In 2017, Google started sharing answers to questions on their search results page. Answers to questions on Google are coming from websites all over the internet. It’s been super helpful for most everyone. You can find the answer you’re looking without visiting a website. You can get your answer straight from Google’s search results page.
When you ask questions on Google, the first result displayed is a featured snippet. This “answer” is what Google has found to be the most truthful or helpful to users.
If you’re completely lost, here’s what a featured snippet looks like in Google:
Now that you’ve seen that picture, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m referring to. We’ve all seen answers to questions on Google. It’s becoming a large part of search these days! These featured snippets are starting to take over SEO. It’s something that you should be formatting your content for.
So, I bet you’re wanting the answer to the question in the title now, aren’t you? Well, wait no longer! Here are two answers I’ve formatted to qualify as featured snippets.
How Can My Website Answer People’s Questions on Google?
Google refers to “answering people’s questions on Google” as a featured snippet. Think of it as an award for your content. To earn a featured snippet, you must answer a specific question. While your answer must be of the highest quality and 100% accurate. It must provide the answer/solution that users are searching for.
There are formatting standards you can apply that will help you earn a featured snippet. Correct formatting of your content will improve your chances of earning featured snippets.
How Can I Format My Blog to Qualify for Featured Snippets?
There are 4 key ways to optimize for Google’s featured snippets.
- Answer length between 40 and 58 words.
You want your answer to contain more than 40 words, but never over 58 words. (This changes regularly.)
- Use text formattings such as H2 fonts and paragraphs.
Present questions in an h1 or h2 font. Example: <h2>I’m Ron Burgundy?</h2>. Your answer must immediately follow your question in paragraph or bullet/number formatting.
- The closer to the beginning of your content the better.
You don’t want your last paragraph in a blog post to be where you ask and answer the question. The earlier the better.
- Excellent content is key.
Google does not rank content high in the search results if it is not well written. Also, it needs to be a legitimate answer to a question. Good content trumps all guidelines!
Did you notice both of my featured snippets?
In case you missed them, here’s an image the two potential featured snippets I wrote.
If you want to learn more about this topic, I recommend reading on the MOZ blog. They share some of the best content about SEO on the web! They’re a great resource for continued education on this topic. (If you learn something from your research, please share it with me!)
Optimizing to qualify for a featured snippet is not difficult or complicated. Focus on answering a specific question. Make sure your answers contain the right word count. Get the formatting right with “h2” fonts and paragraphs. Keep your answers as close to the top of your content as possible. But, the most important thing is to focus on publishing excellent content.
You’ll end up with a featured snippet before you know it!