Universal search (local, shopping, images, video, etc.)
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Brands outranking you
- Meta Description – In an eye tracking study, performed by a team including, among others, Google’s Laura Granka, (published in a book called Passive Eye Tracking, in a chapter Eye Monitoring in Online Search) it was found that the snippet captured the most attention of the searchers (43% of eye fixations), followed by the Title and the URL (30% and 21% of fixations respectively). The remaining 5% distributed over the other elements of the listing, such as Cached Page link. This finding shows the importance of controlling the content and appearance of your snippet for your main targeted keywords, as an eye-catching snippet can tip the scales of CTR in your favour and increase the number of clicks you get, relatively to your site’s ranking.
- Rich Snippets – the above figure of 43% of attention dedicated to the snipped probably becomes even higher when we talk about rich snippets. Google and other search engines have been investing a lot of efforts into encouraging adding a layer of classification onto the data presented on web pages and in case the information is labelled in an accepted way, it will be presented already in the snippet in SERPs. Check out the following SERP:
The showing of review grade stars in the snippet itself, makes this listing more attractive than the neighbors and it probably increases the CTR far beyond the few percent that the position #6 would get it, according to CTR studies. Similar situation can be observed with other microformatted data, such as event dates, recipes, airplane tickets, etc. Rich snippets will become even more widespread if and when Google starts accepting websites that implement the Schema.org tagging.
- Optimized Titles – adding a call to action to the Title or making it stand out in some other way, can increase the CTR percentages of a listing, beyond what you would usually get due to your ranking. This strategy, however, became less influential since Google started deciding what the best Title of your site should be, according to, among other things, anchor text of incoming links. As these changes will be implemented within Google’s discretion, it becomes very hard to predict how many people will click through to your site.