Whatever your business or brand, online visibility is everything. Even if your site achieves a first-page position in Google’s search engine results (not easy to do), it’s still competing with other top-ranking web pages for attention.
One strategy that can help tip the scales in your favor is to earn a Google Knowledge Panel.
A knowledge panel will not only position your business to stand out from the competition, but it will lend a helping hand to customers as they look to learn more about your company. Today, we'll get into the basics of Google Knowledge Panels, including elements, benefits, and strategies that can help you get your own panel.
What is a Google Knowledge Panel?
When you search for your favorite musical artist or Hollywood actor, you'll likely see a knowledge panel from the Google search results.
In most cases, when a user searches for a real-world entity (a business or person, for instance), a box will appear on the right side of the Google search engine results page. This framed interface is the Google Knowledge Panel, and it contains various information associated with the search query.
Depending on the search, the information presented may vary. For example, if you search for a local business, the panel will display basic information like location, phone number, hours of operation, and customer reviews.
Google automatically generates knowledge panels, and the information contained within the panels comes from many different web sources. Sometimes, Google works with data partners to provide authoritative information for specific fields like movies and music. Knowledge panels aim to provide a quick preview of the information most relevant to one particular search query.
Elements of a Knowledge Panel
The elements of a knowledge panel can vary from one entity to the next. Below are some of the most common types of elements you will find in local business knowledge panels.
Photos and Videos
Photos and videos, as rich media, are essential elements of the knowledge panel. Located at the top-right of the screen, they not only draw the attention of your audience, but they provide them with a clear idea of how an organization looks and operates. The images and videos are either uploaded by business owners or customers.
Another essential piece of information that you'll find in a Google knowledge panel is the business map. It's a Google Map that pinpoints the exact location of your business address.
The map is helpful for local customers who are looking for products and services that you offer. As such, don't take chances and ensure that the Google Map points to the correct business address.
When it comes to your business name, always double-check that the spelling and format of the knowledge panel are correct and follow Google’s recommended guidelines. As a best practice, you should always use the official and full name of your business. Avoid using nicknames and acronyms.
The website button, located just under the company name, is one of the most critical elements of a knowledge panel. The button is a direct link that your audience can use to visit your business website with one simple click. Always double-check that the button links to the right web page (i.e., where you want visitors to begin their buyer's journey).
According to a recent Brightlocal Consumer Review Survey, not only do 87% of consumers read reviews when searching for a local business, but 52% of consumers will avoid a business if it has less than a 4-star review/rating.
As one of the most prominent features of a knowledge panel listing, reviews significantly impact conversions. Whether that impact is positive or negative depends on the quality of your business. While it is totally fine to ask customers to leave a review or feedback of their experience, be sure to never offer incentives as this can result in your reviews being filtered out.
Another key element of a Google knowledge panel is the crowdsourced Questions & Answers section. Here, businesses can post their own questions, answer those questions, and respond to customer questions.
Google allows brands to pre-populate the Q&A section. Pre-population of the Q&A not only empowers tech-savvy owners to take control of the narrative surrounding their businesses, but strategic keyword placement can help improve their SEO and marketing efforts.
What are the Benefits of Having a Knowledge Panel?
Is it worth getting a Google Knowledge Panel listing for your business?
The short answer: very much so!
Here are some of the most significant advantages of having a knowledge panel for your business:
- Increased visibility - If your business can get a knowledge panel, it will go a long way in improving your search visibility. Since the panel is framed and takes up a sizable real estate at the right portion of the screen, it immediately draws people in. This increase in visibility and discoverability will also help you easily attract qualified leads for your business.
- Access to information - Google knowledge panels provide a quick preview of your business, providing consumers with instant access to the information they need to efficiently, effectively, and immediately answer their search queries.
- Establishes authority - People tend to trust Google and everything that appears on the first page of the search results. As such, entities with a knowledge panel in the Google search results provide consumers with a sense of legitimacy and credibility.
- Higher user engagement - Knowledge panels include engagement-driven business information like website location and social media profiles. If potential customers want to learn more about your business, they have access to everything they need to engage with your organization immediately.
5 Strategies for Acquiring a Google Knowledge Panel for Your Business
Suppose a knowledge panel doesn’t exist for your business. In that case, it means that your business has yet to develop the degree of trustworthy information necessary for Google to display a knowledge panel.
To acquire a knowledge panel, you will need to bolster your presence on Google’s Knowledge Graph. Designed to understand specific facts and relationships as they relate to entities, the Knowledge Graph data is what powers the text and rich media you see in the knowledge panels.
As the Knowledge Graph collects information from various sources to build its panels, there are several ways to expand your company’s online presence and show Google that people need a detailed panel to better understand your business.
1. Create a Wikipedia Page
One of the most prominent citations with respect to knowledge panels for U.S. businesses comes from Wikipedia. In fact, recent data by Kalicube shows that Wikipedia accounts for 55.65% of all knowledge panel citations. This is hardly a surprise given that Wikipedia is one of the best third-party data sources for ranking on the first page of Google.
It should be noted that, while it can definitely help, it’s not necessary to have a Wikipedia page to acquire a Google Knowledge Panel. If you want to create a Wikipedia page for your company, Hubspot has an excellent guide to take you through the process step-by-step.
2. Create a Wikidata Page
Creating a Wikidata entry is another way to get your hands on a Google Knowledge Panel. Wikidata is a repository of structured data that powers Wikimedia projects (similar to Wikipedia) and is accessible to everyone under a public domain license.
While creating a Wikidata page is more accessible than creating a Wikipedia page, there are still a number of notability guidelines that you must follow. Check out this article by SEMrush to learn more about setting up a Wikidata page and why it matters for SEO/marketing.
3. Create a Google My Business Profile
If you haven't yet, you should create a Google My Business account. This account will allow you to verify your business and add or edit relevant/essential branding information (i.e., information that will later appear on your Google knowledge panel).
Although a Google business profile is different from a knowledge panel, Google will merge the two when it believes that both are relevant to a specific query. To learn how to create an account or claim your business listing in Google My Business, check out Google's step-by-step guide.
4. Stay Active on Social Media
Social media accounts can help Google learn more about brands, their products and services, and how they operate as an organization.
Being active gets you on Google’s radar and can help expedite the process of acquiring a knowledge panel. As such, be diligent in promoting your site and blog content and engaging with your followers on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
5. Improve Your Site’s Domain Authority
Google's primary goal is to provide the best user experience for searchers. Therefore, Google prefers to promote valuable, trustworthy, and relevant sources. If you want to build trust and credibility for your organization, you should focus on boosting your website's domain authority.
One of the best ways to supercharge your domain authority is to create SEO-optimized content at scale. A website with high domain authority sends a positive signal to Google and increases your chances of acquiring a Google Knowledge Panel.
If you want to improve your website’s domain authority, priority number one should be building topical relevance. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, our recent article should be an excellent introduction to the topic.
Increase Your Business’s Reach With A Google Knowledge Panel
Getting a Google Knowledge Panel for your business is a must. Not only will it help you improve your visibility while driving your search optimization efforts, but it will increase your chances of building your organization’s credibility in the eyes of searchers.
Remember, once Google generates a knowledge panel for your business, you will still need to claim it and suggest changes (if needed). You can learn more about claiming your Google Knowledge Panel with this guide from Search Engine Land.