The Growth of Featured Snippets (2016 – 2017)
Apr14

The Growth of Featured Snippets (2016 – 2017)

9SHARESFacebookTwitter Featured Snippets was a pretty hot topic back in 2016, especially in the Finance sector, an area that I work in. It’s only just begun in terms of the topic really as we’ve experienced 700% growth in terms of Answer Box/Featured Snippet appearances in this area. Google are making further changes to these snippets, which I’ll dive into a little below. This article will effectively look at Featured Snippets from my point of view, which is an area that I’ve been working on since 2015. The Featured Snippets came to light in Google’s search results for a relatively small number of queries back in 2014, but then only really impacted my area at the end of 2015. Google Trends Research You can see ‘featured snippets’ has seen its interest over time in Google Trends grow, and that’s likely due to the higher number of appearances and therefore interest in these types of results: Featured Snippet Growth from 2016 to 2017 Across 10,000 or so of the top finance related keywords I am tracking, Featured Snippets show up for 33% of those keywords. This is huge growth of around 700% when looking at February 2016 to February 2017. We’ve only seen the number of these Featured Snippets growing from last year, even for highly commercial search terms, which don’t appear to even have questions showing up that you would think would trigger a Featured Snippet. Either way, I think the growth is quite startling and can even be overwhelming when trying to optimise your content for these queries. You can see the growth visualised in the chart below. We first really spotted them becoming a much bigger thing back in October 2015, and it looks like in October 2016 there has been further growth from that point on wards: What’s the Biggest Challenge with Featured Snippets? As an in-house SEO, my biggest challenge with these is that they change all the time. One day they’ll be there, the next they’ll be gone, or you’ll appear in one, then someone else will, then you will again. You purely take turns with others. However, there are some lucrative terms that have maintained a Featured Snippet presence, and we’ve done some analysis to identify what uplift that brings whenever we do appear in one of the long-term Featured Snippets, and it’s roughly a 2% increase in Click Through Rate, which can mean a huge difference if it’s for very large commercial search terms. This can obviously pay off for the all the work you’ve been doing around it, if you’ve managed to land a highly commercial term. The Future of Featured Snippets We’ve seen huge...

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Best SEO Tools & Resources for 2015
Jul08

Best SEO Tools & Resources for 2015

20SHARESFacebookTwitter 2014 was so last year, so I thought I’d create a new post on tools to use in 2015. Of course, preferred tools change all the time and tools that I used last year, I may no longer use anymore. Last year, I created a list of 14 of the best SEO tools to use in 2014 and now I look back at some of them, and think, are they still relevant or as important as they were last year? I’ve also changed jobs and have gone from agency to in-house, so the dynamic has changed in that respect. I’ve gone from doing ‘agency SEO’ to ‘in-house SEO’, which are vastly different in my opinion, but that’s another subject for another time. Introducing a twist to this article: I’ve included real life examples/scenarios of where I’ve used each of these tools. Click on the drop down bars below each section to view more information. Now, let’s get on with the list of the best SEO tools so far in 2015: 1. URL Profiler Website: URL Profiler URL Profiler is by far one of the most useful tools that I’ve come across in 2015. Its features are almost similar to another tool called Netpeak (free). I was introduced to that tool back in 2014, and was impressed with Netpeak, but I’m even more impressed with URL Profiler. It does come with a cost, but it’s well worth the cost with regard to the technical abilities you gain out of using this tool. This is a definite MUST for agencies and anyone working in-house. Its useful for analysing websites you work on and competitor websites. At £9.95 per month for a solo license, this tool is affordable for anyone doing serious SEO work on a website. The next biggest packages come at a cost of £12.95, £19.95, and £29.95. The various packages allow you to use the software on more than one machine, increased connections speeds, and allow for larger URL imports. More info on this tool (click to expand) Real Life Scenario with Using this Tool I used URL Profiler to do competitor analysis on Compare The Market and their new ‘2 for 1 cinema deals.’ I basically wanted to find out, as a result of their new marketing giveaway, how many websites and what websites were linking to CTM. Ahrefs & Majestic were only showing 21 referring domains to a certain section of their site where the 2 for 1 deal exists as a landing page. However, I knew that they’d seen far greater exposure. So I used a Chrome Plugin called OS Scraper to scrape relevant search results about...

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