Snagging the featured snippet spot on Google is like winning gold in the search engine Olympics. Your content not only appears at the very top of all the search results but it gives the searcher an immediate taste of solid information that leads to clicks and views.
Here are our 10 tips to optimize your chances of earning the coveted “Spot Zero.”
Defining a Featured Snippet
A featured snippet summarizes the information from a web page that directly answers the user’s query. It is shown at the very top of a Google search page.
Types of snippets include the following:
- Paragraph Snippets – Most featured snippets are paragraphs displaying quick answers, definitions, etc., from a specific web page.
- Lists – These snippets summarize relevant points in list form.
- Tables – This would include comparisons of information, such as conversions, prices, etc.
Because the featured snippet is the first thing a searcher sees, your odds of gaining extra web traffic are shown to improve when you optimize your snippet.
Optimizing Content for Featured Snippets
How you craft your snippets may mean the difference in Spot Zero and a lesser ranking. So optimize carefully and enjoy the reward.
1. Rank on Page One of Google Search Results
Your content must already rank on the first page of the SERPs to earn consideration for a featured snippet. Optimizing your SEO with useful, relevant content helps you earn this position. In addition, creating content to serve your user and appeal to Google’s crawlers will boost your rankings.
2. Write the Snippet Into Your Content
Analyze the post you’re working on. Is your content best communicated in a summary paragraph, list, or table format? Identifying the most important parts of your content and formatting it into a snippet will increase your chances of being promoted by Google.
3. Focus on Question-Based Keywords
Many searches were looking for answers to specific questions, and featured snippets were designed to provide quick answers to these questions. However, according to a Semrush study, a huge percentage of snippets are answers to “why” questions.
Implementing question-based keywords such as “why,” “how,” and “can” makes it easier for Google to see your content as the answer to its user’s query.
4. Use Multiple Keywords
When users go to Google, they’re looking for answers to specific questions. And those answers are always more than just one keyword. The more targeted keywords you incorporate into your content, the more likely you’ll hit page one and score Spot Zero.
5. Analyze the Current SERP
Analyze question-based searches by typing in the question you are hoping to answer with your optimized content. Then, look at the current featured snippet and see what comes up in response.
Follow up by clicking through the “People Also Ask” section on Google. Are there specific formats or keywords that keep appearing?
After compiling this information, you’ll have a better idea of what Google uses and can then create new content or add content to relevant pages to improve your SEO.
6. Consider the Competition
When analyzing page one, take a peek at who holds the current featured snippet. Google Trends, Moz, and Semrush provide tools to evaluate your competition and the queries they optimize for. Knowing who holds the keys to Spot Zero informs how you approach your SEO to snag the spot.
7. Encourage High CTR
The potential downfall of a featured snippet is that the searcher gets all the information they need from the snippet itself and doesn’t click through to your actual site.
You can avoid this by using free online tools to estimate keywords and their likely CTR. You should also create engaging content that keeps the searcher asking questions, drawing them in to read more.
8. Make It Easy to Understand
No one wants to waste time looking up confusing words or phrases. So format your information in a way that appeals to the typical searcher. Stay away from industry jargon and run-on sentences that trip up users.
9. Be Concise
According to research done by Ghergich & Co/Semrush, 40-55 word snippets are optimal. The very definition of “snippet” means “a small piece or brief extract.” A featured snippet is a taste, providing information that leads to the full meal of your page!
10. Insert an Image
The human brain processes images far faster than text. Capitalize on this and include a head-turning, SEO-optimized visual for your snippet.
A featured snippet can bring views, clicks, and sales. Apply these tips to optimize content, and you will dramatically increase your chances of securing Spot Zero.