What You Need to Know to Get a Google Featured Snippet

 What You Need to Know to Get a Google Featured Snippet

Getting traffic from Google means keeping up with its constantly evolving features. If you want to rank, you have to know how to optimize. And since 2014, there’s been a clear push from Google to deliver featured snippet results for more queries.

Why are they so popular?

It’s because they give answers to the questions people are searching for in a way that’s quick and easy to read.

They aren’t just beneficial to the average person though. Featured snippets offer marketers another way to drive traffic directly to their site. Content that appears in the featured snippets can get 2x higher click-through rates than content elsewhere on the search engine results page.

What is a Featured Snippet?

A featured snippet shows up as a block that contains the most direct answer to your query — below ads but above the position-one organic result — so they’re often referred to as “position zero” search results.

Here’s an example of a featured snippet:


Depending on the query, they can also show up as a paragraph blurb. These typically appear when a user searches for the answer to a question:

When a question can be answered in a series of steps, the snippet is presented as a list:

The table featured snippets are also presented most often for sizing guides, measurement questions or quick restaurant menu shots. Just by nature of size, featured snippets are even more effective at driving traffic to your site than ranking for position one.

How to Optimize Content for Featured Snippets

Because of the “how-to” nature of the industries, if you brand is related to DIY, health or finance, you’re more likely to get featured than published content from other categories. Still, the traffic boost and increased visibility are worth your time and research.

Here are 4 useful tips to optimize your content and appear in a featured snippet.

1. Research Keywords and Questions

Good old-fashioned keyword research is much easier these days with a few tools geared towards featured snippets.

For example, Serpstat let’s you type in a domain, keyword or link to see if featured snippets pop up for each. If you’re finding it cumbersome to do thorough competitor research, this is a great way to find out for which keywords they’re currently ranking.

When you land on keywords about topics that people are asking about, the next step is to create content that includes tags related to those questions.

Another way to format content around questions is to investigate the “People also ask” section on the Google SERP. These questions will likely spark content ideas in one simple step.

2. Stick to an Optimal Word Count

A SEMRush analysis found that most featured snippet results answers are between 40 to 50 words. Hubspot mentions up to 58 words.

This featured snippet list uses only 46 words:

Keeping your steps, paragraphs or lists concise can help Google easily feature your content.

3. Format Using Headers

Using paragraph style formatting, organize your steps, lists or paragraphs with subheadings. To increase your chances of showing as a list featured snippet, use subheading tags (<h2>) for items in the list to help search engines read and understand the content.

If you incorporate the chronological phrasing “Step 1, Step 2” (or some variation), Google will find it easier to order them as such.

4. Add High-Quality Images and Video

Featured snippets often include an image in the content box because most people find visuals more convenient and helpful.

If you do add video, consider adding transcripts. Combining text with video allows Google to recognize the text as it relates to featured snippet content, and you can combine your video engagement with your keyword research strategy.

5. Create a Q&A Page for Your Website

Q&A, FAQ or “how-to” pages are beneficial to your site not only because they demonstrate your expertise, but because they offer answers that can be used as a featured snippet.

Take this example from Home Depot’s DIY Projects and Ideas page:

When you create a Q&A page, stick to the common questions about your niche that you found in your research. Write complete, direct answers in short paragraphs.

Wrapping Up

If you want to get better traffic and improve your site’s SEO, occupying the first position of Google search results isn’t your only option. Ranking in featured snippets — position zero — is the highest-ranking spot possible without advertising.

Start out with competitor research and use Google itself to find your featured snippet opportunities.

The rest is simply about writing, structuring and optimizing content for search engines — do keyword and question research, stay concise, use headings, add visuals and create a resource page.

Want more insights? Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today. 

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Social Media and SEO: 3 Ways To Boost Search Results

 Social Media and SEO: 3 Ways To Boost Search Results

You want as many eyes as possible on your website – whether your goal is to sell your products, promote your services, or, you know, provide the world’s best digital marketing. There are lots of ways to drive traffic to your site, but Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has long stood alone as the most effective avenue to boost search results for business.

Now we’re asking – Can social media directly boost SEO?

Even though social signals like reviews, likes, shares, votes, pins, or links don’t have a direct impact on search rankings, there’s still a strong correlation between those signals and organic search success. What’s more, both SEO and social media have access to tons of marketing data you’ve been collecting for years.

Why not use it to grow and inform both channels?

Here’s how social media can bring more visitors to your website and improve the rankings that get your brand recognized and known.

Brand Recognition

Brand awareness may be the most touted benefit of social media, but we aren’t just talking about gauging your success by popularity metrics.

When someone discovers something on social media, what do they do?

They share a link. They mention your brand name. They write a review.

Although Google’s Matt Cutts debunked the myth that social following and likes played a role in ranking algorithms, getting a lot of mentions online could still cause Google to take notice.

With enough online chatter, Google sees brands as relevant for specific queries and begins ranking them for those queries.

Quality follows also benefit SEO – being followed by 100 people is better than 10,000 if it includes the top 5 influencers in your industry who publish content on a regular basis. A growing partnership on social media can blast your brand to a wider audience and work in the more technical space outside of those platforms.

As you help them with link building from guest posts on large blogs, you’ll likely gain valuable backlinks as a result.

Content Promotion

Social media is often ignored for SEO purposes because links from social platforms are rel=nofollow. In other words, search engines are instructed to ignore the link for ranking purposes in the search engine’s index.

However, it doesn’t matter that much.

If you’re earning nofollow links on high-profile platforms, you’re earning brand exposure, referral traffic and various off-site signals that do help your rankings in the search results.

That means you want to create and promote content that people want. Your brand should have a social promotion strategy for your videos, blog posts, and guides, in addition to a list of your very best evergreen content for re-sharing purposes.

These days, only a small portion of your potential audience sees your posts on a given day, so recycling content is the best way to continue driving traffic to your site.

While the links from social shares may not have the same SEO value as backlinks from authoritative websites, they can impact on-site engagement and bounce rate. There’s no better way to improve your site’s authority than delivering killer content that keeps visitors from wanting to leave your page.

Social media just offers another way to deliver that content.

Local SEO

Simply put, Google (and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing) like reviews. In fact, they make up 13 percent of ranking factors for local searches and seven percent for general searches. Customer reviews on your Google My Business listing reinforces that your business does what it says.

The same is true with Facebook business reviews. While Google likes its own content, it also pulls from other reliable sources to validate the information directly provided on your GMB listing.

That’s why your social media-sourced reviews are linked under the subheading “Reviews from the web” on Google.

Taking proper measures by using location tags can help send location-based signals to search engines that can strengthen your visibility. Consistent business name, address, and phone number (NAP) across your website, business listings and local directories is one way to ensure accurate search results.

You may also try location-based hashtags to get your website discovered and boost search results — #Chicago.

Takeaways

Social media may not have a direct and immediate impact on your search rankings but leveraging both strategies will give you more chances for audiences to discover your brand.

Partnering social platforms with SEO can build site authority, earn backlinks, promote your content and guide local prospects to discover your brand. With these tips in mind, you’ll more easily manage your social media while boosting your SEO (indirectly) at the same time.

Want more insights? Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today.
Boost Search Results.

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