Leapfrog the competition and divert valuable traffic direct to your site with the most valuable featured snippets.


Last week we dug into the best words and themes to generate featured snippets, and discovered that query type does indeed play a significant role in snippet generation.

Now we’re on a quest to unearth the featured snippet queries with the highest estimated traffic value. Why? Because 70 percent of snippets are pulled from results outside of the first organic position. Snagging the most valuable featured snippets on high-CPC SERPs and leapfrogging the competition means money, baby. Yeah!

Get our full whitepaper on featured snippets here:

Whitepaper(PDF)

In this post we’re going to look at how CPC plays into estimated annual traffic. Do higher CPCs mean higher estimated annual traffic? How about keywords with a lower CPC? Do they pull in less high-value traffic year-over-year? And what happens when we add search volume into the mix?

Let’s get to work.

HOW WE DID OUR MATH

In our study, out of one million high-CPC keywords, 92,832 returned a featured snippet. Within that smaller data set, we found that 1,570 of those had annual traffic with an estimated value of over one million dollars.

We used some pretty simple math to calculate this estimated annual traffic value for featured snippet queries (CPC x annual US search volume).

HIGH-CPC FEATURED SNIPPET QUERIES

Out of the one million total keywords, 234 had a CPC over US$300. Drilling down further, only nine of those returned featured snippets, and were almost exclusively made up of ridiculously high ROI niches (mesothelioma settlements, structured annuities, auto insurance, or enterprise-level services).

This wasn’t too surprising as they’re basically the only ones who can pay that price per click and still make money.

High-CPC queries and featured snippets
High-CPC queries and featured snippets

High-CPC queries and featured snippets

Very-high-CPC queries all had very low search volume.

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Despite the high CPC, many of these queries had a fairly low search volume. In fact, none of them got more than 600 searches annually. And the keyword [mesothelioma survival rates], which had the highest (and most mind-blowing) CPC at US$1,006.56 per click, only had a monthly search volume of 20.

This means that super pricey CPC queries fall short when it comes to making our list of most valuable featured snippet queries ($1,006.56 x [20 x 12] = $241,574.40).

In fact, our first query to net the million dollar-plus annual traffic by CPC is [general business credit]. It had a CPC of US$282.13 — the 16th highest CPC in our set of keywords that returned featured snippets — and annual search volume of 5,760 ($282.13 x 5,760 = $1,625,068.80).

LOWER-CPC FEATURED SNIPPET QUERIES

Now onto the other hand where we have lower-CPC queries that returned featured snippets, but had significantly higher search volume. These were mostly made up of broad topic queries like [psychology], [mba], [sql], and [engineering].

Lower-CPC search queries
Lower-CPC search queries

Lower-CPC search queries

Broad topic queries often have much higher search volume and lower CPCs.

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Only 10 percent of keywords that returned a featured snippet (9,283) had a CPC above US$35. In fact, [crm] is the only query in the chart above with a CPC higher than $35. But it also has the highest annual traffic value, driving an estimated $49,803,600 each year.

MORE SEARCH VOLUME, MORE MILLIONS

Looking at the list below, you’ll notice that the majority of queries don’t have unusually high CPCs like some of the pricey examples above. What they do have, though, is fairly substantial search volume.

Top queries that generate featured snippets by estimated annual traffic value.
Top queries that generate featured snippets by estimated annual traffic value.

Show me the money!

These are some of the top queries that generate featured snippets by estimated annual traffic value in US dollars.

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As a side note, you may find it interesting to know that when we sorted our featured snippet queries by search volume, we analysed 700 queries before coming across one that didn’t have an annual traffic value over one million dollars.

Let’s take a look at the featured snippets for some of these high search volume queries.

crm featured snippet annual traffic
crm featured snippet annual traffic

[crm] featured snippet

Estimated annual online traffic: US$49,803,600

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[big data] featured snippet
[big data] featured snippet

[big data] featured snippet

Estimated annual online traffic: US$49,019,000.

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nurse practitioner featured snippet
nurse practitioner featured snippet

[nurse practitioner] featured snippet

Estimated annual online traffic: US$16,658,880.

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physician assistant featured snippet
physician assistant featured snippet

[physician assistant] featured snippet

Estimated annual online traffic: US$10,534,200.

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graphic design featured snippet
graphic design featured snippet

[graphic design] featured snippet

Estimated annual online traffic: US$10,398,480.

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how to jump a car featured snippet
how to jump a car featured snippet

[how to jump a car] featured snippet

Estimated annual online traffic: US$8,642,880.

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While these rather generic words look to be part of informational searches, many are driving significant amounts of organic traffic to commercial sites. For brands competing in highly commercial SERPs, snagging a snippet could be worth a million bucks.

WRAPPING IT UP

As we covered in our whitepaper, getting a featured snippet can mean a big boost in organic traffic. The best part? Snippets are often pulled from outside of the first organic position, so you have the potential to leapfrog the top ranking brands on a SERP and redirect that highly valuable traffic right to your site.

More in our series on featured snippets:

  1. Whitepaper: How to get more featured snippets and key insights
  2. Featured snippet research methodology & open-source data
  3. The best words and themes to generate featured snippets
  4. The most valuable featured snippets
  5. Who’s winning with featured snippets? (coming soon)
  6. High-CPC SERP analysis (coming soon)

READY TO LEARN MORE?

These are just a few findings from our study. Download the full whitepaper to learn which query types generate featured snippets most often, which on-page and off-site factors appear to affect featured snippets, and how you can earn more featured snippets for your website.

Whitepaper(PDF)

Search is complex. So your SERP tracking should be comprehensive. That’s why we do featured snippet and knowledge graph tracking on SERPs, whether you’re looking internationally or locally, at desktop or mobile, or for even more insight. Curious? Say hello and request a demo.