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Emily Potter - Brighton SEO 2019 - Slideshare

  1. 1. Featured Snippets: The Achievable SERP Feature? Emily Potter // Distilled // @e_mpotter
  2. 2. Today I’m going to cover 3 things... Intro Existing Studies My Own Study
  3. 3. What is a featured snippet?
  4. 4. What is a featured snippet?
  5. 5. Why do we like featured snippets?
  6. 6. Winning Featured Snippets: Attempt #1
  7. 7. Found keywords with featured snippets
  8. 8. Included keywords in headings
  9. 9. Included keywords in headings
  10. 10. Included keywords in headings
  11. 11. Included keywords in headings
  12. 12. Turned content into lists
  13. 13. Turned content into lists
  14. 14. Turned content into lists
  15. 15. Turned prices into tables
  16. 16. Turned prices into tables
  17. 17. I will never know it this worked.
  18. 18. Google updated and took the featured snippets away.
  19. 19. Lesson #1: Google is the enemy.
  20. 20. Winning Featured Snippets: Attempt #2
  21. 21. Focus more on competitors.
  22. 22. Are they answering the query better?
  23. 23. Are they answering the query better? What format are they using?
  24. 24. Are they answering the query better? What format are they using? Are they using headings and we’re not?
  25. 25. Copy and pasting a competitor’s heading that works!
  26. 26. Lesson #2: Featured snippets are bullshit.
  27. 27. What’s not to like about featured snippets?
  28. 28. Featured snippets steal clicks
  29. 29. ahrefs Link here.
  30. 30. Featured snippets are reducing CTRs
  31. 31. Featured snippets increase no-click searches 29.8% without clicks Searches with featured snippet 25.8% without clicks Searches without featured snippets
  32. 32. Featured snippets create confirmation bias
  33. 33. Featured snippets are unsophisticated
  34. 34. I set out to prove featured snippets are overrated.
  35. 35. Featured snippets increase CTR by over 114% Link here.
  36. 36. Featured snippet increased sessions by 516% Link here.
  37. 37. Luckily, these studies suck.
  38. 38. Issues with these studies 1. Misleading wording
  39. 39. Issues with these studies 1. Misleading wording ○ Reporting relative instead of absolute increase
  40. 40. “The CTR for high volume keywords increased by over 114%”
  41. 41. Issues with these studies 1. Misleading wording ○ Reporting relative instead of absolute increase ○ Misleading headlines
  42. 42. Issues with these studies 1. Misleading wording 2. No experiment control
  43. 43. I decide to create my own study.
  44. 44. My research method
  45. 45. Research method - Hypothesis Owning a featured snippet does not have a significant impact on click-through-rates.
  46. 46. Research method - Data sources Data sources - STAT ● When featured snippet appeared and if we owned it ● Base rank of our page
  47. 47. Research method - Data sources Data sources - Google Search Console ● Click-through-rate (CTR) ● Only included queries with impressions > 60
  48. 48. 3,834 data points
  49. 49. My findings
  50. 50. Featured snippets improve CTRs
  51. 51. For every organic position
  52. 52. Position 4 and up most likely to own them
  53. 53. “For the top 5 results, backlinks and other authority signals matter much less for winning a featured snippet.”
  54. 54. Average rank with featured snippet 2.1
  55. 55. Average rank without featured snippet 3.3
  56. 56. Pages below rank 10 unlikely to own them
  57. 57. CTR increase lower than existing studies
  58. 58. CTR increase lower than existing studies
  59. 59. Featured snippets work.
  60. 60. Monday morning actions
  61. 61. Monday morning actions 1. Find keywords you rank for with featured snippets
  62. 62. Monday morning actions 1. Find keywords you rank for with featured snippets ○ Avoid keywords with commercial intent
  63. 63. Monday morning actions 1. Find keywords you rank for with featured snippets ○ Avoid keywords with commercial intent ○ Flag where you rank higher than the current owner
  64. 64. Monday morning actions 1. Find keywords you rank for with featured snippets 2. Look for low hanging fruit
  65. 65. Monday morning actions 1. Find keywords you rank for with featured snippets 2. Look for low hanging fruit ○ Steal headings (especially when you rank higher)
  66. 66. Monday morning actions 1. Find keywords you rank for with featured snippets 2. Look for low hanging fruit ○ Steal headings (especially when you rank higher) ○ Join two points together with “However”
  67. 67. Monday morning actions 1. Find keywords you rank for with featured snippets 2. Look for low hanging fruit 3. Add on-page content for well performing pages
  68. 68. Monday morning actions 1. Find keywords you rank for with featured snippets 2. Look for low hanging fruit 3. Add on-page content for well performing pages 4. Re-format your content to match that of current owner
  69. 69. Monday morning actions 1. Find keywords you rank for with featured snippets 2. Look for low hanging fruit 3. Add on-page content for well performing pages 4. Re-format your content to match that of current owner ○ Turn paragraphs into lists, lists into tables, etc.
  70. 70. Emily Potter @e_mpotter

