- Featured snippets are here to stay, so it’s time for you to adapt.
- 65% of organic Google searches now include at least one rich snippet.
- Ranking for them isn’t as difficult as you think.
- There is a structured and repeatable process for gaining those positions.
- Ahref’s Mark Webster shows you how to analyze and create featured snippets.
The trick is being able to get featured snippets is using a structured process. One that you can repeat over and over again. Which is exactly what we show you how to do in this blog post. But just before we go any further into how to do that, let’s do a quick brief on featured snippets.
What is a featured snippet?
Featured snippets are the images, content summaries, answers, widgets, or other data that Google displays in their SERPs in addition to traditional web results.
From Google’s point of view, these provide their “customers” with better user experience – they get the information they need without ever needing to actually go to a website. And an improved revenue model for them – paid ads are how Google keeps the lights on.
But it’s a different story for website owners and bloggers. Featured snippets can feel like a mammoth task. But you don’t have to feel that way.
Why are featured snippets important?
There’s a straightforward answer to this – Google has increased its use of featured snippets in the last 12 months.
This is a trend that does not look set to change anytime soon.
If anything, Google will double-down on this approach, treading the fine line between scraping your content (without paying for it) and rewarding you with enough traffic to continue publishing.
There was even a time when you could grab the featured snippet and the numero uno ranking for a given keyword.
So you could effectively rank for position zero and position one. Which obviously drove insane amounts of traffic.
But then Google went and changed its algorithm to terminate “spot zero” rankings, and SEOs went back to the drawing board. The point we’re making is how your visitors interact with your website has changed dramatically.
But this also provides you with an opportunity.
As you probably already know, grabbing the first position result in Google SERPs will give you a CTR of at least 31.7% for a given search query. That’s why SEOs push so hard to dominate that particular slot in the organic SERPs.
But what if we told you that a competing featured snippet gets way more clicks you should get. There is hope, though.
Because around 60% of all featured snippets are owned by sites that don’t hold position one or that keyword. Basically, as long as you rank somewhere on page one it’s simply a matter of reverse engineering how to grab the featured snippet for that result. And yes, we’ve got you covered.
Analyzing the competition
As has been the case with most aspects of SEO over the last few years you should analyze what your competitors are doing.
So, the Authority Hacker team analyzed over one million search results for commonalities in the “how” and “why” of rich snippets.
Our criteria were that we included all types of featured snippets, including YouTube, People Also Ask, Knowledge cards, and more. And we also only analyzed phrases that had at least 1,000 searches per month.
What we found is that anywhere up to 65% of all search results included a snippet of some kind.
Basically, if you’re not optimizing for these rich/featured snippets, I can pretty much guarantee that your competitors are.
Finding featured snippet gaps
Let’s say you rank on page one for your keyword of choice. It typically takes a lot of links and a lot of work to kick down the door to position one. But snagging a featured snippet can help you leapfrog your competitors.
Quick reminder: You have to already rank somewhere on page one for our tactic to work.
With that in mind, head on over to Ahrefs.
Click on ‘Site Explorer’, paste in the URL of your website, click the search icon, and then click on ‘Organic Keywords’.
Now, filter the results so you only see what pages already rank on the first page of the SERPs.
And the final step is to look for the gaps i.e. keywords you already rank for but where you don’t own the featured snippet.
To do that click on ‘SERP Features’ and select ‘Featured snippet” and ‘Apply’.
Here’s what the results look like:
Now you know exactly what keyword phrases to target for your next featured snippet conquest.
And yes, you could do all of this manually.
But that’s entirely up to you – Ahrefs is our tool of choice when it comes to this stuff.
How do you get featured snippets?
So now we get to the cool stuff – reverse-engineering the SERPs to snag those premium organic placements.
Remember those commonalities we mentioned a little while back?
Well, what also became apparent during our research is that Google isn’t quite as clever as they’d like you to think they are.
All the talk about using AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing) to determine search results well it’s basically smoke and mirrors.
It all sounds compelling but it’s still basically fluff. Instead, the process they appear to use is far more mechanical in nature.
Our data indicate that they’re using how content is structured and semantic analysis to figure out what should appear as a featured snippet. Which all sounds very complicated, but it isn’t.
What we found is that Google follows some very basic rules when choosing which page to take a featured snippet from.
