Search results are constantly changing and evolving so it’s important that marketers change their strategies if they want to achieve and maintain high rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Gone are the days where the SERPs are filled with hundreds of plain links. Now, featured snippets and local results are often the first things users see when using Google. But what impact are these features this having on website click-through rates? Let’s find out.

A Quick Introduction to Featured Snippets

We’re sure you’ve come across Google’s featured snippets before but, just in case, let’s quickly get you up to speed on what they are.  

A featured snippet is a short summary of information from a trusted source or website that sits at the top of Google’s search engine results page (a position often referred to as ‘position zero’). Featured snippets appear above all other organic results and are shown for a wide range of questions, queries and keywords. They take up a huge section of the search results and might look something like this…

As you can see, typing ‘How to clean a car?’ into Google will show you a featured snippet with a step by step list of instructions and a labelled photograph. This quickly gives you all the information you need to get the job done, without requiring you to click through to a website. Helpful, right?

This isn’t the only style of featured snippet that we see in Google’s search results, in fact, there are 3 common types of featured snippets; paragraphs, lists and tables. Of these three types, paragraphs are by far the most common, currently making up around 80% of all featured snippets on Google.

Did you know that featured snippets are also the first point of reference for Google’s voice search results? With more and more smart devices and voice-activated assistants making their way into people’s homes, it’s clear to see why featured snippets are becoming more prominent in digital marketing strategies.

How Do Featured Snippets Impact Click-Through-Rates?

Google introduced featured snippets way back in 2014 to (in Google’s own words) “help people more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description and when they click on the link to read the page itself”.

Since featured snippets were introduced, SEO specialists have been increasingly concerned about their impact on click-through-rates. After all, why would users bother to click through to a website, if all the information they need can be found in the search results?

To tackle these concerns, Google adds a link to the source of the snippet of information prominently and cites the source website whenever Google Assistant reads it aloud as a spoken result. Google even sends a link to the Google Home app so users can ‘click to learn more’ if they so wish. But is this enough? How often do people click to learn more?

According to a recent study carried out by notorious SEO specialist, Rand Fishkin, “less than half of all Google searches now result in a click” (as shown in the chart above). Of course, this doesn’t mean that ranking highly is becoming less important, it just means that digital marketers need to be clever about generating content, adding schema markup to sites, and satisfying Google’s requirements if they want to gain maximum exposure in the search results.

Let’s take a look at a featured snippet we were able to gain for a client in 2019, to see whether gaining this top spot has had a positive, negative or no noticeable effect on click-through-rate.

This blog (shown above) ‘The Most Common Garden Weeds in the UK’ was published in March 2019. By mid-May, we started to see a huge spike in traffic to the website, and more specifically, a dramatic rise in the number of people visiting this blog.

A quick investigation found that this blog had been selected to sit in the exclusive ‘position zero’ for keywords related to common lawn weeds uk. (We gave ourselves a pat on the back).

Between the time the blog was published (March 29th) and the end of the year (December 31st) this blog single-handedly drove over 50% of all new users to the website, more than any other page on the website! The number of clicks through to the blog totalled an impressive 70% of all clicks through to the website, so the positive impact that this featured snippet had for our client was unprecedented.

When considering why that is, it’s likely that the topic that this snippet addresses is driving users to click through. The common garden weeds are listed in the featured snippet, but users might want to find out more information such as; when the weeds are most prevalent and how to get rid of them.

What Can We Take from This?

What this shows is that users are certainly becoming less likely to click on webpages and ads because, quite frankly, they no longer need to. Google is finding the information they need and presenting it to them in an easily digestible way.

However, what our client’s results show is that featured snippets are an incredibly valuable feature that can drive lots of people to your website. Gaining ‘position zero’ puts your site directly in front of the user, and if they do want to find out more, then it’s your site they’re most likely to visit.

It’s important to bear in mind that even users who don’t click on the featured snippet are still being exposed to your brand, whether that’s visually or audibly. This improved brand awareness and authoritative position can only have a positive impact on your business in the long-term.

So, gaining featured snippets is certainly something that business owners and digital marketers should aim for as part of their marketing strategy. You can read more about writing to gain featured snippets in one of our previous blogs.

How to Gain a Featured Snippet >

If you’d like help increasing brand awareness, boosting your Google rankings or keeping your website content fresh and up to date, find out more about our SEO team here.

DJay Plumbing & Heating

DJay Plumbing & Heating is a professional plumbing company based in Dinas Powys, South Wales. Having no real online presence, DJay contacted us here at Designer Websites to help take his business further with a fully functional, responsive website that displayed his wide range of services and could help with future enquiries.

