Importance of Google Snippets to SEO
Looking up information online is undeniably the best way to go when you want fast answers. However, the number of search results that come up can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the description boxes Google places just under a search result make everything much more convenient. You can find the answer you need without having to click through a load of websites. Google automatically provides you a simple summary. This is called a "snippet".

While a snippet helps users find content online, it also helps websites to generate clicks. In a way, snippets help websites become more attractive for users to visit them. It shows that the website contains relevant and helpful content. It also shows that Google thinks this is good content. Thanks to snippets, websites have another way to generate visitors and, possibly, potential customers.

Now, even if you think you have done everything you need to do for your website with regards to SEO, if you haven’t got a snippet for one or several of your pages, you can still do better! After all, there’s no better way to rank at the top of the page. For that, we have got you covered. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Google Snippets and how they can contribute to an effective SEO campaign.

There are two types of Google Snippets

In Google, there are two types of snippets that you will notice. They are the "featured snippet" and the "rich snippet". Both serve the same purpose: to help inform the users. However, these two totally differ in the way they provide information. For websites, getting the featured snippet is definitely a great way to boost your clicks. Here is why:

Featured Snippets

When looking up questions on search engines, we sometimes notice a block that directly answers our questions. We don't even have to go through the number of search results from other websites. Google automatically places an answer right in front of you. This is called the "Featured Snippet".

Featured snippets

However, it must be noted that this is different from Google's "direct answers". Direct answers are fact-oriented that are usually within the areas of word definition and a country's population. Contrary to that, featured snippets are given by Google to highlight more complex answers. Furthermore, these snippets are programmatically extracted by Google and are usually in the form of a list.

A featured snippet includes a summary of an article that Google thinks give the best answer to a user's question. It also contains a link to the article, the page title, as well as an image from the piece.

Importance of Featured Snippets

The importance of Featured snippets can not be taken lightly. For users, these make everything conducive and fast. But for businesses with websites, featured snippets are a great way for your content to be immediately seen.

Statistically, a featured snippet can have a dramatic impact on your traffic. In results without a featured snippet, the top organic result receives a 26% CTR on average. When a snippet is present, the CTR falls to 19.6%.

If you have the featured snippets you can expect a serious boost in your CTR. CTR or the Click-Through-Rate is the number of clicks your site generates. When your website is placed in the featured snippet block by Google, it has the highest chance of getting clicks from the users. Not only is it top of the page, but your website will also probably rank somewhere else on that first page, too.

Having your content as a featured snippet doesn't necessarily mean your website is ranking top in Google. Therefore, if you do get a Featured snippet, you will also be able to see some of your high-ranking content within the same SERP (Search Results Page). So you will not only have a page exposed but two or more of them. Your CTR will automatically get a boost.

Google Snippets

How to get a Featured Snippet

It is important to optimize your website if you want to get your page featured as a featured snippet. The only problem is how. There is no guaranteed way for Google to feature a snippet of your content. Google explains in a statement:

"Google programmatically determines that a page contains a likely answer to the user's question, and displays the result as a featured snippet."

Since it is "programmatically determined", only Google knows if the page will have the potential to become a featured snippet. Google's algorithm varies, and only they have the answer. However, we have provided some ways for you to at least crack at their program. They are the following:

Leverage Google Suggestion

If you have no idea which questions to anticipate, then we suggest that you use Google suggestion as leverage. Google suggestion provides you with keyword ideas that you can use as a guide for questions to draft your content's answers through. Start typing your keyword and see what Google suggests.

Prioritize Voice Search

Voice assistants like Google Voice, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Siri are becoming more popular. When they need an answer, they are going to use something like Google's Featured Snippets in Search to answer them.

By this, we mean how Google has been aiming more to make semantic searching a reality. One obvious way they do this is through voice-activated search. The growth of handheld devices that contain personal digital assistants has ushered in a new way to look at SEO with featured snippets.

Featured snippets work on the idea based on semantic resemblance between search query and results; most especially on mobile where many people use voice search. Voice searches, then, look for content from the results that are more likely to answer the queries. These answers are the featured snippets.

