantage of the categories in Universal Search.
Marketers have always had about a 60% better chance of getting a click if they were listed in both paid and natural search results. By also listing your product or service in the additional feeds, this percentage will go even higher and you will take back some of the lost traffic you have been missing due to Universal Search.
- Use target keywords to name all of your images and keyword-centered anchor text. Also include keywords in captions, and make sure your robots.txt file can spider your images.
- If you don’t already have a video, then create one. A simple how-to or instructional video can be easily optimized by keyword-centric tagging.
- If you have local brick-and-mortar outlets then make sure they are listed in the local section and link them to your site using keyword-targeted anchor text.
- Get all of your blogs and news listed by sending out press releases on a regular basis. I recommend PRWeb for online distribution. Include targeted keywords throughout your releases and make sure any images have keyword-centric alt tags attached to them.
This combination of natural and ancillary searches, if optimized well, can be highly beneficial to any marketer.
The search world is always changing and growing. The competition for a click is greater now than at any time in the past, and this level of competition is going to continue to grow over the next few years. Competing for videos, news, blogs, images, and products will soon be just as heated as organic results and paid listings. Marketers need to fully optimize across all areas of Universal Search to maintain a healthy search marketing presence, and now is the time to start this optimization.