Recently, several articles explored the effects of changes made by search engines when analysing and listing search engine result pages (SERPs).
Google, as the most-used search engine globally, sets the precedents and pace for these changes.
When googling a topic these days, you would notice that Google orders and suggests a plethora of options instead of simply listing relevant websites.
In the past, search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies, such as inundating content with keywords and phrases, played a large role in determining where a website would feature in the SERPs.
Today, SERP features, such as knowledge panels, videos, images and snippets, pop up when you search a topic.
Sites that heavily rely on and employ old-school SEO tactics are experiencing a disruption in digital traffic and a decrease in resultant revenue.
Marketing experts believe that any successful digital content must skilfully navigate a maze of search services, such as Google Lens and Google Ads, and incorporate different mediums to rank well in the SERPs.
Indications are that due to the highly dynamic nature of contemporary SERPs, no one strategy can guarantee high-ranking results and that SEO strategies must evolve to keep up and ensure the relevance and resilience of company webpages.
Searched results therefore deliver a combination of written content, videos, images and links from different domains.
Content marketing professionals suggest numerous approaches to ensure that a website features in the SERPs, such as:
• Creating meta descriptions that will hook the interest of an audience. This might seem like an obvious solution. However, encapsulating what you want to communicate in a sentence or two is challenging and requires careful consideration.
• Using multiple forms of media to relay your message. Analyses show that users want visual and written content. Combining texts, videos and images allows an array of search services, such as Google Lens, and SERP features to recognise and rank websites. Marketers attest that these combination strategies address the subject matter (what) and the manner (how) in which users conduct internet searches.
• Analysing more than just keywords and phrases of competitors. Modern-day marketing involves a holistic approach that looks at all forms of content communication. These include visual media strategies and how they supplement written content.
Studies indicate that videos and images are visual reinforcers that promote the connection between written content and audiences.
Research by 3M, the inventors of Post-it notes, indicate that people process images 60,000 times faster than written material.
One marketing company found that people retweet posts with images 94% more than tweets without images.
The marketing industry can no longer deny the value of combining visual and written media to connect with target audiences.
The random inclusion of videos or images, however, serves little purpose and will most likely frustrate and deter audiences.
Reports confirm that relevant visual tools attract audiences and instigate their needs to read and process written texts.
Partnering with a professional marketing agency that knows the technical aspects influencing the performance of a webpage in SERPs is essential.