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Sep 18th, 2015

Study: Position 2 with Rich Snippets May Have Higher CTRs Than Text-Only Position 1

You probably already know that structured markup creates rich snippets for your site and helps search engines understand your content. You might also have heard that it can become a ranking factor in the future. But have you ever considered how your structured markup ― and, more specifically, your rich snippets ―might already be affecting your website’s click-through rates (CTRs)?

If you’re wondering about this, Blue Nile Research might have the answer for you. The market research firm recently conducted a study on the impact of images, videos, star ratings and other types of media in search results, and they found out that these rich snippets can grab the attention of searchers and contribute to higher CTRs.

Creative representation of Google Search

Image Credit: Global Panorama, CC BY 2.0

In the study, the researchers identified scenarios that commonly occur in today’s SERPs. One scenario focused on search results with star reviews, another featured search results with author images while the third showed a SERP with Google’s local results map pack. By showing these scenarios to 300 respondents, the researchers found out that most people would choose to click on a Position 2 search result with rich media, compared to a Position 1 site that has a plain, text-only link.

Specifically, they noted that rich-media sites in Position 2 gained 61 percent of clicks, while non-rich media websites in Position 1 received only 48 percent. Websites without any rich snippets on Position 2 only got 35 percent of clicks.

The study also discovered that, in SERPs with local results map packs, most of the clicks went to the sites that were featured in the three-pack. According to the researchers, this might be due to the fact that the visual presentation of the three-pack grabbed the attention of the respondents. It might also be that many people nowadays have been conditioned by Google to look at the local results map pack when doing a local search.

The study concludes that, instead of just striving to attain the number one spot in search results, marketers and site owners should also look at how rich snippets can make their website stand out from the crowd. They must likewise grab opportunities to enhance their search results with rich media, such as adding structured markups to their code, capturing customer reviews on their site and verifying their business listing on Google My Business.

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About the author

Smart Traffic Blogger

A Digital Marketing Specialist at Smart Traffic. Keeping up with the latest advancements in all things SEO he is continually developing new campaigns to keep his clients ahead of the curve in online marketing.