Wondering how to score a Google answer box (also called a featured snippet) to dominate some search results and drastically increase your impressions and clicks?
Getting featured in Google answer boxes is an excellent way to get more traffic to your website. Capitalize on that increased traffic to increase your sales and revenue!
The more Google answer boxes you can get your website to rank in, the better. The question is, what steps can you take to rank in those answer boxes and featured snippets?
In this article, we’ll look at the different tactics you can try to get your website featured in Google answer box results.
What is a Google Answer Box?
Google answer boxes are the boxes that appear at the top of search results pages (SERPs) and feature the best answer to the searcher’s query. They can appear as paragraphs of text, bullet points, how-to steps, and more.
When you rank on the first page of results, your result may be featured in an answer box set apart from the rest of the results on the page.
Google Answer Box Facts
- Google answer boxes are also called featured snippets.
- Digital assistants like Siri and Google often pull their answers from answer boxes.
- Answer boxes can contain bullet points, numbered steps, images, and more
- Answer boxes appear at the top of organic results, below ads
- Some searches have an answer box, whereas some don’t
- According to a study by Ahrefs, 8.6% of clicks on Google go to featured snippets
Now that you know the basics of Google answer boxes, let’s jump into our tutorial for how to win them.
How to Win a Google Answer Box: 5 Top Tips
Whether you’ve set your sights on a specific answer box or want to win all the featured snippets that you can, follow these tips to increase your chances.
1. Answer Common Questions
Many Google answer boxes are answers to questions. In fact, a study by Semrush found that nearly 78% of queries starting with “why” have an answer box!
So, one of the best ways to get Google answer boxes is to list out questions and answers in your post that are related to your topic. This can be in a FAQ section or integrated with your content.
For example, look at the featured snippet shown if you search “What’s the best way to paint a door?”:
Although they’ve switched out “best” for “easiest,” the answer is verbatim. What’s the best way to paint a door? The easiest way to paint a door is [answer]. You can try phrasing questions and answers this way in your content.
Also, note that the answer is direct and concise. If you draw out an answer into three paragraphs, Google is less likely to choose your answer to feature.
For ideas about which questions to answer, run a few different searches related to your topic and look at the People also ask section in search results. Or, use a free tool like the WPBeginner Keyword Generator to extract a lot of those questions into one handy report:
2. Try to Win Answer Boxes That Already Exist
Not every search query brings up an answer box. In 2020, Semrush found that about 19% of queries had a featured snippet.
So, if you’re trying to win that coveted first spot at the top of search results, your best bet is to shoot for an existing answer box.
For example, the term “what is a featured snippet” brings up an answer box (a.k.a. a featured snippet):
However, searching for “featured snippet examples” doesn’t bring up an answer box:
So, if you have an article about featured snippets, you’d want to try to get the “what is featured snippets” answer box.
3. Use Structure
Google likes to use lists in their answer boxes, especially if the answer includes steps for how to do something, a list of tips, or other kind of list. Here, you can see one for the query “how to train your dog not to bark.”
Note that, to be shown in a featured snippet as a list, you don’t have to use bullet points or a numbered list without paragraphs in between. In the example above, for instance, the page uses headings that are spaced apart by paragraphs:
We’re going to let you steal our tactic for this one! To write more lists that rank in featured snippets into your posts, try adding recaps, tables of contents, and FAQs to your posts.
For example, in our tutorial for How to See Google Analytics Keywords for Your Website, we added a recap/FAQ section at the end that listed the steps in a super simplified way. That recap started ranking as a Google answer box:
4. Include Optimized Images
Answer boxes aren’t only for text. Many of them include images, too! The interesting thing about images in featured snippets is that Google will often grab them from several different results on the first page.
For example, take a look at this answer box with three images:
You would think those images get pulled from the primary featured snippet source, but they don’t! All three of them are from different results on the first page. So, there are actually four websites in the answer box!
Therefore, adding optimized images to your pages can increase your chance of appearing in the answer box, even if you’re not the primary result. Ensure every image you use has an optimized file name, title, and meta description.
5. Create Videos
Although the percentage of video Google answer boxes is small, a video is sometimes just the right way to answer a question. For queries best explained with a video, Google will pull in a video result from YouTube.
For example, here’s what you get if you search “how to tie a Windsor knot:”
It’s also possible for videos to appear on the side among the pictures. In this example, both of the images on the right side are actually videos:
That’s our list!
Now that you know the best ways to try to get a Google answer box, you can think about them any time you’re writing new content and lay it out so that Google might pull it into an answer box.
If you liked this article, you might also want to check out:
How to Write a Headline: 7 Best Practices
11 Best Free SEO Chrome Extensions to Install Now
7 Best Free Keyword Generator Tools to Master SEO
9 Google Analytics 4 SEO Hacks to Increase Search Traffic
How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: Quick-Start Guide
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