Have you noticed how difficult it is to generate referral traffic from search engines like Google? And it isn’t just that the competition has gotten tougher (though it has!). It’s also because Google has outgrown its ten blue links, and its organic search results aren’t deriving as much traffic as they once did. How do you deal with change? This blog post will teach you how to optimize your content for featured snippets, one of Google’s latest changes.
Featured snippets are basically the search results that appear on top of Google’s search listings, underneath the ads in a box. The featured snippets aim to answer the user’s question as easily as possible (that’s why their other well-known name, “answer boxes”). Being featured means that your brand will receive more exposure in search engine results.
Here are two studies that back up the claim:
Google can quickly pull any piece of information from the top-ranking website pages and show it as a featured snippet in one of these types based on the search term. Here are some of the common types of featured snippets with examples:
The most popular type of featured snippet that can appear in the SERP is a paragraph. It is made up of a short line of text that answers questions like “How”, “Who”, “Why”, “When”, and “What” in a precise form. On average, featured snippets in paragraphs are 40 – 60 words long.
Answers in numbered or bulleted lists are featured snippets in a list.
They are usually represented in response to “How” or “What” question queries that require answers in the form of step-by-step guidelines or a list of items.
Listicle featured snippets can be displayed in one of two ways:
Ordered lists: They typically display a list of ranked items or a series of steps (for example, for queries such as “top 10 movies 2022” or “how to set up a new android phone”).
The table featured snippets provide data that is pulled from a specific page and displayed as an answer in the table format (for queries such as “what are sizes of ceiling fans”). It is typically made up of multiple rows and columns that show values like prices, rates, years, or other numerical information.
Short call-out wherein the answer to the searcher’s keyword, along with extra information, is highlighted in bold. These are frequently seen for questions with factual, metric-based answers:
In addition to showing up at the top of SERPs, acquiring featured snippets has a few advantages:
A featured snippet in SEO can help you easily outrank your rivals and rank first on the SERP. This is extremely crucial for pages that rank in the top ten search results for a specific keyword – but not high enough to receive significant traffic from Google Search. Because you are not directly competing with them, being shown in a featured snippet is a much quicker way to get ahead of them on the Search engine results page.
Pages highlighted as featured snippets may receive more clicks than normal search results – but this is not always the case. Pages used in featured snippets were previously highlighted as a normal search result just within the top ten ranking pages in the SERP.
As a result, any page that was increased to the prominent spot as the featured snippet (also known as “position 0”) received a significant traffic boost because it was featured twice in the first SERP. However, Google released a “SERP deduplication” update, which changed this.
Because the website in the featured snippet is the very first thing visitors see in the SERP, it is an excellent opportunity for brand promotion. This is particularly useful for mobile device searches. Users will become much more aware of the business and regard you as an authority in your niche if you optimize for featured snippets.
The short answer is that it is complicated. To begin with featured snippet optimization, it is essential to understand that you cannot tell Google to utilize your content for a featured snippet – the search engine determines which pages are good enough to qualify for featured snippets which are not. Second, due to the numerous dynamic ranking signals and algorithms, featured snippets constantly change, disappear, and reappear over time.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to increase the probability of your content being used for featured snippets optimization.
Long-tail keywords or question-like queries are more likely to result in featured snippets in their SERPs. According to a study conducted by Stone Temple and Ahrefs, the large percentage of featured snippets in Google Search is highlighted for longer keywords or straightforward questions.
By optimizing your web page for long-tail keywords and questions, search engines can use them as possible responses and show them as featured snippets for those search terms. Apparently, Google does not offer an official tool for webmasters to use in order to determine which keywords are prompting featured snippets in the SERPs. But, you can always rely on an all-in-one SEO tool like SuiteJar.
To “grab” a featured snippet, your page must rank in the top ten search results for the search term. According to Ahrefs research, Google only utilizes featured snippets for a webpage that ranks someplace on the first page of the SERP.
This may appear to be unfortunate, but please remember that Google is constantly striving to provide the most honest and reliable answers for its users – and this can only be accomplished by using top-ranking pages with high authority and great content.
You can grab featured snippets for search terms that you already rank for in the top ten search results. These are “easy wins” because all you have to do is optimize your content for those search terms in the form of a small and clear answer. Using a rank tracking tool, you can easily identify your pages that rank top for keywords that also show a featured snippet.
Graphics are especially important when it comes to owning a featured snippet optimization, particularly for paragraph and listicle-type featured snippets. To enhance the user experience and avoid looking generic, try to use real-life images or custom-made graphics instead of stock images. Include as many pictures as your content requires.
Also, don’t forget about the video. It’s huge in terms of interaction. Some people try and watch three-quarters of a video, and other officials believe that combining text with video increases the likelihood of people watching a video. One easy way to accomplish this is to generate a voice transcript for each of your videos. Google will acknowledge the text and may select it as a featured snippet. You should also ensure that the video content is of high quality.
Aside from writing style, properly structuring your content is an important step in featured snippet optimization. For instance, if the featured snippet is a table, you must create a solution in the form of a table; if the featured snippet is a listicle, ensure your content is in the type of a list with products or organized headings.
Here’s how to make your blog post suitable for featured snippets optimization:
Because featured snippets are such a fantastic way to increase website traffic and acquire new leads, it’s a good idea to redesign your site so that you can optimize “how-to” content. A few websites are dedicating entire sections of their sites to answering questions from their readers. This gives a home to all of your content dedicated to answering questions or resolving problem areas on your site. If you don’t want to develop a “how-to” section, a Q&A section might be a better option. Responses to frequently asked questions about products and services, or industry could be included in this section.
It takes a lot of investigation and organizing, and you never know when you’ll see the results (particularly if you don’t have the several top 10 rankings yet), but consider this: Being featured in Google search results motivates you to improve your content. Along the way, you’ll accomplish the following important objectives:
If you rank first for a keyword with no snippet, you should avoid optimizing your content for it. If you’re in the mindset of improving your webpage for search results in general, you’re more likely to rank organic search for featured snippets.
5 pointers for creating featured snippets
Featured snippets are results that appear at the top of Google organic results. “When we acknowledge that a search term asks a question, we algorithmically detect pages that respond to the user’s question, and show a top result as a featured snippet in the search results,” according to Google.
A featured snippet is important since this indicates an extra SERP component that you can secure. Featured snippets, which are typically found at the very top of the results page, provide you with increased visibility to searchers and can enhance brand image.
Simply put, a rich snippet is an improved organic search result, whereas a featured snippet is a solution to a query that shows up in position zero just above organic listings.
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