Photo of Google performance with impressions

Why Impressions Matter (Even When Clicks and Search Demand Drop)

Don't write off the importance of impressions.

Are you experiencing fluctuations in search traffic? Or, maybe you’ve begun to see a decline in brand search demand — and, in turn, branded clicks. Yikes. Seeing performance decreases can put any marketer in survival mode, but the situation may not be as dire as one might think. 

It’s important to keep a level head: every great brand experiences fluctuations from time to time. When demand drops and clicks are in short supply, look to your site’s impressions for a more comprehensive outlook. 

Here’s how impressions support organic presence at times of low demand.

Impressions: What They Are, Why They Matter

So, what are impressions in terms of search engine results pages (SERPs)? Impressions measure a brand’s visibility and how often links to its pages (i.e., WWW pages, location pages, etc.) are displayed (and potentially) seen by potential consumers. 

SERP impressions can be a tricky metric — and whether or not you snag an impression depends upon how your brand’s link is being displayed to searchers on-page. 

  • Paginated Results: An impression is generally counted when your content is served on the SERP, even when a user doesn’t scroll to a point where it is within view. 
  • Widgets: In independent widgets (like the FAQ or People Also Ask section), your searcher has to take an action, such as clicking “see more”, for an impression to be counted. 
  • Unpaginated Results: Your brand’s result must scroll into view for an impression to be counted in an unpaginated display (such as infinite scrolling). 

Impressions on a website do not measure clicks or conversions directly, but they are often used to monitor domain authority and maintain SERP placement. Solid impressions performance can help you rank against competitors while encouraging brand awareness and influence by placing your content in front of potential customers. 

However, because the ROI for impressions in marketing is difficult to measure, many brands tend to place more significance on clicks. But in the battle of impressions vs. clicks, it’s important to remember that impressions significantly impact your site and brand health, too. 

1. Impressions Help Build and Maintain Brand Authority

Impressions can be a strong indicator of domain authority. 

Domain authority estimates how likely a website is to rank in SERPs. A high domain authority implies that search engines trust a website, regard the content as high quality, and are willing to display it in SERPs. The opposite is true for low domain authority.  

Evaluate the trends in your industry. Does your brand boast a higher domain authority than many of its competitors? If so, you’re in good standing. And you may want to think twice before removing content that supports impressions. Doing so could lead to reduced domain authority. 

2. Impressions May Help Beat Out the Competition

With a strong presence, you can avoid being replaced by competitors in SERPs. 

So, your brand has good domain authority and is doing well in SERPs. Maybe you even dominate the top of the SERP with relevant keyphrases… but you aren’t receiving clicks. Before taking drastic measures to gain higher clicks, consider how well your brand’s pages push down key competitors in SERPs. 

If you’re considering removing or making significant changes to content that’s driving impressions but not as many clicks, ask yourself: 

  • “Am I willing to risk other competitors taking my position in search?”
  • “Are the short-term effects of low brand search demand enough to risk long-term impressions, clicks, and potential conversions?”

3. Impressions Support Reach and Brand Awareness 

“Digital interaction influences 70% of purchases.” — Forbes

Consumers need to know your brand exists to make a purchase or visit one of your locations — and studies show that consumers are more likely to consider making purchases from brands they recognize. In SERPs, top-of-mind brands are those with the most visibility and reach — which first necessitates an impression.  

When searchers input non-branded queries relevant to your site, a conversion is more likely down the road. Once reach is achieved, your searcher now associates your brand with their intent, even if they don’t click in the moment. 

4. Impressions May Mean You May Have Already Provided a Helpful Answer 

Fewer clicks doesn’t mean customers are not converting.

More than half of Google searches never click out of Google. This often means that users are instead getting the information they need as soon as they input a search query. Google presents this information intentionally to provide searchers with a quick, seamless on-page experience. 

