Mastering the tools of the digital marketing environment is a never-ending pursuit. Getting your content to feature in the number one spot in the Google search results was, generally, the goal for most business owners and digital marketers. However, nowadays striving to have your content featured in the Google snippet, in what is being dubbed ‘position zero’ by those in the SEO and digital marketing world, is the new objective. New methods and theories of how to optimize your content are constantly emerging and it’s crucial that youhave a good understanding of Google snippets and how important they are as a part of your digital marketing strategy. There is always something new to learn but this should be viewed as an opportunity for your business rather than a burden.
To assist you with your quest for search engine dominance over your competition, you should be aware of what Google snippets are and how to use them effectively. Securing the Google snippet can boost your organic web traffic and provide your pages with an air of authority to generate more interest in your business.
For the uninitiated, let’s look a little closer at what exactly Google featured snippets are and how you can use them effectively.
What Exactly Are Google Snippets?
In recent months, you will have noticed that when you enter a search term into Google and the results are returned, there is often a box above the first results. This box is pulled from a website that Google deems to answer your question. Typically, the information in this box will be a series of bullet points followed by a link to the website that the information was published on. This is the Google Snippet and since it appears in the search results above the first actual search result, it has been dubbed ‘position zero’ by marketers and SEOs.
This includes the page title, the URL to a page, and often the first few lines of text on that page. This information allows users to more easily filter through search results and narrow down the results to find what they are looking for.
Rich snippets add additional information, the nature of which depends on the search and page in question. If you search for a recipe, for example, a rich snippet may include a small picture of the finished product, an overall review rating, or the initial lines of nutritional information for that recipe.
Featured snippets are those search results that are featured in a small thinly-lined box immediately underneath the ads in Google’s generated search results. These serve to provide quick answers to users’ search queries. They are the first thing that users will see when conducting a search and are consequently the holy grail of snippet optimization. In fact, sites that are incorporated into a featured snippet have twice the click-through rate of other pages.
You have almost certainly seen and benefited from them yourself when conducting your own Google searches.Depending on the nature of a user’s search and the related page content, the featured snippet might display the first several lines of a recipe, hours of operation for a business, product information, or other text which Google determines can provide an answer to users without them needing to look elsewhere.
By now, you are most likely starting to realize just how important these snippets can be for your digital marketing strategy and why you need to go after them.
Why Featured Snippets Matter
Consider the possibilities for your business, your brand, and your bottom line if you could get your pages featured in the Google featured snippet. Appearing at the top of Google’s search results with portions of your actual page content displayed for easy viewing is a fantastic way of appearing authoritative in your industry. If you take Google’s featured snippets seriously, you can certainly expect to increase the amount of organic web traffic landing on your pages.
You will therefore also increase your click-through rate, which translates directly into more users visiting your page to view your products and services. Effective rich snippets will ultimately increase your ranking in the Google search results as the algorithm will recognize that more and more people are turning to your pages to have their questions answered and/or find the information that they need.
Basic Google Snippet Strategy
While you can leave the snippets that will appear for your pages to chance (to some degree), it is always best to consciously approach how your snippets will appear to users. Snippets can be manipulated by adding structured data to your website.
Another means of manipulating how your snippets appear is to add Meta descriptions for each of your website pages and blog posts. Use the Meta description to present what your pages are about in a concise and easy to read way. While you should not distract attention away from the actual content of your page, treat the Meta description of your site as an elevator pitch for your content and be sure to include your keyword in the text. Generally, you will only have a split second to grab the attention of search users with the copy you include for your snippet.It’ important to keep in mind that the length of the meta description is 160 – 165 characters.
While specifics for how to attain the hallowed featured snippet status will be the subject of another post, it is a given that having high-quality content on your pages which answers questions or provides value to readers is key. Using appropriate subheadings and H2 and H3 tags is also key in having your content appear in the featured snippet.
Incorporating Snippets Into A Comprehensive Digital Marketing Strategy
As with other important digital marketing tools, snippets are a small but immensely important part of a broader digital marketing strategy. Focusing on other SEO techniques will certainly improve your standing in the Google rankings and can provide useful functions of their own. However, in order to maximize your chances of users reaching your content, snippets cannot be ignored.
Let no stone go unturned in your pursuit of expanding your digital marketing presence. Increasing the web traffic that circulates to your pages relies heavily on interest and clicks. You can greatly influence the interest in your pages if you make them interesting and useful. Snippets are the means of making this happen. Even if you do not manage to lift your page rankings to the top of the search results, effective snippets can still highlight what information your pages contain and how visiting your site can benefit the reader.
Understand Google Snippets And Improve Your SEO Efforts
Google snippets should be an integral part of any digital marketing strategy. With more people turning to Google to find information, products, services, news, entertainment and more, you need to be sure that your content is seen. Taking steps to simply understand what Google snippets are and the impact they can have on your SEO efforts is a great place to start. Once you have a firm grasp of the potential that these snippets can offer, you can start drafting a roadmap to reach, what is becoming known as the “zero” position of Google’s search results.