Impact of Google's Search Features on Click-Through Rate Study | Perficient Digital Agency
PerficientDigital and AuthorityLabs identified 2M queries to track the spread across five different markets (auto, beauty, finance, retail, and travel) with about 400K keywords per market. AuthorityLabs followed the ranking data for these 2M keywords daily for thirty days. Clickstream data was also used in this study for those thirty days as well.
You can read the full study on their website, but the summary is below.
Detailed Analysis and Recommendations
The split between branded and non-branded queries was one of the more fascinating aspects of this study.
Aggregate CTR to the top 10 results for branded queries was quite high at 71.36%, but for non-branded queries, it was only 37.88%. Please note that this does not include most clicks to local search results, knowledge graph results, or People Also Ask boxes, as these were not trackable by Jumpshot.
This shows us that as more and more search features are implemented, the chance to obtain organic search traffic from Google may well be declining. So, what can you do to continue to maximize your opportunity with Google? One of the best things you can do is focus your efforts on ranking within Google's search features.
Those opportunities include:
Featured Snippets: Learn how to modify your content to earn featured snippets. While you're at it, teach your content creators how to write content that's more likely to earn these snippets. The more systematic you are with this process, the better.
People Also Ask Boxes: A secondary opportunity for your content is to get into People Also Ask boxes. The good news here is that the process for modifying your content is the same as it is to try and earn featured snippets. In fact, if you show up in the People Also Ask boxes, but not for any featured snippets, it's a sign that your pursuit of the featured snippet is on the right track, but not quite there yet.
Image Carousels: Google is making moves toward becoming more visual. In this year's version of our annual study of Google's rich answers, we saw their use of image carousels more than doubled. Of course, basic image optimization practices apply, but it's also important to post high-quality, original, and relevant images high up on the web page where you put them. Also, implement image site maps for those images.
Job Packs: If you're trying to get job listings to show up in Google's results, implement Job Postings Schema, which makes you eligible to show up in those results. You can read more about the entire process here.
Local Packs: If you have physical locations, then optimizing for local search is a must. The first key is to get your name, address, and phone number ("NAP") information to properly show across the entire web. You can use services such as Yext or Moz Local to do this. Learn more about other aspects of local SEO optimization here.
News Carousels: You're only eligible for this if you're in Google News. If you are, you can show up in these results. To appear in the news carousel on Google's mobile search results, you need to implement AMP. In fact, in the mobile results, AMP is a requirement. You can read more about implementing AMP here.
Shopping Results: While this is an advertising-based experience, it does occupy prominent space in the search results. You can start the process of learning how to rank well for these here.
Video Carousels: In the data we used for this study, video carousels showed up in more than two-thirds of all results. That spells lots of opportunity. Of course, YouTube is a decent-sized search engine on its own, but if you're looking to get your video into Google, it uses a different ranking algorithm.
Ranking in search features, as outlined above, is a significant area of opportunity, but there are additional things you can do. You can increase your focus on producing content that addresses the long tail of search. The long tail of search still represents 70% or more of all searches, and Google will be very limited in how they can provide instant answers to users for these types of queries...