“As many as 57% of users on mobile and 53% on desktop don’t click an organic or paid result…” — Semrush

Fewer clicks do not mean fewer conversions or less engagement. It means that you may have already answered the searcher’s query directly in the SERP — whether that’s by providing the address in a map listing or answering the user’s question in a featured snippet. 

How to Maintain Visibility in Times of Low Demand 

Impressions are an often overlooked metric, but their value is undeniable. To maintain visibility and stay in potential consumers’ line of sight, it is essential to consider optimizations and take a long-view approach.

If your site’s viewed impressions fall behind, you may want to take a step back and evaluate the cause. Are you providing helpful content to your target audience? How are your core web vitals? Is there more you could be doing? 

Here are some steps you can take to bolster visibility if your impressions, reach, and clicks are falling by the wayside.

1. Focus on relevant, non-branded keyphrases.

Turn your focus towards non-branded keyphrases when brand search demand and clicks are low. Ranking for non-branded keywords can increase the likelihood of acquiring new traffic for your business. 

For example, let’s say you’re a company that sells workout equipment. Instead of targeting brand name keyphrases, consider producing quality content that includes non-branded keyphrases while speaking to your consumer’s daily needs, characteristics, and interests. In this case, you may opt to create keyphrase-optimized articles covering post-workout recovery tips or blogs featuring healthy recipes.

You can bolster organic performance — especially in times of low brand demand — by optimizing your site for non-branded keywords that meet search intent (and your audience’s needs).

2. Produce quality content relevant to your brand.

We can’t say it enough: quality content is imperative for any brand — and now more than ever due to Google’s Helpful Content Update. Well-written, well-researched content will help you stand out among the rest, build consumer trust, and can help boost your visibility on the SERP. 

However, don’t just aim for more impressions. Set your sights on capturing meaningful (read: relevant to your brand) impressions. Being seen by people and search engines that don’t find your content useful or worth reading can dampen domain authority and trust.

3. Prioritize core web vitals.

Core web vitals are a set of performance metrics that help to define your site’s user experience (UX). Are your pages loading quickly and correctly? Is your site mobile-friendly? Take an in-depth look at these factors by doing a thorough SEO audit to see where you can make adjustments. By making core web vital updates, you may see improved impressions, clicks, and conversions. 

4. Consider product descriptions.

Does your brand have various offerings? If so, getting detailed about the product or services you provide can be beneficial. By creating enriching and unique product descriptions, you can improve UX and increase your odds of performing well in search. 

Product descriptions offer several other perks as well. When written with care, they tell customers what your product is and why they need it, aid brand authority, and ultimately, put you on the map for non-branded search queries and served impressions. 

Who doesn’t want a piece of that SERP pie? 

5. Get specific with local content.

Multi-location brands should prioritize creating content for their local consumers. This is especially true when search demand drops and clicks are down. 

Local content targets keyphrases that support the locations your company does business in, in turn helping you gain traffic from untapped customer bases. Additionally, people tend to trust brands closer to home. Having a local content strategy can help breed both trust and domain authority. 

In Conclusion

Creating content that supports a strong organic presence and performing optimizations may help your brand maintain impressions, domain authority, Google SERP positions — setting you up for increased brand awareness and long-term consumer consideration. This is especially true when brand demand decreases and economic conditions present increased challenges. 

The GPO Platform can help you turn things around if your brand is experiencing fluctuating or reduced brand search demand. From product descriptions to localized content, get in touch to learn how we use content at scale to drive demand, generate interest, and connect with consumers — allowing you to focus on serving your customers.

Juneteenth Independence Day. Annual american holiday, celebrated in June 19. African-American history and heritage illustration. Freedom or Emancipation day

Juneteenth: Why GPO Takes Off and What it Means to Me

Learn about the history of Juneteenth and what it means to GPO's Charlee Freeman.

