What does this mean for your business? More “noise” for search engine users and increased competition for page one real estate.
Search results are getting more diverse, so you can’t ignore the opportunity to stand out. Rich snippets are one component that can add dynamic elements to search engine results that entice searchers to visit your site. In the graphic below, you can see that the Betty Crocker website has gained control of the featured snippet. Digital marketing professionals often refer to this as “ranking 0” or obtaining “position 0.”
The popularity of featured snippets has helped to increase competition among businesses trying to appear in “position 0” in the SERP. Gaining a featured snippet in search requires catering to a specific combination of factors, which has expanded SEO beyond the traditional race to the top of Google. According to Stone Temple Consulting, almost 30% Google search queries show Featured Snippets. This brings out the need for a strategy on how to optimize a site’s content to meet Google’s standards for Featured Snippets. Lists, tables and graphs tend to be popular, while it’s also useful to create content in a Q&A format, making it easier for Google to extract the right content to show up as a featured snippet.
And the results can be drastic.
We have helped one of our clients, The Natural Dentist, gain a featured snippet for the term “bleeding gums” as seen below:
As a result, they have seen a 51% overall increase in organic traffic year-over-year:
And for this page, specifically, traffic increased 129% YoY:
However, even featured snippets are being challenged…
Moz, reported a decrease in snippets at the end of last year. They reported that almost all the queries that lost their featured snippet have been replaced by knowledge graphs. For more information, read here: https://moz.com/blog/knowledge-graph-eats-featured-snippets
So what can we do?
As usual, there isn’t much we can do but monitor the situation and adapt. SERPs change quickly and without warning. We recommend that individuals consistently check the search queries that they’ve gained a featured snippet for so that they can react quickly if it gets nabbed by a competitor. Featured snippets are still at historically high levels and represent a legitimate organic opportunity. In addition, effort invested into winning featured snippets can also improve organic ranking and when done right, can produce a better user experience for both search and website visitors.