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September 20, 2021 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
If content marketing is the Olympics, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the toughest and most interesting events. We’re all trying to rank better in search. It’s one of the fastest and broadest ways to reach our target audience. There are plenty of search engines, but Google sits at the top, making up the rules for the SEO event as it goes along. To reach your audience better, you might try to snag a Google Knowledge Panel for your brand. Today, we’re teaching you more about this featured snippet and what it can do for your marketing strategy.
Google Knowledge Panels are the featured snippet bars that appear to the right of a search engine results page (SERP). Bots and crawlers collect information about people, brands, products, and other important search topics from across the web. Then, to increase favorable searches and user experience, Google shares all the most important information about the topic in a knowledge panel. The company introduced this feature in 2012, and it’s expanded over the years to include content like videos, social media profiles, and facts.
Look at Google’s Knowledge Panel for its own brand. It encourages people to learn everything they might want to know about the company without having to scroll through pages of results. This helps with user experience and aims to target multiple areas of search intent.
Related: Search Intent: An Introduction for B2B Marketers
Here are five fast facts to keep in mind when trying to incorporate a Google Knowledge Panel into your SEO strategy:
This might sound like a bit of a given, but the more information you share about your business online, the more familiar the Google bots become with you. Every backlink, your on-page content, and keywords all play a role in helping you rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs). But snagging a Google Knowledge Panel helps even more. This featured snippet is in what we call “position zero.” It ranks above (or beside) traditional clickable links and is the first thing people see when they type in a search query.
Why would someone scroll through page results, even through page one, if they can get all their answers right from a knowledge panel? Oftentimes they don’t. That’s why knowledge panels and other featured snippets are game-changers. At the end of 2020, a SimilarWeb study found that 65% of searches on Google resulted in zero clicks off the SERP. Though there isn’t more recent data available, it’s safe to assume with all of Google’s updates, this number has increased. After all, Google is all about the user experience, and if the platform is able to be the provider of the answer, they want to be. Clicking to a website would just be one more move the user has to perform.
With people not even bothering to browse the first SERP for their query and instead relying on Google’s suggestions, getting a knowledge panel could be critical to your search engine performance.
Unfortunately, if your brand doesn’t have a knowledge panel, you can’t just hijack someone else’s and change their brand information to yours. That would be easier, but it would also be wrong. Like Google My Business profiles, you have to claim a knowledge panel before you can make any edits or fix the information that appears there.
What happens if you leave it all up to the bots? You don’t get the kind of curated content you really want your audience to see and give the best representation of your brand. Do you really want to leave one of your best SEO weapons in the hands of Google’s algorithm? Probably not, because while artificial intelligence (AI) is good, it still can’t beat the human brain. To claim your knowledge panel:
Related: Is AI-Generated Content Spam?: Google Says Yes
This is the reason you can’t lie and hijack your way into someone else’s Google Knowledge Panel. It asks for verification before you get editing access. You have to be able to provide proof that you’re the individual, a member of a celebrity’s team, or a qualified company employee to claim the panel. If you can’t prove who you say you are, then it’s access denied.
One way to get verified is to sign in to an official or pre-verified Google-associated application like your company’s YouTube account or Google Search Console. There are also ways to prove verification through Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t have a presence on any of these platforms, Google may ask for additional information to verify your identity.
You might be thinking, “This sounds great! I’m going to go claim my knowledge panel right now!” Not so fast. Small businesses, startups, or online-only businesses may not get auto-generated knowledge panels. And right now, you can’t just create your own. You’re at the mercy of the algorithm. But there are things you can do to trigger Google into giving your business a knowledge panel. Try these options and keep checking SERPs for your company or brand name to discover if you’ve hit the right triggers:
Knowledge panels aren’t just for brands or companies. Famous or important people can get them too. Company owners, investors, or CEOs with a lot of clout or prominence in their fields may be prime candidates for knowledge panels. Monitoring those can help your overall brand SEO. The more connections you make among team members and the brand, the better the Google bots can understand what you’re all about.
But, like with businesses, not all prominent people get a knowledge panel. And as we said, you can’t just create one. In fact, it’s even harder to trigger a knowledge panel for an individual. Why? Because of the ambiguity of names in the search data. If you’re not someone super famous like Elon Musk, type your own name in Google and see what happens. Our marketing writers at CopyPress tried this just to see. Their names aren’t even that common and they couldn’t find information about themselves until the bottom of the first SERP, and they most definitely did not trigger knowledge panels.
There are some tips and tricks to try if you want to trigger a Google Knowledge panel for your prominent team members. Try strategies like:
When it comes to search, it’s Google’s world and we’re all living in it. You may not like Google’s rules. You may get stubborn and not want to follow them. But that only hurts your content and your brand in the end. Knowledge panels have been a search staple for 10 years and while they may change, they’re here to stay. If you want to stay in the competition for organic traffic and audience attention, you have to use all the tools to your advantage. And learning how to slip your way into position zero with knowledge panels and other featured snippets is just the beginning.
The best way to make both Google and your audience happy is always to create top-tier content. When you have a solid strategy, high-quality writing, and a well-planned SEO vision, triggering a knowledge panel or getting featured in SERPs feels effortless, because it is. At CopyPress, we help you get to the effortless stage with a wide range of SEO-focused content for all your brand needs.
Want a sneak peek of how our process and proprietary software work for you? Request your free content analysis report today. This document shows how your content compares to your top three competitors. It also gives you suggestions to improve your backlink profile and highlights content gaps ripe with opportunities for new pieces. After you receive your report, schedule your free 30-minute introductory call with our team to review your results and see how a partnership with CopyPress sends your brand to the top of SERPs.
“CopyPress gives us the ability to work with more dealership groups. We are able to provide unique and fresh content for an ever growing customer base. We know that when we need an influx of content to keep our clients ahead of the game in the automotive landscape, CopyPress can handle these requests with ease.”
Director of SEO at Auto Revo
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