When optimizing your webpage to appear in the first few results on a SERP (search engine results page), the ultimate goal is to increase traffic to your site. After all, it’s not very useful if you’re the top result, but no one clicks on your listing. There are many ways to increase your ranking such as creating pay-per-click campaigns and using best SEO practices. A study of 300 people conducted by Blue Nile found that the presence of rich media on SERPs increased the number of clicks the listing received.
So what is rich media on SERPs? Google defines it as, “Advanced features like video, audio or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content.” In simpler terms, these can be small images next to the result, a star review, an address, or a video clip such as the one in the screenshot below.
Rich media may also be used in the knowledge graph that Google displays as in the example below. However, sitelinks activated through Google Webmaster Tools that connect guests to certain pages are not considered rich media, but are still helpful when trying to capture clicks.
This study showed a respondent two scenarios: one search for “sneakers” and one for “articles by John Smith.” For both scenarios, the second listing had rich media attached. The “sneakers” search result included a star ranking and address. The author search result included a small picture of the author. To view the webpages used in the study, click here.
Blue Nile unsurprisingly found that results displaying rich media were clicked on more often than not, even when the rich media results were not the first result. The “sneakers” result with the star review generated 76% of clicks on the page while the first result only captured 9% of clicks. The author search including the image generated 46% of clicks while the result in the top spot only generated 10% of all clicks. Clearly, having rich media in your search rankings attracts guests to your listing.
Study participants were also shown results pages without rich media. In these scenarios, fewer people clicked on the second result than when rich media was included.
In the author search, the rich media helped to capture almost three times more clicks than were generated without rich media. Including rich media on SERPs is an effective way to generate more clicks to your site, increasing traffic and hopefully, conversions.
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