As a search engine, Google has been at the forefront of changing and enhancing the various possible ways to provide better, accurate and useful results to its users. Rich Snippet is one such result of the enhancements that Google has made in the recent years. You must have noticed when searching for a particular query or a term on google, there is an answer box at the top of the results in which there is a short and exact response to your query. This answer box, known colloquially as a rich snippet, has become a de facto addition in order to get quick answers, event lists, schedules and much more.
WHAT IS A GOOGLE FEATURED SNIPPET?
First introduced in 2009, Google’s featured snippet is basically an answer box that has a short, crisp and to the point response to the particular query or a term entered in Google. It helps a user to get the exact relevant content to its query without having to scroll all the way down the search result. The snippet provides a small but clear idea about a website’s content which users can read further by visiting the highlighted website.
It is no longer enough to be at a high rank in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Featured snippets are a part of enhanced search results which are designed to help users in making a correct decision before they click.
Let us look at few examples for the better understanding of Google featured snippets:
Example 1: The above snippet was the result of “good laptop for programming” search on Google. This box is formatted in bullets and is giving the most relevant and short response to the query.
Example 2: The above snippet was in the result for the query “price of Acer laptop”. This is formatted as a table.
Featured snippets can be presented in any format like tables, bullets, numbers, and paragraphs in order to show exact answer of the query asked.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF OPTIMIZING YOUR WEBSITE FOR GOOGLE FEATURED SNIPPETS?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of how to optimize a website for Google featured snippet, it is very important to understand the advantages of this feature.
STEPS TO OPTIMIZE A WEBSITE FOR GOOGLE FEATURED SNIPPETS:
One of the most important question that we ask to ourselves is how to optimize a website for a featured snippet. It has been a mystery for a majority of webmasters and professionals involved in SEO as to what factors influence their content to get in the snippet box.
Keeping that in mind, we are presenting a few basic steps in detail which will help you in optimizing a website for Google’s featured snippet.
STEP 1: Analysis of basic questions of your target audience.
Questions like “how to start a business”, “How to drive a car”, “what is a motor” mostly get a quick and direct answer from Google with the help of snippets. So in order to get into Google featured snippets, you need to do a research on all the basic questions your target audience may have in their mind. When carrying out keyword research, you need to look for the questions that you will be able to answer in depth. Online tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Moz’s Keyword Research tool, and few others, can be used to find out certain queries related to your industries. You just need to pick out the relevant category and include keywords such as “how”, “why” and “where”.
Another way to find out queries around a particular phrase is to look at the suggestions that Google automatically displays as drop-down when searching for a term. You can note the “Google Instant” results when you start typing.
Focus on the most basic questions of your field. For example, if you are writing a fitness blog, “how to reduce belly fat”, or “how to become fit” can be your basic questions.
STEP 2: Formatting
While formatting you have to take care of the following things:
The format of your content may play an important role in how algorithms of Google choose the appropriate content for snippets.
29% of snippets are in the table format.
A table-snippet would look like:
And a graphical-snippet would look like:
STEP 3: Take care of your word count.
The idea of featured snippets is to save the time of users when they are looking for a definition, description or a simple answer on Google.
The most appropriate length of a content in snippets is between 40-50 words.
You need to very concise and precise about your answer.
Formatting your content to include number or bullet list makes it easier for the Google algorithm to analyze whether your content is fit or not.
STEP 4: Craft Your Content in FAQ format.
Users mostly type direct questions in Google in order to find exact answers.
Create your article around the questions that you have analyzed in step 1 and answer those questions in your content.
You can create different pages for different questions and at last link all the questions in a FAQ page.
STEP 5: Directly answer the query.
When a user is asking for a definition of a term or answer to a particular question, you need to give a clear cut answer in your content.
It would be good to start by using the query as your headline and then give an exact answer somewhere in your content.
STEP 6: Consider User Experience.
It is very important that the users have a good experience on your website. The structure of your website and the format of your content, both can be beneficial for the Google and its users. You need to make sure that your website is mobile friendly as well as good for the desktop experience which can be seen throughout the user journey.
Structuring of the website including headings, subheadings, paragraphs, images, bullet points and tables is very important. There should be no obstacles on your website which may cause a user to bounce off your content.
STEP 7: Implement Schema
Implementation of Schema is something that should be taken care of if you want to take advantage of any SERP feature, and rich snippets are not an exception. Proper implementation of schema that highlights some of the most important information about your business such as your business name, address, phone number, website as well as ratings and reviews, is a necessity that should not be overlooked.
You should also understand rich snippet, or featured snippets as they are sometimes called, are controlled by Google’s own machine learning technology. A complex web of neural network forms a web that fetches answers from any corner of the internet to places them on your fingertips. We have already covered a blogpost on this topic.
There are various types of rich snippets that you can choose from that suits your need. From Rich Cards that display menus of your favorite dish, to knowledge panels that display information regarding any medical-type query, rich snippets can be useful for a variety of industries. Google is even considering an expansion that would help more business types take advantage of rich snippets, no matter what language they speak.
Anyone looking to increase their visibility in Google featured snippets, first and foremost task that they should do is run a quick audit of the keywords that you are ranking for within your current SEO plan and how many of them are question-based queries.
Once you have made the list, you can check where you are currently ranking and how useful and time saving your content is for users.
Then work on a plan to reoptimize your content for position zero and make Google work for you.