Editor's Notes

  • First to do that,.....

    Finally I am going to conclude with some monday morning actions you can take away with you.

    “First, just in case there is anyone in the audience that does not already know, what is a featured snippet?”
  • It stimulates their pheremones causing ‘a chemical reaction that gives the cat a sense of euphoria or overwhelming happiness’.

    “If we want to get a bit meta about this, we can ask Google what a featured snippet is”
  • According to Google, when a user asks a question in Google we get this block at the top of the search results page. This block includes a summary of the answer extracted from the webpage, a link to the page, the page title and the URL.

    “Thank you Google. So, why do people like these things so much?”
  • According to Google, people like featured snippets because they quickly answer the user’s query

    So great for users

    Being featured in a featured snippets means you get additional brand exposure in search results.

    “So now we’ve covered what they are, I am going to talk you through how I came to hate them”
  • Process following best practice

    “Went into STAT”
  • I got into STAT, find keywords that have snippets, make a list of what ones you own and what ones you don’t.
    SLOW DOWNNNNNN --- take the time to take someone through

  • SAy I am Buzzfeed who ranks #1 -- show position one

    ...

    “I am convinced that this is my masterpiece”
  • SAy I am Buzzfeed who ranks #1 -- show position one

    ...

    “I am convinced that this is my masterpiece”
  • Reformatted H1s and content to answer user queries.

  • Martha is rank 7 - show this in image
  • Martha is rank 7 - show this in image
  • Rank 7
  • Ignore my shit CSS
  • SAy I am Buzzfeed who ranks #1

    ...

    “I am convinced that this is my masterpiece”
  • I do this for every keyword on my list and try and find one thing different for each

    “Our lead consultant is like, Emily come on I need this task it’s just featured snippets for fucks sake”
  • I do this for every keyword on my list and try and find one thing different for each

    “Our lead consultant is like, Emily come on I need this task it’s just featured snippets for fucks sake”
  • Featured snippets are bullshit.

    “And there are plenty of reasons beside them being unsophiscated to hate them”
  • “This time instead of just following best practice, I take more of a competitor analysis approach”
    -This section needs more sign posting
  • I do this for every keyword on my list and try and find one thing different for each

    “Our lead consultant is like, Emily come on I need this task it’s just featured snippets for fucks sake”
  • I do this for every keyword on my list and try and find one thing different for each

    “Our lead consultant is like, Emily come on I need this task it’s just featured snippets for fucks sake”
  • After all this time, I spent hours on everything da da da

    The thing that takes me 10 minutes, and requires no thought, not any of the other genius recommendations that I came up with

    “This leads me to my next conclusion”
  • Featured snippets are bullshit.