While the Fourth of July celebrates America’s nationhood, Juneteenth (short for June nineteenth) marks the emancipation of black lives from the shackles of slavery. And if we’re technical, Juneteenth is also the day when all American lives were officially regarded as free. Here, I will explain what Juneteenth is, what it means to me, and why GPO takes off in honor of this pivotal holiday.

What Exactly is Juneteenth (A Brief History Lesson)

On January 1st, 1863, Abraham Lincoln released the Emancipation Proclamation. This executive order abolished slavery in Confederate territories, but the news was slow to travel. Until Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, TX on June 19, 1865 (some two and a half years later), black individuals continued to work without wages and, to put it lightly — in poor working conditions. The Union soldiers arrived with General Order No. 3 in hand, and it stated:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

Although the final sentence in this order implied that the road to genuine equality would be long and arduous, when eventually notified, the freedmen began to rejoice in prayer, feasting, dance, and song — much how this holiday is celebrated today.

What Juneteenth Means to Me

Juneteenth, to me, is an acknowledgment of what my ancestors endured for so long. And although many of them never made it to the other side, it was a significant milestone towards equality — where black individuals began to be regarded as human within this country.

Juneteenth is also a day to celebrate black lives, black futures, and black success. It’s where a path forward, though not without its own set of trials, became illuminated. Where our rights to live, breathe, and choose our own journeys began within this nation.

It’s a day to reflect on how far America has come and how far it still has to go. And it is also a reminder that the true battle for harmony is not won until equity and respect cover this land that we all call home.

Juneteenth, for me, is a reminder. A beacon for hope and peace.

How Can You Honor or Celebrate Juneteenth?

Growing up, my family celebrated Juneteenth much how we celebrate the Fourth of July — the ever popular cookouts, music, dancing, and laughter. One thing that always came up, however, was how my grandparents and great-grandparents endured Jim Crow. The younger generation would listen and realize that despite popular belief, this era and its residual effects were not that long ago — and in some cases, ongoing.

So how can you, black, white, or otherwise, commemorate this day and every day moving forward? Learn more about American history by reading books by black authors and watching documentaries on the African American experience. Go out and support black-owned businesses, donate to supporting organizations, and even join a celebration or parade. But most importantly, have intentional conversations about how you, the nation, and those around you can help to make this country a better place for all. And then, take action.

Why GPO Takes Off in Honor of Juneteenth

GPO supported my candidness — even encouraged it — as I, a black woman, explained the significance of this holiday. But it is important to note that my views are not those of every black individual out there.

When I joined this company and learned that we take a day off in honor of Juneteenth, I was pleasantly surprised. GPO’s desire to support and get involved was… impressive. Because the reality is this: We must all coexist — despite color, religion, culture, or background. And the exposure of working together can “help to create new bonds of friendship and understanding among us.”

Now, did I struggle to make this article more palatable for our readers? Sure. But taking the time to acknowledge this momentous holiday in the workplace is imperative to change, and GPO has afforded me that opportunity.

Although the company still has room for growth, as does the entire nation, the effort from my employer is appreciated. For this, I am proud to say that I work for GPO. A company that is open to listen, learn, and support the occasion that eventually led to me becoming more than just 3/4ths human in the eyes of this nation.

Woman with computer and phone searching on search engine

How to Optimize for Zero Click Search

No-click? No problem. Use this guide to optimize for zero-click searches.

Zero-click searches happen when a user inputs a query and receives an answer without ever clicking on a third-party webpage. The answer is showcased on the search engine results page (SERP) through various features (i.e., knowledge panels, instant answers, featured snippets, etc.), which often makes clicking through sites an unnecessary endeavor.

While these features make for a better search experience for users, they can negatively impact unprepared brands, businesses, and content creators with substantial blows to their conversions, clicks, and more.

Learn how this phenomenon came to be and what strategies your brand can implement to stay in the game of zero-click searches.

Why Do Zero-Click Searches Occur?

