A few weeks ago I wrote about Google’s new, longer snippets showing in search results. I prefaced that article with details on how featured snippets are unique. Featured snippets refer to the boxed-in “answer” you see at the top of organic search results.
You’ll see featured snippets frequently if you’re doing searches for recipes, where you often see the instructions listed out. The three types of featured snippets you’ll encounter in search results are:
According to search analytics from STAT, the paragraph snippets account for 82% of all featured snippets, with lists making up 11% and tables 7%.
Outside of recipes, you’ll often see featured snippets show up for questions searched within Google. Just like the longer snippets – referenced in this article – were implemented to provide the searcher with more information without having to click, the featured snippets were implemented for the exact same reason. Google is not only constantly tweaking its algorithm to provide better, more relevant results, but they’re adjusting how this information is displayed to improve the overall search experience.
Why are featured snippets so valuable?
As you can see in the example above, featured snippets tend to show up at or near the top of organic search results, and you have a box around your snippet, further highlighting it. This will likely increase clicks to your website, and in turn, conversions (leads).
How can my practice show up in featured snippets?
- Start by evaluating keyword opportunities. The paragraph featured snippets often show up when a user asks a question.
- Turn those questions sections on your procedure pages or into individual blog articles.
- Focus on your page formatting: break up your content with sub-titles, bullets, charts, and lists. This is not only easier to read, but easier for Google to digest.
STAT has analyzed one million highly competitive queries and found that 9.28% of the search terms contained snippets. Interestingly, only 29.6% of these featured snippets showed up as the first organic result.
Featured snippets also tend to show up in longer-tail queries, which makes sense since questions are often six or more words in length. As you can see by the graphic below, queries six words or more in length displayed featured snippets nearly 25% of the time.
The goal is to strategically create content that focuses on answering specific questions patients have about your procedure. Think about the consultation process, the cost, the surgery, the anesthesia, and recovery. These details are what patients want to know about when they’re researching the procedure.
Once patients feel comfortable in their research about a procedure they’ll then dive into the process of finding the right doctor or practice. Sometimes these steps are intermingled, but there’s almost always a research phase needed for patients to learn more about a procedure, and if this research leads them to your website then you have a head start.
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