How Important Are Google’s Featured Snippets for Healthcare Local Search?
Google featured snippets are chosen research results that feature above the organic results on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). They are located below the ads in a box and focus on instantly answering a search query.
SEO experts cite Google featured snippets as important to search rankings. For example, Hubspot conducted some research on its own search rankings, comparing click-through rates when its content captured the coveted featured snippet and when its content did not. As the chart below reveals, Hubspot discovered that content with a featured snippet gets over two times the click-throughs than content without a featured snippet.
Capturing the featured snippet benefits businesses of all types by providing targeted information based on queries typed into search engines. However, a STAT whitepaper reveals that healthcare brands (along with DIY brands and financial brands) may be in a better than average position to capture the featured snippet.
When your healthcare organization is featured in a snippet, you receive brand exposure and greater visibility. Consumers may find the information in featured snippets particularly useful when conducting local healthcare searches, especially when seeking new doctors or clinics.
If your healthcare organization is trying to capture a featured snippet, it’s important to understand:
- The different types of snippets
- How snippets relate to voice searches
- How snippets benefit healthcare organizations
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Types of Featured Snippets
There are several types of featured snippets. Each adds its own value to search rankings. Common types include:
- Paragraph snippets
- Numbered or bulleted list snippets
- Table snippets
Google forms a paragraph snippet by extracting text from a web page designed to answer a query. These work well for questions like how-to, who is and what is.
Here’s an example of a paragraph snippet that comes up when the query is “What is a featured snippet?”
Numbered or bulleted list snippets are used for providing scannable lists. For example, numbered lists may provide steps on how to perform a task while bulleted lists are often used for listing or ranking items.
Here’s an example of a numbered list snippet that comes up when the query is “How to splint a finger with tape.”
Of all the types of featured snippets, table snippets account for 29% of all snippets. Rather than pull information and provide it in the original format, these snippets pull specific information and reproduce it in a table that users can sort and analyze.
Here’s an example of a table snippet that comes up when the query is “Medicare costs by state.”
Featured Snippets and Voice Searches
Featured snippets directly answer questions and are often provided when users perform voice searches. This adds value to healthcare organizations because patients frequently use voice searches to find local healthcare providers. The featured snippets are then read back to users via their computer or mobile device, giving them the information they can use right away.
You can optimize your web content for voice search by using longtail keywords that are phrased in the way that actual people talk. For instance, where once you may have targeted a keyword such as “Dallas dental office,” you may consider using a longer, more natural phrasing such as “where’s the closest dentist to me?”
How Snippets Benefit Healthcare Organizations
Featured snippets help search engines acclimate to long queries by providing a straightforward answer summarized in a short block of text. This works well for healthcare organizations because it gives users the information they are looking for instantly. For example, if a user types what to do about broken toe, a snippet is displayed with suggestions. The aim is to get right to the point in answering the question.
As a healthcare provider, you operate in a highly competitive online environment. If you can develop content that will provide the best answer to a popular search query about healthcare, you will have a great chance of capturing the featured snippet, thereby ensuring that more eyes are drawn to your content than that of your competitors.
When choosing where to focus your medical SEO efforts, consider that more than 85% of consumers’ brand engagement online is local. Optimizing your business listings and webpages for local SEO will help your organization’s name, location and information appear instantly in the palms of your potential patients’ hands.
Want to learn more about how to optimize your business listings and get found by Google? Check out our Managed Services for Google offering today.