In the past, Google has refined how it displays results to users, and the notable change has been the featured snippet boxes it displays before the search results. A featured snippet box appears when users input a question-based query in the search bar. The snippet displays content from one of the pages ranking high on the SERP that directly gives answers to the question-based question without the user having to visit the page. The featured snippet box appears before the results on the SERPs, and a section of the people call them answer boxes.
While many SEO Sydney specialists complain that featured snippet boxes may have a negative impact on site traffic since fewer people click on the pages with the content. However, this could is further from the truth. Statistics show that it increases the click-through rate.
How to Optimize Content for Google’s Featured Snippet Box
Featured snippet boxes are the forte of sites that rank on page one; read our post for tips on how to optimize your content to rank higher on SERPs.
You can optimize your content for Google’s featured snippet box in five proven ways.
Answer Common Queries Asked By Your Target Audience
You might have some of the most valuable content, but if it fails to answer the questions asked by your target audience, your content will not be included in the featured snippet box. Get a focus group, brainstorm the common questions your potential site visitors will ask, and have them in your post. Ensure to form words and phrases such as ‘uses of’ or benefits, which statistics show that they help content feature in the snippet boxes.
Do not forget about keyword density, which increases the chances of drawing more traffic and is considered for a place in the featured snippet boxes. Make use of forum threads in your areas of specialization to get ideas of what your target audience will ask.
Make the Search Query Part of Your Header
While creating your content, optimize it for Google’s featured snippet box by ensuring that the query is under heading tags, that is <h1><h2><h3> et al. The answer to the search query must be directly under a paragraph <p> tag following the header. Google sometimes pulls the sub-headings as an answer to a search query.
Give Logical Answers
Content creators have the difficult choice of creating logical arguments in their posts. Ensure that you make the answers as rational as possible, having researched the trend that users answer the questions. The answers must be easy to understand and avoid industrial jargon. Lengthy introductions will reduce your chances of ranking in position zero (featured snippet box). Include tables, lists, or steps when possible.
Attend To the Number of Words
Google also considers the word count when including a post in the featured snippet box, according to a study involving 1.4 million featured snippets. The results of the study found that the optimal length of a featured snippet ought to be a maximum of 97 characters, around 40-50 words. The number of steps ought to be a minimum of 4 to 5 items and a maximum of 8 steps, with 3-4 rows for a table.
Study Your Competitors Already Ranked In a Featured Snippet Box
The ultimate way to optimize your content for Google’s featured snippet is to learn from competitors in your industry. Make a list of the search results that your content ranks between position 1 to 10 and not in the snippet box, and use the above tips. However, you can still make notes on the strategies used by your competitors and then apply them wisely in your content.
In conclusion, Google’s featured snippet box is an equalizer, and it gives small sites and low authority domains to rank above the big industry players. Most of the content in the featured snippet boxes is from sites ranked in position 5 and below. Follow these tips; they will help you rank higher than the high authority domains, increasing your CTR.