Google Featured Snippets Box : How To Get One For Your Webpage?

Since 2015, digital marketers are trying to find an answer for this question: “How to rank in position ‘0’?

Position #0? But, Position #1 has been my holy grail for many years!

Now before you trip out, let me explain.

Technically, the top ranking spot of SERP is the first search result that appears in the list. The top spot you’re gunning for has been slowly replaced by something younger called position #0.

There is something that appears even before the top result called the Google featured snippets.

Google tries to understand a user’s intention when displaying results for their query. Earlier, searching was completely syntax-driven. As time passed, Google gradually reduced the importance of syntax and increased the significance of semantics. Google has taken a step in that direction through Google Featured snippets.

Since its introduction in 2015, the queries that result in a Google featured snippet have been increasing dramatically. These answer cards mostly show up for

  • Question-related queries (who, what, when, where, why, and how).
  • Implied question queries, where Google tries to understand the user’s search even if it doesn’t have a direct question. Eg-bacon is done.

What is Google Featured Snippets ?

Google Featured snippets box also known as ‘Google Answer Box’ is displayed when a user asks questions like ‘How to, What is.’ It shows a direct answer that is taken from the first page of the search results so users don’t have to visit the actual page to know more.

Example:

If you type ‘How to make pizza?’ in Google Search, it responds with the below answer.

How-to-make-Pizza-Featured-Snippet-Example

Note: Featuring in a snippet box improves visibility of your site as you get a top ranking. It essential that you write relevant and useful content to obtain one.

Google featured snippets box formats

Google Featured snippets are like junk food, they come in all shapes and sizes. To appear in these magic boxes, the content you provide must be in the right format.

Some of the common content formats that appear as Google featured snippets are:

  • Paragraph
  • Bullet points
  • Paragraph + image
  • Ordered or Unordered list
  • Tables
  • Steps
  • Image, graphs, charts

How to optimize content for the Google featured snippets box?

Before we dig deep, you should know that a Google featured snippets entry is not a 100% guaranteed even if you follow the below or any other guidelines. Optimizing content will increase your chances of getting featured which is reason enough to give it a try.

1. Word count

What would you do if someone asks to describe yourself in 50 words? You will take your time and formulate an answer that is simple and would leave no room for confusion right?

Similarly, if you want to optimize your content to the jingle of Google algorithm, word count is important. According to semrush, “the most common length of content in Google featured snippets is between 40-50 words.”

Even though short-form content is required for rich snippets, you will need a more comprehensive content to rank in the top positions. So once you’ve answered the question directly, provide more in-depth information.

Featured-Snippet-Word-Count

2. Content format

The type of content format you chose will help Google’s algorithms to choose a snippable content. Among the formats, paragraph, list, and table were the most common and they occasionally showed images. According to getstat, paragraph showed up in 82 percent of Google featured snippets, list appeared in 10.8 percent, and a table appeared in 7.3 percent.

3. Readability

If you look at the content of the snippets, they will be easy to read. So it is recommended that you write the content based on the reading level of an 8th grader.

Also, try to explicitly incorporate question in the content, if possible devote a complete page to a single question or find ways to incorporate FAQ. For instance, include how to cook pasta? Instead of cook pasta.

4. Rankings matter and don’t matter

Many say that if you’re not in the first position, it is unlikely that you’ll appear in Google featured snippets. But it looks like Google can reward a page with a featured snippet regardless of the position.

You needn’t be the first in SERP to rank for the Google featured snippets. Hubspot found that for keywords they ranked #1, they appeared in Google featured snippets 18% of the time and for keywords, they ranked #5 they appeared 28% of the time.

So irrespective of the ranking, if your answer exactly matches to the query user asks, you may have a chance of getting Google featured snippets.

5. Page structure

Google has to understand a page correctly before pulling out text for the rich snippet. To make the crawlers job easier, make sure that the pages of a website follow the best SEO practices. Having H1 tag for the title of the page, H2 and H3 for sub headings with for text is important.

For instance, you can have the question you’re answering in the header (H2 or H3) and directly below it the answer in a paragraph or list format.

6. Content around costs of a product/service

More than half of the time, cost related queries generated more Google featured snippets. Creating quality content around the cost of products/services will likely help you get a Google featured snippets.

Product-Featured-Snippet

How to Generate Google Featured Snippets for Your Site?

1. Research

  • Use keyword research tools to find common queries users search related to your product/service.
  • Create a questionnaire and post it on customer service, product marketing, and sales groups and ask them to rate the questions.
  • Based on the ratings, you can choose the question and come with the best possible answer.

