Over the last few years, Google has been taking definitive steps towards improving the user experience for it users. Some of these changes have been very dramatic and wide-sweeping, most talked about ones are Google’s Rich Cards and Google Snippet optimization.
For many years, marketers have used or over exploited SEO techniques which are known in the industry as black hat techniques to artificially inflate their site rankings using keyword stuffing, spamdexing, page swapping, and cloaking to dupe search engines into thinking that their sites were more relevant and respected than they actually were. As a result users experienced stale results of websites, some of which offered helpful content for the information users tried to seek, but most of the results were not of any use. Google’s algorithm changes have made huge strides in plugging those black hat loopholes to make sure that each query is answered with best possible set of results for the users.
With the use of featured snippet box or is sometimes called as the answer box, Google let’s it’s users find the information they seek as soon as possible. So how does a snippet box works for your business? That is the question we want to answer through this article. Look at this image of a simple query for popular Sports sites:
What is Google’s Featured Snippet Box?
The Google featured snippet box appears at the top of an increasing number of search results- most often for question-based queries. The content that is featured in the box is an apt and a direct answer to the question being asked.
Why it is important for your business?
The answer to this question is: website traffic. Content is displayed along with the website URL that contains the relevant information and generally will get more traffic than even the top search results for a given search.
While this new feature is great for users, many companies initially became concerned that if all the information was provided in the answer box that the audience required, then it would seriously decrease the click-through rate for that page from which the snippet was pulled.
Luckily, the evidence pointed in the opposite direction that put all the rumours to rest. The evidence clearly reported that website pages received significant, if not staggering, increase in the organic search traffic for a keyword for which the snippet was pulled. In many cases, visitors seemed to click on the link to the website for the featured snippet than even the top most organic result. For many searchers, finding information in the snippet serves not as the end of their search, but as the jumping off point for further investigation once they see that the website being featured has the answer to their query. Searchers get to cut down on their search time and effort, and the content developers get the opportunity to increase traffic by getting their content featured in the snippet box exactly for people who are looking for it. It’s a win-win situation.
Now how to attain that spot? Just follow these simple steps.
Optimizing Your Content For Snippet Box
Step #1. Find out the most relevant keywords or long-tail search queries used by searchers to come to your website or are most relevant for content that you want to feature.
Step #2. Place the search query or keywords you are targeting in a header tag(h2, h3, h4, etc.)
Step #3. You need to place the answer immediately after that in a <p> tag. Ideally, your answer should be contained in a paragraph of 54-58 words long. This word limit is important for keyword based queries for which the user is looking for a particular definition on a Google’s SERP.
Step #4. For long-tail questions that desire a specific response, number your response. Google doesn’t always pulls a whole paragraph of text, but will pull the first part of each subheading in the order in which they are numbered.
Step #5. Google is always looking for signals from users on how they are responding to content that is displayed by your website, so be sure to provide the users for the accurate information that they are looking for.
Step #6. The only threshold to reach the snippet box is that the content is pulled from the first page of results. So you need to rank on the first page for that particular keyword. For that you need to read this article on How to Rank on the first page of SERP.