What Google's new search feature means for finance marketers

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By Annabel Hodges, contributor. 5 September, 2019
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Google is testing a new feature in its search results that takes a user from the search results page, anchors them to the most relevant content on the landing page and also highlights that content. Could Google's new search feature impact finance marketers? We look at what this change could mean and how best to prepare for it.

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The Update

In December last year, Google released a mobile-only update that pointed searchers not only to a landing page but to the exact spot of the relevant content on the page; while also highlighting the text that was most relevant to the user’s search query. This feature only worked for AMP content that showed in the featured snippet at the top of the page. It appears that this update has now been rolled out to desktop searches as well - David Bokan, a Google Chromium engineer, confirmed on Twitter that Google is testing the feature on approximately 5% of Google searchers.

This update was reported on Search Engine Land who also shared screenshots of what this test looks like, originally spotted by keen-eyed SEL columnist Glenn Gabe on Twitter. You can see below a desktop example from the medical industry for the search ‘strep throat vs mono’ which then clicks through to the relevant content halfway down the landing page, and also highlights it.

What Google's new search feature means for finance marketers

What Google's new search feature means for finance marketers

The Potential Impact of Google's new search feature

Although this feature is currently only part of a test, it could have an impact on finance marketers should it be fully rolled out. If Google pushes searchers straight to content halfway down the page, this could impact potential ad clicks, visibility of calls to action, conversion rates and other key metrics.

If Google pushes searchers straight to content halfway down the page, this could impact potential ad clicks, visibility of calls to action, conversion rates and other key metrics.

Consider:

  • Keeping a close eye on keywords that your site ranks; particularly if these also have featured snippets in the SERPs
  • Carefully monitoring your analytics; potentially tracking anchored content on key landing pages
  • Testing moving content modules/elements around the page and the impact on conversion

There are limited examples across the finance industry to date, but it is logical to assume that this update could roll to popular searches across key finance topics. This likely won’t be the last we hear of Google jumping straight to specific content on a page. The search giant is always testing new features with the ultimate goal of getting users to relevant content faster and more effectively. Being aware of these updates and monitoring changes in your content engagement will give you a good head start if and when they are rolled out.

From strategy through to content production, design, SEO and web U/X, we work exclusively with financial services brands. If you have any questions about best-practice finance content, get in touch.

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Annabel is a digital marketer and seasoned writer with 15 years' experience working with global agencies and finance brands. With a particular love for SEO, analytics and all things data; Annabel draws on her industry experience and enjoys writing about growth and marketing solutions that tackle the challenges of finance marketing in a holistic manner.