Introducing Rank Zero
We all know that any business worth its salt is trying to build their online presence, by implementing SEO with hopes of hitting the number one ranking on Google search engine results. But what would happen if I told you that the business shouldn’t be competing for first? That the new “first place” is actually zero? Google Snippets has essentially created ‘rank zero’ and appears above the number one ranked website (but below sponsored results).
True to its name, Google Snippets is quite literally a snippet or preview of a web page. It’s a quick sneak peek that allows for users to get the short answer without clicking a link but also compels them to click on your link for the full response. Ideally, it’s a space to display just enough information for the user to know that you have the answer they are looking for, without giving away so much that they navigate away.
Image Source: Google
Snippets are taken from your main page, leading Google to look for meaningful, high-quality content on your web page that it can post in its search results. Now that we’ve established the importance of the snippet, it’s time to discuss the factors that contribute to your ranking.
Every Answer Needs a Question
Whenever you’re looking to create responses for potential questions that your customers might ask, there is no better way to prepare than stepping in the shoes of your clients. What kind of questions or concerns might a person have about your business? Would a beginner be able to understand your explanations? Is there any terminology that the average person might not get? These kinds of questions are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s critical to remember that to be at the top, you must consider each and every question before moving on. What’s better, if you can word it more in the way that a searcher would, there’s a higher chance your page will be featured in the snippet.
Keeping It Short and Informative
The key to a snippet is to keep your answers short and concise so that it can be easily accessible and understandable. If your responses fit better on tables, graphs, headings or lists, these solutions are also supported by Google Snippets. Although it is not confirmed, it seems that lists, graphs, and tables are more preferable to paragraph forms.
For example, when I type in “How to choose a web hosting service?” into Google Search, the first result to come up is a clearly titled section on the website, with a short, numbered lists of steps to follow, with a more detailed explanation elsewhere on the page. In this situation, the website also happens to be the top ranked, but keep in mind that this is not a prerequisite of getting a snippet.
However, as Google Snippets evolves, we will have a more clear understanding of how Google ranks responses. In the meantime, stick to clear, succinct answers in addition to adding some extra value that goes beyond the question, hence taking advantage of a perfect opportunity to expose users to your product or service.
The Information Hub
Somewhere on your web page, there should be a FAQ or a question and answer page that contains only the best information and is easily accessible to visitors. In doing so, you are centralizing all the questions a customer may have and placing the answers in a hub that is easy to find, and even easier to use. Not only that, but Google has an easier time to take that information and feature it onto their snippet, as these kinds of lists are exactly what Google is looking to provide its users. Even if you are not featured right away, updating this hub will make website navigation less stressful, and help your potential customers navigate your website with ease.