Neil Patel also has some thoughts on getting featured snippets in this video:

How to Keep Your Featured Snippet

Once you have actually reached your featured snippet, the next thing you need to do is keep them there. And there is only one definitive answer to that: by having the best answer there is. What this comes down to is good and effective content. You must fully use SEO to greatly evaluate the strength of your content; whether it contains valuable information or that it is good enough for users to want to actually stay there.

If you want more help with this, we can provide you with effective services here at Speenz. We have successfully accomplished this to our clients like Express Flooring. When you look up "benefits of porcelain tile", you will immediately see their content. Here’s a sneak peak:

Direct answers for questions

Rich Snippets

The second type of snippets you need to know is the "rich snippet". You can immediately notice them. Like featured snippets, rich snippets contain a glimpse or a summary of your content. However, with rich snippets, you don't need to be the "chosen one". But this doesn't mean you don't need to give it a thought.

Rich snippets have been regarded to be an advanced SEO technique that should be at the pinnacle of your SEO campaign. They are considered to be a very powerful bit of HTML markup that is a crucial element search engine crawlers read to provide information to searchers. Having an effective rich snippet improves your CTR and conversion rates. But first, what exactly is a rich snippet?

What is a Rich Snippet?

A rich snippet or a structured snippet is the extra text found underneath the search results. It helps to provide additional information to users about the page or the link it came from as well as the kind of content provided. It looks like this:

Rich Snippets

The gold stars and the ratings underneath the link to the app store are rich snippets.

The example is just one among the many formats rich snippets take. They vary according to the kind of search queries entered by users. Here are all of the rich snippets that can be coded into the HTML of a webpage:

  • Breadcrumbs – This displays a sort of "breadcrumb" trail of a set of links that helps the user understand and navigate through the website's hierarchy. To understand this clearly, below is an image that shows this:

  • Event Info – This snippet displays the date and location of a particular event.
  • Images and Google Authorship – This is also called as the author rich snippet. Google styles it in a way to show your organic search listing with a personal and trustworthy appearance. This usually includes the picture of the author, their name, and the number of followers they have on Google+.
  • Music Track Info – This shows a list of direct links to songs and how long they are. It also includes the album it belongs to as well as the artist.
  • Products – This snippet shows the price, availability, and the ratings of a product. It helps to attract qualified consumers before clicking on the website.
  • Recipes – This rich snippet displays an image of the food item that users are searching for. It also comes with a rating as well as other important information such as the time it will take to make the recipe and the nutritional value.
  • Reviews and Ratings – This type of snippet shows the rating of the company, organization, recipe, product, etc. together with their reviews. This excellently shows the quality and the reliability of the search results.

Google webmasters provides a handy overview of what exactly rich snippets are:

Why Rich Snippets are Important to SEO

In a nutshell, the value of rich snippets to SEO is its ability to draw users' attention to the results; most especially to those websites and pages that are not number one.

Users are more likely to click through a result if it contains brief yet valuable information that fulfills their queries. And rich snippets provide this. Therefore, rich snippets are great for those companies who have smaller marketing budgets. They do not need need to use PPC and get into keyword bidding wars just to be at the top spot of the search rankings or to have eye-catching links. Statistically speaking, those companies who fully employ rich snippets with their SEO techniques have experienced a 20 to 30 percent rise in their CTR.

How Rich Snippets Work

Rich Snippets are one way for SEO's to customize structured data to make search results on Google more relevant to user search queries. To do this, you have to use Google's Data Highlighter. This tool will help optimizers show to Google the exact data that must be included in a specific search results’ rich snippets. Therefore, if a result is incomplete of missing data and is showing irrelevant idea, SEO's can fully take control of what appears and rectify the issues. This shows the kind of level of customization allowed for SEO strategy to become more pointed than ever before.

Furthermore, rich snippets offer visually pleasing nature that makes any relevant content more eye-catching to users; making them very important as a tool in SEO. Furthermore, rich snippets provide information that are easily accessible and looked for in search queries.

