Most website owners see ranking at position 1 as the holy grail of search engine optimization. However, websites in a competitive market will have a hard time achieving this, but there could be something better. This could be the position 0 or featured snippet which appears before the first search result on Google. This is a very powerful place to be and you need to know what steps you can take to achieve this.
Should You Look At This
The first step in getting this featured snippet position is to understand if you actually should be focusing on this. There are some websites that should not put their efforts into position 0 rankings and focus on other aspects of SEO. This is generally local businesses that will benefit from good Google local rankings instead.
However, if you are in a market where clear answers to questions are required, you need to look at position 0 rankings. There are certain industries that have a better chance in terms of featured snippet rankings. There are also certain types of searches that will generally not render any feature snippet opportunities such as local, shopping and videos.
Finding The Keywords Candidates For Featured Snippets
Now that you understand whether or not you should look at featured snippets, you have to consider what keywords will be best. To determine this, you will need to turn to traditional keywords research. When you complete keyword research, there are certain points that you need to keep in mind.
High-volume terms will generally be more likely to get a featured snippet. Longer search phrases with 6 or more words will also be more likely to have featured snippets. Implied question searches should also be looked at because question searches are also more likely to have featured snippets as long as you are answering the question.
Increasing The Potential For Featured Snippets
Once you have an idea of the keywords that you should look at increasing the potential of selection. There is a multi-pronged approach that you should take to improve the chances of selection. The first prong is to have content that clearly answers the question being asked.
You also need to use clean code and tagging which Google understands. If Google is unable to understand the coding or tagging on your website, it will not select your website for featured snippets. The last prong will be to have positive user engagement signals. Signals are important for SEO and you should always strive to have positive signals.
In your content, you should also look at repeating the question that you want to rank for. This needs to be done clearly and prominently on the page to ensure that Google understands that your content relates to this. After the question, you need to provide a short, clear and direct answer to the question as this is what will appear in the featured snippet. After this, you will need to provide additional information, images and try to answer the questions as completely as possible.
On page (or on site) SEO refers to anything that you do to your own website in order to improve it’s position in the search engine rankings.
There are many, many on page SEO factors and all of them are constantly changing, as search engines modify their algorithms to ensure they’re providing users with the most relevant and up-to-date information.
However, all on page SEO falls into two categories – site structure and content. Here’s some information on both of those categories and how Big Bang can help you improve your on page SEO.
Having a sound SEO site structure in place refers to a long, long list of factors, including:
URLs – Search engines will look at the URLs of the pages within your website for clues about what the content is about. So if you have a page that’s all about dog sunglasses for example, you’d want a URL something like:
The reason being that search engines can take a quick look at this address and immediately recognise that this particular page is about dog sunglasses, and include that page in their rankings when people search for information about dog sunglasses.
However, this basic rule of having simple, SEO friendly URLs is often overlooked, most of the time with disastrous results. Some websites for example have gobbledygook URLs like:
…And obviously, search engines can’t possibly gain any insight into what a web page is about by looking at this.
Not quite as bad but still far from perfect are URLs that are just too long. For example:
Search engines don’t want to have to look for the important parts of a URL and having unnecessary long ones dilutes their effectiveness.
So always try and keep your URLs as concise and relevant as possible to achieve maximum SEO return.
Navigation – The navigation and menus you have on your website hold great importance when it comes to SEO.
Search engines know that people use their navigation to direct people to the most important pages on their website, so they’re more likely to rank the pages highly that appear somewhere within the navigation.
There are lots of complex and detailed ways you can get the most out of your navigation when it comes to SEO, but the bottom line is, make sure you link to your most important content wherever possible, whether that be in your menus or from other pages on your website.
Titles – In the same way that URLs need to be relevant and to the point, titles need to be given just as much attention.
Whatever your content is about, make sure you think long and hard about the most relevant, concise and targeted title you can give it. You’ll be rewarded with higher rankings in the search engines for a wide variety of keywords.
Meta Tags – Meta tags are little snippets of code you can add to every page of your website to give the search engines clues about what your site is about. Although it’s widely speculated that search engines place very little value on these tags, they’re still worth taking the time to add.
In an ideal world, people would always structure their websites with SEO in mind, right from the start. Unfortunately though, this is far from what actually happens and all too often people get the fundamentals completely wrong.
