SEO is ever-changing – that much is certain. With every new Google update comes innovative and unconventional SEO techniques to complement the change. If you think that what you’ve been constantly doing to improve your website’s ranking couple years back would still work to this day, then you might be falling behind the times my friend.
Search Engine Optimization is a dynamic marketing strategy. It changes overtime and it does not forewarn what impact the changes will have on your website. The most groundbreaking thus far, is the introduction of the Knowledge Graph back in the 2012 Google algorithm update.
Two words that lead to a whole new world. Let’s have a brief overview of Google’s Knowledge Graph.
Introducing the Knowledge Graph
Back in 2012, the Knowledge Graph was materialized to help Google realize its mission which is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” True enough, the Knowledge Graph was created for this very purpose – data organization and interpretation.
Looking at the Knowledge Graph up-close, it’s basically a web of relationships – connecting one datum to several other related data. What the Knowledge Graph is trying to achieve is “understanding.” Words alone, cannot express the entirety of a thought or query. What matters more than semantics are intentions. After all, being able to know WHY people search for something can help search engines pinpoint the exact information users are looking for amidst a sea of others.
The physical representation which proves that the Knowledge Graph is actively working behind every search is the presence of “rich snippets” in the SERPs.
I know I’ve gotten you curious now, so let me indulge your interest a little bit more.
What’s a Snippet?
Snippets are information-rich data that are given more emphasis in the initial page of the SERPS. You’ll often find them on top links that markup structured data, organic local packs, or on the prominent box that appears on the upper right of the search results page.
These snippets are technically targeted pieces of information that Google deem relevant to your inquiry. It includes information about authors, publishers, locations, directors, movies, reviews, and other related items that have been identified by the data network of Google’s Knowledge Graph. The frequency of snippets appearing with every search has significantly increased from the time of the Knowledge Graph’s conception. In an article published by Search Engine Land last May of 2017, a study had found that at least 30% of searches have featured snippets. And the number is steadily growing to this day.
Because of featured snippets, users experience a more convenient time surfing with Google. One glance and they get the information they need. However, what’s good for Google, isn’t always great for your website’s rank. But hey, we’re here to talk about the positive effects snippets have on your website’s SEO – so let’s leave the partly discouraging aspects for another day.
How to Rank For A Snippet
Quality Is Key
Snippet or no snippet, quality is (and always will be) a key component in any SEO method. From the brainstorming process down to the final editing, you need to make sure that the content you’re creating is nothing short of amazing. Verify your resources, check who you link to, add value, and just give your 110% from start to finish. Avoid rushing things and always be on top of things. SEO agencies, such as our Chicago SEO Company, believe that when you offer quality, users and search engines will come to your website naturally. It’s like the best traffic magnet you can ever have.
Focus On Ranking For Keywords That Are In The Form Of Questions
Most snippets show up on searches that deliberately asks a specific question. If you want to get your webpage featured as a snippet, you also need to mirror this practice. Aim for long tail keywords as well as answering WH q b uestions. Find whatever is relevant, viral, or controversial in your industry right now – often times, people will search for something they completely lack knowledge about thus, the query would most likely be in question form. Do your research as to how people key in their searches to address their questions and build your content from there.
Give Direct, Expounded Answers Using LSI
In SEO, Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI is a method used by crawlers to better understand the contents of a particular page. In simpler terms, you can say that crawlers are looking for associated concepts that support your content title in order to confirm that you “really are” talking about what Google thinks you’re talking about.
In creating content especially designed to rank as a featured snippet, you can apply this same technique. Expound more on the subject or question you’re trying to rank for. For example, if you’re content is about bass guitars, you might as well include information that is really relevant to the musical instrument. Say, you can mention famous bass guitarists, the creator of the bass guitar, popular songs with heavy bass accompaniment, and so on and so forth. By doing so, you are giving Google the affirmation that your content is a credible and rich resource for queries about bass guitars.
How To Check If Any Of Your Content Are Used As A Snippet
Helpful tools have been introduced to help us out with our website’s SEO – one of them is the Rank Tracker developed by SEO PowerSuite. In order to check if you’re ranking for any of Google’s features or look for opportunities to do so, all you have to do is start a project for your website. By inputting the keywords your content is trying to rank for, the tracker will show you which Google SERP features are triggered by your content – or, if it’s ranking for them already. The ones you rank in will be highlighted in green. You can also check how strong your competition is for the same keyword and the visibility of your webpage in the SERP results. Analyzing your SEO’s daily performance is also possible using the SERP Analysis feature.
Google has indeed come a long way from the simple ten-link search results page to becoming a grand information circus that provide value for curious eyes in every direction. As SEO professionals, it is our duty to take part in this performance and give users a show they will truly appreciate.