Do you know how powerful the Google featured snippet box (sometimes referred to as the Google Answer Box) is for getting traffic to your website?
As an SEO Agency, we often get asked about Rich/Featured snippets and the fact is they're really, reeeeally powerful. In fact, according to Ahrefs, the Google featured snippets are stealing clicks from the number one ranking organic search results, which you probably already know from your own personal browsing experience. In addition, when there is a Google page with a featured snippet box, the number one organically ranked page will only receive 8.6% of the clicks and reduce the number of overall clicks for all the other page results as well. Because if users find the answers to their questions in the snippet box they have no reason to look any further.
What Are Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets, also known as spot zero in ranking terms, are compiled by Google based on their users most commonly asked questions. In other words, Google will search their database, then extract the answer to their users' questions from the webpage that provides the user with the most complete answer. Then they place that webpage in their featured snippet box along with the page title and a link to the webpage of origin.
What the Statistics Say About the Google Snippet Box
According to one Searchengineland case study, landing a spot in the Google featured snippet box led to a 516% increase in organic sessions and a 505% increase in mobile sessions with the revenue from organic traffic increasing by 677%!
The Different Types of Featured Snippets
Google presents its featured snippets in three different ways:
Tips for Snagging a Featured Snippet Spot
Structuring your content to earn a featured snippet spot is similar to the way you would optimize it for SEO but different in the fact that you gear your content more toward finding and answering commonly asked questions in your industry and presenting that content in a way that helps your readers solve their problems.
10 Tips To Snag Google's Featured Snippet Spot
1. Use Keyword Question Answering Content
Answering questions is the very best way to get into the snippet box. Your content should answer questions such as how, what, when, where, why, and who. If your content doesn't answer questions, it probably won't land in the snippet box. For example, instead of using a keyword like "increase sales," you will simply write that keyword in a question format like "how to increase sales."
2. Include Long-Tail Keyword Searches With Informational Intent
Almost all featured snippets are chosen because of long-tail keywords. The more words that match the searcher's query, the higher the probability you will get a featured snippet spot. Here's the thought process:
3. Using Pro Keyword Tools for Finding and Analyzing Snippets
You can use keyword tools such as Serpstat for doing your keyword research. These types of tools are great because they combine keyword research with your featured snippet research so you can see which of your keywords, and your competitors keywords, are making it into the snippet boxes. This will also allow you to filter and see at a glance your competitors best-performing searches.
4. Browse Google's "People Also Ask" Box
Another area to garner inspiration for your content is Google's "People Also Ask" box. This is usually found directly below the featured snippet box and contains related questions and information for the topic at hand. To make it easier, you can use a pro tool such as "Answer the Public" to find content that Google deems important.
5. Monitor Social Media Website Questions
Monitoring social media website questions is a great way to uncover untapped content opportunities. Using a pro tool like Cyfe will make it easier to find new topics and article ideas through social media.
6. Structure Your Content Properly
For best results, first, you should write your articles so they answer many similar questions. Include as many related topic questions and answers as you can naturally fit into your content. Then you will need to structure that content in a way that increases your chances of landing in the snippet box. For example, Google loves structured, factual, number-driven content such as lists, numbered steps, comparison charts, etc. You will then want to use a tiered keyword organization strategy for your content. For example, use a generic keyword as the category for your blog, then a more specific keyword in the title, and an even more specific keyword (question) for the subheads.
7. Use Attention-Grabbing Images
If you want to increase your chances of earning a snippet spot, you should include attention-grabbing images with your content. Google will select an image at random, so just make sure your images are not only appealing but are also branded and annotated as well.
8. Write Your Content in Organized Sections
Remember, Google loves structure and organization; therefore, it's best if you write your content in a way that makes it easier for them to feature it. Try to keep each section of content no shorter than 40 words and no longer than 50 words which is the most common format of a featured snippet.
In addition, you should keep your content well organized by using headers to break up your content into sections. You should also organize your lists, steps, and paragraphs using headers as well. And always present your content in chronological order when applicable. Additionally, if you have numbered steps, include those in your subheads. For example, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, etc.
9. Add a "How-To" Page To Your Website
As mentioned above, Google loves how-to questions, so by adding a how-to page or section and/or a buying guide to your website is a great way to optimize it and give you a greater chance of landing a featured snippet spot because this is the type of content Google prefers.
10. Add an FAQ's Page to Your Website
Similar to adding a how-to page or a buying guide to your website, adding an FAQ's page is equally, if not even more, powerful when it comes to earning a featured snippet spot. Remember, the featured snippets are all about questions. Users ask questions and it's Google's job to search their database and find the most relevant, helpful answers available.
Will you be the one with the most relevant, helpful answers?
The Bottom Line
The only way to increase your chances of landing a spot in Google's featured snippet box is to structure your content in a way that helps people find answers to their questions and provides helpful information that solves a problem. In fact, you can't even add any microdata or schema markup to your content to entice Google or tell them what you want to be posted should your content be chosen for a snippet.
Google's featured snippet box is very powerful; therefore, it's worth the extra effort to make sure your content is structured in a way that increases your chances of landing one of those ever-coveted snippet spots.
If you would like some help restructuring your content to boost your chances of earning a Google featured snippet spot, please Contact Us today. Our search marketing agency has the knowledge and experience to help you take your business to the next level and beyond!
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