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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Factors that contribute to ranking

To develop strong rankings, you need to focus on these areas:

  • On-page optimization: Page title, meta description, URL, heading tags, images, page content, anchor text
  • Technical SEO: Site architecture, content duplication, instructions for robots, website content, sitemaps, redirects, page speed
  • Off-page optimization: Backlink analysis, social media profiles, Google My Business, review sites


Another important area to be aware of within organic search results are sitelinks. Sitelinks appear below the main organic result, and appear as sub-links or additional links. Their goal is to improve the user journey by offering an alternative landing page to the homepage.

So, if a user visits a home page, and wants to go through to a deeper link page that’s more closely linked to their query or what they’re trying to achieve, they can click on a sitelink - and that will also boost that sitelink’s performance.

Sitelinks are typically generated based on site structure and historic CTRs of pages. You cannot select your individual sitelinks. However, you can use Google Search Console to demote individual sitelinks, if you don’t want certain links or pages to appear.

Rich snippets

SERPs are changing all the time and they often test delivering results in various formats.
One of these search results formats is the rich snippet.

A rich snippet is the term used to describe when a search engine displays a bit more information about the actual result. It may take the form of a review or an image related to the user query. Rich snippets are achieved by using structured data mark-up that site operators can add to their existing HTML, which in turn allows search engines to better understand what information is contained on each webpage.

Knowledge panels

For many search results, where there is a specific answer to a question - such as ‘What is the population of Canada?’ - Google includes a knowledge panel. This displays structured and detailed information that answers the user query within the search engine.

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Shane Lyons

Shane Lyons is head of Search & Analytics at Mediaworks, an award-winning media and communications agency. He has been working in Digital both in Ireland and abroad for the last 8 years and now specializes in SEO and Analytics.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


SEO Setup
Shane Lyons
Skills Expert

This module introduces the key concepts for setting up SEO and the elements to consider before beginning an SEO project. It outlines the key technical elements you need to consider when implementing SEO, how to implement on-page SEO, and how to implement SEO in a mobile environment. It explains how a business can improve its SEO strategy and local SEO. It also demonstrates how to measure and report on the effectiveness of your SEO campaign and the key SEO metrics to measure.