Google favours sources that provide clear, succinct answers to popular search queries posed by users regarding specific topics. Structuring your content in such a way so that you can easily anticipate the most common questions people have about your field of expertise will not only put your business in the top percentile of search engine rankings, but it’ll also establish your web site as a concreate, authoritative source.
Google’s main objective with answer boxes, or featured snippets, is to present users with what it deems to be the most credible and accurate answer or solution to their search queries in a straightforward and convenient fashion. This is what’s ultimately known as proper zero position optimization and it’s a guaranteed way of increasing traffic to your web site and boosting your click-through rates.
The only kicker here is that in order to qualify for this top-tier position, you have to already rank high enough to have your web site or content featured on the first page of search engine results. According to the strict stipulations set by this Google algorithm, any sources that rank beneath the first page of the search engine results for any given query aren’t eligible to qualify for the highest ranking position. That’s because they don’t meet Google’s standards for authoritative sources.
Featured Snippet Types
Presumably, it could be argued that featured snippets actually have the propensity to reduce the amount of traffic your web site receives, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reason some people think this is due to the inherent nature of featured snippets. Users pose a question to a search engine, and then the search engine immediately provides them with an easy-to-understand answer in a few short sentences.
The reason featured snippets actually work, though, is quite simple. They prompt users to continue reading your content because they subconsciously view the article as a credible and knowledgeable source for the simple reason that Google has implicitly designated it as such by ranking it in the zero position.
There are three effective ways in which featured snippets can be presented:
- Short paragraph (no more than one to two sentences) explaining the subject matter or directly answering a question
- Lists both ranked and unranked (i.e. symptoms of specific type of illness)
- Table or chart (i.e. if someone is researching annual weather patterns in a specific region for a school or work-related project)
FAQ optimization is one of the easiest protocols you can implement on your web site to improve your rankings. Asking complex questions verbatim with what users are typing into search engines and providing complex answers is a surefire way to improve your rankings. Find out exactly what members of your target demographic are searching for and hone in directly on those topics. Use a keyword search tool to generate prominent questions and answers regarding your industry and your business in particular.
Word Count Optimization
Optimizing your word count according to the Google updates and algorithms pretty much guarantees that the content you produce is a strong contender for becoming a featured snippet. Google tends to look for long-form articles or blog posts that offer useful explanations and insights regarding a wide range of topics. Format your content in such a way that Google can easily extract the most pertinent information from your pieces and place it in the zero ranking position.
You can do this by incorporating short paragraphs, lists, charts, or even bullet points in your content.
Image and Media Optimization
Images and media are excellent ways of enhancing the textual content on your web site and giving visitors a strong visual of what you’re trying to illustrate. It’s important to make sure that you’re only using images or media sources that are completely relevant to the information you’re depicting on your web site. If your written content doesn’t already contain complementary images or media (which is a big no-no!) Google will extract them from other sources and combine them with your content in a featured snippet.
Numero Uno Web Solutions is one of the most prominent professional SEO marketing companies in Canada. Our highly experienced SEO gurus have helped countless clients establish strong online presences and improve their search engine rankings. To find out how we can help raise your online marketing campaign to the next level, please contact us!