Voice searches have steadily increased throughout 2017. Google recently revealed that 20 percent of mobile queries are voice searches. Since the launch of popular products such as Amazon Echo and virtual assistants like Siri and Cortana, we have seen this type of search increase significantly.

As voice searches become more common, organic searches are naturally becoming more conversational. This suggests that it’s now more important than ever for brands to focus on optimising for long tail key phrases. Some SEO’s are referring to this as Artificial Intelligence Optimisation (AIO).

What’s changed?

The last few years have seen algorithm updates like Panda, Hummingbird & Phantom change the way websites focus on content. The updates have meant websites must create factual, relevant content which projects an air of authority as opposed to generic filler copy.

Now when you enter a query into Google, you’ll notice a Featured Snippet appears at the top of the organic results. This is an excerpt from one of the top results on the SERPS which Google believes answers your question. To be featured you don’t have to organically rank first. Google extracts the answer to a user’s query from a URL on the first page. This is a prime example of where artificial intelligence can be used and optimised.

How do I become a Featured Snippet?

Conversational content is key. Your content should not only answer the user’s search query but should provide answers to any other questions that could be asked. Making the most of relevant chat logs, FAQs and forums will help you become a Featured Snippet. These will help you to answer any possible questions your users may have and give your content authority. If you manage to do all that, you’re much more likely to show up in conversational search queries.

What type of content does Google rank?

There are loads of different types of content which Google displays as Featured Snippet. However, the most common kind seems to be lists (in bullet points or numbers) and information displayed in tables. Producing this type of content will really maximise your opportunities of ranking in the Featured Snippet.

 

 

What’s the benefit?

Featured snippets are becoming more prevalent in Google searches every day so it’s important to identify different queries that could be displayed. A recent study showed that a business with a Featured Snippet was three times more likely to get a click through than a first page ranking.

I don’t think you need much more persuading than that! The advance of AI means that there’s now a new top organic ranking that everyone should be fighting for.

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