After some initial discussions, DJay decided that the best option for him was a modern-looking brochure site that was easy to navigate, offered the most important information about his business and services and allowed his potential customers to contact him easily. Once this was agreed, our professional design team got to work on creating the sleek design of the website’s homepage and internal pages.

How else did we help?

Once the designs of the website were signed off, our SEO team got to work on the site’s unique and enhanced copy. Armed with a list of services that DJay offered, our professional copywriters conducted thorough keyword research that helped to create optimised copy for each page. This enabled the site and the web pages to be more visible to search engines like Google and Bing and to rank high in search results when online users searched for the services that DJay offered.

Once these searchers found the site, however, they required a way to contact DJay if they were ever in need of his services. To do this, we implemented a simple enquiry form on the site’s contact page that allows users to submit their details and the nature of their enquiry. In addition to this, we also added a boiler quote form at the top of every page, enabling users to request a free boiler quote anywhere on the site.

The end result was an eye-catching website that worked extremely well across a variety of devices, allowing users to find and interact with the site at home or on-the-go. You can visit it here - https://www.djayplumbing.co.uk/

If you’re in need of a new website for your business, Designer Websites can help - request a free web design quote today!

More Examples of Our Work >                     Contact Designer Websites >

New Ladders UK Direct website

Because ecommerce website design is something of a speciality for us here at Designer Websites, we frequently get enquiries from business owners who are looking to boost the visibility of their online stores.

We recently received such an enquiry from Ladders UK Direct, an ecommerce business selling a wide variety of ladders and work platforms. They wanted to improve their website's usability and drive more organic traffic to their products, and after looking at some of our previous projects, they decided that we were the right team for the job.

The new Ladders UK Direct website is now live - click the link below to have a look!

Visit Ladders UK Direct >>

Here are some of the improvements we made:

  • Fresh new website design
  • Search-optimised landing pages
  • Improved site navigation and product pages
  • Brand new back-end admin console
  • Ongoing SEO and marketing support

If your business needs a brand new website, the Designer Websites team can help - request a free web design quote today!

christmas social media, social media for christmas

With December well underway and Christmas rapidly approaching like an unstoppable festive asteroid, the time to give your digital content a seasonal overhaul is overdue.

After all, you’ve probably already decorated your home with all the festive trimmings, so it’s only fair that your social media presence gets the same treatment.

But just how do you encapsulate the palpable ambience of Christmastime within the confines of a single social media page? Where to begin?! Won’t somebody think of the children?!!

Hold your horses there, fella. Take a hearty sip of eggnog and calm it down – we’ve got you covered right here.

Trim up your social media for Christmas with our five top tips for Christmas social media.

 

Tips for Christmas Social Media

Step into Christmas by stepping up your social media game this yuletide and ensure your followers have themselves a merry little Christmas experience whenever they view your page.

 

christmas social media, social media for christmas

 

Seasonal Imagery

It’s long been said that a picture is worth a thousand words so, by that rationale, a quality social media image can save you a whole lot of ad copy.

Think of your social media profile as your digital shop window. What self-respecting shop would let December come and go without decorating their storefront in festive furnishings?

Start by sprucing up your profile and cover images with a healthy dose of red and a festive font. This is an easy way to inject a bit of obvious Christmas spirit into your branding without having to completely overhaul your existing assets.

You may also want to include other Christmas visuals – such as snowflakes, baubles, holly, etc. – in your cover image to further hammer home the point with festive fervour. The Christmas flavour will provide a welcome change for regular followers while also make for a memorable first impression to new visitors.

This is also a great avenue to advertise any festive products or services you may offer. Meanwhile, this is also a good opportunity to incorporate and highlight any seasonal offers you may be running over the Christmas period.

Which brings us nicely to our next entry…

 

Festive Offers

If you’re running seasonal offers over the festive period, congratulations – you’re showing your customers that you value their business and repaying their brand loyalty at a time of the year where it counts. If not, shame on you and it may be time to rethink your festive strategy.

Christmas is a time of year where the public is expecting their brand loyalty to be rewarded with sales and cut-price goods/services. What’s more, chances are, your competitors are probably going to be doing the same, so it’s a necessity if you want to keep up.

So, assuming you are indeed running some offers over the Christmas period, where better to highlight such offers than on your corresponding social media page? Make it overtly obvious by pinning it to the top of your page and/or boosting your offer post and you can’t go wrong.

Additionally, it’s also possible to customise posts to include specific background colours and themes, which is a simple yet effective way to also get your social posts in the festive spirit. The combination of the two is a sure-fire way to get your audience’s attention.

