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Owning “Position Zero”: How Healthcare Providers Can Win Featured Snippets

What Are Featured Snippets?

A featured snippet is a prominent box at the top of a Google search engine results page (SERP), where Google displays an excerpt from one of its top 10 results. This is particularly significant in healthcare, where users often search for quick, reliable answers to their health-related questions.

Featured snippets, known as “Position Zero” to SEOs because they rank even higher on the SERP than the ultra-desirable position one, are part of Google’s general effort to give searchers what they are looking for without them even having to click into any of the search results.

For healthcare companies, winning a featured snippet can lead to a significant boost in organic traffic. This is crucial in the healthcare sector where timely and accurate information is highly valued. Experts estimate that nearly 9% of clicks in SERPs with Featured Snippets go directly to the URL linked in the snippet, bypassing other organic results. This can be especially impactful for healthcare providers seeking to increase their online visibility and offer authoritative health information to the public.

At Wheelhouse, we’ve developed a tried-and-true set of content optimization tactics to identify, assess and win featured snippets.

Success Story: Turning Medical Expertise into Featured Snippet Gold

One of our featured snippet successes came from a large health care client with a content problem: they had a significant library of authoritative, detailed content written by medical experts, but had seen mixed results trying to gain search visibility. They were often outranked by competitors with less expert, comprehensive content but more Google-friendly articles, blog posts and other informational resources.

Our approach was to first identify a prioritized set of informational pages that ranked in the top 10 for queries with featured snippets. We then analyzed the content and our expert copywriters found ways to consolidate and re-arrange key information to craft more “snippable” sections in each page.

The end result was featured-snippet-ready copy that didn’t lose any of the depth and detail that is the calling card of the client’s brand.

In some cases, we had multiple rounds of revision before winning the snippet, and as is often true in organic search, sometimes it took a few months to win a snippet. However, with every snippet we won, we saw impressive gains.

One particular page won a snippet and within the first six months after winning the snippet saw exponential growth in organic traffic, establishing itself as one of the main avenues into the site for users unfamiliar with the brand.

To be precise, the page saw a 1316% increase in organic users and a 1307% increase in new organic users and became the second ranked organic landing page on the site, just behind the home page.

Across all the pages we optimized for featured snippets for this client in our initial rounds of content optimization, we were able to win over 70 new featured snippets, exposing those new “position zero” rankings to over 20,000 incremental monthly searches.

What Could Featured Snippet Wins Mean for Healthcare Providers?

In the world of healthcare, where accurate information is paramount, featured snippets present a unique opportunity. Our team at Wheelhouse DMG has delved deep into the nuances of these valuable SERP positions, especially as they apply to healthcare organizations. Through our analysis of high-volume healthcare-related queries with informational intent, we’ve discovered that approximately 25-30% of these searches result in featured snippets. This represents a significant opportunity for healthcare providers to enhance their online visibility and patient engagement.

For healthcare queries, which often seek concise answers – like “What is a healthy blood pressure range?” – there’s a higher likelihood of a featured snippet appearing. In contrast, more complex questions such as “What causes seizures?” are less likely to yield a snippet. Understanding this distinction is crucial for healthcare providers. By strategically targeting content that answers straightforward, high-volume questions, you can increase your chances of winning these coveted “Position Zero” spots.

Data from a 2023 study published by Ahrefs underscores the significant benefit of securing a featured snippet. If your site ranks first for a search term and also captures the featured snippet, it can gain an additional 31% in traffic compared to holding just the first position without the snippet. This statistic underscores the significant advantage of not only ranking highly but also optimizing content to win the featured snippet.

As we continue to explore new featured snippet winning tactics, our content specialists at Wheelhouse DMG are developing greater expertise in this area. We would love to help you identify featured snippet opportunities and choose the right optimization strategy to take full advantage of them.

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