In 2019, over half of Google searches worldwide ended without a single click. Not a single one. And in 2020, according to data from Similar Web compiled by Sparktoro’s Rand Fishkin, that number has risen significantly — with 64.82% of searches yielding the same results.

So why does this happen?

With zero-click results on the rise, there’s much speculation surrounding the topic. So much so that Google has decided to step in and provide some insight. Non-click searcher activity could be caused by these factors:

  • Seeking quick facts such as “World population,” “Peso to Dollar,” or “UK time to central”
  • Looking up definitions and encyclopedic information
  • Finding general or local brand locations — map search
  • Interacting with businesses directly (i.e., seeking business hours, phone numbers, etc.)
  • Utilizing voice search through platforms like Google Home, Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa
  • Reformulation of queries for more relevant answers
  • Navigation to apps as opposed to web pages

The number of zero-click searches is expected to climb as Google continues to optimize zero-click search results and brands continue to optimize their content for zero-click searches.

How to Optimize for the New World of Zero-Click Search

Brands must adapt their strategies in order to remain competitive in SERPs dominated by instant answers, featured snippets, maps, and local packs.

By focusing your energy on optimizing your site and satisfying users’ search queries with useful information, you can position yourself as an authority on position zero. According to MOZ, there are tons of Google SERP features you could focus your sights on.

Just to name a few: featured snippets, image packs, knowledge cards, knowledge panels, local packs, news boxes, related questions, and shopping results.

If your brand wants to stay in the zero-click search game, these tips are a great place to start.

1. Ensure that Your Site is Mobile Friendly

Zero-click searches occur predominantly across mobile devices (77.2%) and voice search queries. And with Google’s recent shift to mobile-first indexing, revamping your site (if you haven’t already) to mobile-first indexing is a must-do in the world of Google ranking and surviving the zero-click surge. In short, it’s time to go mobile or get out of the game.

2. Add Schema Markup

Schema markup (or structured data) is code placed on your website to help Google’s search engine crawlers understand and categorize the content on your page. By adding applicable properties, you may rank better than companies without structured data and boost your brand across prized SERP features.

3. Leverage Content

By following basic SEO best practices for your content, you can position your brand to show up in featured snippets, knowledge panels, and more. According to Ahrefs, over 12% of search queries have featured snippets in their SERPs. So if you need a place to start, begin by optimizing your content for featured snippets, and you may organically appear across other features where applicable. Use these tips:

  • Do your keyphrase research
  • Limit redirects
  • Keep things clear, concise, and to the point
  • Add headers, subheaders, and lists as often as possible and where applicable
  • Use descriptive title and meta-description tags
  • Include external links and citations in your articles

4. Optimize Images

Optimizing your images can help improve page speed to prevent loss of searcher interest. It also allows Google to crawl your pages quicker for Google Image Search, it can decrease page load time, and can even improve a page’s authority — all of which can improve your ranking in SERPs.

According to Google, here are some practical strategies you can implement to optimize your images:

  • Utilize proper file formats
  • Decrease file size and compress your images without sacrificing quality
  • Use images with relevant alt text
  • Provide detailed titles, captions, filenames, and text for your site’s images
  • Use structured data
  • Implement image sitemaps
  • Lazy load images when applicable

5. Prioritize Your Local Listings

Google’s local packs provide searchers with everything they need to know about a business near their vicinity, typically without ever having to click on the webpage. Increase brand exposure and connect to local consumers by amping up your listing management strategy:

  • Hop on the GMB bandwagon — the primary ranking factor for Google’s local pack
  • Maintain an up-to-date presence across all of your local listings.
  • Provide all essential business information, including your brand name, address, number, website, social media and booking links, categories, business hours, etc.

Is it time you got help with your zero-click search strategy? Reach out to GPO, and we’ll help you keep your brand in the zero-click game.

Woman use smartphones to find what they are interested in. Searching information data on internet networking concept

How to Optimize Your Content for Featured Snippets

Learn to optimize your content and snag those coveted Google Featured Snippets.

