Featured snippets and ‘People Also Ask’ are Google’s newest search innovation, simplifying the search journey more than ever before and keeping users engaged on their network. It’s a tangible example of Google’s application of machine learning and an example at what we can come to expect from search engines. This function allows users to explore similar queries that relate back to the original search in the form of summarised blurbs. They are important because they are placed above the organic search results, eclipsing the importance of ranking hierarchy and creating a whole new area for SEO experts to explore.
Featured snippets and ‘People Also Ask’ sections are a game-changer as they shift the focus of SEO from rankings to valuable content. Sure, rankings are still important as you need to be on the first page to appear on a featured snippet or ‘People Also Ask’ boxes, but more and more it seems Google is rewarding sites that provide clear and accessible content. Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ section and featured snippets algorithm is another innovation that reinforces to businesses and marketers alike the value in keyword optimisation and building authority with content.
Featured Snippets now make up 30% of all search results, with that number set to rise as it is rolled out more extensively.
With the emergence of voice search featured snippets will continue to grow in significance. As it currently exist, features snippets are already twice more likely to be clicked on in SERPS. Incorporating a featured snippet plan into your current SEO strategy may be the key to garnering that all important web traffic.
Google continues to refine and modify their search model, with many searches now being answered by Google automatically. This happens when querying phone numbers or mathematical equations for example. This is all part of an approach that eradicates the need to visit a third-party site. This is even the case for when you directly search business’, as Google’s Business function allows users to contact business’ without actually visiting their site.
Google’s answer box function or ‘featured snippet’ is fast becoming an SEO opportunity for business’ to increase clicks and traffic to their site. Additionally, having your site appear in a featured snipper positions your company as an expert in the field. It’s a certification from Google that your content is reliable, accurate and accessible. Featured snippets come in three variations; paragraphs, lists and tables, you may have seen one or all of these adaptations depending on your search.
Paragraphs are the most population variation and usually feature an image along with a short paragraph which seeks to answer in part or full your search query. For example, a paragraph snippet may appear after searching for ” Capital of Brazil?”.
Lists are another answer format of Google and appear in either bullet point or numeric order. A query like ‘How to boil water?’ will generate a featured snipper list.
Google’s table answer presents users with a comparison table that is automatically compiled upon searching. The table is formatted with specific information in accordance with the user’s search. This appears in searches where a user is chasing data or prices. An example might be “Most Liveable Cities 2017?”.
Google’s SERP feature ‘people also ask for’ is another form of featured snippets that are designed to give users access to similar search queries. ‘People Also Ask’ Boxes have a multiplying function that will continue to generate questions based on your interaction with the search topic. For every search, there will be various similar questions that a user can explore.
‘People Also Ask’ sections are endless but they are also live. They latch onto search patterns as they happen and as a result have seen a 1,723 growth in SERP’s since 2015. This is comparable to featured snippets, who have only seen a 328% growth in that same time. ‘People Also Ask’ sections are increasingly taking up a lot of attention when it comes to SERP’s and for good reason. It’s estimated that ‘People Also Ask’ section can actually appear in over 20 SERPs, that’s an incredible visibility opportunity that you can leverage for lead generation. Here are our top tips for appearing in those much sought after featured snippets and ‘People Also Ask’ sections.
Building authority is the name of the game when it comes to SEO, it’s a significant factor that dictates Google’s ranking and also how they determine which content is featured in snippets or ‘People Also Ask’ boxes. The pages that are selected are ones that have distinguished themselves as reliable and accurate. Content is paramount when it comes to developing authority and it’s embolic of the business and site it’s representing.
It’s important to use straightforward language that answers a question in as little as 58 words. You may execute this by answering a question initially with a sentence or two and then elaborating further with supporting copy. The content’s imagery should also adhere to these principles and can assist in conveying a sense of authority.
Research Keywords & Questions:
Identify queries that overtly or indirectly are asking a question. To help narrow this down there are paid tools available like https://ahrefs.com and https://www.semrush.com which allow you to see which keywords are already ranking or in featured snippets. Even browsing ‘People Also Ask’ sections extensively and watching them unfold in real life can assist in the researching phase.
Proper formatting is required for Google to pick your content to be a features snippet or ‘People Also Ask’ section. This means actually ensuring that the basic HTML tags are used so that Google can scan it with ease. It also means <h2> and <h3> tags for the questions and bullet points. For featured snippets, this also means formatting the content in the method you want it to appear in, paragraph form, table form etc.
A successful SEO strategy aims to boost conversions and brand awareness. One Stop Media’s team of SEO experts are at the forefront of Google’s changing algorithms and can leverage this technology to generate traffic and leads for your business. Contact us today to find out how we can tailor an SEO plan to your business’ needs.