As technology develops and consumers expectations rise, appearing in the top ten search results on Google is no longer enough. The new trend is being in place zero, which includes the Google answer box. This means you appear top of the search results in an answer box providing a solution to the question that has been entered into the search engine.
Google essentially pulls the information for the answer box from any result on the first page. So you need to ensure that all of your content is optimised to rank highly in the SERPs in order to be placed at position zero.
How to rank in the Google answer box
- If possible, you need to try and answer the target question in the first 100 words of your website page or post. And where possible, in the title. This makes it easier for Google when it is crawling your pages to understand that you are displaying the correct content.
- Answer more than one question in your article. Don’t just answer the one question at hand, answer others that are related or could come up after. This adds more relevant content to the web page – another signal to Google.
- Split up your page using the correct heading tags. Using H2 tags will be an indicator to Google of the questions that article is answering and the snippets that can be included in the answer box for various queries.
- Create unique content that addresses the whole topic, rather than just a small section. Long form content of around 1,200 words has a much higher chance of ranking.
- Split up the long chunks of text with images and videos. This will help improve the user experience.
- Use lists and tables as a way of displaying content. Under the correct heading tags, lists can be a great way to split up your content while also giving Google a signal that your content is relevant surrounding a specific topic. Google really likes the use of tables and lists to break up the content. These often appear with a short snippet in the Google answer box, in answer to a query.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing and how they have set out each of their articles. If they are ranking above you, it should give you insights into how you can improve your own website’s SEO.
We all know and understand that Google takes into consideration a huge number of factors when it comes to where your website ranks. So strong SEO housekeeping is strongly encouraged as a way of keeping your website and posts up to date and relevant. Little things like broken link checking will have a huge effect on your domain authority, which will, in turn, make your website rank higher.
Take a look at other websites that are ranking in the answer box and see what they could do better. If they can be improved, then that gives your website the opportunity to steal their place in the SERPs. If your website displays more accurate and well-formatted content, you have a better chance at ranking in the answer box.