Last week Burger King dropped their latest TV commercial aimed at triggering people’s Google Home devices with a simple ask: “OK, Google – what is the Whopper burger?” When prompted, Google Home devices will go and do a voice search for “What is the Whopper burger?” The resulting response is Google Home reading back the information found in a featured snippet from a Wikipedia article on the Whopper. An article that Fernando Machado, Burger King’s Senior VP for Global Brand Management, edited himself.
This offline ad stunt quickly turned into a back-and-forth between Burger King and Google, with Google blocking that search from home devices, and ultimately Burger King rolling out a Plan-B to overcome the search giant.
The Whopper Problem
Now that you have the backstory, let’s forget all that nonsense about the video itself and fast forward to the actual online strategy. You see the beauty and curse in Burger King’s online strategy was using a publicly accessible piece of content in their plan to secure the top spot. Wikipedia after all is the originator of crowdsourced information, and while very authoritative from a search engine perspective, can be edited by the public. This resulted in some not-so-tasty responses.
The SEO’s Question
While ad critics were arguing over whether or not it was genius or spammy, we had one burning question for Burger King. Why not try to secure position zero on your own site where you have full control? Wikipedia was obviously the quick win, but what’s next?
The Solution to Position Zero
Being the geeky SEO’s that we are, we quickly went to the whiteboard to try and devise a plan that answered our burning question. But you say, well Wikipedia has the authority here, so why not just let it play out? While we fully understand that it could be quite the battle to secure a featured snippet, breaking down the different components, you’ll see that it might not be too far out of reach. Let’s geek out, shall we?
Known Position Zero Ranking Signals
- The site, or page in question, must rank on the first page of Google.
Success, BK ranks position #3 for query “what is the whopper burger?”
- Your content must be relevant and effective in answering the question of the searcher. While there are some good pieces of relevant content on the Whopper page, this and the structure of the page are holding it back.
- Whopper page on Wikipedia has a PA of 67, with 302 links from 44 root domains (Mozbar).
- Whopper page on Burger King’s site has a PA of 56, with 36 links from 18 root domains (Mozbar).
Note: Calling out #3 and #4 points just for reference in case anybody wanted to question the validity of this actually being plausible regardless of link strategies.
Rebuilding Burger King’s Whopper Page
Ignoring all signals that yes, Wikipedia is viewed (currently) as a more authoritative source, we threw caution to the wind and re-built the Whopper page on Burger King’s site in an effort to make it the source for all things Whopper.
In its current form (above), the Whopper page is light on context and needs to be improved.
Quick fixes include a well crafted Meta Page Title that addresses the question at hand, accompanying it with a solid Meta Page Description to encourage CTR. Although we know Google will have the ultimate say here, let’s at least put forth a solid effort.
The existing BK page is very light on content. While we understand BK’s approach is very much a reference to their menu, let’s be honest… if you’re at a Burger King, or know of Burger King, don’t you already know of The Whopper? Ignore the menu, let’s expand the content and dominate some SERPs BK!
There’s value in providing the history or backstory on any product represented. Clearly there are some good historical elements that lead into the Wikipedia article, so let’s include those.
From nutritional facts to secrete sauce (that other fast food joint), we expand on the knowledge share and disclose what makes up every Whopper burger. In addition, the Nutritional Facts can be formatted in a table format that could be more appealing to Google. Ultimately also being featured in the SERPs for other questions asked about the Whopper.
AKA, sides. Let’s face it, nobody sits down and eats “just the burger.” Why not deliver the burger with options?
Where Can I get One?
Since 1957, the Whopper has been synonymous with Burger King. So unless you have been living under a rock since then, you should know where to buy one. But, just in case, let’s put it out there for those would-be purveyors of fast food burgers.
The Whopper Vs. Big Mac? Gasp!? Yes Burger King, we put it out there. This is for people on the fence. The conquest of burger consumers if you will. Show them why your product is different, or superior.
Deals and Pricing
Possibly one of the most frequent queries for commercialized products is how much does it cost, and where can I get the best deal on it. Again, drop some insights here BK.
Whether you’re selling Whoppers worldwide, or generating awareness about your service-based company in the Midwest, many of these strategies can be employed. The question is, do you want to risk your brand with publicly edited content, or your own? Your move BK.