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How Google Featured Snippets Improves Your SEO

SEOIn 2014, Google rolled out its “featured snippet” feature, providing searchers with answers to common questions right on the SERP. Also called a “direct answer” or “rich answer,” the snippet box also contains a link to the source website. And while Wikipedia and related sites DO tend to command a large corner of the snippets market, many other brands are surprised to find their content there as well.

For brands that make the cut, they have enjoyed an increase in website traffic and rankings and improved SEO. Why? Because if Google sees your content as relevant enough to feature, then users are more likely to trust the authority of it as well, and organic results are perceived as more trustworthy than ads.

So just how to you get your content featured in a direct answer?

Answer Common Questions With Relevant, Useful Content

While you should always be writing relevant and useful content, if you want to be considered for a featured snippet, you need to do some planning.

First, conduct long-tail keyword research to find some common search phrases in your industry. Likely, you will naturally uncover some common questions that you are qualified to answer. For example, if you’re a salon that specializes in extensions, you could provide a step-by-step guide answering “How to care for hair extensions at home?” Or, you could provide a definition to the question, “What is Remy hair?”

“How to,” “What is,” and “Why do” questions are popular queries for returning a featured snippet, and if you have the best answer, then you get the coveted spot.

Write The Best Answer

Create a piece of content for your website where you answer the question you selected. You can also answer related questions within the topic that you anticipate users having, adding more value to your content and preventing searchers from abandoning your site and searching for related questions.

The key to Google picking your content for a direct answer is not only in the relevance and usefulness, but in the language itself. The definition or instructions should be simple, clear and direct. Perform a few test queries and notice the size of the snippet box. Somewhere in your content, you need a summary of the “answer” that physically fits in that box and that provides the most concise and helpful information.

Share Your Content

Share, share, share! On your social sites, in your email marketing, and make it easy to find on your site’s navigation and accessible to Google bots. Remember that just as with all SEO, social currency has a significant impact on your rankings and how Google perceives your site’s authority and the relevance of your content.

Featured Snippets In Voice Searches

When a user conducts a voice search on their mobile device, Google will often read the direct answer, beginning the dialogue with “According to…” When a searcher hears your name, not only do you get a free branding bonus, but the user instantly assumes you’re a credible source since Google selected yours as the best answer to their question.

Design & Promote Can Help Your Chicago Business Boost Its SEO With Featured Snippets

While there’s no magic bullet for creating content that will be selected for a featured snippet, SEO best practices that include creating useful, relevant content, sharing it, and organically boosting your rankings, all serve to improve your site’s authority and make Google more likely to pick your content for a direct answer.

Design and Promote offers comprehensive SEO services to Chicago area businesses. Contact us at 630.995.7109 to learn how we can help improve your brand’s online presence.