There are many benefits to appearing in Google featured snippets, such as increased brand awareness, higher conversion rates, more search traffic — the list goes on. So how can your brand earn such coveted placement? You start by understanding featured snippets and learning how to optimize your site’s content to make them work for you.

Buckle up for this crash course on Featured Snippets — we’ll discuss what they are, why they’re important, how they’re formatted, and what you can do to optimize your content for a prized spot in position zero.

What is a Featured Snippet?

Featured snippets are short text excerpts on a SERP that appear below ads and above organic search results. To quickly deliver the most accurate information possible, Google will pull short, bite-sized chunks of text from a web page to answer a searcher’s query. This information is then placed in a snippet containing the website’s title tag, URL, and summarized answer.

Why are Featured Snippets Important?

Over 50% of all Google searches are executed without a single click to any SERP results. This is known to folks in the digital marketing space as a “zero-click search.” One reason for this is increased voice assistant usage.

When searchers ask their Google Home a question, for example, the answers they receive are pulled from featured snippets at least 40% of the time, according to Brafton. What’s more exciting — these numbers aren’t expected to decline any time soon.

With zero-click searches and voice assistant utilization on the rise, you’ll want to gather as many featured snippets as possible for your site. It’s becoming more important than ever to create well-structured, relevant content that is easily digestible by searchers and search engines alike.

Types of Featured Snippets

Featured Snippet Paragraphs

This format is the most common as Google pulls content or meta descriptions directly from your site to answer a searcher’s query. These usually include a featured image and the URL to your page.

Featured snippet example can landlord ban candles

Featured Snippet Numbered Lists

These are used for step-based queries such as recipes and how-to tasks. Google will pull the bulleted list from your site and present it with a link to the relevant web page.

How to tell if your car is leaking oil featured snippet list

Featured Snippet Bulleted Lists

These are used for ranking or listable queries, such as “top pro-athletes in history” or “habits of a highly skilled strategist.” Google will pull these directly from a webpage or compress and format the headings of a list-style post for a more manageable, easy-to-read structure.

featured snippet bulleted list example

Featured Snippet Tables

Google may present a table to provide the consumer with information regarding competitive pricing, rates, or other numerical data. This table doesn’t need to be pulled directly from your content because Google can re-format information from your web page to make it more succinct — if your content is well-structured.

Featured snippet table example SERP result

How to Optimize for Featured Snippets

Since you’re unable to mark a page as a featured snippet, the next option is to optimize your content for them instead. Start by writing relevant content for your users, and then put the steps below into action to increase your chance of reaching position zero:

  • Craft content for a 7th to 8th-grade reading level. Ensure that the average 15-year-old could consume the information on your web page without much difficulty.
  • Add structured data (i.e., headers, subheaders, lists) to your web pages so that they’re easier to crawl. Google Search Central states that this is a great way to get featured.
  • Avoid long, chunky paragraphs and large blocks of text. According to Fernando Angulo of Semrush, you’ll benefit by sticking to about 40-60 words per paragraph.
  • Follow basic SEO best practices in order to rank for the first page of a SERP. Basic SEO includes incorporating keyphrase research, optimizing for mobile, limiting redirects, and sculpting your site’s link structure, to name a few.
  • Use a descriptive title and meta-description tags for every web page you’d like Google to consider.
  • Include external links and citations in your articles.
  • Use images with relevant alt text.

All of which we’ve done here.

To optimize your site in its entirety, ensure that your domain uses (HTTPS) and not (HTTP), and make sure that your page speed is up to par by doing things such as reducing redirects, optimizing images, and enabling compressions.

As zero-click searches continue on their upward trend, it’s becoming increasingly important to optimize your site and the content your brand puts out onto the web in order to stay in the game. Need support with reaching your maximum featured snippet potential? Reach out to GPO today.