Featured Snippets: A Case Study

By: Eric McGee Oct 20, 2020

Featured Snippets: A Case Study

Featured snippets are a powerful way to increase your school’s visibility in search. If you secure one of these coveted spots, your page will appear in position zero, at the top of the Google search results. What kind of difference can this placement make? To answer that question, let’s look at how one school increased organic traffic by capturing position zero with a little help from EducationDynamics

Why featured snippets?

Featured snippets can appear as paragraphs, numbered lists, bulleted lists, or tables above the standard search results. Claiming this placement increases your overall visibility. While the competition for these spots is fierce, they are obtainable. Featured snippets represent real value for school visibility campaigns. Here’s how one school went about claiming that coveted spot.

Stepping into position zero

In early 2020, EducationDynamics was approached by a school with a recognizable and well-established brand. This school has offered in-person instruction for more than 100 years and has carried their high-quality degree programs to the online space. EDDY had worked with them for years to grow organic positioning and optimize awareness Marketing. 

The school’s marketing team knew that increasing traffic on their site meant they could help more students get the degree they needed to advance their careers. With well-crafted content and a clear brand voice, they had already achieved positive results. They just needed a little help with positioning to expand their reach even further. After optimizing their other inbound marketing and awareness campaigns, the organic search experts at EducationDynamics recognized an opportunity to further improve the school’s positioning and awareness through featured snippets. 

The EDDY team selected a few valuable pieces of content from the school’s portfolio. These pieces would serve as the core of the traffic building strategy. Working with the school’s internal teams, EDDY helped to make these high-quality pieces even better, honing them to target specific, high-value keywords. 

Targeting mid- to long-tail keyword queries with low competition but high value, the team restructured the content to feature concise but highly relevant answers to search queries. Tables, bulleted lists, and succinct paragraphs increased the odds that Google would select the school’s content for position zero. 

Each one required slightly different adjustments to reach that coveted highlight box. EDDY added Snippet Bait, content and formatting that enticed Google’s search algorithm to boost the school’s content into the featured snippet spot. 

Powerful results

The EDDY SEO team was able to claim 17 different featured snippets for the school, with some content pieces even obtained Position Zero for multiple keywords. This enhanced placement led to a 60% average pageview increase for the content that earned each snippet. One blog post achieved a 127% increase in organic traffic compared to the two months prior.

The targeted gains translated to an overall improvement in visibility for the school. Organic traffic has increased by 14% month-over-month on average. Organic sessions have increased by 53% compared to the previous two months. More potential students are finding the school’s content and engaging with their site. 

Positioning for the future

As consumers embrace voice search, featured snippets will become even more important. One of the reasons that Google introduced featured snippets was to meet the needs of the 48% of consumers who use voice search. These consumers may never even see the position one results. Their voice assistants often read only the featured snippet. 

Optimizing for position zero puts you at the top of search results and front of mind for potential students. As this valuable opportunity evolves, EducationDynamics will continue to formulate new strategies and apply the most effective techniques. Start claiming your place in the search results. Contact EducationDynamics today to learn how our SEO and Inbound Marketing experts can help your school increase awareness and grow enrollments with our cutting edge strategies. 

Claiming Position Zero

For this Online College of a well-known university with an established brand, EducationDynamics sought to obtain featured snippets that would appear above the standard search results in relevant Google searches. The goal was to increase organic traffic and further improve search results during the first and second quarter of 2020.

Primary Objectives

  • Obtain featured snippets for online content
  • Continually increase organic traffic through SEO and content optimization
  • Move pieces up the search rankings for pertinent keywords
  • Evaluate and edit content

Organic Traffic Growth and Improved Positioning

  • 17 featured snippets for various content pieces
  • 60% average increase in pageviews for featured snippet articles
  • 14% increase in overall improvement overall organic reach
  • 127% increase in organic traffic for a single post
  •  53% overall increase in organic sessions 

Snippet-Worthy Strategies 

We selected a few valuable pieces of content from the college’s portfolio to serve as the core of the traffic building strategy. Working with the college’s internal teams, we helped to make these already high-quality pieces snippet worthy.

We targeted mid- to long-tail keyword queries with low competition but high value. Then we restructured the content to feature relevant and concise answers to search queries. Tables, bulleted lists, and succinct paragraphs acted as snippet bait to entice Google’s search algorithm to boost the content into the featured snippet spot.

Well-Positioned for Success

With support from the EducationDynamics content team, our partner successfully increased organic traffic and claimed featured snippets for high-value keywords. Our optimization efforts and content-focused strategy resulted in a 53% overall increase in organic sessions.