Are you continuously putting efforts to secure the rank on the first page of Google, but the results are nowhere near what you expect? Google has a solution for this, and it is known as Google’s featured snippet. First, you must be familiar with the name; now, we make you know how to make your site visible in a snippet. Before that, let’s get a brief on featured snippets.
What have featured snippets?
Featured snippets are short extracts from a web page visible in Google’s search results to give a quick answer to a user’s question. The position is called the zero position, as this is placed above all the organic results.
This is an image showing how the featured snippets look like. It is placed well above all the organic results. It is customized to show the excerpts from the blog, which could be the best possible synopsis of the provided keyword. Like here, the keyword is “how to blog.”
Google’s featured snippets are the most strategic and useful opportunity to improve your rankings and achieve your goal and are automatically pulled from web pages in Google’s index. This short snippet with little words can drive a ton of attention towards your site and be an invaluable strategy for marketers. The featured snippet earns a whopping 34.2 % clicks, which results in higher CTR.
Types of featured snippets
Paragraphs – Definitions, Answers, and More
This kind of snippet provides practical definitions, a small brief of information on a topic. These snippets show a small brief on the queries that revolve around the questions or seeking additional information. The snippets can be seen as an answer box and showing below an image of how a paragraph snippet looks.
Whereas the definition boxes are for straightforward queries. It shows up when the users are searching for the basic meaning of a word query or concept.
Basically, these snippets are shown in tables where the user can visualize data in comparisons. A huge percentage of Google’s featured snippets are tables.
Lists are used to rank things, identify different products or show the steps of a process. The list featured snippets are ordered or unordered. We will see bulleted lists for ranked and unranked items or features and the “best” kinds of searches.
The list of items that are presented in a specific order where the process is needed to be shown step by step.
In an unordered list, the list is shown as a simple list, without any information to rank them one after one.
Youtube is the largest video search engine globally, so you would like to be in the video featured snippets and rank for. For example, if a video satisfies as the best answer to a user’s query, then the video will be included in a featured snippet. These kinds of snippets are useful for “how-to” queries.
Importance of featured snippets for ranking
Ranking for featured snippets is significant. A snippet or a position zero appears on the top of the organic search results and attracts more users to your website. The placement of a featured snippet could help in many ways.
- Increased Click-through rate (CTR). A snippet appears at the top of the SERP, be it on mobile or a desktop. If a user finds the information relevant and concise, they will click and visit the site, which will result in a higher CTR.
- Brand exposure and credibility. Relevant and interesting content on the featured snippet increases your brand authority. Google and users find it relevant, which establishes you as a better brand in the market.
- Voice searches. Voice searches through Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana extract the snippet content on voice searches.
To ensure that your site ranks well, you will need to create click-worthy content. The factors that make content click-worthy are:
- Concise answers of user’s search query
- Factual and organized content
- Use of simple words and proper keywords
To secure a position zero favors both Google and users, you need to provide the right setup.
How to rank in Google’s featured snippets
There are many guides derived from case studies that make us know how to rank for featured snippets. But, unfortunately, we cannot apply all these methods in the practical world as it will be time-consuming. Hence we have collected a few from our own experience to simplify you to optimize for featured snippets.
Do optimum keyword research.
Keyword research is an indispensable process that should be undertaken before content writing. Consider the questions your audience is asking about your products and services, and make sure to answer them comprehensively and interestingly.
Long-tail keywords often reveal the intent of the user, which you can use as support to answer your query. You can get a featured snippet as a result and add more valuable visitors because of the suggested intent of those keywords.
We suggest using the SEMrush tool for keyword optimization. SEMRush will help you in gathering all your keywords that are currently appearing in the snippets.
- Just open the Featured Snippets Report and take inventory. Ensure that you have clicked “Already Featured” at the top of the table.
- If you see to the left-hand side of that report, you will see the keywords currently appearing in a snippet. That list of keywords will give you an idea of where to start.
- It is all because Google recognizes you as a master of those subjects. That means it will be easy for you to rank on related terms as well.
- Export all of those keywords to a spreadsheet and then prepare it for uploading to the SEMRush keyword tool.
- Upload the list and look at the keywords related to the ones you have just uploaded. You could find a lot of them.
- Take a close look at the statistics for each search term. It would be best if you were looking for keywords with many monthly searches but with low competition.
- Though you don’t need really low competition, Since Google already has considered your site an authority on the original keywords, you are now also able to rank on related terms.
- Once you have collected many keyword opportunities, export them to a spreadsheet; now, it is time to gather even more keywords.
Create fact-based content
Google’s algorithms skim through countless websites to find content that resonates with the audience and answers all users’ questions. When crawlers succeed in finding it, they display the content in a featured snippet, making it easier for the audience to locate the right content.
To form a compelling piece of content, you should address consumer problems and answer those questions in the most convincing way. Featured snippets do not bypass Google’s ranking system as they are among the topic organic results for a query.
Good quality content improves the chances of landing in a featured snippet and spreading it to a wider audience, for which your content should be user-focussed on Google.
Analyze the competition
Understanding how your competitor delivers the content to the readers and his perspective on getting a featured snippet will help you find a unique competitive strategy that will help you stand out. The factors worth observing are:
- Keywords they are using and formatting their results, especially ones selected for featured snippets.
