How to get a Featured SnippetGOZEN HOST
Google constantly rolls out updates for their search engine, in fact it’s estimated that there are around 500-600 changes to the ranking algorithm made annually. SEO specialist and website owners are equally trying their best to stay on top of those changing by adapting their strategies.One of the newer additions to Google is featured snippets. They’ve been around for some time; however, it is only recently that people have begun to see the real advantages of having their content featured at the very top of a search results page.
Google is regularly adding featured snippets to a wide variety of search queries in order to give people quick answers that they seek. Information is displayed on top of the page; users don’t even need to leave Google to find what they were looking for. This also works great for voice search, as people use conversational language to ask questions.
Meanwhile, websites that have their content displayed in featured snippets are automatically pushed to the top, the so called “#0 position”. Website owners and bloggers who have had their content featured see an increase in their organic traffic. Therefore, features snippets is something that a lot of them strive to acquire.
Now, how do you get a featured snippet? Unfortunately, there’s no clear and simple answer. Google uses an algorithm to scan the content and automatically determine if it’s good enough to be featured. However, there are a number of ways you can significantly increase your chances of getting a featured snippet.
What are Featured Snippets?
Before we dive into explaining how to get your website featured, let’s first talk about what featured snippets are in detail.
As mentioned featured snippets show up on top of SERP, above the ads. They aim to answer a user’s query right away. Oftentimes, you can find them being referred to as answer boxes, which is not incorrect, but a matter of preference. There are different ways a featured snippet can look, based on the query and content itself: paragraph, list or table. Out of all of them paragraph is reported to be the most widespread.
Can just anybody get featured? The answer is yes and no. Let me explain, while any website that has relevant information to the query can be featured, according to Ahrefs 99.58% of featured pages already rank in the top 10 SERP positions for a given query. Meaning that you already need to rank rather high in order to get a featured snippet. Good news, however, is that research found that 70% of featured snippets don’t come from the number one position, so while you need to rank in the top 10, you don’t have to be first.
Where to Start?
The best approach when starting out is to aim for a keyword that you already rank high for, seeing as featured snippets are pulled from the top 10 SERP.
The majority of snippets are triggered by long tail keywords. Use whatever SEO tool you prefer to research your keywords aiming at question queries that start with words such as “what”, “how”, “why” etc. However, don’t just stop at questions, 70% of queries that prompt featured snippets are long tailed keywords.
If your research tool doesn’t show if the keywords have a featured snippet you will have to manually google each query to find out which ones trigger it.
You could also google a query and see what other questions pop up in the “People also ask” box.
To get ideas it’s always best to address intent. What might people be looking for? What kind of answers they seek?
After you found your target keywords, you can go ahead and start optimizing the content for it.
You will need to reformat and re-optimize your content, rather than creating a new content from the start. However, you can do that as well if you feel your content is lacking in quality.
Google loves a well-structured content. Don’t be afraid to use tables, bullet points, charts etc to organize the content. You will find a lot of featured snippets containing a list of ingredients or a step by step guide, for example. When giving an answer to the question be very factual and use numbered data.
Paragraphs and Headers
This is while not a guaranteed success but a great tip nonetheless. Put the questions into the headings (h1, h2, h3) and ensure that your content is in a paragraph tag (<p>), it needs to be below the search query. This will make it easier for Google to identify questions and their answers.
Featured snippets are usually no longer than one paragraph. A study found that the maximum word count of the paragraph is 97 words, while the average is 47.
This means that you should focus on your articles asking a question and then immediately follow by a one paragraph answer, and further on in the article elaborate on that answer. This doesn’t, however, mean that your articles have to be short, in fact Google favors lengthier content. Plus, having a longer article will allow you to cover as many similar sounding questions, as well and in turn help your content get featured for similar queries. Consider adding a FAQ to your already existing articles, this would also help boost your chances of getting a featured snippet.
Add striking images
Images next to a featured snippet will grab more attention. All of the images you use need to be striking well designed and branded, since there is no way to tell which one Google will decide to use in the featured snippet as the selection appears to be random. Sometimes, Google even uses the images not from a second source if they are deemed to be of better quality.
To summarize, as you can see featured snippets is a great way to not only increase your traffic, but also contribute to your brand’s exposure. If you already rank in the top 10 for a query that triggers a featured snippet, with relatively minimal content re-optimization you can have your page take the “0 position”.