If that all feels like a tall ask – we get it! In a dynamic industry like digital marketing, it’s easy to feel like you’re playing a never-ending game of whack-a-mole with new tools, information, and updates.
That’s why I’ve accepted that SEO optimization is a long-term mission. With all the tinkering that Google does on SERPs (especially mobile SERPs), I know that what works today for our website’s SEO won’t necessarily work tomorrow. But just because SEO optimization has turned into a marathon instead of a sprint, that doesn’t mean that we can’t try to earn that gold medal!
What is On-SERP SEO?
Before you can snag the answer box of your dreams, you first need to know what On-SERP SEO is (and if you don’t know, that’s totally fine).
On-SERP SEO is the optimization of any and all content on SERPs that you can either control or influence in some way. Traditionally, meta titles and meta descriptions were the main (and only!?) content that SEOs and content marketers could control on SERPs, but that changed when Google introduced featured snippets, which are:
Featured snippets are organic search results that Google doctors up to look pretty, and then places them in the most prominent position on the SERPs – yes, above the #1 results!
Here is the featured snippet on the SERP for the query, “What is an Android TV box?”:
For this particular result (at least on Google Canada) the paragraph answer box is owned by CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Start Googling things and, if you hadn’t already noticed, many Kazakhstan Phone Number SERPs will include a featured snippet at the top of the page, especially if your queries are questions.
If you’re looking for a quick primer on the different types of featured snippets and other On-SERP SEO content types, this is a great rundown.
Why is On-SERP SEO Important?
There are a number of reasons why On-SERP SEO is important. On a basic level, we can use the Android TV box example above to highlight why a business would covet the featured snippet the CBC currently has.
The CBC article explains Kazakhstan Phone Number what an Android TV box is, as well as how it allows users to “cut the cord” and essentially watch all the TV shows and movies they want – for free. It discusses the legality of the apps that allow users to stream for free and even links out to some websites that sell preloaded TV boxes.
For a large media corporation like CBC, readership, traffic and awareness are the bread and butter of their business, so the more featured snippets they can attain, the better. In this specific case, they could likely earn some affiliate commissions with a featured snippet for a query with tens of thousands of searches per month, according to keyword data. For whatever it’s worth, CBC isn’t using affiliate links, but it’s easy to see why for content-driven affiliate sites, featured snippets are extremely valuable.
There is another, less obvious reason On-SERP SEO is becoming a vital component of core SEO—if more and more searches are ending on the actual Google SERPs, then On-SERP SEO is critical because, at least right now, it’s difficult to discern what the goal of featured snippets should be, if not to generate click-throughs. As is usually the case in the digital world, the marketers and companies who figure out how to crack these tough questions are the big winners.
How to Optimize Your Content for SERPs
Ah, now to answer the question you’re all wondering about: how do you optimize your content in order to attain a featured snippet on Google’s search engine results page?
Here’s the short answer to how you win a featured snippet on Google’s search results pages:
- Do keyword research to develop a shortlist of specific questions that
- a) you can answer and,
- b) you can rank for
- Rank on the first page for one of these search query questions
- Optimize the content of your web page to very specifically answer the question
So now that we have a better understanding of the ‘how’, let’s get into some tactics that you can start leveraging today for your business.
7 Actionable Tactics to Optimize Your Website in Competitive SERPs
Various actions can be taken to optimize a website in competitive search engine results pages (SERPs). Here are seven actionable tactics.
1. Optimize Your Top 10 Ranking Keywords to Win a Featured Snippet
A featured snippet is a brief excerpt from a webpage that appears on a SERP to answer a user’s question, so they do not have to search further. The most general forms of featured snippets are tables, text, lists, and videos.