Want to make your content a real internet rock star?
Today’s post shows you how – by earning a coveted spot on search engine results pages:
The Featured Snippet
First off …
What is a featured snippet?
Also known as a Google answer box, a featured snippet is a highlighted search box that answers a question you type into Google’s search bar. Google’s algorithm is so smart, it often understands what you’re looking for so well that it’s able to serve up the exact answer – as a “snippet” of information from a webpage that provides a clear, concise answer to that question.
Why are featured snippets so valuable?
- Featured snippets display at the top of Google search results (above organic listings), in a spot also known as “Position 0.”
- Because they answer very specific user queries, featured snippets can lead to a TON more organic traffic and exposure for your website.
- Voice searches frequently fetch answers from featured snippet boxes, further increasing your site traffic.
You don’t have to covet the featured snippet; you can try to earn your own! While there isn’t a secret recipe to follow, here are a few ways to optimize your content and increase the likelihood it’ll be featured in a Google answer box:
- Write valuable content people want to read. Google won’t reward you with a featured snippet if your content is too self-promotional. And don’t beat around the bush; start directly answering the user’s question in the first paragraph.
- Choose a very specific question and dedicate your content to answering it. Hyper-focused, relevant content will rank best.
- Use long-tail keywords to form questions (e.g., How do…, What is…). Think: How would my audience frame a search query to find the information they want?
- Check out “People also ask.” Conduct a basic question-based search in Google that your ideal audience is likely to ask. Below the answer box, scrutinize the related searches people conduct. Look for opportunities to answer a very focused question. The more specific the question, the greater the likelihood there’s less competition for traffic – and that your content will become a featured snippet. You can also use Quora the same way by conducting a basic search, and then scanning the related questions.
- Include schema markup. While it’s not required, including structured data helps Google understand your content better, which may help increase the chances you show up in search with a featured snippet.
- Use Heading tags correctly. Use H1 formatting for the title, and then use H2 and H3 formatting for the content subheads. Search engine spiders use H1, H2 and H3 subheads to determine what search queries your content relates to.
Need a smarter SEO strategy?
BARQAR’s content marketing and SEO specialists will help make sure your site ranks well in traditional search and voice search. Contact us for a free SEO audit today.