4 Search Engine Optimization Benefits of Featured Snippets

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
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Over the last several years, the search engine results pages (SERPs) that appear in response to a query from a user have changed significantly. No longer simple lists of links, they now boast a variety of features intended to make finding the right information for your query easier. Prominent among these SERP features is the featured snippet. Appearing above all of the organic search results, and therefore labeled “position zero” for search engine optimization purposes, the featured snippet pulls concise and organized information from one of the search results (usually one of the top 5 results) and displays it in a box just underneath the sponsored ads. Look, for example, at the results for the search query “How to brown beef.” These featured snippets, far from damaging business’ ability to enjoy search engine optimization success, are actually a valuable way to earn visibility and click throughs. They are also here to stay. First introduced in 2014, their presence in the search results is steadily increasing. As a result, capturing the featured snippet spot in the SERPs can be a search engine optimization coup. But why is that the case, and why should you spend time and effort creating content that Google might find suitable for inclusion in this SERP feature? Here are just a few reasons.

The featured snippet significantly improves search engine optimization stats such as click throughs.

One of the basic premises of search engine optimization is that your click throughs, and in part the amount of traffic you capture with your website, is directly correlated with your position in the search results. The higher you are in the SERPs, the more attention you get from users. And, the most valuable spots to occupy are the ones on the first page of the SERPs. However, for businesses looking to improve their performance in the search results, even the number one spot is eclipsed by the click throughs and traffic available through the featured snippet. One study found that companies who made it onto the featured snippet for certain keywords enjoyed 114 percent more click throughs, even when that company already occupied the number 1 spot in the organic search results. Some businesses have seen an increase in click throughs of more than 500 percent. Other search engine optimization statistics that are improved by a website’s presence in the featured snippets are as follows:

  • A 677 percent increase in business from traffic through the organic search result
  • An increase in website traffic by as much as 30 percent for some businesses
  • The presence of two listings for the search query instead of one

SEE ALSO: Search Engine Optimization Trends for 2018

Featured snippets pull from anywhere on the SERPs.

When you are conducting a search engine optimization campaign, you want to rank as high on the first page of the SERPs as possible, because it is those top results that pull in the most traffic, click throughs, and business. However, when it comes to featured snippets, even businesses further down in the rankings have the opportunity to enjoy position zero, the most visible spot on the search results page. For example, while the featured snippet is often pulled from the number 1 organic search result, it is also often pulled from websites further down the page (most typically from search results 1-5). In addition, Google does not discriminate among types of businesses when deciding which information to display in the featured snippet. Any type of business, or size of business, can appear in the featured snippet as long as Google determines that they provide the most relevant and concise answer to the search query. As a result, your search engine optimization tasks can reap significant benefits for your business if you direct those efforts at creating content that is appropriate for featured snippets. By building the right kind of content, you improve your chances of having your website put in the very best position available in the SERPs….regardless of your business or where your website appears otherwise in the rankings.

Featured snippets have the greatest visibility in the SERPs.

Another reason to consider featured snippets in your search engine optimization efforts is the fact that these pieces of information have the greatest visibility in the SERPs, greater even than the number 1 ranked organic search result. The reason? The snippet is placed above the organic search results. Consequently, users often read that information before considering the other search results. In addition, if they wish to learn more, they are more likely to click on the link listed in the featured snippet. As a result, using your search engine optimization campaign to target the featured snippet can pay off by placing your business front and center before users. It is this visibility that lends the featured snippet the high click through rates that make appearing in the snippet such a desirable and profitable position for businesses.

Featured snippets dramatically increase brand awareness.

Finally, featured snippets can be a boon to business’ search engine optimization efforts because of their ability to significantly increase brand awareness. This increase in brand awareness is due very much in part to the featured snippet’s top positioning in the search results. As visitors see the featured snippet and click through to the website from which the information came, they get a better idea of what the brand and business is all about. In addition, because Google has chosen to place that piece of information in the featured snippet, visitors are more likely to consider that website to be an authoritative and reliable source. Not only is brand awareness improving, but so is the perception of the brand as a trusted thought leader who should be turned to when there are future questions or needs related to the industry. Taking advantage of featured snippets can be a good next step for businesses that are already ranking well in the search results. By directing search engine optimization efforts toward this SERP feature, businesses can enjoy greater visibility, more positive brand awareness, and greater click throughs rates. If you want to know more about how your business can optimize for featured snippets, consult SEO experts like WEBii, who can provide guidance, support, and assistance in reaching your web design and search engine optimization goals.

 

Ruth

Writer, WEBii

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