2. Find out related questions

  • Search for your main query (eg. what is digital marketing) and see the related search terms. This will help you spot what Google sees related to that query.
  • To get more related data, check out the suggestions in the “People also ask” box.
  • By finding out all this, you can get specific question to show on Google featured snippet and also add more in-depth information related to the question.

3. Find out the snippets in your market

  • Find the queries in your niche that has Google featured snippets.
  • Check the display format (bullet list or table).
  • Once you find it out, It will help you write proper answers.

4. Publish

  • After you have completed the research part, write the content and publish it.

5. Test, learn and iterate

  • Once the content is live, after a few days see if you have got a Google featured snippet.
  • If you did not get it, brainstorm for ideas and write fresh content.
  • Implement it again and see the results.

Summary

Google is focusing more on giving a better experience to its users. This is why users are seeing snippet boxes for basic “how to” queries.

Getting a Google featured snippet for your page can help you boost click through rates, brand awareness, and position you as an expert in the field.

Like many other things with Google, no one has found the secret formula to get a snippet. Having a great content strategy and sticking to the SEO fundamentals can help you get there. Keep in mind that all of the above said pointers will also help you to improve content quality in all the pages of your website.

The future of search engines is bright but tough as they grow powerful by the day. We can now use them to address the reason why they came to life, to connect people with the content they are looking for.

Hope you got a basic understanding of how Google featured snippets work.

ColorWhistle has fine-tuned the art of digital marketing services and has a long list of satisfied clients who can vouch for their success when they associated with us. As a result of our consistency and creativity in our services, we have received rave reviews and excellent references from our existing clients. For more information on, how digital marketing can benefit your business, and how SEO plays a role in it, get in touch with our SEO marketing experts at ColorWhistle today!

5

Humans are judgmental by nature. We judge people by their hairstyle, their dressing, and even their knowledge of the Friends trivia. Whatever it is, you name it and people are judging you based on it.

The fact that potential clients will judge your business based on your website design is the main reason we address our clients on the importance of having fantastic web designs.

Similarly, even search engines make assumptions about your business based on their first impression of your website. So, bad web designs equals to a bad search engine ranking.

SEO is not only about optimizing your website with keywords but, it is also about providing users with a good experience. Obviously, web designs and web development must be your major targets. But, if you want your website to earn the top spot in search engines, you need to follow these rules.

1. Page Speed

People must understand that if a website is heavier, it will be difficult to be indexed by search engine crawlers. The size of your image, banners, multimedia, and content determine the overall loading speed of your website pages.

According to Google, a good page load speed is somewhere between 1-2 seconds. This means that if a crawler visits your page to retrieve information, page load speed must be fast so that your information can be indexed quickly.

What can be done?

  • Minimize HTTP requests
  • Reduce server response time
  • Optimize images and CSS delivery
  • Reduce the number of plugins used in your website
  • Reduce redirects

Responsive Design

More people are using smart phones and tablets to browse the internet. This is why it has become increasingly important to create a website that works across multiple platforms. Also, most of the search engines including Google love a responsive website. So it is wise to pay attention to what they love.

Getting help from web design services will be highly beneficial because if a website doesn’t work on mobile/tablets, bounce rate problems will occur. Search engines will easily interpret high bounce rates as a sign that the content is too stripped down/disclaimer from the content in desktop sites, and likely lead to poor ranking.

What can be done?

  • Make use of prototyping software
  • Refer to search engines design standards
  • Build a toolkit of frameworks
  • Test code snippets and template
  • Use parallel scrolling

Proper HTML Coding

HTML is one of the most favored languages by search engines. It is the underlying code that is used to create web pages and the foundation of a beautiful website.

Content management systems such as WordPress automatically generate HTML for your content. However, there might be errors with these self-generated HTML codes, and it could become a problem if your website has a lot of content.

What can be done?

  • Make sure you manually check tags such as meta title, meta description, h1 h2 h3 and other heading tags
  • HTML to text ration should be between 25-70%
  • Delete unnecessary divs
  • CSS and Javascript must be external
  • Use SEO auditing tool to check for coding errors

Domain Name Must be Optimized

One of the important decisions that have to be made while starting a website is choosing a domain name. This choice will impact the success of a website in major areas such as SEO and SMM.

As search engine algorithms have changed, the importance of domain name keywords has also evolved. For instance, if you sell houses online via a domain name cheaphouse.com, it can be good for your SEO but, it will affect your reputation in the market. Also keep in mind that such domain names may be already taken or very expensive to buy.

What can be done?

