Boost Your Odds at Google’s Snippet Box

As Google algorithms keeps changing more opportunity abounds for marketers… take the move to Google’s new snippets box… you can now structure your SEO into the framework of the new search feature to get on top of the page!

Ever notice when you do a Google search that you also get a box of handy summarized info at the top? That’s Google’s Featured Snippet Box.
Advertisers who appear in the Featured Snippet Box on average see a 114 percent increase in CTR for high-traffic keywords. And its increased visibility gives many advertisers significantly improved organic performance, as much as 516 percent for sessions. No wonder so many advertisers want in “the box.”
Unfortunately, where you rank on Page One has little influence on whether you end up in the box, as HubSpot discovered. But there are four simple things you can do to increase the odds of your content appearing.
Identify Complex Questions
While you may be tempted to gear your content toward common questions, don’t. Simple questions like “how to bake bread” or “how to change a tire” are already inundated with responses, decreasing your odds of ever making it to the Featured Snippet Box.
When crafting your content, you need to write for complex questions. Complex questions will allow you the opportunity to provide unique, in-depth responses that will help you stand out from the competition.
To identify potential complex questions related to your particular niche:
Do Keyword Research. BrightEdge helps you research relevant industry-related keywords and queries. When researching, be sure to include keywords like “how,” “why” and “where.”
Google Search Console is another great way to search snippets to see what your competitors are featuring. And don’t hesitate to knock those competitors “out of the box” by hijacking their snippets (all’s fair in love and war).
Investigate Questions People Are Asking. Using your keyword results, investigate the kinds of questions people are asking. SerpStat pulls Google Suggest phrases based on your chosen keyword. Be sure to select the “only questions” filter.
Write Logical Answers
Once you have your complex question, it’s time to craft a logical response. No need for flowery prose, just stick to the facts. In essence, write like a reporter. Why? Longer text will automatically throw you out of the running.
Google sources for “how” and “why” responses to complex queries. And they specifically look for answers that fall under 64 words (with a sweet spot between 54 and 58 words). So, to rise above the competition, make sure your content follows that format.
Here, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company answers a query: “How to cut grass.” Their brief content (approximately 47 words) provides common sense tips on how to mow your lawn.
Notice within the snippet, they optimized their content by including a variation on the question “How to Properly Mow Your Lawn,” as well as variations of the keyword “mow” within the content (mow, mowing, cut and cutting). This increases their odds of popping up in searches.
Add Value
Offer added value by providing information that’s beyond the direct answer. Readers will appreciate the extra tidbits of information, and they may just click through to see what other insight you have to offer.
Also consider having your URL reflect your content, as well. Here, Bose’s URL is “Pairing with your Bluetooth device (video included) – Bose.” And the URL indicates there’s a video, too. Without it, readers wouldn’t have known they also had a video option.
The more value you provide your readers, the more likely they’ll be to leave you a favorable review with Google, too.
Source: Target Marketing June 6, 2016

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