In effect, they would appear to be giving preference to pages that structure their data in a very specific way:
- “How to”, “What is” or “Best x vs. y” queries are your best targets
- You should wrap the original search query, verbatim, in an H2 or H3 tag
- You should also include an image within your “answer”
- You should write 50-ish words (no more than 300 characters) to answer the query
What you are effectively doing here is over-optimizing for the search query.
So it’s kinda like being back in 2004, for now.
Some will view this tactic as “keyword” stuffing, which I think is maybe a little hyperbolic.
I see it as simply structuring your data in a way that makes Google pay attention to your page.
We’re simply providing you with the information we use to dominate whatever featured snippet we want to.
What you do with that information is entirely up to you.
But just imagine the positive impact this could have on an already successful affiliate site?
Are there any downsides?
As with any SEO “hack”, there is always the likelihood that Google will update its algorithm again, changing the selection criteria.
So – in several month’s time – you might have to adjust your approach to retain your position zero placements.
But the argument I’d make here is that in the meantime you’ll miss out on a lot of free traffic.
Something which your competitors will be more than happy to take the risk on.
For me, this is an opportunity to take advantage of.
And if things change, well I’ll see that as “Que sera sera”.
Top 10 Tools to facilitate web development
- Web development is very essential for guiding you past the traditional methods of website development and approaching to other more unique and efficient prospects in the IT field.
- Building an app or website is real but sometimes can be better facilitated through the testing and implementation phases of web tools.
- Entering the new age of the digital world is just impossible without proper deployment, scaling, and database management. And this where the best web development weapons are on standby.
Web development tools are necessary to adapt and integrate in the development environments since they help you create a webpage, gather metrics, discover layouts and designs. Web development is all about evolving and stepping up the game you are currently very proficient in. Along with that it doesn’t demand much money, require enormous sources or expect big money. The only thing development tools are incorporating is your boosted ultimate website performance. What is simply left is finding the right assistant on this journey. Here are the top 10 we have picked for you:
1. Chrome DevTool
If you are searching for a web assistant that would ensure your safety and optimize development, Chrome DevTool is sincerely recommended in this case. Taking into account that this is the most popular cross-platform browser of all, you should be certain that such a Chromium-based development technology will allow you to inspect, debug, and guide you through the browser.
While varied development tools are primarily focused on setting up websites, creating online stores, and launching blogs, Chrome DevTool is highly helpful in inspecting and tweaking. Although it is a bit hard to navigate through so many tabs and functions, Chrome DevTool offers you numerous panels for boosting productivity, analyzing load performance, and enhancing better user-friendly experience:
- Elements panel
- Console panel
- Sources panel
- Network panel
- Performance panel
- Memory panel
- Application panel
- Security panel
Such a division gives you a more fixed structure on elements and commands that you can apply depending on the existing page you are willing to diagnose. In order to access Chrome DevTools, you won’t even need to pay for anything, as it is built into the browser itself. Here is how you can open it.
Good software development company’s support can facilitate your user experience with its comprehensive and all-inclusive approach even more. VironIT offers you a list of the new age web development tools and services to create a highly adaptable website or attractive web application.
If you wonder what kind of development tools are combined in one software, it might actually vary from AR&VR development (augmented and virtual reality) to IoT Software development (data visualization and analysis). Such a useful package of cross-platform tools in one place makes it easier for you to write, maintain and promote better development and react to possible vulnerabilities. In addition, it guarantees you rapid functionality of apps, programs, websites and its well-organized software designs.
There is nothing more efficient than a versatile service providing the fast and most secure web frameworks. You share the main goal.
3. React JS
- It is also error-free since all technical mistakes can be spotted during compilation.
- It is easier to write templates, especially when you are familiar with HTML.
You have no clue what the new age of web development means if you don’t try out GitHub. This web platform enables you not only to manage the web applications by coordinating the tools and its usability, but also to deploy regular teams and campaigns to the completion of these same applications or projects. GitHub accesses you a lightweight, branch-based workflow that helps you experiment with taking over new tasks and managing the existing workflow.
- It helps you make changes, reviews without affecting other involved branches.
- It offers a smooth documentation process that often complements the quality coding process.
- It can modify pages’ content and style remotely via the web or locally on your computer
Why GitHub? The suggested privileges of breaking down barriers within a team when the project is implemented and keeping everyone focused on having the best performance. In the same way, it can let your business flow run smoothly and consistently at any point in time.