So when starting a new SEO campaign, the first thing many websites have to do is fix all of these issues before they can start coming up with new ideas.
Content really is king when it comes to the search engines. It’s imperative if you want to do well in the rankings, that you provide high quality, relevant content to users.
So when you’re adding new content or editing existing content to ensure its SEO friendly, what things should you be looking at?
Keywords – If you want a particular page to appear in the search engine rankings when people search for ‘dog sunglasses’ then you need to make sure you include that phrase in the content, preferably a few times. This lets the search engines know what that page is about and ensures that they include it in their listings for relevant searches.
However, make sure you don’t over do things and repeat the phrase over and over again unnecessarily. Search engines are smart enough to spot this and will likely penalise you for trying to pull the wool over their eyes, or even ban you because they think you’re spamming.
The key is to write as naturally as you would if you weren’t writing with SEO in mind. Try and come up with clever ways to include your target keywords in the text without seeming like you’re doing it deliberately.
Another tip is to make sure you target a range of related phrases and not just one. For example if you’re targeting ‘dog sunglasses’ you might also include phrases like:
sunglasses for dogs
blue dog sunglasses
sunglasses for big dogs
small dog sunglasses
Good keyword research beforehand will give you ideas about different phrases you can use for a particular piece of content. And by targeting a range of keywords, you’ll appear for a wider variety of searches and therefore get more traffic from the search engines overall.
Internal Linking – You don’t just have to use menus on your website to point search engines and visitors towards your other pages.
You should include links within the content from one page to other places on your site.
For example, on your page about dog sunglasses you might also mention that you sell cat sunglasses and link to that page.
By knitting your website together in this way and linking to related content, search engines will appreciate what you’re trying to do and rank your pages higher in their listings.
You can also include links to other websites within your content. Although this isn’t always a great idea as it sends people away from your own website, search engines appreciate the fact that you’re doing it to help users find information and will therefore look at your pages more favourably.
Alt (Image) Tag – You should ensure that for each image on your webpage you have a keyword in the alt tag. The majority of people will never see the alt image text. This is because it was designed for your site visitors to see what your image is in case it did not load or they had images turned off. When crawling you website the search engines will pick up on the Alt tags and use them to help your site rank for your targeted keywords.
H1 Headline Tag – Where studies have shown the H1 tag isn’t of huge importance in terms of rankings. We would still advise you to incorporate this into you on page strategy for semantic and SEO reasons with the most important keyword included at least once.
Bolding / Strong – Although know to only carry a small amount of weight in SEO, it is still best practice to use the keyword / key phrase at least once in bold or strong font within the content of the page. This emphasises to the search engines what the page is about and helps you rank for said keyword.
Keyword Density – When writing content for your website you should take into consideration the keyword densities as a possible ranking factor. While there is no set formula to keyword density it is best to keep each keyword to around 1-3% percent. This ensures that the keywords get picked up by the search engine and also provides the user with quality, useful content.
Keyword Placement – Both search engines and readers will look for clues about the page in specific places. It is crucial to put your most important keywords in these places;
• First Paragraph
The most important keywords should, preferably appear in the first few words of a webpage’s content. Search engines as standard read a web pages from top left to bottom right and it does appear that more preference is placed on keywords that are appear earlier, rather than later on a page.
Contextual Links And Their Contribution To Ranking Websites
Most internet marketers know that search engine rankings are determined by the authority and the relevance of a web page in regard to its main keywords. Inbound links are the ones that help building this authority, so there’s no wonder that everybody wants to get as many as possible.
What you may not know is that not all inbound links are born equal. Some of them may even hurt your website. If you want to make sure your efforts are going to be worth it, you should focus on acquiring contextual links, preferably from high authority websites in the same industry as yours or in a related one. Contextual links are the ones that match the topic of the article where they are places. If, for instance, you have a website promoting photography courses, you should seek for links from articles that are also about photography or about related topics such as photo cameras, filters, tripods, or other photography accessories. These contextual links have a very high value in the eyes of search engines, so they are going to boost the authority and the relevance of your page.
