If you’re running a business or providing services for people on the Internet, you probably want to rank 1st in the search results on Google. Everyone wants that. However, it is becoming increasingly hard to build referral traffic from Google these days due to the massive competition and some other factors.
Making the digital leap is not enough anymore. You need to develop some strategic tactics to make it possible.
For this purpose, I wrote this article to help you understand how to optimize your website in terms of featured snippets. If you’re an SEO expert and want to check out specific topics you can jump there through the table of contents. However, I try to be as clear as possible to provide something useful to people who are new to this field.
Hope you enjoy it!
We can describe featured snippets as specific search results on the top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box. It has a “position zero” which shows the answers to your questions on the first page.
So, the main reason for their existence is to answer people’s questions. Of course, it’s valuable for both those who are looking for answers and those who are providing the answer.
You may notice featured snippets on some search queries that begin with words like “who,” “where,” “what,” “why,” “when,” “how,” etc.
Featured snippets make our life easier when you consider that we probably ask some questions on Google every day like “how to change my desktop background?” 🙂
Why does it matter? The reason is very simple. Being at spot #0 is the best place you can be in.
Believe me, your click-through-rate will increase if you provide content in a featured snippet. Actually, there are even studies that support this claim.
According to Ben Goodsell, the CTR on a featured page increased from 2% to 8% with 677% organic traffic rise. It’s also been stated that pages with a featured snippet see an increase of 30% in traffic. The numbers are not only huge but also important.
Let’s find out how to do it 🙂
Answers are given in a paragraph.
Answers in the form of a list.
Answers are given in a table.
Better to remember that paragraph style featured snippets work better in terms of providing the best answer to the searcher.
Add to that an effective image and you can create something valuable!
Google generally provides information in featured snippets from various YouTube channels or simply shows a particular video clip from a video. In this case, optimizing your Youtube Channel is very important. So you better check your titles and descriptions as well.
I want to show you some interesting results of Ahref’s study. They had 112 million keywords in their US database, almost 14 million of which had featured snippets in their SERP.
In other words, 12.29% of search queries had featured snippets in their search results. Sounds incredibly amazing, doesn’t it?
The featured snippet steals clicks from the #1 ranking result.
Ahrefs reports also show that nearly 99% of featured snippets come from websites that mostly rank as the 1st page of search results. That means it somehow depends on your ranking. If you rank well in search queries, you can compete. However, Google usually pulls featured snippets right from the content that’s already ranking on page one, but it can also pull from lower-ranking SERPs.
To get featured on Google, you should optimize for featured snippets. When we say optimization, of course, it comprises of processes like targeting terms and analyzing competitors.
You can make that possible with tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. Ahrefs lists featured snippets that a particular site ranks for. After understanding the situation, you can start optimizing your content.
Let me describe the process with Ahref’s tool. You should follow these steps:
1. Site Explorer 2. Enter a domain 3. Organic keywords 4. SERP Features 5. Featured Snippets 6. Only linking the target
The results will show you all the search queries that have featured snippets.
Take care to align your content properly, otherwise, snippets might not pull information from your website.
Before delving deeper into featured snippets, let’s find out some search queries that don’t trigger featured snippets.
Google usually shows a different feature for:
Local Queries: You’ve probably observed how when you enter a local query, Google generally show information from Google Maps.
Simple Facts: Considering that simple facts comprise of public domains, Google generally provides a “rich answer”.
Image Queries: Google generally provides content pulled from Google Images for such search queries.
On-Page SEO optimization is the main step for featured snippets. You should convey the best answer to users with optimized content. Let’s dive into the details of how to make it possible.
Better start by conducting keyword research which is an old but productive method of On-Page SEO. It is essential to optimize your content for featured snippets. You may get help from some tools like Ahrefs or Serpstat because they provide some search queries that bring up featured results.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs, competitor analysis is worth your time. It is the key point of everything. When we talk about featured snippets it is also something you should do it for. You should find featured snippets for which your competitors are currently ranking for.
Also, while searching for all these things, you may want to find out if Google currently brings up featured snippets for keywords that you're already ranking high for.
