Google has no shortage of ways to put your business front and center in the SERPs, including popular methods like Google AdWords. It’s not a surprise that companies are investing in these opportunities; paid placements and other such alternatives are cannibalizing organic search results, putting those who solely prioritize SEO at a distinct disadvantage.
However, not all chances to get ahead require payment. Here’s what you need to know about featured snippets — and why they’re good for your business.
What Are Featured Snippets?
If you’ve ever Googled a common question, like searching for the lead actor in a movie or looking up the date of a historical event, you’ve likely come in contact with featured snippets. These appear in the form of a text box or, if relevant, a video clip, with information directly relevant to a user’s question pulled from credible websites around the net. Any common question generally yields a snippet, putting the chosen site effectively in position zero. Some searches yield a single snippet, while more complicated asks can result in a main snippet and several smaller snippets further down the page under the heading “people also ask.”
Snippets are exceptionally valuable tools, putting your site immediately at the top of the search engine results and drastically improving visibility. The effects of this are clear; clickthrough rates for featured snippets are over two times higher than that of organic results. The catch? There’s no way to guarantee that your site will result in a snippet and there’s no way to pay for the honor.
The Logic Behind Snippets
For businesses eager to get their content at the top of a Google search, featured snippets can be a great way to accomplish this. However, the presence of snippets isn’t an opportunity that can be bought. Instead, Google uses its own algorithms to determine which avenues are the most valuable.
The purpose of snippets is to answer common questions with readily available information to save users time and reduce the need to click on links. As a boost to user experience rather than business success, snippets serve Google searchers primarily, with only those chosen seeing the benefits.
Increasing Your Odds
Google tends to keep its algorithms under lock and key, including the logic that drives snippets. However, some basic SEO principles can increase your chances of appearing in this desirable page-topping position.
The objective behind snippets is to answer common or easily comprehensible questions, so be sure your site addresses as many of these as possible. Consider how searchers would ask common questions related to your business — for example, if you run an auto parts business, something like “when do I need new tires?” or “what are signs of engine problems?” may be relevant topics to include in your content. By using questions in the headers on your website, incorporating as many relevant keywords as possible, and employing buyer personas to identify common searches, you can increase your likelihood of seeing results. If you’re not sure where to start, consider looking at competitors’ content or searching common question sites like Quora to gauge popular queries related to your industry.
If for some reason you do not want your site content appearing in snippets, adding the html tag <meta name=“googlebot“ content=“nosnippet“> into your header can prevent Google from co-opting part of your page.There’s no way to guarantee a spot in Google’s featured snippets but the right approach to framing your site content can help. If you want to increase your odds and improve rankings across the board, RivalMind can revamp your strategy and help you see a boost in both traffic and leads. Contact us today to learn more about our SEO services.