5. Novi Builder
You can’t even imagine what excellent sophisticated features you have been holding back when you were not a member of the Novi Builder community. This easy-to-use development tool offers you facilities for HTML drag and drop builder, access to all existing and future templates including free of charge themes. Also, it provides you with 20 must-have plugins and elements, such as Social Plugins, Contact form, Sliders, Countdown, Google Maps, and more.
The functionality and designs are exactly built for beginners developers who want to evolve and rise up on their IT working ladder. It is a great chance for deepening your understanding of website creation and ensuring solid knowledge of application development.
Along with the above-mentioned features, here is what else Novi Builder has to offer:
- It offers advanced code editor support.
- It supercharges your projects just from scratch
- It can install an app and make it live in several hours at low cost
- It empowers and modifies your existing HTML website with additional application integration facilities
Unlike the rest of the feedback tools, this one doesn’t misuse or distort gathered information. It does exactly the opposite by testing development phases and saving your existing project from bugs. If you are quite hesitant it takes too long to collect BugMuncher feedback, you should remember that it is not about your colleague’s professional suggestion, a customer as a prime source of feedback. They can deliver you the most constructive criticism that would help you hone your business’ website or app development.
Moreover, ready-made blocks of code and flexible layouts needed for HTML, CSS can be easily customized and used in accordance with your project’s requirements. The greatest Bootstrap’s features of all are:
- Extensive list of components
- Solid guarantee of the project’s responsiveness
- Useful icon library
Notepad++ is your great assistant in text editing, syntax highlighting, plugin maintaining and this list of handy features can actually go on. Although it is available on Windows only, it can still be supported by GitHub, a primary distribution party.
Additionally, Notepad++ supports 27 programming languages. If you go to the Binary Translations page you can easily choose the language you need. Alternatively, you can open User Language Define System to help you define the definition of keywords or regular expressions. Moreover, if you are advanced at coding in languages like C++, Batch, and HTML, Notepad++ is just an ideal service for you. Imagine that:
- You can find every instance of a word and perform actions on it.
- You can access the replace function and get a change reference for each word.
- You can also save time by typing the keyboard shortcut and skipping the appeared code next time or previous time.
Doesn’t it sound amazing to apply a word-search and text-editor tool like this with just a quick installation and some default language setting? You should definitely try it out.
9. Source tree
We wouldn’t bet on the wrong horse if we said that most of you are intermediate or even advanced developers who’d rather focus on coding than interacting with the Git repositories. SourceTree is a free web development tool available for Mac and Windows and perfect for database visualization and management. However, Source tree equally claims to serve both powerful experts, as well as absolute beginners. Yet, understanding the interface specs is easier than you can even think:
- Bookmark windows represent database you are aligned with
- Toolbar lets you take action without any command line
- The sidebar is where you access the information about your current project
- Repository history and code diffs share control to monitor previous changes
From now any coding changes will be demonstrated in real-time and with the aggregated view on all of your work.
10. Lambda Test
Now, you are completely forearmed to successfully lead the war of web development. Getting an application done or an advanced code supported has never been easier. Try these top tools out and you will not regret it.
Why behavior analysis is important online business
- A typical consumer now owns an average of 3.6 devices which means a person’s journey may start from a laptop and end on a mobile or a tablet.
- In the ecommerce business, the cart abandonment rate is the thing that haunts most of the business owners.
- Developing analytical skills can help you better manage these obstacles.
- MD of SEO Discovery shares a guide to help you understand Cohort Analysis and Behavior Analysis to eliminate roadblocks and improve engagement.
In today’s digital age, the customer journey is getting complex day by day and if you are doing online business then it’s vital to understand your customer journey. A typical consumer now owns an average of 3.6 devices which means a person’s journey may start from a laptop and end on a mobile or a tablet.
In the ecommerce business, the cart abandonment rate is the thing that haunts most of the business owners. According to Statista, 88.05 percent of online shopping orders were abandoned in March 2020 worldwide, which means over 88% of people added selected products into the cart and left without buying for various reasons. This is a massive business opportunity loss for ecommerce players.
