User behaviour is constantly changing. The use of the smartphones is increasing in compared to desktop and virtual assistants are spreading. This development, in turn, obviously affects search behaviour. Google has recognised this tendency and continues to adapt to this (search) reality. Featured Snippets are a consequence of this.
Today, we’ll explain why companies shouldn’t underestimate this search result format and what they should pay particular attention to.
Featured snippets are user-oriented
Featured snippets are gaining and importance and are being expanded. In fact, Google is now using PDFs and tweets for its featured snippets. This means that from now on case studies and white papers can get placed at the top.
Still confused about what a featured snippet is? Here’s the definition:
» Featured snippets are selected search results that appear in the top position in a box above Google’s organic results and link to a specific page. «
The goal is to answer users’ questions immediately, without having to further click and to focus more attention on the Google results page. The search experience is clearly improving as users effortlessly get straightforward, fast, and accurate responses. This is important in mobile contexts where speed and convenience are key factors.
Verbal communication with voice-activated devices can also benefit from this. As early as 2020, 50% of search requests will be done by voice. The answer is then also linguistically. Interacting with a virtual assistant via featured snippet provides the information you need quickly.
How much does it influence click rates?
What happens to traffic generated to websites?
According to the Ahrefs study, featured snippets steal clicks from the first ranking result, but by comparison, they generate much fewer clicks (8.6 per cent) than the search results pages at the first organic point (19.6 per cent). Typically, Google generates featured snippets from pages that are already ranked on page one. But also other pages that do not rank well can get a featured snippet. Improving previous placement success is still important. The deciding factor is how well the content is structured and optimised for featured snippets.
What should you do strategically?
There are some aspects that you can implement to promote the potential of a featured snippet.
- According to the study mentioned, the majority of featured snippets are triggered by long-tail keywords and queries that are not categorised as questions, comparisons, or prepositions, as in this example search: Recipe, best, vs, or long-tail: »easy shepherd’s pie recipe«.It’s also notable that every page ranked in the top 10 Google search results can be displayed.
- This means that easy-to-access, high-quality content is the best way to position featured snippets. For this one can perform a complete keyword research and optimisation.In addition, a good structure is a great advantage. This helps Google to better interpret content, increasing the chance of a featured snippet.