google home voice assistant

Voice Search and How It Influences Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are growing in popularity because they are easy to read and can provide a trusted answer without a user ever having to leave the search results page for their query. While they are still popular among text searches, featured snippets are a favorite of digital assistants as well because they are easy to say out loud and almost always answer the question that the user has. This means that if your pages are in featured snippets often you have a better chance at grabbing valuable voice search traffic.

Optimize for Featured Snippets

It is much easier for us to change the way we write than the way we speak. When search engines first came on to the scene users would write truncated, robotic sounding sentences so that they could easily be understood by search engines. A question that might be phrased out loud as “What is the best sink faucet for under $100” would be typed into a search engine as “best sink faucet under $100”. This process of cutting out extra words like “what,” “is,” and “for” is much harder to do when speaking naturally, though, and since many users are now relying on voice searches through digital assistants search engine optimists are starting to adapt and optimize for these long-tail keywords. Recent research by Moz shows that the term “how” appears more than any other word in searches that returned a featured snippet followed closely by “does,” “to,” “much,” “what,” and “is.” This means that featured snippets are being returned for searches that are closer to how users actually speak and optimizing keywords for these longer and more natural sounding phrases could put you ahead of the competition in securing featured snippets like the one below. featured snippet example

Format your Content to Appeal to Featured Snippets

The words “best” and “how to” return more featured snippets than anything else and content styled in lists dominate the majority of featured snippets over paragraphs and tables. With this information, we can focus on formatting our “best” and “how to” content into lists to have the best chance of appearing in featured snippets and in voice searches.

Start Tracking Voice Friendly Snippets

Create a modified list of your keywords that sound more natural when spoken out loud and introduce them to your content. Tracking this new set of keywords can provide some valuable information on your potential for ranking in featured snippets and make your site competitive in the emerging trend of voice search. If you need help tracking new keywords and optimizing your pages for featured snippets, call a professional SEO company. Most SEO companies will manage your content and keyword tracking for you which frees you up to focus on running your business.