Optimizing Sites for Featured Snippets

Nick Van Huis, our Senior Web Optimization Manager, recently published a case study on the optimization of Q&A content for featured snippets. A conclusion of his findings is below.

Let’s be honest. On Google, everyone searches questions, some more embarrassingly simple than not, when we want to quickly find an answer. We are able to find this answer quickly, as opposed to searching for it through pages of results, due to Google’s “featured snippets.”

A “snippet” is featured at the top of the search results page. Google reads the question in the search query, goes through the search results that appear based on the question’s keywords, and displays the answer to the question in the snippet. Along with the question’s answer, the snippet also includes the site from which the answer was pulled.

Below is an example of a snippet. The search query, “What is orthodontics?” is relevant in this case, as we have been diligently working so that Bright Side Dental, a multi-location dental and orthodontic practice in Southeast Michigan, can rank highly for the keyword “orthodontics.”

However, a short tailed keyword question such as, “What is orthodontics?” can have varied search intents – meaning the question may have been searched for several reasons and can be answered in many ways. Short tailed searches with varied search intents are difficult to rank for, which limits the client’s ability to appear either in the snippet or near the top of the search results page, especially since websites like Wikipedia control this aspect of the market. Also, someone searching “What is orthodontics?” probably just wants to learn what “orthodontics” means; they are not likely seeking out nearby orthodontic practices such as our client.

We realized that more specific and long tailed keyword questions related to orthodontics, though, were more feasible for Bright Side Dental’s shot at owning snippet space, referred to as the “zero position” of the search results. With a question such as, “How long do you wear Invisalign a day?”, the user is more likely a potential consumer in the market and therefore more valuable in Bright Side’s eyes than someone searching for the definition of “orthodontics.”

After conducting keyword research and discussing with Bright Side’s call teams and LiveChat correspondents, we created new content for Bright Side’s FAQ page. By providing explicit answers to the questions that potential patients were asking the most often, avoiding marketing fluff in these responses and including highly searched keywords in both the question and answer, we can confidently say that we were successful in our endeavors.

A year later, not only did we get Bright Side’s site to rank for a featured snippet, but traffic to the orthodontics content increased by 46.10%, conversions from the content increased by 235%, and the conversion rate increased by 129.30%. These results were even more impressive on mobile devices, with traffic increasing by 91.46%, conversions increasing by 322.22%, and conversion rate increasing by 120.53%. A conversion was measured by a submitted contact form when directed from orthodontic content. Bright Side successfully reached the zero position in the search results for the snippet “How long do you wear Invisalign a day?” We also ranked on the first page, though not the zero position, for other orthodontic Q&A’s.

There is a strong correlation between the implementation of Q&A orthodontics content, ranking highly in snippet result pages, and increased conversion and conversion rates. Knowing your user and their goals is essential in successfully catering your content to maximize conversions. Contact Rebuild Group today with all of your SEO needs.