    “And there are plenty of reasons beside them being unsophiscated to hate them”
  • The first is that featured snippets have a negative impact on SERPs

    “There’s this study conducted by ahrefs”
  • The first is that featured snippets have a negative impact on SERPs

    “There’s this study conducted by ahrefs”
  • “The other thing is that”
  • READ THE GREY PART NOT THE GREEN make own graph with their numbers sack off the green…. No snip with snip
  • “Featured snippets lead to confirmation bias”
    -bearded dragon is a type of lizard
  • Problem with confirmation bias
  • “And also, as the example of me being able to just copy and paste our competitors H1 shows,”
  • Featured snippets are really unsophisticated

    For example, mother’s day is comign up in the US. If you haven’t realised already I’m American. “I wanted some help writing a card for her”
  • “If I was less imaginiative” For mother or friend?

    Uh right. Thanks Google.

    Or you know, we all have a preferred way to get rid of hiccups

    “Mine is….Google’s however, is to”
  • To have an orgasm or a rectal massage.
  • So at this point, I decided you know what, I am going to do something controversial. I am going to become a thought leader in our fieldand prove that these things are in fact overrated

    Not only is it a waste of time to try and win featured snippets because it doesn’t even work half of the time anyways.

    Even when you win them it doesn’t help your traffic, because people stop clicking through.

    “The first thing I do is I go and see if there’s any existing research out tehre on this. The first study I see is from hubspot”

  • “And then there’s this study from Search Engine Land”
  • “Uhh….”
  • I dig into them a little bit deeper and there’s a couple issues

    “The first is that they use misleading wording”
  • “Going back to the HubSpot study it claims
  • “Going back to the HubSpot study it claims
  • CTR 114% - they’re talking about the relative and I am talking about percentage point difference

    “Let’s look at what they actually say”
  • “Going back to the HubSpot study it claims
  • Sounds way more insane

    We see this in medical reporting a lot, e.g. something that increases your risk of cancer from 0.1% to 0.2% could be reported as increasing your likelihood by 100%

    Had that didn’t.

    “The other problem is that there was no experiment control in either of these studies”
  • So again, HubSpot “we can see “
  • They included low volume keywords which are suceptible to inflated CTRs

    “With SEL they claimed”
  • June won featured snippet see huge increase

    “But then they also show this image about their ranking over this time period”

    Add search engline land logo
  • “All of this means for me is that”
  • I decide to create my own study. I thought instead of spend another 10 hours trying to win featured snippets for another client, I would spend another 50 trying to make my case for why I should never have to do this again.
  • “Here is what I did”
  • “Read it”
  • Date sources I used

    “The other data source I used was Google Search Console”
  • Small text too much text -- break this into three slides
  • In every position, urls with a featured snippet had a higher CTR than urls without a featured snippet. Fix alignment
  • NOTES ON SLIDE USE:

    As with the title slides, this comes in the four Distilled colours, plus dark grey.


  • In every position, urls with a featured snippet had a higher CTR than urls without a featured snippet.

    Either or label or explain axis
  • In every position, urls with a featured snippet had a higher CTR than urls without a featured snippet.

    Either or label or explain axis
  • In every position, urls with a featured snippet had a higher CTR than urls without a featured snippet.
  • Break this down - the 114% comes from the difference between those two points at the end These are those with vs those without, so not what they’re claiming.
  • Talk over this about the problems - (1) when you go into this study,
  • In every position, urls with a featured snippet had a higher CTR than urls without a featured snippet.
  • In every position, urls with a featured snippet had a higher CTR than urls without a featured snippet.
  • In every position, urls with a featured snippet had a higher CTR than urls without a featured snippet.
  • 20% increase
  • Increase font size on axis
    -Flag something different
  • Looking at this with just one specific client (more like for like)
  • Move this above the conclusions
  • If they had featured snippets, they were owned by informative pages
    Often, these SERPs were updated to include features like Google Shopping and Local Packs instead
  • If they had featured snippets, they were owned by informative pages
    Often, these SERPs were updated to include features like Google Shopping and Local Packs instead
  • Featured snippets are not sophisticated, often this simple change made the difference

  • Featured snippets are not sophisticated, often this simple change made the difference

  • Add distilled logo and pause for longer on this slide

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