It is no secret that Google wants you to stay on the search engine. In the last few years, there has been a consistent rise in zero click searches with less than half of google searches resulting in a click. But this isn’t a bad thing, nor should it be viewed as a negative for businesses.
Google has implemented various features in the search engine results pages (SERPs) that provide users with information and answers to search queries quickly. This is great news for users, particularly in this modern age where we want instant answers and information. Now, when we search for our favourite celebrity, or our favourite local takeaway, we are shown a concise summary of key information.
Want to know if your local takeaway is open today? One quick search and the information is displayed right there for you: it’s open till 10pm. No need to click any further. Now you can go ahead and order that Chinese you’ve been craving. Bring on the vegetable spring rolls and chicken chow mein!
One of the ways Google displays information instantly for users is by using knowledge panels. These are great for businesses because they increase visibility, can drive traffic and are a great asset to have in the SERPs. With zero click searches rising, businesses should be focusing on gaining a knowledge panel for their business as part of their SEO strategy.
What is a Google Knowledge Panel?
A Google Knowledge Panel is an informative box that appears for a business or brand in the SERPs. It looks and operates similarly to a professional ‘business card’.
Here’s an example of our knowledge panel:
Knowledge panels can be categorised into two main types: local panels and branded/ personal panels. They appear on the right-hand side of a desktop screen, or at the top of a mobile search when a user searches for a question, query, business or person.
Knowledge panels appear for entities and present the key information about that entity from the knowledge graph. Entities can be categorised as businesses, organisations, people, places or things. Often they contain an address and other contact details, customer or critic reviews, questions, images and a map, among many other possible details.
According to Google, knowledge panels are automatically generated and pull information about an entity from various sources across the web. Ultimately, Google decides whether or not your business will show as a knowledge panel. This is determined by relevance, distance and prominence.
- Local Panel
If you want Google to display a local panel for your business, the first step you should take is to step up a Google My Business account. To appear in the search results, you will need to verify that you’re the owner of your business. After verification, you can edit and add all relevant information about your business.
- Branded Panel
It’s not currently possible to apply for a branded or personal panel. If your brand is deemed worthy and has enough authority, a panel will appear. Brands and people who are well-known, particularly those with a wikipedia page, often have knowledge panels. There are a number of ways to increase your chances of gaining a branded panel, but it takes lots of time and effort, and success is not always guaranteed.
If you are lucky enough to have a personal knowledge panel, make sure you verify it. Once verified, you can suggest changes in the panel and influence what it looks like and the information displayed.
Why should businesses consider getting a knowledge panel?
If you don’t already have a knowledge panel for your business or you haven’t claimed yours, here are some key reasons why you should consider getting one, or claiming yours now.
- Increased visibility in the SERPs and brand awareness
When users search for your brand or business, information can be found quickly and easily. Also, if Google selects your brand or business panel as the most relevant in a user’s search for a keyword or query, then you dominate the search results on the right-hand side of a desktop, or top of a mobile search which is great for visibility and incredibly beneficial for brand awareness.
- Great for local businesses wanting to improve local SEO
If you’re a local business owner whose target is to increase local search presence then gaining a knowledge panel is particularly useful and beneficial for you. Local SEO is great for driving targeted web traffic alongside helping your local visibility and making your business stand out in local searches. If you have a knowledge panel on a localised search query then it is a great asset to have, particularly if you’re a business with many competitors targeting the same keywords.
- Expand online presence
Knowledge panels are a great way to expand your online presence. It is important to get the right business information shown so potential customers can get in contact with you.
To take full advantage of your position with a knowledge panel, always include your business contact info, a logo, photos, and basic description. You can also include extra information such as reviews, opening hours, directions and a website link.
- Great way to drive traffic
If you want to drive traffic to your website then having a knowledge panel is a great way to do this, with the hope of some of those visitors converting into sales or customers.
By optimising your Google My Business account and having a knowledge panel, you can help drive the ‘discovery’ element of customer searches for your business. In the example below, the discovery element makes up 52.5% of searches for the business via Google. That’s 7,116 searches out of 13,550 which shows just how valuable improving your local SEO can be for businesses.
How to get a business into a knowledge panel:
To get your business to appear as a local panel, you can set up a Google My Business account and begin the verification process. Getting your business onto GMB (if it isn’t already there) is becoming increasingly more important, and particularly useful if you want to make adjustments and be accurate and relevant for users.
For personal or branded panels you cannot apply or set one up, it’s up to Google whether the brand qualifies. If a brand has enough authority, then a knowledge panel will appear. Most commonly branded panels appear for brands and people who have wikipedia pages such as celebrities, business people, and political figures.
To summarise, knowledge panels generally display snapshot information about well-known entities (people, businesses, places or things). They are a google feature that helps answer user search queries quickly and easily by providing direct information.
Knowledge panels are a great asset to have in the search results as they can appear for different search terms as well as for your business being searched. Local panels can be influenced and businesses should do everything they can to claim, or set up theirs.
Knowledge panels can also help build brand awareness and enhance your visibility in the SERPs by displaying relevant information about your business or brand.
If you’re interested in any of the digital marketing services we offer here at Active Internet Marketing (UK), you can contact our expert digital marketing team by calling 01604 765 796 or through submitting an online enquiry form – and we’ll be in touch!