After getting this valuable information you may start editing your content for the perfect optimization. I’ll give details for each step, so keep reading! 🙂
As a traditional way of finding out your top-performing search queries, you may ask your customers or website visitors about how they search and which questions they ask.
In this case, I recommend a simple but highly effective tool called Seed Keywords that will help you discover related keywords with the help of your followers and customers.
All you need to do is create a search scenario and share it on social media. The main point is asking your followers to type keywords they would use.
Another starting point of the optimization process is to identify which phrases you already rank highly for. In this case, I highly recommend to find these metrics in the Google Search Console. It gives you hints about search queries that bring you clicks.
To reach that report just visit the “Search Traffic” and “Search Analytics” on the Google Search Console.
According to Ahrefs, once a page gets featured, it’s likely to get featured for lots of similar queries. In this case, you should try to address similar queries in your content. Make sure that your article is structured very well for answering related questions.
So once again, creating in-depth articles that address many related questions is a great way to increase your chances of being featured.
Also, Google now ranks long-form content better, probably because people can find many relevant answers within one piece. So you should ask questions in your subheadings and provide an immediate answer.
I will give you more tips about organizing your content but believe me Google tends to credit content which gives the best user experience. This is also the key behind getting featured snippets.
As I’ve emphasized before, some search queries start with the “how-to” phrase and that is why you should similarly productively redesign your site.
People generally ask for exactly what they want with "how to" search queries. In this case, your content should give the exact answer for that particular search query.
By optimizing your content with “how-to” phrases, you aim to convey a message that your content will answer questions or solve problems.
No matter what your business or service is, you should check Google’s own “People also ask” sections for related questions. Believe me, you’ll get a great insight into some questions related to your topic.
According to Moz, PAAs have seen a 1,723% growth in SERPs since 7/31/15. Research has also shown that a single PAA can show up in 21 unique SERPs.
It’s huge, isn’t it?
When you search for more questions and read their answers, more questions will pop up and you’ll expand your search area.
As we all know, Google credits well-structured content with paragraphs, lists, and tables. So you should organize your content similarly. Users should find what they need in your content with the help of your lists.
You should introduce answers in your paragraphs by listing using descriptive names and numbers. Also, you should include comparison charts and tables.
I believe that our websites or offers must be available for people who have different perception styles and we call it multi-intelligence. In this case, you should convey your text-based messages with high-quality images.
Have a look at these research results:
More than a third of featured snippets include an image, and the amount of snippets featuring an image is growing:
And it’s easy to understand why. Featured snippets with images are far more eye-catching than snippets without images.
I highly recommend a tool called Canva because you don’t need to be an expert in design to use this tool. You can customize your visuals by adding some icons, frames, and shapes or you can simply use a free Canva stock photo. In short, using high-quality images increases conversion and positively affects your Google ranking.
Other than high-quality images, don’t forget to use videos. Videos have an incredible engagement rate in terms of asking a specific question. Also, in high-quality video content, you can use voice transcripts to allow Google to use your text as a featured snippet. Of course, I can’t say that this is going to happen, but why not give it a shot and increase your chances?
We like sharing our knowledge with our visitors! You are very welcome to use our infographic on your website(s) for presenting excellent information that visualizes 10 useful steps to optimize Google Featured Snippets.
Considering that pages with featured snippets are dominating search queries and this situation is trending now, you should start benefitting from them.
Remember, earning a featured snippet requires ranking for the zero position and it means you have the highest ranking without ads.
I know that your aim is to increase your website traffic as well as boost conversions. To make it possible, you should think about featured snippets over and over again and do your best to make it happen!
The essential steps are finding out which featured snippets your competitors rank for and then organizing your content based on the results with great subheadings and numeric names.
Also, try to convey answers for multiple related questions in your content. Be careful not to use too many words in your paragraphs. Ideally, you should have about 50 words for each header.
Also, try to use “how-to” phrases in the FAQ’s area of your website and provide optimized content for featured snippets.
Don’t forget that images and videos have high value, start using them effectively!
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I hope you found this article useful. If you have any questions, additional information about featured snippets or other tactics for benefitting from them, please feel free to share them with us!