Developing analytical skills can help you better manage these obstacles. Without adequate knowledge of analytics, your marketing won’t work because you won’t know what worked and what didn’t work. All the marketing suits come with analytics tools to help perceive the behavior, engagement metrics, and demographics of the visitors coming to a website. The most common web analytics tools are Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Kiss Metrics, and Mixpanel. They generally come with the following features and capabilities:
- Real-time analytics
- Mobile analytics
- Attribution modeling
- Ecommerce tracking
- Funnel analysis
- Cohort analysis
- Cross-device tracking
- In-page analytics (Session recording, click tracking, heatmaps)
- Goal conversion tracking
- Event tracking
- A/B testing
Every feature has its own data sets which can be compared to help you make informed decisions. Today we are going to understand Cohort Analysis and Behavior Analysis to eliminate roadblocks and improve engagement.
What is a Cohort Analysis and why is it important?
Cohort analysis is a subset of users grouped by shared characteristics. It simply allows you to compare the behavior and metrics of different cohorts over time.
Cohort Analysis Example – Finding Engagement Drop
Let’s suppose you have an online food ordering website/app and using acquisition date (when users started their first sessions) cohorts you can find out when in the customer lifecycle your users tend to drop off.
The best way for visualizing this data is to chart out the retention curve, portraying retention over time.
This retention curve clearly reflects the most important insight – around 75% of the users stop using the website after the first day. We can see a downfall in the engagement. Hence, it’s evident to improve the overall experience and abet customers through daily offers/coupons to boosting retention.
Cohort Analysis Comparison – Organic vs Direct
The below cohort analysis indicates that organic traffic has a better retention rate than direct.
Visitor behavior analysis and its importance
It’s a process of tracking user behavior on a website and there are some great tools in the market that give accurate information. Tools like Hotjar, MouseFlow, Crazy Egg record visitor sessions to see how visitors are navigating on the website. They also offer click tracking and heatmaps to analyze the most engaging and ignored (skipped) elements on a page.
If you look at the above heatmap, you would notice that no one bothered to click on “PORTFOLIO” in the top menu, which means people aren’t interested in see the portfolio. Maybe we have to replace it with something more interesting (like Case Studies, Achievements, and more) which grabs a visitor’s attention. These kinds of insights help you add/remove elements to improve page engagement.
Using filters, you can further segment your audience to dig deep and pull out actionable insights, see those filter below:
In Google Analytics, behavior flow gives you a visual presentation of how people are navigating on your website. You can apply segments to get a deeper view of their behavior and it also enables you to apply different dimensions on top of these segments to get actionable insights.
The power of these analytical tools lies in the fact that it allows you to view which customers leave and what’s making them leave your website/app – so that you can fix it. You can also hire a professional digital marketing agency that can help you find these hurdles and remove them to enhance your overall engagement.
Mandeep Singh is the MD of SEO Discovery. He’s mission is to provide affordable digital marketing services to startups and SMEs. He’s an official member of Forbes Agency Council. You can find him on LinkedIn.
Top 15 Chrome extensions for social media marketers
- When it comes to the internet browser, Google Chrome, with its extensive list of extensions is the indisputable chart-topper.
- As a digital marketer, you have to keep track of so many things – different projects at various stages of development, research, reporting, new leads, existing clients, et cetera.
- Bhavik Soni shares a list of the top 15 Chrome extensions that will make social media marketers more productive, smart, and efficient.
- These are categorized into extensions for – Productivity, research and tracking, content creation and implementation, and digital marketing. Dive in!
When it comes to the internet browser, Google Chrome, with its extensive list of extensions is the indisputable chart-topper. From simple theme-based to technical coding-related, the extension list in chrome is practically endless.
This extension-packed list also boasts a wide variety of efficient social media extensions that boost professionalism, punctuality, and productivity. And, who wouldn’t love a convenient free plugin that makes life easier!
As a digital marketer, you have to keep track of so many things – different projects at various stages of development, research, reporting, new leads, existing clients, et cetera. These extension apps create a focus-orientated and organized work environment by keeping marketers updated on project developments, sending to-do reminders, enhancing content, and more.
In short, these install-and-use plugins act as the ace up their sleeves for social network marketers. They work as useful gadgets and trained assistants. They are the must-have social media marketing tools for every marketer.
You can optimize and make Google work for you in a jiffy by adding these 15 Chrome Extensions to your browser today.
Chrome Productivity Extensions
1. StayFocused: App block & website block google chrome extension
Designed to boost productivity, the StayFocused extension limits the amount of time you spend on vanity Googling. It offers the brute force you need somedays to anchor your focus to what’s more important.
