Since 2016, Artefact has been working with Micron’s brand of Consumer Memory and Storage, Crucial, to continually optimise their search engine performance. Crucial is the global expert in award-winning memory and SSD storage solutions, delivering unparalleled performance to millions of customers for over 40 years.
Context: Early 2021, a decline in featured snippets
As global SEO lead for Crucial, Artefact regularly monitors and reports search metrics to them on a monthly basis. Between January and February 2021, a drop from 500 to 320 in their featured snippets (FS) was observed.
A decline in featured snippets is important because these are usually located at the very top of Google results pages and offer greater visibility to searchers. Their positioning can not only boost brand recognition but also, and more importantly, traffic.
Artefact alerted Crucial and went to them with an action plan.
Challenge: A plan of attack to win back lost traffic
Crucial was on board with Artefact from the beginning, even though it meant upping their budget for the fiscal year. But they agreed the situation was serious: they’d lost traffic and wanted to gain it back.
We began by reviewing our relevant queries on the Google SERP landscape to see what we needed to prioritise. We learned that for our priority terms, apart from traditional organic placements, videos appeared in 88% of cases, with YouTube predominating, while featured snippets appeared in 43% of cases.
We decided to take advantage of our existing content, but make tweaks to maximise our presence in featured snippet positions using two KPIs:
1. Grow brand visibility
2. Increase website traffic
Solution: The right featured snippets for the right audience
The target audience for Crucial by Micron’s articles includes early- to mid-stage potential customers. Early-stage potential customers are aware they have a problem – i.e., slow computer speed – but don’t yet realise their solution could be a Crucial product.
Mid-stage potential customers are aware of their problem and have an idea of the fix, i.e., updating their RAM, but don’t know what type of RAM they need or how to install it.
To create the “perfect” snippets to lead these customers directly to Crucial products, we designed a five-step plan:
Identify featured snippets appearing for our priority keywords which we track in Stat.
Group keywords to designated landing pages and prioritise opportunities by looking at the number of keywords we track for each URL, then at the number of featured snippets appearing for those keywords, and finally at our top-ranking keywords for that URL to see which holds the highest value and has the potential to become a featured snippet.
Review competitors in SERPs currently holding the Featured Snippet (FS) to see what they’re doing, what Google likes and see how we can improve upon it.
Recommend changes to the content via a new custom briefing template (see below).
Implement and track performance and results.
Results: Immediate and sustained featured snippet growth
With content amends made at the start of May, immediate, triple-digit growth was observed in featured snippet counts owned, share of voice and traffic. This impact was sustained, with featured snippet counts owned continuing to grow beyond the project’s end.
By reviewing SERPs to understand the state of play in our market, using third-party data to understand where our opportunities lay, and then leveraging our existing content to make minor but very precise changes, we not only saw featured snippet growth but, after content amends, appreciable growth in People Also Ask results.
While this project is now completed, the lessons we learned and shared with Crucial will serve to improve our identification of feature snippet opportunities and the way we write and review content in the future.