This article will discuss what exactly a featured snippet is, and ways to optimize your website to raise the likelihood that your content will be chosen to be displayed at the top of the search engine results page. Featured snippets are a way for sites with high-quality content to receive positive attention on search engines. This position is highly sought after. So, how exactly do you get featured snippets?
Table of Contents
On some search engines like Google, a box appears at the top of your organic search results. These boxes are called featured snippets. Snippets work by answering the user’s question right away. These snippets are also known as “answer boxes,” as they are essentially a shortcut to find the answer to your question quickly.
Types of Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are usually pretty simple. They include information about where the information came from, like the page title and the URL of the page. They also include the information that users are looking for directly. The form that this information can appear in comes in various different ways. The following are several different kinds of ways the information can be displayed:
This type of snippet is text that is designed to give users a direct and concise definition or description. Definition boxes are often used by Google to answer “what is” queries. The definitions that Google tends to use are short and precise.
When certain sets of data are best viewed as a table, Google will display it as such. These tables usually contain numbers and comparisons.
The Ordered List
The ordered list is a set of items that are presented in a specific order. This could be a set of steps or a list of rankings. Google uses ordered lists for content that needs to be in some kind of order for it to make sense.
The Unordered List
The unordered list is Google’s way of presenting a list of items that don’t need to be in any kind of order. This type of information does not need any kind of ranking and is presented as a simple list.
Google will also present some information as a video if necessary. If the queried information is best viewed through video, Google will embed the video in the snippet. Google will sometimes start the video at the most relevant part, rather than just at the beginning.
How are Featured Snippets Chosen?
Featured snippets come from web search listings. Search engine programs determine whether a page would make a good featured snippet. Unfortunately, you cannot market your page as a featured snippet. But there are ways to increase the possibility that your web page and content will be chosen.
The majority of featured snippets are triggered by keywords. If you want to be featured, keyword research is essential. Search engines also look at the quality of your website and web presence. Your first step may be to identify phrases that people search for.
Why Do Snippets Matter?
Featured snippets are popular among users as they are convenient, quick, and easy to read. The featured snippets box is often the first thing that users see when they search for a word or phrase. Beyond the average user, featured snippets give marketers the chance to beat out competitors and drive traffic directly to their sites.
Snippets can be incredibly useful for your web page as they give credibility to your content and direct traffic to your website. Snippets take up a ton of valuable real estate at the top of the SERP. They tend to get a lot more clicks than other web pages. In fact, click-through rates (CTR) increase from 2% to 8% for snippets.
Google Featured Snippet
Google featured snippets aim to answer queries as efficiently as possible. They should matter to your website because it can drive traffic towards your site. Achieving a spot as a featured snippet is quite the feat. Featured snippets for popular and competitive keywords is quite the feat. It is very likely that popular keywords already have a ton of competition for featured snippets. It can be difficult to compete if you are a bit late to the game.
Traffic from Google means that it is necessary to keep up to date with Google’s featured snippets all the time. Google is often updating features, so the good news is that it is likely that whichever site holds the position of featured snippets may be fluid depending on how exactly Google changes.
Featured Snippet SEO
The world of search engine optimization, or SEO, is constantly changing and evolving. So, it is pretty essential that you and your website do, too. In 2020, there are new and exciting SEO marketing strategies to consider. The optimization of your website is a continuous element to your online presence. Whatever your goals and ideas are for your website may need to shift to adapt to new online tools.
Featured snippets are an excellent way to gain some traffic on your website, but it is difficult to take the spot at the top. SEO is one of the best ways to gain online traffic. Utilizing basic SEO marketing strategy is the best way to increase the likelihood that your content will be chosen.
How to Optimize Content
Next, we will discuss how to optimize your content for featured snippets.
Target long-tail keywords that are questions
Long-tail keywords are highly focused search queries that are very specific and “unpopular.” Most of Google searches are in the form of questions. Common SEO is to take the individual keywords or phrases and use them in your content. These keywords often have high competition. If your content also includes these specific questions, or long-tail keywords, you can drive traffic to your site with anyone looking up that question or one similar.
Clearly answer questions in your content
Due to the fact that most Google searches are made in the form of a question, most Google users are looking for a clear answer. You can use different headings or subheadings to present the question as long as the rest of the article provides the answer and any supporting information. Using related keywords can also help reinforce the question.
Format Information in a List or Use a Table Structure
Featured snippets have a certain format. This format should be clear and concise. Using a list or a table can not only make it easy for your readers to read what you have to say, but also make it so that Google can use exactly what you are offering. Use appropriate tags or headings to help search engines read and understand the content.
Utilize Strong On-Page SEO
Featured snippets take content from pages that already have a high organic search ranking. That means that your page already needs to have high-quality content and high-quality traffic. On-page keyword optimization and SEO practices can help boost SERP rankings. There is a lot to consider about SEO best practices, so do your research.
Show Your Authority
Google and similar search engines will rely on a number of factors to ensure the quality of any website. One of these factors is a perceived authority on the subject at hand. Link building is one of the most important aspects of off-site SEO. Backlinks add credibility to your content.
Use High-Quality Images
Featured snippets will often include an image in the context box. There is no way to let Google know which image should appear in the snippet so all your images should be high-quality. Beyond snippets, images that are high-quality will also help raise your rankings on search engine results pages.
Featured Snippet Tool
Unfortunately, there is no exact way to get your content featured as a snippet. However, there are tools that can help you compete.
SEMrush Position Tracking Tool
SEMrush’s Position Tracking Tool now offers a “Featured Snippets Report.” This tool can show you which keywords have the most potential for a featured snippet.
Ninja Tools Featured Snippet Optimization Tool
This Featured Snippet Optimization Tool compiles relevant data into an actionable format. It also offers information on competitor snippets as well as promising keyword phrases in your content on your site.
Rank Ranger Featured Snippet Tool
Rank Ranger’s Featured Snippet Tool offers a bounty of data to help determine how to work on achieving a featured snippet.
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer will suggest keywords that will give your site high traffic potential. You can enter up to 10,000 keywords and search which are the most popular as well as generate ideas for how to use keywords.
Featured snippets are very difficult to achieve for your content, but it is not impossible. The first step is to ensure that your website has basic SEO already. This is essential for any further action. They are a way to achieve a lot more traffic for your site, but your site needs to already be at a certain rank to be considered.
If you need help improving your search ranking, reach out to SEO Design Chicago to learn how to optimize your website.