Win Traffic! Optimize Content for Google’s Featured Snippet
Your position on search engine results pages (SERPs) affirms your relevance and value to users. So, there are few better search engine optimization (SEO) goals than becoming a featured snippet. SEO agency experts certainly think so.
This guide gives a presentation of how to optimize content for increased online traffic, including:
- A brief introduction to Google’s featured snippets and why they matter
- How to know if you should aim to be a featured snippet
- Five steps to developing SEO content that effectively drives traffic
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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Why Google’s Featured Snippets Matter
Google’s featured snippets have been around for a while now, but changes in user behavior and artificial intelligence (AI) are making them increasingly relevant to SEO. In a way, a featured snippet is the peak of good SEO because it sits higher on SERPs than other results, even ads.
Featured snippets are so valuable for that exact reason. Being in the top position automatically makes you the preferred option for most searchers for two reasons. First, Google vouches for you by placing your business at the top. Second, you are the first answer to their search queries.
To sum up, being featured on Google helps the bottom line of all websites, which is why these special snippets matter.
Do You Need Featured Snippets for Your Website?
The short answer is yes. All websites can benefit from featured snippets. However, the real question should be whether your website can reasonably attain that goal. You see, Google’s algorithm chooses when and what to display as a featured snippet.
There is no way to directly influence your chances, which means you cannot propose, apply, or submit content for Google’s consideration. You have to rely on fulfilling Google’s unknowable requirements. To that end, you must employ the best SEO strategies currently available.
Many of the strategies that increase website traffic inherently optimize for featured snippets, making them your best option. Why? Because SEO itself, especially exceptional SEO, is the only reliable way to convince Google to use your content over everyone else’s.
5 Steps to Develop High-Traffic SEO Content
Many factors affect the traffic potential of content on SERPs, such as:
- Eye-catching article titles
- Excellent meta descriptions
- Relevance to user intent
- The content’s target keyword
- Optimized content meta tags
While these seem extremely easy to achieve, getting them right all the time is challenging, even for SEO agency experts. Below are five steps (or strategies) you should follow to create high-traffic SEO content consistently.
1. Write Relevant Headers
Relevance is an important factor that helps users determine whether or not to click through on SERPs. That means your content’s title, header, and meta tags play a significant role in driving traffic to your website. The title, or title meta tag, is particularly important because it shows up first on SERP.
Imagine searching for "how to fix a phone that fell in water" on Google and getting the following:
- Fix Your Broken Phone in 5 Steps
- 7 Things You Can Do to Repair a Broken Screen
- How to Avoid Getting Your Phone Wet
The first two are unrelated, and the last one presents a way to avoid damage rather than fix it, making it useless for your needs. Instead, what would be helpful are results such as:
- How to Fix Your Phone after You Dropped It in Water
- Can a Phone That Fell in Water Be Repaired?
- How to Fix Your Water-Damaged Phone in 8 Steps
2. Focus on Search Intent
A featured snippet only appears when it answers the question exceptionally well. That means your content has to be a cut above the rest if you want it to become a featured snippet. To do that, you have to think carefully about the intent that powers your target market’s searches.
In other words, why are they looking for this information, and how do they need to use it? These two questions should guide how you produce content for users. For instance, if your target audience consists of DIY builders, think of what information would serve them the most.
3. Make It Useful and Unique
It is not enough to rely solely on search intent because your competitors also work from that same angle. Your content has to stand out to rise above the rest on the SERP. Think of how customers go out of their way to find a specific brand or product, because of particular qualities that only it has.
The same is true of digital content. People want something that caters to their specific wants and needs, not dime-a-dozen articles. Make your content as desirable and irresistible to your target market as their favorite brands and products, by offering something that no one else has.
4. Be Concise and Direct
Writing style and tone are aspects of on-page SEO that take a while to develop, but they are prerequisites for high-traffic SEO content. You might be thinking, “Does how I write really matter that much?” Yes, it does, because if someone struggles to understand your content, they leave.
The important takeaway here is that your content should be written simply and get straight to the point. Users are always in a rush, and they want answers that are simple and arrive quickly. If they have to work extra just to get what they need, they leave and look at your competitors.
5. Optimize Your Meta Tags
When it comes to SEO, context is instrumental for Google in making sense of images and videos. In fact, context also plays a vital role in helping search engine crawlers understand anchor texts and paragraphs in general. For that reason, meta tags are essential SEO tools.
Meta tags provide additional information that helps crawler bots gain a comprehensive view of your content. There are many types of meta tags, but here are the three most common ones:
- Meta title
- Meta description
- Image alt tags
Driving website traffic is the primary goal of many paid and organic SEO strategies, but very few can do it as effectively or efficiently as featured snippets. Having such a massive spotlight all to yourself is probably something websites would pay for if they could. Thankfully, Google says no.
Becoming a featured snippet is all about the hard, honest work it takes to be the best that you can be for your audience. Driving traffic this way is a reward for ingenuity and dedication to service.
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