Everyone knows that being featured as the top search result in Google has an amazing clickthrough rate. It’s the ultimate goal of most websites, and the entire reason the science of Search Engine Optimization even exists. But what if your website could be ranked even higher than the first result?
Have you done a Google search and seen a box at the top that gives a quick answer to your question? Then you’ve seen Google’s “Featured Snippet” module, which aims to pull valuable content from a website and present it in the quickest and most convenient way possible.
For obvious reasons, being included in the Featured Snippet box is the goal of every content marketer. Most small websites can’t hope to rank as the first result for the most common searches, but the Google Featured Snippet is more egalitarian—a page doesn’t have to be among the top search results, or even be on the first page of results, to be the featured snippet.
Here are 4 tips to improve your chances of ending up as the Featured Snippet on a Google search page:
1. Answer a frequently asked question.
When creating content, actively think about the kinds of questions someone is likely to type into a search bar, and then write your post as an answer to a particular question. To be extra clear for Google’s search algorithm, you may want to literally include the question at the top of your post to make it crystal clear what your page is attempting to do.
2. But don’t make your question too general.
Let’s face it: it’s unlikely that your website will become the featured snippet for ultra-broad questions like “What is digital marketing?,” which have been thoroughly answered by many major websites. Instead, focus on answering more specific questions based on long tail keywords. For instance, a more specific version of the above may be “How do I create a content calendar for digital marketing?”
3. Keep your answer short.
The average Featured Snippet length is 50 words. So, a big part of making your text snippet-worthy is keeping it concise, or phrasing it in such a way that the information can be pulled out without having to pull entire long paragraphs. Which brings us to…
4. Use formatting to your advantage.
Google’s algorithm appears to prefer formats that showcase clarity: short paragraphs, numbered or bulleted lists, diagrams and picture captions.
Use paragraph, header, and section tags to make Google’s job easy. Appropriate tags help search engines both parse your content better and then figure out how to display it more easily. Search engines don’t want to take a chance on displaying something that they’re not sure will render correctly in the snippet box.
Google refers to this type of formatting as Structured Data, and even has a testing tool that can help you determine if your markup is effective at being parsed and rendered by its algorithm.
Do you think your content belongs in the Featured Snippet box? We can help to optimize it to improve your chances of success. Contact us today for more information!