How Google is cannibalizing Search Engine Traffic
The best way to get traffic to your website is through Google Search. Google is the largest search engine, with billions of searches each day. Users rely on search engines to locate everything these days, from restaurant recommendations to B2B software vendors.
Your business can utilize SEO to drive quality traffic to your site if you have enough high-quality content with the right keywords. The traffic from search engines, especially Google, can then increase leads, sales, and revenue for your organization.
The likelihood users are searching within the market is probably looking for goods or services similar to yours on search engines like Google, regardless of your offer.
But what’s new with SEO and Google lately?
Have you visited Google recently, where you find featured snippets, FAQs, or knowledge panels?
If yes, you know Google is adding these features to keep users on their search pages and not going to your website.
In general, featured snippets, FAQs, and knowledge panels benefit users and make browsing easier. With a few clicks, they are redirected to pages without the need to open another browser tab. Convenient for users, yes. But how does this affect your website’s SEO ranking, traffic, and conversion?
How Featured Snippets Affect the Number of Clicks?
According to a recent study by Ahrefs, featured snippets reduce the number of clicks that users make to the top organic search result.
The first organic result’s click-through rate significantly decreases with a featured snippet. The first result receives a click-through rate of 26% without a featured snippet. With it, it only has a click-through rate of 19.6%, while the featured snippet receives a click-through rate of 8.6%.
When a featured snippet is present, fewer clicks are made on the organic search results.
Among the 112 million keywords Ahrefs examined:
- Search results for 12.29% of searches included highlighted snippets.
- Only 31.9% of featured snippets appear in the very first position of organic results.
- In Google’s top 10, 99.58 percent of featured snippets are already visible.
- Long-tail keywords cause the vast majority of highlighted snippets to appear.
- Most of Google’s featured snippets are from Wikipedia, and sources for featured excerpts frequently change.
Do You Need an FAQ Section?
Many (perhaps most) eCommerce managers mistakenly think that FAQ pages are as important to the About page and the Contact page as essential elements of a properly built eCommerce website.
FAQ pages frequently become the repository for shoddy writing, careless SEO, and inadequate user understanding.
Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t have an FAQ section on your website.
FAQ pages may interfere with conversions.
Almost always, your real customers visit your website to find what they’re looking for. They are curious about what you offer and would like to learn more about the products or any special deals you may have.
However, visitors do not immediately head to your FAQ page when they arrive at your website. Nobody first makes that stop; they only go to a FAQ page when they can’t find the needed information. An FAQ page is, therefore, a diversion from the conversion process.
FAQ pages with high rankings are not useful.
You don’t require FAQ pages to appear on the top organic search results; you require things like swiftly loading web pages, robust metadata, and information pertinent to your items. If you get this right, you’ll have contented visitors who find what they’re looking for and appreciate how you present it enough to participate.
A lazy and poor SEO strategy is to rely solely on a FAQ page. It might be useful for a website with little information, but it’s not required for websites written well.
FAQs provide lousy customer service.
Let’s face it: Most FAQ sites don’t even contain frequently asked questions. Someone on the marketing team created the content on the page. Though it is hoped that the selected inquiries represent reality, they are usually never drawn from a thorough understanding of clients’ questions. You can’t claim that an overzealous marketer didn’t add this question.
The unfortunate reality is that customer service and marketing operate similarly to neighbors who wave at one another while mowing the grass but never have a meal together or engage in conversation. At best, the bond is superficial.
Yes, it’s beneficial to provide information so that customers can resolve their issues independently. And certainly, even if the solutions are already available to the public, having on-demand responses to frequently asked concerns is beneficial for customer support.
So do you think you need featured snippets or FAQ sections on your website? The answer is – it depends. Featured snippets and FAQ sections can greatly affect your website’s SEO, and they can either make or break your SEO.
Properly structured snippets and FAQ sections can be a beneficial addition to your website. If you know how to play your cards right, your snippets and FAQs can be safe from cannibalization by Google. Instead, your SEO efforts will remain a way to increase your traffic, clicks, and conversions.
About the Author
Leon lives in Seguin, Texas, with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs. He spends most of his time outside of working BBQ’ing, obsessing over the lawn, and streaming Fortnite. If you’d like to connect with Leon, you can find him at linkedin.com/in/leonhitchens.
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