Search engine optimization has for some time now been the king of online marketing. The most important thing you should focus on is getting your page or website at the top three places of Google search, and SEO does just that. For some time now, SEO mostly relied on backlinks, keywords, and the like, but recently, a new feature is taking the online marketing world by storm. We are, of course, talking about featured snippets.
Featured snippets, also known as answer boxes, are essentially direct and short answers to any query you type into Google’s search engine. These are extracted from one of the top rated search engine results, and presented right below the search engine box. You will also get a link and the title of the page.
Why should you care about snippets?
Snippets are taken from one of the top ten results you get when using Google’s search engine. The reason it’s so useful is that, first of all, it’s the top result. This means that you will have maximum visibility when presenting your page. This visibility is made more evident by the fact that the featured snippet box takes up a much larger part of the screen when compared to regular results.
You will also notice that it often has an image that accompanies it. It also offers very relevant and clear information to the user, instead of just presenting Meta description, URL, and a title. This all means that the chance somebody will click on your link, on your page, is increased manifold.
How to obtain a featured snippet
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you don’t have to be in the number one spot on Google in order to get a featured snippet. This must certainly come as a relief to people who simply lack the resources to actually upgrade their pages to get that high. According to the guys from SRH white label SEO services, proper SEO is the way to go if you want to get higher on that list. And you do need to be rather close to the number one spot. Essentially, you need to guarantee that you are on the first page of the relevant Google search results. You should also know that there is no specific “box” where you can prepare and place your desired potential featured snippets. Google’s algorithms do all the work, and it’s up to you to figure the rest out. Below are some tips on how to do this.
First, you should have content that is essentially based on question and answer structures. If you pay attention to the snippets you get when you search for something, you will notice they are all formed as questions. Google essentially searches for answers question by analyzing the content that is found on your page. Then, it presents them through snippets and questions. However, know that this is still done by a computer, and it can be somewhat imperfect. If you want to achieve the best possible results, you should formulate questions that are very clear, direct, and formal. This way you avoid confusing the AI with humor, sarcasm, metaphors, or wordplay. Have your questions be short enough that they can fit completely into a snippet box.
You can increase your chances of getting a snippet by creating lists and charts. However, you need to keep the right format and style when doing this. So, if your content has lists and series of information, you need to handle the HTML format properly. Use the <table> function if you’re making rows and columns, <ol> for lists that have a specific order (like a step by step guide). Finally, use <ul> for listing things out where the order isn’t that important.
Use subtitles and tags. Including keywords into the <h2> ,<h3>, <h4>… tags raises both the chance that yours will be the first results on Google, and the chance of getting a snippet. Furthermore, have the subtitles contain questions that a user would type into Google’s search engine. It should also contain an answer to said question quite early in the following paragraph.
Another tip is to use site explorer software that can show you which websites, for which search terms, present featured snippets. Then, you should check out how their snippet works, and see if you can improve. Rearrange your content and posts, match the style with the desired snippet style. Be more precise in your questions, their length, and your general SEO work. For example, you and your competitor both have a similar article on cooking chicken. His article is featured, yours is not. All you have to do, if you can, is use the above instructions to improve your article.
Types of snippets
There are three types of featured snippets you can get. First we have lists, then paragraphs, and, of course, tables. Now, this is a very broad and general classification, and they may change in the nearer or later future, depending on the direction Google chooses to go.
First, lists. These are excellent for any step by step guide or instruction article. They mostly signify a process. Paragraphs are just that, a wall of text. They often encompass a definition of a term, but can also present longer answers to questions and such. Finally, tables showcase a batch of data on a certain subject. For example, searching for the nutritional content of, let’s say, almonds, will give you a featured table snippet that contains the number of calories, protein, fats, and various minerals and vitamins an almond has.
The world of online marketing, of always searching for leads and clicks is ever evolving. Featured snippets are the new hot thing in town, and it’s up to you to utilize them properly. Think about all the types that exist, keep your SEO efforts in check, and try to create content that will maximize their effectiveness and your chances of getting a featured snippet.
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