- Finding keywords, your competitors are ranking for
- Examining the structure and information of their high-ranking content
- Finding techniques to make your content better and more comprehensive for your readers.
Just make sure not to do exactly what your competitor is doing as this might have negative consequences, which you might be aware of.
Provide solutions worth-implementing
You are not going to secure a featured spot unless you provide solutions worth implementing to your readers. Get into readers’ shoes, think about what they expect to derive out of a particular topic, and then provide detailed information with relevant keywords and phrases. To ease this process, break it down into three simple steps:-
- Add detailed information to your content and cover plenty of questions related to your topic.
- Do not miss out on visual content like images, infographics, and videos.
- Tailor your content to suit beginners in your niche.
This way, you can outperform your competition and increase your chances of securing a featured spot. In addition, you will reach out to more readers via featured snippets who will repeatedly want to visit your website. Of course, this execution requires patience, but on the other hand, it also doesn’t require a single penny.
Add Q/A to your website.
Q/A increases your chances of ranking in a featured snippet. They provide a wealth of information that answers all the user’s relevant questions, which increases your chances of getting on the front page. By structuring the Q/A page correctly, you are helping readers to find simple and relevant answers to their questions which Google also likes, and there are high chances it will favor you for this. Make sure to keep your answers short and crisp and not long-winded, as long answers don’t provide much value.
Below, Q&As are visible in a snippet as a list with dates and without ratings.
Pay attention to formatting.
Please ensure the information should be conveyed in Google’s preferred way.
- If the current snippet is displaying information in a list or a table, it is advisable to format your content in that way only.
- Schema Markup can be used for highlighting main points or wrapping lists.
- Relevant pictures can also be added alongside content.
- Maintain your site structure with headings and para tags.
- Position the content directly below the header and para tag to get a rank in the snippet.
- Paragraph answers should lie between 40-60 words.
- Limit the numbered or bulleted lists up to 9 lines.
- Range the tables up to nine rows and three columns.
Google’s Cause for featuring Featured Snippets
Google innovated featured snippets in 2014, which was one of the most prominent changes in the past decade. This innovation impacted both users and SEOs. The main purpose behind the featured snippets was to provide some extra authority to the organic searches. Some of the main reasons are depicted below.
Increases website traffic
Featured snippets increase traffic on your website. Google considers your content and identifies whether it answers all the users’ queries comprehensively and then crawls it to the top of the organic results and becomes a featured snippet. According to the study by Ahrefs, webpages given a featured snippet and chosen to rank in the top ten results had quality content [source]
You may learn more about the objectives of your visitors when they visit your content page. Due to this, you will find the strong areas of your content and take steps to maintain it or learn about weaker areas and improve them.
Raises keyword rankings
Featured snippets increase the website authority, which indirectly increases your business’s keyword rankings and online visibility. Many marketers have seen a significant improvement in keyword rankings after getting a featured snippet. Their clients can easily find the businesses online, provided if the site is well-optimized and fulfills customers’ needs.
Increase in conversions
The most fruitful benefit of featured snippets is increased organic conversions. The more people click on the snippet, the more they land on your website, resulting in potential customers or customers who take action like buying a product and subscribing to your service, increasing conversions. Therefore, it would be best to focus on conversion rate optimization for business growth in between, along with optimization for featured snippets. Unitedly both will provide you with a huge success.
The snippet is eye-catching, offers a direct answer, generates higher organic traffic, and grabs the audience’s attention. The person wants to click and find more about your website, which effectively establishes yourself online.
How to track featured snippets
A tracking report on traffic and performance for featured snippets will guide the effort that you have spent. You can get quick insights from the report, such as how many keywords are targeted, which keywords performed well, how many featured snippets your website has, and the scope areas opening new opportunities. Let’s discuss that.
Use featured snippet tracking tools.
A good featured snippet tool will allow you to monitor your position zero rankings and help you find opportunities to sharpen your content strategy for higher rankings. Some effective tools to track featured snippets are; SEMRush, Ahrefs, Rank Ranger. These tools help you monitor the ranking data through Position Tracking tools.
Try a manual approach.
The manual approach will help you monitor your snippet rankings without spending a penny. First, use Google Search Console to identify keywords you might have a snippet for. Then, you can check the SERP in incognito mode with keywords that are likely serving featured snippets. Then, monitor your results constantly, optimize your site based on that, and you will see your own pages taking over relevant snippet spots.
Create a featured snippet report
Once you figure out an effective way of finding a featured snippet performance, a partially automated way using Google Data studio is good for featured snippet reporting. First, analyze well how your snippets are performing and take steps to improve or maintain them accordingly.
After optimizing for the featured snippets, you may observe your website in the featured snippet the very next day, or sometimes it will take two to three weeks. So if you are making some changes and it doesn’t work for two weeks, give an additional one week to it or 10 days. After that, you may wake up to see your URL in the featured snippet. However, it would be best to keep trying to optimize and reoptimize to gain the zero spot. The process will make you earn the patience and learn the process of Google’s chronology of ranking.
Author Bio – Kiara McColl is a content manager at a digital marketing agency. She gets to do what she loves doing- writing and managing content with smart digital marketers in the company.