Capitalizing on Google's Featured Snippet/Direct Answers

As an SEO company, we are always aiming to better our clients’ Google ranking for certain search terms. That’s what we do. That’s why they hired us. We aim for first page results and always go for gold - that coveted and, at times, elusive 1st position in the organic search results.  This can be quite an uphill battle due to Google’s constant evolution and the secrecy surrounding it. In other words, making constant adjustments and mastering the art of trial and error has become a way of life for us. 

Apart from adjusting to the demands that Google places on us, we are also constantly trying to capitalize on the added features and Google’s featured snippet, also called a direct answer, has indeed proven itself to be of great SEO value.

What is this featured snippet/direct answer of which you speak?

A user types in a question and Google searches all possible websites for the best answer, which it then places above the first ranked organic search result. What is interesting to observe is that the best answer does not always come from the first ranked site. Look at the example below. I asked Google ‘how do I create a blog’ and the direct answer which it presented actually comes from the website ranked 3rd. Not only that, but underneath the answer is a link to the website from where the answer was taken. 

Start blogging.jpg

This, of course, means that there is another way in which to reach the top without being number one. As a matter of fact, this is a way to beat number one.

 But how do I get there?   

Good question. There are a few things that you can do to better your chances of winning the featured snippet that relates to a certain search term. Firstly, ensure that you have informative content on your site (if this isn’t a good argument for content marketing, I don’t know what is). Instructional videos and blogs will definitely up your chances. If you opt for blogs, don’t be afraid to make use of bullet points to bring an answer across, as Google loves this format for its snippets.   

It is also advised that you create a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website, where you answer all of the questions that relate to your brand or company, and its product and service offering, in a short and concise manner.   

Anything else?

Not really, except that it is interesting to note that this is again one of those incidences where Content Marketing is the best tool in your SEO arsenal. We’ve said it many times before and we’ll say it again: Content Marketing and SEO can no longer be seen as separate entities. Both are necessary if you intend to improve your rankings.