GoogleHomescreenI’ve never met a business owner or marketing director who doesn’t worry about how their website ranks in search engine results pages. Getting to the top of Google (or Yahoo or Bing…) search results in seen by many as the holy grail of online marketing, and its no wonder. Close to 60% of the clicks on search engine results pages are on the top three results.

How do you get to the top of the search engine results? Search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is the science of creating websites and online content that are structured in a way that maximizes their chance of showing up at the top of search engine results. And yes, its a science and NOT an art.

There are a lot of ways to optimize your site for Google’s page-crawlers and ranking algorithm, but the best SEO is the kind that addresses the needs of your visitors. Engaging meta descriptions and titles are a huge part of this, and they help to draw in your audience and let them know they are in the right place.

But there are a few other items that can be found in your standard Google search result, and they also help to increase the chances that your prospects will click through and visit your site.

Business Name and Summary


For businesses with Wikipedia pages, Google adds a neat feature within individual search results.

The company’s name will appear right beside the green URL, and, when clicked on, will show a short blurb on the business. This info is pulled straight from Wikipedia, much like the info that will appear in a box on the right of your results when you search for a specific big-name brand on Google.

Now, this doesn’t mean your company has to have a Wikipedia page, but if you’re looking to establish greater legitimacy and extend your geographic reach, it can be very effective. That being said, it really works well for bigger, well-known businesses that have a lot of resources to back up an information-heavy Wikipedia page.

“Cached” Dropdown


See that little green arrow to the right of a search result’s URL? If you click on it, you have the option to view a cached version of the webpage (basically, an archived version that is not being pulled up in real time).

This may not seem like the coolest tool, but it can be handy in certain circumstances, like when your website goes down temporarily, or if your visitor is having connection issues. In these cases, searchers can look at the cached page and will still be able to see all the content on that page as it was cached, or saved, when the Googlebot last crawled it.

“Mobile-Friendly” Designation


I love this one.

If you use a mobile device to search Google, your results will often show a small bit of text right before the meta-description that reads “Mobile-friendly”.

Now, there are many factors taken into consideration when Google awards this small designation, but essentially, it comes down to the usability and responsiveness of the site on mobile devices.

A site that is Flash-based or is unable to resize to various device widths is going to be difficult to use on a mobile device and not user friendly, and therefore won’t be given this distinction in search results.

Not only will the mobile friendly designation improve how your site ranks in Google search results, it will also help to increase click throughs from mobile devices. Look at your Google Analytics to get a sense of how important this is. I recently reviewed one client’s Analytics and discovered that almost 60% of their site visitors come via a mobile device. Thats a significant share of the total audience and a compelling reason to make sure your site is mobile friendly.

Your Turn

Did you know about these three little features before reading this blog? What do you think of them? And are there other things about Google search results that you think are important? I’d love for you to share your feedback in the comments.