If you have been following search engine optimisation practices, you will know that Google recently updated its algorithm to boost mobile-friendly web pages within its search rankings, a welcome sign for those who have spent time and resources in making their websites responsive. However, if you thought that this was the only change to mobile search results, you would be wrong.

More time on Google, less time on your website

Just over two years ago, Google launched its Featured Snippets section, which gave prominence to content answering a question or providing a definition. If you use the search engine regularly, you should be familiar with this feature yourself. For example, if you type in a phrase such as ‘what is SEO’ into the search engine, you will see a block of content which comes before the traditional search results, something Moz.com has labelled ‘Rank #0’.

In addition to the Featured Snippets, an increasing number of rank #0 features are beginning to make their way into the search engine results pages (SERPs). ‘People also ask’ provides a new accordion-style question and answer box, while ‘knowledge cards’ and ‘answer boxes’ provide information sourced directly from other websites or Google’s Knowledge Graph.

While these changes are clearly convenient for users who want to find information quickly, it means that organic search results are ranking lower down on the page, resulting in less exposure and fewer organic clicks on your website. In some cases, particularly on mobile devices, organic results only appear below the fold – a marketing nightmare for those relying on organic traffic from Google.

What can you do to stay at the top?

With more competition from other websites and Google’s own Knowledge Graph, getting people to click on your website is becoming ever-more challenging. You could, of course, rely on an AdWords campaign to guarantee eyeballs on your website, but there are other methods to try out.

  • Use relevant keywords: As always, using relevant keywords in your copy will help you rank on Google. Research and track keywords to maximise your impact
  • Answer questions: Google wants you to answer questions for its users – if you make sure you address common problems and answer questions in your copy, you’re more likely to appear as part of its new Featured Snippets or ‘People Also Ask’ sections
  • Maintain your current rank: Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that your content will make it into Google’s new rank #0 feature, so it’s important to keep up with your SEO efforts to maximise and maintain the position of your content in SERPs

If you need help with your search engine optimisation, trust the experts at Jumping Spider Media to put together a strategy that is tailor-made to your business needs.