Rich Answers Increase in Google Search Results
A recent study of 1.4 million search results by Perficient Digital found that the inclusion of rich answers has increased significantly over the years. In fact, the study concluded that these unique types of search results have actually more than doubled since 2018. So what does this mean for you and your medical or dental practice? When patients see a rich answer—such as a featured snippet or carousel (also known as Knowledge Graph Cards)—in their search results, it stands out among the rest of the listings, ultimately improving your chances of conversion.
What Is a Featured Snippet?
Have you ever typed—or spoken—a question or phrase into Google and found the answer presented neatly inside a box toward the top of your search results? You know, like this:
Whether it’s displayed as the first, second, or even third result on the page, chances are your eyes are immediately drawn to this box where you’ll find text regarding the information you’re seeking, as well as a link to the page from which that content was pulled so you can learn more. This is a featured snippet—and it’s currently all the rage in SEO.
How Are Featured Snippets Beneficial to Me?
When information from your web page is highlighted in a featured snippet, Google is essentially saying your content is the most useful to users based on their specific search. Basically, Google is deeming you the “authority” on the subject, regardless of whether or not your page holds the #1 ranking position for said search (which we’ll get to in a second). In fact, when people are using voice search to ask questions or search the web, the featured snippet is usually what’s read aloud by their device.
Furthermore, according to the aforementioned study (based on a random sample of 185,075 queries), rich answers occurred more frequently on mobile than desktop. As you may already be aware, mobile search is incredibly common, making the featured snippet even more of a coveted position.
In many instances, the page from which the featured snippet text is taken isn’t always the top organic listing for queries. The beauty of this factor is that your page can technically be ranking much lower in the organic search results—potentially unseen by those who don’t scroll far enough—yet still appear higher than your competitors due to Google’s recognition of your content as the most digestible piece of relevant information.
Last but not least, featured snippets tend to help boost the visibility of your site (which is probably a no-brainer given their prominence). Additionally, someone who finds the short answer to what they’re looking for in a featured snippet will often continue to the actual website to learn more. After all, the site featured above all other Google results is sure to be the most relevant and informative, right?
As Google has continued to refine their algorithms for search engine optimization over the years, the evolving strategies for SEO have become more advantageous for both content providers and viewers alike. Rich answers and Featured Snippets are fundamentally based on what has been found to be concise, relevant, and genuinely informative content, essentially “rewarding” and highlighting those sites that provide a direct and educational response to search queries. While emerging phenomena such as “zero-click searches” and others can have an effect on the display of results (perhaps even a beneficial one), the potential benefits of original, educational, and professionally-crafted content that clearly provides answers to what viewers are looking for continues to back up the notion that “Content is King!”
How Are Websites Selected for Featured Snippets?
Unfortunately, there’s not a cut-and-dry answer for this, but thankfully, Rosemont Media has been following the trend of featured snippets for several years. Through what we’ve learned, we have successfully helped many of our clients get their content into featured snippets. If you’re ready to take your practice’s online marketing strategy to the next level and see information from your website displayed as a rich answer, please do not hesitate to contact us today to see how we can help.
Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on December 10, 2019.