Semalt SEO Agency: Focusing on Visibility and Not Just Blue Links
When it comes to SEO, the ultimate goal of all websites is to reach the top. Back in the old days, it meant entering the elusive “10 blue links.” While the “top of Google” goal has not changed much for people, how you reach it has changed dramatically.
Before we get too deep, it is essential to understand a debate that has been going on for some time in SEO. Are these ten blue links dead? With new SEO features coming out each year, the answer to this question may depend on your goal. We will go into greater detail below.
What are Blue Links?
When you hear a marketing specialist talking about ten blue links, they are talking about the top ten results on Google. Depending on the research, the first page of Google takes up 75 to 95 percent of traffic. Reaching those ten blue links is paramount to success on Google. It is far better to split three-fourths of a pie with ten people than it is to cut one-fourth.
Blue links, when spoken of by themselves, are another way to say search results. When you look at a search engine results page (SERP), blue links do not include paid results, knowledge sections, and featured snippets you see at the top or near the top.
Are Blue Links Not Worth Pursuing in Modern SEO?
Given that the first ten results on Google still receive a great deal of traffic, there is still a great deal of use in pursuing them. These featured snippets at the beginning have taken over a great deal of real-estate on the front page. The best way to handle these is not to avoid them, but to use them as intended.
How Do I Get Into the Featured Snippet Area?
Those who manage to get into the featured snippet area will double their click-through rate. Your goal is to get into that area. Much like any SEO project, the question can get complicated. However, there are some SEO best practices to keep in mind that will help you.
Pay Attention to The Format
Google’s crawlers, or the AI that scans websites for optimization, is picky when it comes to formatting. By reviewing the format of what gets into these segments, you will have a good idea of how to get starts. Let’s take an example: how to bake a cake.
We will go through different types of snippets later, but this example gives us recipes and a Q&A section. Clicking any of these will reveal numbered lists. Their numbered lists lack parentheses to take advantage of Google’s format reading. Their sentence format is straightforward and easy to read. Scrolling down will reveal more examples. These include videos, bulleted lists, and longer paragraphs.
You will notice that some of these websites are just solid at using their heading tags. By using your H1, H2, and H3 tags as a natural sorting measure, you are following SEO’s best practices. Google is more likely to select a 50-word paragraph under an H3 header that simplifies the answer.
Pay Attention to The Content
Featured snippets are for answering questions. These questions are common issues that Google has identified within the niche. These are questions that you could be answering.
If you are operating a butcher in a big city, the best way that people can find you is by beating SEO. By attracting people to your website, you want to offer a series of articles on how to make lamb properly. After searching through forums on meat handling, recipes online, and general google results, you find a series of questions that you can answer.
It is best to understand how the customer would ask questions. This strategy will bring people to you. Having the “best cuts in town” is a strategy that would have worked forty years ago. To get customers today, we have to establish ourselves as a trustworthy expert on the subject. A blog is an easy way to do this.
Put Your Good Stuff Up Front
If you look at newspapers and ads over the past 100 years, you will notice a common theme. People who have training in these areas will inform you of something called the reverse pyramid. This inverted pyramid style is what news writers use when they put their best content in the header. When we apply this logic to our H2 and H3 headers, Google will recognize this.
You may be thinking that your job as a business owner is to keep them thinking about your product as long as possible. But the average human attention span is eight seconds. If your heading does not entice them, you have already lost them.
If you apply this logic to your blogs, you will not see a series of blogs front-loading all of the useful information. You will see that each heading acts as a question, which a quick follow-up on the answer. Their method may be to sprinkle in helpful information to lead to the answer. Regardless, if you keep people waiting too long, they will be happy to find that quick solution somewhere else.
How Can Semalt Help Me With This?
Semalt’s team of specialists are aware of these issues. With training on the best practices of SEO, Semalt will exploit these opportunities by targeting keywords. By placing these keywords into those featured snippets, you rank amongst the top for specific searches.
There are some keywords that businesses tend to overlook. By associating these keywords with featured snippets, you can find yourself In a better position to rank for more competitive keywords. Talk with an SEO specialist today so that you may develop a plan of action to get you to the Google top.
What Are The Different Types of Featured Snippets?
When optimizing content for featured snippets, it is crucial to recognize that there are two dominant media options: type and video. The bulk of what we will go over in this section is word-based, but a video is a channel that you should consider adding to your media target. Video is a service that Semalt offers. We will go through four areas.
- Bulleted or Numbered Lists
- Visually appealing
- Very engaging
- Growing media
- Does not lead to your website
- Requires editing experience
- High up-front investment
Google, being the owner of YouTube, likes to support their brand. As a result, YouTube snippets are an excellent way to target people. These snippets do not lead people to your site, but it leads them through a “funnel” that can return to your site. This strategy may not be a problem, but you tend to lose people the further you go down the funnel.
Video editing is also a complicated process with a high level of up-front investment. You will need to establish a professional location within your business or household. You will need to sound-proof that location. An editor will also be required to ensure that you produce high-quality content. It is an excellent opportunity, but best left to skilled individuals.
- A great informational piece
- The HTML can be tricky
- May look better on Google than on your page
- Doesn’t have emotional appeal
Table snippets are attractive, data-driven elements that are unique. This “uniqueness” comes from the fact that most websites cannot incorporate these well. Many assume that you have to put a table on your site to take advantage of these. But any data put into columns and rows can fit the bill.
Many reasons that you don’t see tables are their lacking emotional appeal. Some people do not like to see a data set. Also, the HTML to create these requires a bit of research. Those not versed in the subject may not want to pursue this option.
- Easy to create
- Provides the most information
- Can include Call to Action (CTA)
- Least enjoyable to read
- Does not stand out
- Picky with text length
Paragraph snippets are those that contain a solid block of text. They tend to be just below the H3 as an answer to the question presented in the title. It provides the most information and offers the most opportunity for including a CTA.
These are the least appealing for readers to skim through. Given the eight-second attention span mentioned earlier, you may lose them with a paragraph. Also, Google seems to have the same issue. They can decide to remove text if a change in their algorithm determines that it is too long.
- Can be very impactful
- Easy to understand step-by-step format
- Contains limited information
- Is not unique
- Not very engaging
Bulleted and numbered list snippets are the second-most common option you have. They get straight to the point, providing you a list of options that seek to answer the questions labeled in the heading. They are the best format for providing step-by-step instructions. This style of education is the most appealing of offering an instant solution.
The cons that come with choosing numbered or bulleted lists are related to space. While the bullets or numbers have a certain amount of impact, seeing these lists will start to become commonplace. Also, bullets or numbers have little room in addressing complicated issues.
The ten blue links that we know are lower than lists, maps, videos, and Q&A sessions at the top of the search engine. While ranking in the top ten is still critical to success, hitting these featured snippets are considered paramount to increasing visibility. If someone attempts to take your number one slot with a video or paragraph, your job is to aim for these snippets.
With awareness of the factors listed above, you will be able to target two primary media channels to improve your abilities to get in these featured snippets. Combined with Semalt’s team of SEO specialists, your goal of getting to the top of Google is within reach. For more information, please reach out to a specialist today.