Google, as well as all other major search engines, encourage and reward websites that attract large numbers of organically occurring inbound links. However, everybody knows that such links are scarce, and in some industries they are almost absent. This is why you have to develop a link building strategy that replicates the natural rate of acquiring backlinks. Even though contextual links would bring you the greatest benefits, you should avoid collecting only this type of links, if you want to be on the safe side. A web page may get linked from various types of websites, with different levels of authority. The common attributes of these websites would be their language and their main topics. Getting linked by a website in another language than the one of your website is highly unusual. This is why you should always try to acquire links from pages written in the same language as yours. Moreover, you should avoid getting links from websites that have nothing to do with your niche or industry, regardless their authority or language.
A link can be considered contextual only when it is placed inside the article itself. Sidebar or footer links aren’t contextual, even though they may match the topics of the main article on the page. When you seek for building links to your website, you should always strive to obtain contextual ones, as they carry the greatest authority. This is an example of a contextual link going back to my homepage.
In order to gain a better understanding of how search engines work, you have to take a closer look into the anatomy of an inbound link. When someone decides to link to one of your web pages, they will place that link in the context of an article, and they will give it an anchor text. The text which becomes the active link is the anchor. Search engines will detect the topic of the article that includes this link, as well as the anchor text. Next, they will crawl your page. If its content matches the other two elements, namely the topic of the website and the anchor text, this link is going to carry a lot of authority points, being therefore able to push your page up in search for its most relevant keywords.
This is basically what contextual links are and how they can influence your positions in the SERPs. This is the type of link you should acquire, if you want to obtain a noticeable improvement of your rankings. Beware, though, to mix multiple link types, as this is how you can avoid some of the worst Google penalties.
Ranking a new website in the search engines is time-consuming, especially if you are doing it for the first time. You can shorten the time by hiring an SEO Company. Hire reputable SEO companies if you want to rank your website quickly.
If you are thinking of ranking your website, you are going to learn all the advantages and disadvantages of ranking your own website. And you will also learn the advantages and disadvantages of hiring an SEO agency.
The following are the advantages of ranking your own website.
You will learn the different search engine optimisation strategies if you are ranking your own website in the search engine. There are several strategies you must learn. This means that you will never have to depend on anyone to rank your website because you will master the different SEO techniques.
There are both free and paid SEO strategies. You may spend a lot of money when you are learning SEO. Once you have mastered the different SEO strategies, you will never have to spend money to rank your website if you are using free SEO strategies like link building.
You will do all the work yourself. You will generate free organic traffic without spending a lot of money.
There are some many SEO companies that may be busy when you need them. You don’t have to worry about this when you are ranking your own website. You will do all the work. Therefore, when there is an issue with your website, you will handle it quickly. You will never have to depend on anyone again.
Here are the disadvantages of ranking your own websites.
Ranking a website in the search is time-consuming. You have to research keywords, create quality content and build backlinks. You will have to work throughout the day.
This is not advisable, because it may affect the quality of your products. You are spending too much time trying to rank your website, so you may never have time to focus on your products.
You will make mistakes when you are ranking your website for the first time. There are different SEO techniques you must learn. Where will you learn these techniques? You may choose a wrong course, so you might end up using SEO techniques that do not work. You will have to try different SEO strategies before you find the right strategies that work.
The following are the advantages of hiring an SEO company to rank your website.
The best SEO companies have ranked thousands of websites in the search engines. They have learned and mastered different SEO techniques. They will rank your website in a short time. In fact, they may have worked with someone who is in the same niche as you so they may have the right keywords. They won’t waste your time trying different strategies.
You will only pay these SEO companies for their services. They have the best SEO experts who will work on your website immediately you pay them.
They have the best tools for researching keywords and for analysing your competitors. You will never have to spend more money on these tools. This will save you a lot of money.
You will get quick results when you hire an SEO company. Once your website is ranking, you will be able to know if the traffic is highly targeted or not. There are some SEO companies that will create content for your website. The content is useful and informative. This increases your conversion rate. Use an SEO company like Brand That Name who focus not just on rankings, but also on converting traffic to customers.
Here are the disadvantages of hiring an SEO company.
There are some SEO companies that are not good at ranking websites in the search engines. The only way you can avoid this is by doing your own research. Make sure that you are hiring a reputable SEO company. Do not waste your money and time on an SEO company that you do not know or trust.
So should I try and rank my website myself or hire an SEO company to do it? The answer to this question is do not try and rank your own website if you don’t have the time to learn all the different SEO strategies or if you want quick results. Hire an SEO company to do it if you want to focus on creating new products, improving your products and when you don’t have the time to rank your own website.