While rich snippets could never replace the importance of Search Engine Results Page ranking in SEO, it is still a very valuable addition to your website's Search Engine Optimization.

At Speenz, our SEO campaigns are incredibly comprehensive. As well as link building and on-page optimization, we also work hard to earn our clients featured snippets and rich snippets in order to improve their CTR and increase traffic. Get in touch for a free consultation to find out more.

Keep in Mind the Q&A Pattern

Usually, people go online to look up answers to their questions. And they tend to do this by placing questions in the search box. Likewise, your content should be able to provide answers by treating them like one. Here are some tips to bear in mind:

1 Box Answer for questions

Identify Questions Related to the Market Area

Before anything else, anticipate the questions users will most likely ask about the topics you are covering. Read your post and think about the questions people may have.

Related questions to the market area

Provide a Clear and Direct Answer to the Question

Make sure your answers to those possible questions are direct, concise, and offer valuable information. Doing this will absolutely increase your content's chances of becoming a featured snippet.

Offer Value Added Info Beyond the Direct Answer

If you really want to increase your chances of getting featured, make sure that you go above and beyond with your answer. Remember, there may be several other writers trying to achieve the same thing. Your answer has to be better.

Make it Easy for Users (and Google) to Find on the Page

People (and Google) need to be able to find your answer. Many webmasters like to do this by placing their question and answer in a separate box toward the top of the page. This makes it very easy for users to find it and means Google will read it before anything else.
There are several other tips that may help improve your chances such as:
  • Adding queries in Subheadings (i.e., h2 tags)
  • Create best answers in paragraphs (45 to 97 words)
  • Adding numbered list of points.
  • Adding images for each query and optimize them (image file name, alt tag & title tag)
  • Keep the page updated with unique content regularly and promote it.

Schema Rating and its Benefits

Whether Google considers Schema markups as a ranking factor or not is a long-entrenched debate. With only 0.30% of websites using this method, it's easy to surmise that Google search results aren't much affected by this markup. But no. Schema ratings help SEO more than you can imagine. Webmasters would definitely agree on its benefits.

1. Getting star ratings onto Google's search results pages

Schema is a markup that serves as an "interpreter" of your website in order for search engines to understand it better. This is optimized through a structured feeding of your content to the search crawlers. You can add a Schema markup on your articles, events, reviews, products, or local business.

Putting a Schema code instead of plain HTML as markup provides the search engines the particulars of your content, say image or text. You have to hard code the Schema markup on your HTML to make this happen. Once done, the end result would be a rich snippet of your content with star ratings to be displayed on the SERPs.

Benefits Of Schema Rating

2. Benefits of having Schema ratings

The number one benefit of utilizing Schema markup is the fact that you're gaining "credibility" through star ratings. It will result in more clicks and viewership due to the trust the rich snippet attracts. Because even if you land in the top 3 results, you're still bound to be beaten in terms of click-through rates by those who get star ratings.

You have to understand that even though Google is getting smarter and smarter in indexing content, it still has its limitations. And an underused tool, you can augment that inefficiency through Schema markups.

Schema also improves user experience as the visitors can directly see what they can expect inside your webpage by simply reading your snippet and star ratings. However, the risk here is gathering very low ratings which are easy to fix through valuable content.

Schema Ratings Helps SEO

3. How Schema ratings help SEO

Schema markup is all about structuring your content so the search engines can project it better to end users. Imagine, if you are competing with two other websites of the same niche, you're more likely to be clicked due to your star ratings. It is an eye-catcher, so to speak. The result? More traffic, improved CTR, and higher conversion rates.

On another note, rich snippets produced by Schema markups produce quick information that an average internet user can readily digest. The important information is revealed right on the SERPs, attracting a user to click your page to read or see more.

Schema ratings help SEO in a way that it directly increases your ranking. Since you will be feeding the search engines with highly structured content, it will have a faster and easier time indexing your pages. This markup helps search engines like Google to understand web pages quickly.

Integrating Schema markup to your website is easy. And since it is still underutilized, you have the upper hand in improving your ranking in the Google search results.

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