It seems like barely a week goes by without the launch of a new feature on Google for marketers and webmasters to get excited about. The latest development that has rocked our world is the announcement of some new search results snippets that include FAQs, Q&A and How To guides. In this article, we’re going to take a look at these new features along with the other structured markup that you should be using on your website in 2018.
One of the newest snippet features by Google is the Q&A section which aims to provide searchers information from a Q&A section or forum website in order to help answer their search query. The aim, as with any of Google’s snippets, is to help answer a searcher’s query as quickly as possible and give them an insight into which search result is likely to provide the information they are looking for.
Another recently announced snippet is the how-to instructions which will give full details in the search result from time to complete to tools and materials and instructions with images and videos. This could be an extremely powerful search feature as it would allow people to quickly get the instructions they needed.
The final search feature that’s been newly announced is the FAQs snippet which aims to provide users with quick answers to their common questions. Examples of this could include a company’s return policy, shipping details or service related questions. Again the goal of this is to help users find the information they want quickly without having to click around on a website to find what they are looking for.
How can we show up for these searches?
While a lot of these features are still in the early stages and are not currently active you can get a head-start on the competition by using structured markup on relevant pages on your website. The markup available includes HowTo, QA and FAQ. Google will also be opening up an interest form for publishers and webmasters to have sections of their website featured in these snippets.
Are there other types of structured markup we should be using?
We all know how much voice search is growing thanks to smart assistants like Amazon Echo, Siri and the Google Assistant but how can you take advantage of this and make sure that your business shows up for voice search results? Well as you might have guessed by now the answer lies in structured markup.
One of the newest formats to be announced is speakable markup which lets verified news publishers highlight sections within an article that are suitable for audio playback using the text-to-speech system. This lets Google Assistant devices such as mobile phones and Google Home read snippets of the article as well as attributing the source. As well as reading out the section the URL of the full article will be sent to the user’s device through the Google Assistant app.
At the moment speakable markup is only applicable for news publishers but we wouldn’t be surprised if this is rolled out to other types of website in the future as more and more searches are performed by voice. Structured markup is one of the best ways to help improve the optimisation of your website and can be used for all types of website from ecommerce stores to local service related businesses. Find out how you can improve your local SEO by reading this post.