Note: This post first ran in March 2018. While I am away for the holidays, I am re-running some of my posts that are timeless in hopes that those of you who may have missed one of them will benefit. Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous 2019!
The biggest piece of prime real estate on Google’s search engine results page is the answer box, also known as the featured snippet. It looks like this:
If you can structure your law firm website content so that it has a better chance of appearing in Google’s answer box, this can drive a ton of traffic to your site. However, there are a lot of other sites out there competing for this real estate, so getting there isn’t easy. But if you follow these five tips, you increase your chances of grabbing the brass ring:
#1: Strengthen your foundational SEO.
The sites that reach the answer box all have one thing in common: they already rank in the top 5 on particular keywords and questions. They have a high number of referral domains as well as high engagement, telling Google that they are a trusted and verified source for those keywords and questions.
To develop a page that you want to see featured in the answer box, you must develop content that provides relevant, substantial (more than 1,000 words) and valuable information that is kept updated. Since more than half of Google searches are performed from mobile devices, your site must also be optimized for mobile.
#2: Focus on questions without answer boxes.
It’s much more difficult to unseat sites that are already featured in answer boxes, so try using keyword research to discover questions without answer boxes. It will take some time and effort, but it’s worth it if you can snag an answer box or two by using this strategy.
If you’re still determined to dethrone the answer box that is already there, you will need to focus on improving your SEO and building more quality backlinks to your site. It will help if you do some competitive research on the current answer box site to find out how many backlinks it has as well as its traffic volume and number of referral domains.
#3: Concentrate on entities.
If you want to obtain answer box status for a certain keyword, try combining it with a relevant entity. Google considers entities to be “a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined and distinguishable.” When an entity is combined with a keyword numerous times across the Internet, Google considers this to be highly relevant to a user making the search.
#4: Target the answer box with your content.
Whether you’re creating new content or revamping existing content, make the answer box a priority. Most of the traffic to your website are people who are looking for an answer to a specific question. Develop content that answers the most frequently asked questions from your target market.
#5: Include all potential answer elements.
Google’s algorithm looks for answer elements and scores your site based on those elements. These answer elements include not only text, but also graphs, step-by-step instructions, images, lists, and more. By including these elements, you boost your answer score and increase your odds of making the answer box.