The Answer Box might just be the most lucrative organic search asset you are not optimizing for. But it also might not be for lack of trying.
The answer box, or featured snippet as it is referred to by Google, has been around for a number of years now and continues to pose a considerable challenge for businesses looking to create appealing content that serves searcher intent so well they do not even need to click through.
What is definitely not up for debate is the marketing value landing in the coveted position “0” can bring – especially for lower-ranking pages that can zoom to the top with only a little bit of optimization tweaking. Although conventional conversion metrics like click-through rate are not always the goal here—benefits tend to be more diffuse—by landing an answer box you can:
- Steal clicks away from competitors
- Catapult low-ranking pages into prime real estate
- Increase click-through rates for existing pages
- Optimize brand exposure on a budget
Now that the benefits are made clear, it’s time to look at some strategies that online reputation management companies in Long Beach, CA use to land answer boxes for their clients.
Step 1: Find the Opportunities
The research stage must always begin with collecting keywords and phrases that actually show featured snippets in the SERP. Most of the SEO platforms these days have a featured snippet tracker to make this easy for you.
Research what types of questions your personas are searching for and what sort of unique content you can spin up in response. Also, research your competitor’s domains to see if there is an opportunity to outdo them. Getting concrete answers to these questions is absolutely crucial for success because focusing on the wrong terms or misjudging the intent will greatly limit the effectiveness of your work.
The goal here is to collect keywords that you already rank for (in the 5-20 range) that could, with a little bit of content optimization, land an answer box.
Step 2: Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit
The next step is about acting on the key findings in the research stage. Identify the terms you already rank for and start thinking hard about how you can optimize the content to land an answer box.
There are some common formatting features that Google tends to prefer – namely, questions or graphs/charts. Scan through your current batch of content and see how you can change the formatting to optimize in one (or both) of these ways. It can sometimes be as simple as taking blocks of text and breaking it down into a question and answer format. In other situations, you might want to go out and do some additional research on data trends and add it to a core page as a chart. These little changes require much less work than creating content from scratch – but that’s not to say you should ignore featured snippet optimization when creating new content.
Step 3: Optimize and Repeat
Once you have a system in place for researching keywords and implementing the right format to match searcher intent, all you need to do is execute, learn, adjust, and repeat. This cyclical process works for new keywords and fresh content as well!
Make Answer Boxes A Competitive Advantage
The answer box is a competitive advantage that steals clicks away from your competitors, allows you to optimize brand exposure on a budget, and can even increase click-through rates on existing pages. Following this three-stage optimization process should help you experience some of these benefits and start to build a feedback loop where visitors come to you for answers and then return to buy.
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