Improve Brand Awareness Using Featured Snippet Box by Google
What is a Snippet Box
You may have noticed a box-like structure while trying to type in a search query, especially on Google Search. It is also quite possible that you may find the content in the box and the immediate ranking page below to be exactly the same. These mostly appear from any of the top 5 listing pages in SERPs; having said that, it can also appear from pages that are not in the top 5 ranks. It can be a paragraph, a list (bullets, numbers), or a table snippet as well. For instance, StepToInbound ranks as below in featured snippets.
Google terms this box a “Snippet Box,” often called a quick answer box, direct answers, or rich answers in search. It was launched by Google in 2014. This should not be confused with knowledge graphs, which directly pull relevant information from Google’s data sources. It is a normal search result, emphasized by the special layout to provide quick answers to users.
What can it do for your brand?
Great things, as it gives your brand more visibility on top of all other search results—you truly stand out from the crowd. It also provides more clicks to your website and better CTRs, as Google is saying to the world that your results are the best. Google trusted you, so users will, too, thus resulting in better CTRs. Most importantly, this gives a simple, direct answer to a user’s questions without having to scroll through multiple pages.
While the above is beneficial, I noticed that a user can actually provide feedback or know more about how the results appear in general. Since this is a new development, the intention of Google involving users to provide the most accurate results to other users is fairly understood. The ability to submit feedback leads to a safe assumption that competition may try to submit negative feedback to deliberately prevent you from being there. Although Google confirms that “it may not lead” to a change in ranks, I imagine people will try this tactic to influence the results (at least from different IP addresses).
Here is an example of the process you need to go through while submitting feedback to google on snippet box results. I tried a simple query, “How to plant a tree.”
I provided the feedback that “this is not useful” from the options Google provides below; notice that out of the 4 options given by Google, only the 1st one, “This is useful,” positively contributes to your brand. All other options, however, as per the user’s feedback, may lead to losing out on this snippet box.
The screen you should see after submitting the feedback.
Okay great, I am listed in one of those snippet boxes. What’s next?
With the recent launch of the Google Penguin 4.0 update, changes are now made in real-time. If you are ranking in Google snippet boxes today, tomorrow it may be different. Competition may try working harder than you, or Google may find more relevant and better content to award with the snippet box view, so there are chances that you may lose it.
What should I do to remain in those snippet boxes?
Actually, it’s difficult to consistently follow Google’s algorithm. We can only try to understand it more and try following it as close as possible. Remaining relevant with updates and fresh content is key.
What if I don’t want my pages to be featured in a snippet at all?
Simple. Use <meta name=”googlebot” content=”nosnippet”> tag on your pages of interest. This will remove all snippets on your page, including those in regular search results.
How can I optimize for visibility in Google’s snippet boxes?
Now, this is the most important part; it’s not that complicated. It’s called the 5Ws and 1H formula.
Here are a few quick tips:
1) Find out questions users are asking across online media related to your product, offering, or service – one can also use the keyword tool, social media listening tools, and direct suggestions in Google Search or SEMrush.
2) Who, what, when, where, why, and how (the 5Ws & 1H) – Try organizing your content using these to answer the most probable questions that your target group of customers may be asking online. One can also look at having a product/services-focused FAQ section on the homepages of each product/service you may have. The primary objective should be to make your answers as explicit as possible within your content, web pages, paragraphs, infographics, and charts.
3) Old is Gold – It won’t be surprising to see that you already have a featured snippet box awarded by Google to your web pages. You can get this info by using SEO tools such as SEMrush. You can find this in organic research> RHS of the screen as a featured snippet, if there are any. Maintain more FAQs on such pages to retain them for a longer period.
Last year’s study confirms snippet boxes account for about 19% of total queries in search engines. Surely, with a growing importance for brand awareness that tops organic listings, this trend is bound to increase. It can get you more visibility and clicks, and better organic growth. It’s time you have a focused strategy in place to obtain Google-featured snippets. Do it before your competition does. Remember, boxes are never guaranteed, but you can always aim, test, and try!
Let me know your feedback or suggestions in the comments section below.
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