How to Optimize Google Featured Snippets / 10 Useful Steps

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If you’re running a business or providing service for people on the Internet, you probably want to rank #1 search result on Google. Everyone wants that. However, it became hard to build referral traffic from Google on these days because of the competition and some other factors.

Google featured snippets illustration.

Making the digital leap is not enough anymore. You need to develop some strategic tactics to make it possible.

In this case, I provide this article to make 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 content. However, I try to be as clear as possible to provide something useful to people who are fresh in this field.

Hope you enjoy it!

Basically, we can describe featured snippets as the 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 question. Of course, it’s something valuable for both who are looking for answers and who is providing the answer.

You may realize 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 make a brownie?” 🙂

Why it matters? The reason is so simple. Being #0 is the best place you can be in.

So why not being there and rank above the first result in the organic search lists?

Believe me, your click-through-rate will increase if you provide a content in a featured snippet. Actually, there are useful studies that support this claim.

According to Ben Goodsell, the CTR on a featured page has 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 🙂

Paragraph

Answers are given in a paragraph.

Paragraph featured snippet example.

List

Answers in the form of a list.

List featured snippet example.

Table

Answers are given in a table.

Table featured snippet example.

Better to remember that paragraph style featured snippets work better in terms of providing the best answer to the searcher in a text.

With an effective image? You create something valuable!

Paragraph featured snippet with an image.

Youtube

Google generally provides information in featured snippets from various YouTube channel or simply show a particular video clip from a video. In this case, optimizing your Youtube Channel is very important. So you better check your titles and decriptions as well.

****

Average CTR of Snippet Feature

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 have featured snippets in their search results. Sounds incredibly amazing, isn’t it?

Pie chart of search queries with featured snippets.
The featured snippet is stealing clicks from the #1 ranking result.

Average CTR of featured snippets.

How to get featured on Google?

Ahrefs reports also show that nearly 99% of featured snippets come from websites that rank most as the 1st  page of search results. That means it somehow depends on your ranking. If you rank well in search queries, you can be in the competition. 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.

In order to get featured on Google, you should optimize for featured snippets. When we say optimization, of course, it comprises such processes like targeting terms and analyzing competitors.

You can make it possible with tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. They list 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 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 you own the featured snippet.

Ahrefs organic keywords featured snippets.

Be careful to make your content aligned properly, otherwise, snippets might pull information from your website.

Before getting deeper in terms of featured snippets, let’s find out some search queries that don’t trigger featured snippets.

Google usually show a different feature for:

  • Local Queries: You’ve probably seen many other times that when you enter a local query, Google generally show information from Google Maps.
  • Simple Facts: Considering that simple facts comprises public domain, Google generally provide “rich answer”.
  • Image Queries: Google generally provide content pulled from Google Images to that kind of search queries.
  • Shopping Searches: As Google Shopping provides information about products, Google generally don’t give credit to Shopping Searches in terms of featured snippets.

Pay Attention to On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO optimization is the main step for featured snippets. You should convey the best answer to users with an optimized content. Let’s dive into details about how to make it possible.

Make a Keyword Research

Better start by making keyword research which is an old but still productive way 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 give you some search queries that bring up featured results.

Find Competitors’ Snippets

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs, competitor analysis worth your time. It is the key point of everything. When we talk about featured snippets it is also something you should definitely do. You should find featured snippets 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’ve been already ranking high.

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! 🙂

Identify Which Phrases You Already Rank Highly For

As a traditional way of finding out your top-performing search queries you may ask your customer’s or website visitors about how they search and which questions they ask.

Seed keywords for featured snippet optimization.

In this case, I recommend a simple but highly effective tool Seed Keywords that will help you discover related keywords with the help of your followers and customers.

All you need to do is creating a search scenario and share it on social media. The main point is asking your followers to type keywords they would use to solve it.

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 the metrics in Google Search Console. It gives you hints about search queries that brings you clicks.

Search Analytics on Google Search Console dashboard.

In order to reach that report just visit the “Search Traffic” and “Search Analytics” on Google Search Console.

Address Similar Questions in Your Content

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.

Use Various Phrasings For the Same Question

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 better long-form contents, 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 give a credit to contents which give the best user experience. This is also the key for featured snippets.

Add “How-To” Section to Your Website

As I’ve emphasized the importance of some search queries start with “how to” phrase, you should redesign your site in a productive manner that.

People generally asking 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” question phrases, you aim to convey a message that your content will answer questions or solve pain points of a problem.

Browse Google’s Own “People Also Ask” Sections

No matter what is your business or service, you should check Google’s own “People also ask” sections for related questions. Believe me, you’ll get 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.

Featured Snippets vs PAAs graphic.It’s huge, isn’t it?

When you go on searching for more questions and see the answers, more questions will be shown and you’ll expand your searching area.

Organize Queries based on Content Structure

As we all know that Google gives credit to well-structured contents with paragraphs, lists, and tables you should definitely organize your content. Users should find what they need in your content with the help of your lists.

You should introduce answers in your paragraphs by listing with descriptive names and numbers. Also, you should include comparison charts and tables.

Use High-Quality Images & Videos

I believe that our websites or offering must be available for people who have different perception style and we call it multi-intelligence. In this case, you should convey your text-based messages with high-quality images.

Have a look at this research results:

More than a third of featured snippets include an image, and the amount of snippets featuring an image is growing:

The graphic of featured snippets.

And it’s easy to understand why. Featured snippets with images are far more eye-catching than snippets without images.

Create high-quality image for featured snippets on Canva.

I highly recommend a tool called Canva because you don’t need to be an expert designer 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.

Other than high-quality images, don’t forget to use videos. Video has an incredible engagement rate in terms of asking for a specific question. Also, in your high-quality video contents, you can use voice transcripts to make Google use your text as a featured snippet. Of course, I can’t say that this is going to happen exactly, but why not increase your chances?

Conclusion

Considering that pages with featured snippets are dominating search queries and this situation is trending now, you should start getting benefit from them.

Remember, earning a featured snippet requires ranking for 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. In order to make it possible, you should think about featured snippets over and over again and do you best to make it happen!

The essential steps are finding out which featured snippets your competitors rank for and 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 using so many words in your paragraphs. Ideally, you should 50 words for each header.

Also, try to use “how-to” phrases in your FAQ’s area of your website and give an optimized content for featured snippets.

Don’t forget that images and videos have high value, start using them effectively!

I hope you find it useful, if you have any questions, additional information about featured snippets or another tactics for getting benefit from them, please feel free to share with us!

1 comment
  1. Thanks for this useful article Mia. What is more interesting is that this feature is crucial and specific part of the semantic search, which itself is part of the up and coming semantic web.

    Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding the searcher’s intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results.

    Wikipedia also lists 5 ways in this is achieved:

    RDF Path Traversal – traversing the net formed by a graph of information that uses the RDF data model.

    Keyword to Concept Mapping

    Graph Patterns – used to formulate patterns for locating interesting connecting paths between resources. Also commonly used in data visualization.

    Logics – by using inference based on OWL

    Fuzzy concepts, fuzzy relations, and fuzzy logic.

    Google uses the graph traversal method, among a mixture of other techniques, also known as Knowledge Graph.

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