Capturing the quick answer is so 2018.
Today, you should be solving not just for the “top box,” but also for users. In today’s Content & Links, Ross shares some of his favorite ways brands have incorporated copywriting, UX and branding on page to inform their quick answer strategy.
Today we’re gonna be talking about how to take your quick answers to the next level. Otherwise described as Featured Snippets, people are getting smarter and smarter as SEOs to be able to solve for this section.
You can do that by genuinely structuring your pages to think through how a robot would extract the answer into that featured snippet box.
As the tl;dr, we see this version from Homebuyer, you can see it in the title is “What Is Homeowner’s Insurance” and the first sentence is “Homeowners insurance is…”
That would give a robot confidence that that is a clear definition. In general, that can be extrapolated out to a lot of different query types where if you structure something like this or otherwise restate what the query is in a prominent section and then the next sentence is restating that that search, you’ll get that quick answer.
This said, we’re now evolving where quick answer has been around for a decent amount of time. We’re trying to push the needle and stand out. And even in a world where Google didn’t exist, solving for featured snippets or quick answers for users is just good user experience.
What I’m gonna touch on in this video is why simply solving for structure is not enough. And I’ll give you several examples of brands who are actually taking this further and giving people the quick answer on page.
That is I believe the new goal. You want to create an experience where someone can go to your site and get the quick answer without thinking. Before a lot of brands would just put it in H2s and in copy that was hard to find but maybe Google can extract, but now we want to push further and give that for users as well.
Quick Answer in the Subhead
To give you a few examples here, starting with Homebuyer which we already saw, a common way to apply this is with a subheader.
You can see here the title is “What Is Homeowner’s Insurance?” and then they immediately answer it with a subheader for users and for Google.
You can see if you’re a user and you quickly open this page, you will get the answer of what homeowners insurance is without even having to think about it. Don’t make me think and in turn I will probably reward your website in Google search results.
Quick Answer Design
Moving on, we look at Policygenius. This takes it even further whereas the same concept applied but adding more design aesthetic to punch home the Policygenius brand, which I really like.
You see that the answer or the query restated in the H1 area, but the subheader also answers it in a quick answer format that both Google and users will quickly be able to find on page.
By creating the Q&A format, it also is a natural user experience. A typical question would not be a natural thing for a post title. But in this format where they decided to go Q&A I think that it’s very clever use to push home that quick answer experience for users and again for Google.
Quick Answer Outside an H2
A unique way to do this is Money Under 30. What we look at here is they have at the top area “How Much You Should Save Each Month.” That is again a query that people are searching on Google for.
Instead of the traditional subheader, they bold the first section of their copy area. This allows the user to get that answer quickly and also for Google have a hierarchy to make it easy for them to pull that into Google and have the correct answer.
It’s not an H2 in this case, but the structure is still there such that users and Google can both understand very clearly that this is where the answer according to this article is.
Quick Answer Using Font Sizing
Wirecutter is a well-known product review site and what they do is up the font size slightly for that first paragraph. They’re not as explicit about solving for “the best electric stove is…” but you can see the font size of that area is actually significantly larger than the rest of the site.
This also adheres to their general branding of being this authoritative source where in your face font would not necessarily solve for that. In their situation instead the slightly larger font in that first paragraph allows them to combine those goals in a way that matches their brand.
Which is a very critical thing with all these examples and why I’m showing you many, is there are many different ways to solve for a more clear quick answer for users and Google depending on the specific need of your brand aesthetic.
Quicker Answers in Pull Quotes
Another way to do this is not just with a subheader but also a post highlight. One way is to have the text pop via HTML. Verywell Fit does a great job with SEO overall in terms of making their content scannable and easy to find.
In their case, the context here is how to engage your core. Then you scroll down the article you actually see them restating “to engage your core” in this area that kind of pops with a background color to it.
It looks different from the rest. It has the left border that’s red. This grabs your eye as a user. If you’re scanning through this article it gives you that again quick answer that can both solve for Google and for users in this case.
They’re probably more likely to get the quick answer if they put it a little higher on the page, but this is still a good experience. Even if featured snippets did not exist, this is something you wanna do overall for your users to have success on search engines or in general to make an engaging website.
Quick Answers Summarized
Another way to do this is Credit Karma and what they do is they actually have a “In A Nutshell” section, which is again a unique brand experience.
I definitely recommend not just copying one of these but take your brand and apply the themes of this to create a version. Credit Karma they quickly states how to reopen a closed credit card account. They do this repeatedly on their articles and is again solving for users while solving for Google. I believe it is a big reason why they’re very commonly successful in search.
Hopefully you got some inspiration from a visual standpoint of what to do to take your quick answer section to the next level for users and for Google.