Google and Bing continue moving more content in the answer box when they believe it can directly answer a query. As of June 2019, more searches take place on mobile devices than on desktop. With more searches taking place on Mobile, Google, and Bing both read off the answer box when performing a voice search on mobile devices. Here are some tips to get more of your content into these featured snippets.
Ask the Question as an H2 Tag
If possible, you should state the question as an H2 tag and then directly answer it in a few sentences below. An H2 tag helps search engines understand the importance of this header, and the answer goes hand-in-hand with that question. Try and get to the solution as fast as you can when you answer the question.
Answer the Question Directly
When answering a question in your content, you should answer it directly. For example, you should not leave the answer up in the air with a “depends” or something similar. For instance, I answer this question below with staying what you should expect to pay for parking. Instead of getting into the weeds of each parking lot price, I give a direct answer.
Consider the Format
If your question states, “What are the Top Baseball Gloves for Beginners,” you might want to answer this in a list format. The list format is what a searcher is looking for, and that will be easy for them to read. The same goes for words like “Cheap, Best, Affordable, etc.,” since a searcher would expect a list as an answer. Sometimes Google will display the answer box as a list with answers, so use it if you can.
Break up Your Content
Since more searches take place on mobile than desktop, you have to make your content easy to digest on small screens. Having lots of text without header tags will make your content difficult to read. If a user comes from Google and then bounces off your site, they (Google) can interpret that as a bad experience, and thus not show your content as high the next time. As a note, Google is more sophisticated than this blunt example, but this is the idea of why user experience is critical.
Adding a picture below your answer can help you get into the answer box for two reasons. First, you are giving a better user experience to your audience to appreciate the text’s break. Second, you can optimize the picture for search engines. When you optimize the image with an ALT tag, you are giving additional clues to search engines that this content is related to this image.
Improve the Load Time
When trying to optimize your page, you have to consider making it as fast as possible. Adding pictures to the content is good, but inserting images at a high resolution can considerably slow down your site. Instead, you need to compress your photos to make the page load as fast as possible.
Fetch the Changes in Google and Bing
After writing the content and following the steps above, you should get in the habit of fetching Google and Bing’s changes. Unless you perform log file analysis to see when Google and Bing crawl your content, you won’t know when they crawl your changes. After making the content changes to your site, you should head to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to submit the changes to rank faster.
Track Your Results
SEMRush is my go-to SEO tool for tracking keywords. Since the keywords update daily when you create a project, I can spot trends easily compared to other SEO tools. After submitting your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools changes, you should track a few keywords to see if you get into the answer box overtime.
No guarantee following these steps above will get all your content in the answer box, but you give yourself a better chance. Always think of ways that your content can be better and test different options. Getting into the answer box on Google and Bing can bring additional traffic to your site, so it is worth the effort!
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