Everyone knows the importance of search engines, and for years, ranking on page one for your chosen topic was the ultimate goal for many an SEO campaign. Then in 2012, Google introduced the Knowledge Panel and things started to change.
Knowledge Panels can be a fantastic marketing tool for any business looking to boost their online presence and brand in Google’s search results, but they are a tough nut to crack.
So, how exactly do you get your business its very own Google Knowledge Panel? Let’s take a look!
What is a Google Knowledge Panel?
Introduced in 2012, the Knowledge Panel was Google’s attempt at providing people with useful answers, rather than simply an infinite collection of links. They can appear at the top right-hand side of the page when you search Google for an entity (a place, person, business, etc.), and display the information searchers need, such as opening times and customer reviews, in a more visual and immediate way.
A Knowledge Panel comes in two forms: Local or Branded.
Local Knowledge Panels are linked directly to your location and are most often used by small to medium businesses to display useful information to their customers, such as contact details, opening times, web addresses and consumer reviews. This makes life much easier for your customers who can find the information about your business immediately on the results page without having to click through.
Branded knowledge panels are much harder to come by. They only appear if Google can find enough relevant information from certain sources on the web to warrant it. These tend to appear for much larger entities, such as international brands, places or renowned individuals.
How to get your own Knowledge Panel
Depending on the size of your company, and the prominence of your brand online, you may not need to do anything at all. You could already be rocking a Knowledge Panel all of your own. Don’t know if you have? Just give yourself a Google and see. If you appear, then great, but if the answer’s “no” then you’ll want to read on for some tips on how you can increase your odds of getting one.
There is no sure-fire way to guarantee your Knowledge Panel appears in Google as the exact algorithms are a closely guarded secret locked away in a vault at Google HQ. There are several tactics, however, you can use to help increase your chances.
Branded Knowledge Panels
A Branded Knowledge Panel is not something that you can set up over night. It can take months of building up your online reputation so that you get noticed by those lovely (and not at all creepy) Googlebots.
It’s all about relevance! There are several key touch points that Google looks at when deciding if you’re deserving of a Knowledge Panel, and a few things you can do to help boost your chances.
- Set yourself up with a verified Google+ account
Oh yes, the forgotten child of the social media family. Google+ might not be as popular as Facebook or as good-looking as Twitter, but it does have one thing going for it - it’s best mates with the world’s largest search engine! Everyone that has a Gmail account also has a Google+ account, so the chances are your customers are there whether they know it or not.
- Ask your SEO expert to add structured data to your website via schema markup, if they’re not doing so already!
Schema markup is one of the most powerful SEO tools available as it tells search engines what your data means, rather than just what it says. This returns more valuable and informative results to users. Did this just go straight over your head? Don’t have an SEO expert? Then give our digital gurus a call.
- Wikipedia and Wikidata entries
Remember all those teachers at school telling you not to use Wikipedia for your homework? Well it turns out that what your high school teacher didn’t trust, the world’s largest tech company does. Wikipedia is one of the most trusted sources for Google when searching for relevant data to create Branded Knowledge Panels, and without a Wikipedia entry of your own, you’re not likely to ever get one. Creating a branded Wikipedia page is a tough ask, as it goes against much of what Wikipedia stands for as an independent online encyclopedia, so tread carefully with this one!
Local Knowledge Panels
The more localised and specific a search gets, the greater chance your business has of appearing as a relevant Local Knowledge Panel. But it’s important that you control the information that appears here to ensure that it is as accurate as possible. More often than not, this will be the first touch point many people have with your business - so making a good first impression is crucial.
If your business isn’t quite at the level of warranting its own Wikipedia entry, but you still want a Knowledge Panel, then setting up a verified Google My Business account offers a quick entry point; and provides the easiest way to manage the information Google displays about you. Creating an account is free and simple to do; and Google offers some easy to follow tutorials on how to set up and, most importantly, verify your business.
Once you’re up and running, you’re free to start feeding Google with as much information about your business as you like. Opening times, contact details, web addresses, pictures and even reviews. The more accurate and relevant information you can provide, the higher chance you have of getting a Local Knowledge Panel that is useful to your customers.
No quick fix
At the end of the day, Google plays by its own rules. Knowledge Panels are a powerful marketing tool for your business, and Google knows this. That is why they’re doing all they can to ensure they serve up only the best and most deserving entities with a Knowledge Panel of their own. None of the tactics here can guarantee you’ll start appearing in a Knowledge Panel, and there are no quick fixes. But understanding the process and starting to take some positive steps will certainly help increase your chances!
Did I hear you mention reviews?
You did my friend, you sure did! Google star ratings appear prominently in Local Knowledge Panels and play a major role in influencing a customer’s buying decision. So, how can you ensure you’re making the most of them?
Thanks to our partnership with Google, collecting genuine reviews using Feefo can help drive traffic to your website. Having verified ratings contribute to your Google stars, which can enhance click-through rate (CTR) and boost your visibility in search engine results pages.
Get in touch with us today to find out how reviews can help improve your SEO and create more engaging Knowledge Panels to drive customer engagement.