What makes for great standard organic search listings?
These are the basic pages shown that have a title, a URL, and a text snippet. Optimization involves several on-page SEO factors.
You should communicate not just relevancy through keywords but something compelling for your target audience. This improves clickthrough rates (CTR), increasing traffic alone. Furthermore, we know that search engines use CTR to modify rankings.
Here are 5 elements to consider:
- Title: Use no more than 60 characters to prevent truncation. Think not only keywords but psychology too, making it readable while provoking curiosity or including numbers. Add branding at the end.
- URL: Always use a breadcrumb trail.
- Meta Description: Include your primary keywords since otherwise Google will often rewrite your snippet using context, which usually looks horrendous. Use no more than 155 characters and make it compelling again.
- Image/Video Thumbnail: Including a video or image on your page will often show its thumbnail on mobile results. BONUS: Create a unique favicon to enhance your listing further.
- Rich snippets: These are diverse and may rely on structured data, with opportunities made possible according to your content, like if it addresses events, courses, etc. Displaying sitelinks, for example, can be encouraged by having a Table of Contents.
You should approach this more like an art than a science, due to so many variables involved. Nonetheless, your end result should be supported by objective data like CTR. Use Google Search Console’s Performance report or another SEO tool for tracking this metric.