2. Momentum: Personal dashboard new tab chrome extension
Perhaps, Momentum is the best Chrome extension for productivity. It steers your focus from idle to important by motivating you with quotes, encouraging positivity with mantras, and inspiring with serene photography. Features like Daily Focus, To-Do, Countdowns, Metrics, Event Reminder and Links help you browse the internet with intent. What’s more? The plus version is available for just $3.33/month.
Research and tracking extensions
3. Diigo Web Collector: Highlighter and bookmarker for chrome
Diigo is a research chrome extension that lets you highlight important phrases, bookmark and save pages, write notes, and collect references at a single place. It comes in handy for social media marketers, who generally invest hours in R&D for planning a campaign, learning trends, and comparing the competitor’s strategy.
4. Google Analytics URL Builder: Online UTM tracking
This is a tracking extension that lets you build UTM parameters. With the help of this plugin, you will be able to gauge the effectiveness of the UTM tags used in the campaigns. Google Analytics URL Builder also allows you to share templates with others, saves time when you have to generate URLs manually, and shares progress with clients.
5. Ghostery: Makes web cleaner, faster, and safer
Ghostery is designed to block ads and trackers, this productivity chrome extension makes a great social media marketing tool. With its help, you will be able to learn the trackers on the competitor’s sites that they use to attract, engage, and convert the visitors.
$11.99 USD /month/user*
6. SpyFu: SEO and PPC tools for professionals
Yet another efficient tracker extension that lets you peek into the competitor’s site data. Spyfu reveals extensive information, including where the competitor appeared on Google in the past nine years. The social media marketing (SMM) plugin also shows all keywords bought on AdWords, every ad variation, and every organic rank for $33/month.
Content creation and implementation
7. Canva: Design is all around us
How social media advertising will perform relies a lot on visuals. Photo-driven platforms like Instagram and Pinterest yield better ROI than content-driven Twitter or Facebook. It is because photos get more engagement. To ensure you can make most of this social media trend, creating impressive and attention-grabbing posts become imperative. It is where Canva comes into the picture.
8. Figure it Out: Solve your time zone pain
A digital marketer works for clients and target audiences in different time zones. For them, Figure it Out proves to be a handy tool. It is an extension that lets you keep track of up to 10 time zones, and makes scheduling posts accordingly.
Free and paid ($3/month)
9. WhatFont: Identify fonts on web pages
We get it, fonts are tricky. Download an app, and it gives you hundreds of fonts that are too similar-looking, too familiar, or too quirky for your campaign. One day you browse a site – may be a competitor’s – and find just the font you were looking for but have no clue which one it is.
That’s when WhatFont comes to the rescue. A single click and it reveals not only the name but also the family, style, weight, size, line height, and color of the font.
10. Unsplash Instant: Beautiful photos in your new tab
For every social media marketing post, there is a tedious task to find high-quality, professional stock pictures, usually for free. Unsplash Instant lets you find great photos ranging from flowers and skies to desktops and artsy portraits. You can save them for free and use it for all kinds of commercial use.
11. Colorzilla: Advanced colorful goodies
Colorzilla allows you to hover over any color shown on a webpage and learn about its hex code for future use in a social media ad post. With this plugin, you will be able to create consistent color themes, appealing visuals, and come up with perfect palettes.
12. Sniply: Drive conversion through content
Social media promotions through third-party content are more effective when they include a tempting call-to-action that takes the reader to your own online space. Sniply helps you make those conversion-generating posts by letting you add custom CTA to any piece of content. On the dashboard, the plugin will show how many clicks your links are getting and the level of engagement for tracking purposes.
Digital marketing extensions
13. IFTTT for Marketing and social media automation
14. Buffer: Share content easily
With this social media extension, you will be able to schedule and manage posts across different platforms. Buffer will also let you follow up with analytics to track the performance of each post.
15. LastPass: Free password manager
By downloading the LastPass Chrome extension, you will not need to remember dozens of passwords to each social media platform. This free password manager will do it for you. You could also create a master password through LastPass.
Let’s sum it up
Here’s a guide to 15 best Chrome extensions available for social media marketers. From saving bookmarks to managing posts and passwords, these plugins will work as assistants to digital professionals.
Note: Details like pricing are subject to change as per the respective tool provider.
Bhavik Soni is a Creative Writer at Auto Monkey. We provide an original analysis of the latest happenings in the social media industry. Connect with Latest Social Media Trends and News plus tips on Twitter, Facebook, and other social tools on the web.
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