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Optimize Search for Voice and Featured Snippets

August 27, 2020   Posted By Molly Hegner
   

Personal assistants are becoming more popular on mobile devices and smart speakers, with people in every age group taking advantage of their ease of use. What you might not realize is that this trend affects your search engine optimization in two ways 

First, you need to be sure you’re optimizing for voice search. Because if you aren’t, your competitors are. And second, featured snippets are becoming more sought after with folks looking for the quickest answer. In short, optimizing for voice search now goes hand-in-hand with optimizing for featured snippets.  

There are three main types of featured snippets you should be optimizing content around for increased organic traffic to your website: 

  • Paragraph snippets 
  • List and table featured snippets 
  • Video featured snippets

What is a Featured Snippet? 
Also known as “answer boxes,” featured snippets are selected organic search results that Google believes to be the best answer to the user’s search query. Sometimes referred to as “position zero,” featured snippets steal clicks from the already valuable position oneResearch has shown content with snippets have a higher click-through rate.  

featured-snippet

Snippets are always changing within Google because of search volume. If volume decreases and no one is searching for a specific query, Google will remove the snippet. That does not mean you should be deterred from creating content targeted towards snippets. Now more than ever, instant results are needed due to the high demand for voice searches. 

Factors that Affect Your Chances at Obtaining a Featured Snippet 
Having content that instantly answers the user’s question is not the only box you need to check in order to gain that featured snippet you have been eyeing for months.  

On-page word count is a critical factor among other points. You must be sure to have content that backs up your knowledge on the topic being discussed. Having just one paragraph answering the user’s question will not land you any featured snippet from Google.  

Domain Authority is another important factor that Google looks at when choosing a snippet for a given query. A strong domain authority proves you are an expert in your industry. Having a secure site and strong backlinks from other highly authoritative sites shows Google your content is what the user is looking for.  

Influence of Voice Search on Featured Snippets 
If you are not already optimizing your content for featured snippets, the upward trend in voice search should persuade you to do so. A majority of featured snippets tend to be question-based along the lines of “Hey Google, what is the NEMA spec for water-tight enclosures? This means your content will be focused around long-tail keywords.  

The same is true for voice search, as both contain conversational words. When a user speaks to his or her smart speaker or mobile assistant, searches become personal with verbal exchanges on either end. 

Step Up Your Search Strategy 
Voice search optimization should be part of your content strategy because it re-enforces overall organic visibility. Whether it’s voice or keyboard queries you are targeting, voice search optimization helps you create more in-depth, better-structured and higher-ranking contentwhich is what all digital marketers want, right? 

For help in optimizing your content for voice search and featured snippets, contact us to learn more about how GGC can help with your total search marketing strategy! 

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