  • Find out existing words like Amazon.com and popsugar.com with the help of a thesaurus
  • You can create catchy new words like Google, Bing, Digg, and Quora
  • Do not pick an exact-match domain
  • Use your brand name as your domain name
  • Combine the sound and meaning of two (portmanteaus) and create words like Groupon, Netflix, and Infosys

User Experience

Both SEO and user experience (UX) deal with how a user feels online. Only humans can understand text, images, and videos. Search engines rely on meta information to rank a page. They consider keywords, links, and site structure but also sneakily access linking pattern and user engagement of a site. This is why UX is the main indirect source to measure a site’s popularity.

Focusing mainly on visitors is UX optimization. So whatever changes you make to your website, the visitor has to be kept in your mind.

What can be done?

  • Site must be easy to navigate
  • Content must be optimized for both SEO and UX
  • Build links to/from authoritative sites in your field
  • See how easily users can reach your sites important pages (internal linking)
  • Concentrate on title tags, URLs/breadcrumbs, and Meta descriptions to get more clicks

Wrapping up

To earn the top spot on any search engine you must show that you are the most deserving website. For that, you must give importance to web designs, authenticity, and offer outstanding value to users.

If search engines find that your website is lacking essential features, your ranking will be affected and no one will ever find you. So plan the perfect marriage between SEO and website design to run a successful business.

Charter School Website – 8 Must Have Functionalities For Charter Website

Charter schools represent a wide variety of educational benefits and their popularity is growing in the United States. They give parents more options and offer students increased innovation, improved achievement, and healthy competition.

When it comes to competing with other schools, importance of a website is taken lightly. These days before a parent physically sets foot on a school campus, a virtual visit through online happens.

Charter school website is often the first point of contact parents make with a school. No matter a business or organisation, a Charter School Website should work for them and not against them, and charter schools are no different.

If parents don’t like what they see, it’ll create a bad impression and affect the overall reputation, and popularity of the school. So to be on the safer side, getting help from a web design company that specializes in Educational website design will be beneficial.

Charter School Website Functionalities :

Before you get help, it is good to do some research of your own to know the must-have of an effective Charter School Website. Here are the top 8 features a parent-friendly website.

  1. Academic calendar

An online academic calendar serves as an information source for parents, students, and staff. It has all the details including registration dates, class start/end dates, add/drop deadlines, exam dates and more.

  1. Contact information

As far as contact information goes, most websites will have school address, main phone number and email. But, contact details of every department must be listed so that parents can speak to the right person directly without getting transferred.

Plus, embedded Google Maps must be added so that first time visitors can get directions without any problem.

  1. Lunch menu

All parents care about what their children eat. Adding a page for this might seem like a small thing but, parents will greatly appreciate it and it’ll make a good impression for those who are considering your school for their children.

  1. Curriculum guide

Having an online curriculum guide will help parents to get involved in their children’s studies. Most of them make it available in their school VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) but, making it available on the Charter school website will be more convenient.

“Charter school website need various approaches to achieve its mission and vision. It can be reached through maximum utilization of internet and information technology. With the help of right Digital marketing services, you can successfully differentiate yourself from others.”
  1. Secure parent login

If you want to send private information to parents about children’s grade etc, share them online by giving customized login details. This way, even parents can voice their concern privately, if they are unavailable to pay a visit in person.

  1. Mobile optimization

A Charter school website must be able to accommodate visitors who use different devices such as mobile and tablets. When your Charter school website is mobile-friendly, parents will find it convenient to check your site more often. A responsive web design will help you achieve it.

  1. Online payment

Online payment options must be provided so that parents can easily pay for school activities and department services. Provide secure online payment with multiple payment options to make the transaction smooth.

  1. Visually appealing user interface(UI)

It goes without saying that all the web pages must be attractive and easy to scan. Content of the site must be simple to read and they must get to the point. Also, use the best color combination for text and background to avoid eye strain.

Instead of animated images try to use actual children and avoid any distracting background music.

Charter schools have become a widely used alternative to traditional public schools. So make your Charter school website attractive and professional as possible. Always keep in mind that your Charter school website must be a reflexion of your school.

As high-level advisers in digital marketing services, ColorWhistle understands about a schools online needs as well. We know the difficulty associated with representing a school via different digital platforms, as schools can’t spend much time in it. However, we strongly recommend that you set some time aside for it. The world is becoming digital savvy and if you fail to keep-up, you’ll be left behind.

11 Essential Travel Website Features

When you run a business, it’s crucial to offer the best quality of service/product you’re selling. But, it is only half the battle. Without an online presence, your product/service becomes unreached and eventually forgotten. Every company must have a web presence to get potential customers as long as your business is alive.

First impressions are formed quickly which also applies to travel websites now more than ever. Time spent by new users on the website is limited which means you have less time to get their attention and keep them in your website.

For travel website features, images and a standard booking system won’t suffice. Over the years the web has changed drastically and something engaging and exciting is required to strike a chord with customers.

