The #1 reason


That’s appropriate — standing the elusive target for many SEOs, #1, may not matter much. Ridiculous statement, right? Trust me… for a minute follow me.

The screen shot below shows what Google refers to as a featured snippet, also called a direct response. (It’s additionally one I sought lately when baking, recognizing I forgot to purchase self-rising flour and trusting I ‘d’t need to return to the shop. Anyhow, moving on… )


The direct response advice is showing above the first search result, as it is possible to see. I do need to click on the link to find the solution I want. I’m capable to see that if I pull on salt and the baking powder out of the cupboard, I can save myself a trip to the shop.

While this is excellent for the end user, it means that supplied me the info I wanted, but I never seen their website. In many cases, however, because they need more info than what’s shown in the direct reply the consumer remains going to see the site.

So does place #1 not matter? While the direct response revealed above does come from the #1-rated site for the search query, it does’t consistently work this way. The direct response is taken from the website with the greatest response, and Google does’t appear to care how it’s rated.

In the example below, the snippet that was featured has been pulled from the #3-ranked result. (Not that I’ve ever searched this specific query in a sleep-deprived second during the previous year… )


Can you visualize the difference in traffic for the #3 result with the immediate response vs. the #1 result without? Generally, the top organic position would have the highest click-through rate; yet, the direct response is likely taking traffic from the top result here (if not getting nearly all the clicks).

It’s significant to optimize the content on all your properties, not only your site. Because you never understand what Google’s going to deem the greatest candidate for an immediate reply yes, you actually do should contain complete content descriptions in your societal profiles.

In the example below, Google has picked a featured snippet for the search query from a video on Pottery Barn’s YouTube station , to hang drapes Site is ’sed by a page from Pottery Barn which contains hints and howtos for hanging drapes is #1 in the SERP — but because they’ve optimized their YouTube video description, it’s been chosen as the direct response. Because they’ve more real estate above the fold, this gains Pottery Barn in the long run.


The video is embedded within their web site, together with additional supporting content on hanging drapes. Pottery Barn’s howto guides provide an excellent information resource for customers, and that’s probably Google’s rewarding them with the #1 position in the SERP and both the featured snippet.


The featured snippet is pulled from the video description on YouTube:


What does this all have to do with your Search Engine Optimization content strategy? It could be used as a featured snippet in Google search results when you provide valuable advice that’s simple to follow and comprehend. If this occurs, you’ll probably find a boost in traffic to your website — maybe even more than the top effect that is organic.

If you’ve optimized your website and your societal stations, you could possibly get a larger piece of the SERP landscape through the snippet that is featured and standing #1 standing. Yet, even without #1, if you’ve got the snippet that is featured, you’re basically the new #1.

Now that you comprehend the benefit, you must discover the best way to go after the direct responses. Begin by searching Google for some of your target key words (particularly long tail versions that take the form of a question) and learn if these queries activate a featured snippet.

If direct responses are produced by these searches, have a look at the websites that are getting them and assess what they’re doing otherwise. If you’ve got the correct info in your website to reply the query, double check your set up. Have you got a dedicated page for each question with all-inclusive, high quality content? Or do you answer the question as part of a FAQ page that is bigger? In order to win the featured snippet positioning you may have to make some changes.

Direct replies continue to be comparatively new, and they’re not on all queries. The variety of questions is restricted, although you may discover that they’re beginning to add them for queries associated with your perpendicular. Recall, even if a specific query does an immediate response is triggered by ’t it may in the future — so you always have the option to begin creating content with that in head.

Take into account that featured snippets are typically found on informational queries rather than ones that are transactional, so optimizing your content for direct responses will mainly be for the goal of getting searchers on top of the funnel. To put it differently, plan your content do unless it’s proper to do so ’t attempt to use product pages to get featured snippets.

Standing #1 is significant as being the direct response. Concentrate on creating excellent content that target, and ’s useful to your audience the queries that would send someone to your website. While easy responses for example “what’s a replacement for self-rising flour” may not drive lots of traffic, queries like to hang drapes will probably drive traffic and quite potentially sales in time.

Some views expressed in this post may be those of a guest writer instead of automatically Search Engine Land. Staff writers are recorded here.

About The Writer

Rachel Lindteigen is the Senior Manager, SEO for PM Digital. She heads the team in Scottsdale, AZ. Rachel has over twenty years of editing and strategy development, content writing and ten years of digital marketing expertise. She works with crafts and many top ecommerce retailers both national and local amount SEO strategies. Rachel has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Telecommunications at Arizona State University and an MBA in Marketing.

(Some pictures used under license from

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