 

Spirit of Giving

As we all know, Christmas is the time for giving, peace on earth and goodwill to all. Why not soak up the yuletide ambience and take that festive message to heart by running a Christmas competition?

With gift-giving such an integral part of the Christmas experience, it’s only fitting that your brand follows suit and play Santa Claus to one or more of your followers.

A simple yet effective way of inciting social engagement, giveaways are like a hard-working postman – they never fail to deliver.

Whether it’s the allure of an attractive prize or the simplicity of the entry process, running a social media competition at Christmas is a fool-proof tactic that will only further endear you to your audience.

 

Santa’s Workshop

A great way to humanise your brand/company while still providing some excellent and engaging content for your audience is to give your followers a peek behind the curtain at what goes on behind the scenes.

Christmastime is the perfect period to provide such insight into daily operations, as it typically entails a happier office, a joyous atmosphere and – presuming Christmas decorations are out in force – an overall scenery that looks a lot more upbeat than at other times of the year.

Whether it’s a team lunch, exchanging Secret Santa gifts or simply showing off some of the best (and worst) Christmas jumpers to pass through your office doors, why not record any festive fun you might be having in the office during this time?

It all makes for great content, showing that your company is more than just a faceless logo and one that has a very human heart at the core.

 

Yule Blog

Blogs are a great way of attracting web traffic to your site, so why not pen fresh, festive-themed blogs and share your Christmas content on social media?

Christmas-themed articles are some of the most reliable and consistent content in terms of performance during December and some of the best is that which revolves around useful tips and advice over the festive period; e.g. “How to Save Money on Your Christmas Travel”.

While it might take a little thought to get there, if you can take the overall Christmas concept and connect your goods or services to the festive period, you’re on to a winner. Once you do, pen it, publish it and share away!

Run a gardening company? How about a blog on festive garden decorations? Operating a ladder business? What about tips for hanging Christmas lights? Offering web services? Why not write a blog on Christmas social media tips… wait a minute!

 

For more advice on social media for Christmas or additional Christmas social media tips, why not drop us a line today? Call us direct on 01446 339050 or click the button below to get in touch online now.

Contact Us

It's the end of another busy week for us here at Designer Websites, and it looks like the rest of the tech and marketing world have been up to their eyeballs too! Once again there are a bunch of things on our radar that we'd love to share with you this week; from a double resignation at Google to 2020 website preparations. Intrigued? Just keep reading...

Photo from https://www.theverge.com/

Spotify Wrapped Takes the Internet by Storm

If you've ventured on social media anytime this week you might have seen images like this popping up all over the place. Well, that's because we've come around to the Spotify wrapped time of year, where listeners get an in-depth overview of their musical habits. That's right, those guilty pleasures and Disney-sing-alongs and Karaoke classics are about to be showcased for all to see! This year, Spotify has made their roundups social media-friendly, much to the disappointment of Apple Music users, who haven't been treated to these luxuries!

Google Co-Founders Step Down

It looks like some big changes to the Google management structure are beginning to take shape. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, currently CEO and President of Alphabet, are to step aside leaving Google CEO Sundar Pichai to take the reigns for Alphabet too. They've said they will remain in the company as active shareholders and board members!

Freshen Up Your SEO Strategy

The year is coming to a close and we're starting to see reminders that now is a great time for reflecting and adjusting your SEO strategy. 

If you've been focusing on building engagement on socials, writing engaging blogs or optimising your site content, it might be time to switch things up a bit! Why not dedicate some time to build some valuable backlinks, or pursue adding eye-catching video content to your site?

Start to plan your business goals for 2020 and consider how you can tweak your current strategy to suit them! Our SEO team always recommend at this time of year is a dose of healthy competitor analysis.

Take a look around competitor sites, find out what they've been doing, who's linking to them and make sure you haven't missed an opportunity to reach new audiences. You might notice your competitors holding festive competitions at this time of year, which is something your audience can really share and engage with!

Here are a few pointers to help you refresh your SEO strategy:

  • Check your existing site content and add extra information where you can. This will give returning users a little extra to read!
  • Consider adding videos to your marketing plan, a splash of eye-catching multimedia can really boost engagement
  • Build your social media following. Have you tried a Facebook boosted post this year?
  • Review your internal links and consider adding new ones, this will help Google better understand the layout of your site and potentially boost rankings!

These are just a few ideas to get you started, keep checking back to see our helpful SEO based blogs throughout the year. We'll see you next week for another DW roundup. Have a lovely weekend!