Essential Travel Website Features

Let’s take a look at some of the winning combinations of features that a travel websites must have.

1. Augmented Reality (AR)

In recent times, augmented reality has become quite popular in the travel industry.

AR provides a virtual tour with a 3D view of reviews for nearby location, Wi-Fi hotspots, real-time weather forecast and more.

The reason for the popularity is because it allows hotels and other businesses in this field to enhance the physical environments like local sights and hotel rooms so that customers will be encouraged to visit the place. Furthermore, another main reason for this adoption is that customers are in the habit of using their smartphones when they travel, so a step towards augmented reality apps is not a big one.

Take a look at this video to find out how augmented reality can show extra information like destination information, eating joints and more.

2. Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality has become another attraction point in the tourism industry. It gives guided tours of any place in the world. This will especially help travelers explore small and less-known places. By giving a 360-degree view of the different locations, travel companies and agents can let customers explore the ground before booking and increase the level of trust simultaneously.

Take a look at this video to find out how Thomas Cook used virtual reality as a part of their marketing campaign. Viewers had to find clues to win a $3,000 holiday to Los Angeles.

3. Blockchain

Blockchain in tourism is an advantageous combination as this technology can provide more security and transparency. For example, travel agents have to pass customer details to flight companies and hotels. The information passed between companies is tracked. Blockchain can make this secure by eliminating data tampering and fraud.

This video will explain in detail on how blockchain can benefit the tourism industry.

4. Big Data

Big data helps to make predictions about purchase behavior based on past patterns, trends, and associations. It is the lifeblood for companies like Amazon, Facebook, Uber, and Netflix because they can figure out what you want before you know it yourself. Travel agencies and cruise companies can improve customer experience by handling big data. Through big data analytics, travel industries can customize the user experience, formulate pricing strategies, get insights into people’s needs, improve loyalty programs and develop new marketing strategies.

Take a look at this platform called Travel compute which explains how it integrates data from various public and private sources.

5. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive web apps are nothing but modern web pages that also act as mobile apps. This is quite new in the travel market, but it is catching up quickly. These apps have the usefulness of a native app but, when accessed through a browser, it does not require any downloading of apps which is a huge plus on conversion and usage ratio. If a user books a hotel through PWA, the user can access the information via the browser without internet connectivity too. Additionally, the PWA web page can be saved on the user’s home screen and used as a mobile app. If you like to learn more about PWAs, click here

Here are some of the travel companies using PWAs.

6. Search Filters

Search filtering is useful as there are different parameters involved in travelling. Below is an example of a search filter which ‘humanizes’ the online booking experience by matching with the users’ expectations and requirements.

Travel-Search-filters

7. Images

We live in a visual world and images are the most powerful way to inspire and transmit messages. They make a strong statement and will have a bigger impact on your website. Also, people interact more in social networking sites that has plenty of images. So it’s safe to say that users will stay longer and interact more in a website that has lovely images.

Beige Concrete Castle

8. Reviews

Testimonials, customer reviews, and recommendations are increasing by the day as users want to know others experience before making a decision. And lots of people buy items online as the products had a five star rating and great reviews in the comment section. Be it a travel or ecommerce reviews increase conversion rate. And as an added bonus, reviews help to improve your sites SEO ranking.

9. Predictive Search

Predictive search is nothing but a drop-down list that pops up immediately while typing, so that you don’t have to hit ‘search’ to find out common queries. This is an excellent way to avoid displaying a large list of results, finding results quickly and to display questions the user hasn’t thought of. It saves on typing if the user is using a device which does not have a physical keyboard like a tablet.

Travel-Predictive-search

10. Pricing

If the pricing is not clear and has hidden charges and taxes, there is a high chance of the user spending their money elsewhere. So, if you want to increase your profits, it is essential to know the importance of clear pricing. A pricing table must be simple and clear so that users’ can choose the appropriate package. It shouldn’t offer too much or too little, just the right amount of information for them to distinguish between the packages.

Travel-Pricing

11. Easy Booking System

To provide real-time updates, make sure your website is linked to a property management system (PMS). It will make things easier as they have to provide information like destination, check-in and check-out dates, contact details, and other travel related data. And make sure you offer multiple payment methods like credit card, debit card, PayPal, or even through net banking to make the process easy.

Start Strengthening your Website With These Amazing Travel Website Features

In this digital world, even the travel industry has taken a new dimension. These days, travelers use online travel portal to meet all their travel needs.

Make sure your travel website design has a treasure-trove of information from where to go, how to get to the chosen destination, places to stay, and things to be avoided, so that you can give the customer a memorable trip of their lifetime.

More Resources:

Disclaimer: The videos and images in this blog are the property of the respective website owners. They are not owned by ColorWhistle.

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