If you’re still looking for effective ways to help your business rank high on Google, you have some more creative ways to go about it. SEO offers numerous possibilities now, including some newer methods you perhaps don’t know yet.
One of those perhaps still a mystery to you is featured snippets. If you don’t know what this is, you need to learn about how they help your SERPs.
You can define featured snippets as a summary answering a user’s query. It’s more or less an extract from one of your webpages and includes a title and the URL.
Snippets frequently fall under three types:
With search results depending on these lately, how do you go about becoming a featured snippet? Take a look at six ways to maximize your authority and beat the competition.
Lists have become popular as a featured snippet because they easily provide a rundown of what you offer in the way of services or products.
How do you go about creating a list so it answers a question for a person searching on Google?
The point of a featured snippet is to help find a quick answer when looking for a particular service or business. Creating a list means you’ll be able to answer this question by listing specific pieces of data.
So what can you do to create a perfect list to help answer a question?
Many SEO experts note that starting with a question is the best approach so you can quickly answer what a user wants to know. Also, using How, What, Where, When, Who, and Why words are a good way to compile a list.
If you’re in a specialized industry, using the above words explain exactly what makes you different from everyone else. Differentiation in a crowded industry does a lot to answer a question and help you stand out from competitors.
While short paragraphs and lists work well to describe what you do, don’t forget about creating tables. As mentioned above, tables create statistics that help scope out proof of your expertise compared to others in the same industry.
Creating tables is going to mean using HTML. However, you can’t expect tables to become a magic bullet in becoming a featured snippet.
It’s important to understand that you can’t get a featured snippet on Google by your own volition. The best you can do is create information Google’s algorithm deems valuable.
When creating a table, research your competitors and see which tables rank the highest on Google. Are they using specific types of textual or numerical data to sufficiently answering a question for searchers?
Consider the shape of the table. Is it horizontal, vertical, or a fusion?
It’s worth considering creating graphs as well since Moz reports a rise in this type of format. Moz recently noted some keywords do better than others when it comes to ranking level. However, they say one stands out: Knowledge panels.
There seems to be a case made where Google wants to improve knowledge graphs, making graphs a more useful way to provide information to searchers.
Creating a graph gives a more visual sense of who you are and how you compare to others in your industry. Once again, differentiation becomes a major factor in the way you create the graph.
One of the best formats to increase your chances of becoming a featured snippet is to create a Q&A. Search Engine Watch notes Google finds Q&A’s easier to extract content from for snippet formatting.
The way to get started in creating an effective Q&A is to optimize all your digital content. You have numerous ways to do that, but it starts with your site content asking a question you’d know someone would want to ask.
Typically, any question with “How or What” do the best in searches. When Google sees this, they’ll know you’re serious about answering questions and make it more possible they’ll use it as a snippet.
Some other tips on optimizing your Q&A’s:
A newer aspect to featured snippets is voice search, something changing online searches in general. Voice searches are already becoming important to the snippets format, though you have to optimize to make it work.
You might find this confusing if you’re still new to connecting SEO to voice. First, you have to think about voice search characteristics, namely conversational language. When you start to optimize for voice search snippets, you’ll have to think in terms of long-tail keywords.
A handy tool to help you with conversational search is Answer the Public. This site lets you separate all search results into questions so you get an idea how people would search for your own business.
Also consider studying “People Also Ask” boxes you see on Google and other search engines to get an idea of what terms people use for voice search.
Some other ways to optimize for voice search:
Another useful Google feature is their Answer Box that attempts to provide answers to everyone’s questions.
You can use this to increase your featured snippet chances by thinking about your content in the form of questions & answers. Once again, you’ll want to think about your content in a way answering a specific question about your industry.
Google Answer Box uses the Hummingbird algorithm to provide quick answers to all questions without having to read over an entire article. The Answer Box differs slightly from a graph that provides a definition of something. Think of the Answer Box as using the above-mentioned How or What question format.
Answering micro-moments for searchers increases your chances of being in Google’s Answer Box. You’re also going to increase the curiosity of the searcher and make them apt to click on your site link to find more information about what you do.
Trying out these six steps should give you a good start in understanding the powerful potential of featured snippets. Some of these steps you can do on your own, though it’s always worth the investment to hire an SEO consultant if you’re unsure or don’t have time.
An experienced SEO expert is going to keep up on the upcoming evolution of featured snippets as they become a more important search feature.
If you are looking for an experienced SEO consultant to take your website to the next level, look no further. I’ve been creating and implementing digital marketing campaigns for small and medium sized businesses since 2008.
I specialize in organic and local SEO, web design, digital strategy, keyword research, paid search, lead generation, conversion optimization and content marketing.
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