Featured snippets are not new. They’ve been around for several years, and SEO professionals have used them successfully to improve their website visibility.
However, Google has introduced several new updates to featured snippets in recent years to improve how they work. These changes affect what content is selected and how the snippets appear for users in the search results.
In this blog, we look at 8 ways in which businesses can optimize content for Google’s featured snippet, which gives them better visibility online.
What Are Featured Snippets?
Featured Snippets are short text snippets that appear at the top of Google’s search results when users search for keywords.
The content included in the featured snippet is automatically pulled from web pages that are in Google’s index.
The user can then click on the website where the content is posted to read more. Obviously, getting selected as the featured snippet gives better visibility and credibility to the website.
Common types of Featured Snippets include definitions, paragraphs, lists, tables, steps and even videos.
Can Your Web Page Rank in the Featured Snippets?
Research from Ahrefs shows that more than 99% of featured snippet pages already rank in the top 10 Google websites.
If your website is already ranking high for the related search queries, then there is a good chance that you will get featured at the top in Google results.
However, there are other studies which show that Featured Snippets are taken from websites other than the first organic position.
That means your website needs to be in the top 10 to get featured, but it doesn’t need to be the number one website for the term.
Ways to Optimize Content for Google’s Featured Snippet
1. Look at Other Featured Snippet Pages
The first step is to look at other featured snippets that have similar keywords. Make a note of things that quickly grab attention so that you can use something similar in your snippets.
The research will help you understand what Google looks for when they show featured snippets on their organic search results. You will also get a good idea about the type of Featured Snippet Google selects to show certain terms.
For example, when people search for ‘what is a heat engine’, Google is more likely to show an informative paragraph with an image of a basic heat engine. On the other hand, if you search for ‘parts of a heat engine’, Google picks and shows a list of components.
2. Improve the Quality of Content on Your Website
Good quality content helps in two ways. First, it helps develop a following of readers and browsers who visit your website for the high quality content. Second, it raises your website score, which will raise your ranking on different keywords.
Being near the top of the search engine results is necessary to get the featured snippet, so pay attention to the quality of content that you post.
You can write the content on your own or use a dedicated website copywriting service for the job.
3. Cover a Wide Variety of Topics
Your website’s content must cover industry problems from multiple angles. Understand that online shoppers and consumers are at different levels of knowledge and could be asking different questions, even though they have the same underlying problem.
For example, suppose you sell leather shoes through your online store. You can write and post content on your website that guides users about different types of leather used in shoes. You can also write about different styles of shoes and other features that buyers are concerned with.
The more topics that you cover the more likely it is that your website will get picked up and get featured by Google.
4. Do Keyword Research for Your Industry
You can’t give answers to people unless you know the questions that they are asking. You will need to do a thorough keyword research on the most searched for terms in your industry.
Once you have a good idea about the terms people are searching for, design your content to answer their questions with the right information.
Experts suggest using at least a couple of search engine tools to do your research. More tools will help you find out the relevant and frequently searched terms with greater accuracy.
There are a variety of free keyword search tools out there. If your business is new or small and you are trying to save costs, you can use the free tools at first.
Once your website begins to get near the top of Google results, you may want to switch to paid keyword search services that offer better insight.
5. Answer the Same Question from Multiple Angles
Sometimes a question can be answered in multiple ways, and there is no fixed yes or no answer. Your chance of getting featured improves each time you post an answer on your website.
For example, suppose you sell electronics, mobile phones and gadgets through your eStore. You want to attract customers that are searching for phones online. Also, you find out that the key term ‘Should I buy an IPhone’ has a high frequency on Google.
You can improve your chances of getting the featured snippet by answering this question from multiple angles. You can post an article of the top ten reasons to buy an IPhone.
Further, you can post articles about the latest IPhones with complete product description writing. Furthermore, you can make vs. comparison of apple phones with other popular brand to go over the pros and cons of each.
For most questions, there are no definitive answers. But if you provide lots of answers to keywords that are being searched frequently, you will have a better chance of appearing in the search results and even get your post featured in a snippet.
6. Divide Your Content into Short Sections
Featured snippets are very tight, using as few words as possible. Most paragraph and list style snippets are 40 to 50 words long.
In order to get featured, you will need to break off your content into different sections. When your content is concise and helpful, it will be easier for Google to feature it as a snippet.
Definitions and lists are good candidates for getting selected so focus on keep them short and neat.
7. Update Your Website Regularly
Google’s automated algorithm is designed to display the latest and most relevant results for users.
If your website doesn’t get updated frequently, there is a slim chance that it would rank high enough to get included in the featured snippets result.
8. Add ‘How To’ Sections in Your Website
‘How to’ sections are very popular in keyword searches. Many people are trying to figure out how to do day to day basic stuff. Google is the perfect platform to find this information.
Many businesses have realized this and started coming up with their ‘How to’ guides. Websites are now creating entire sections on specifically giving answers to their readers’ questions.
Google actively picks out and features the best how-to lists for users. There is still plenty of room for businesses to come up with their own guides and climb through the rankings quickly.
Trying to keep up with new Google features can be exhausting but it is also very rewarding for promoting your business. Featured snippets are going to become very popular and offer a great way for online businesses to improve their reach.
Market surveys show that they’re on the rise and pages with featured snippets are dominating clicks after search queries. If you want to put your business on the map, you should look into using this powerful yet untapped feature of Google.
You May Like To Read:
- How Do You Know Your SEO Strategy is Working?
- 13 SEO Tips to Rally Your Organic Traffic
- The New Guide to SEO Optimization – Focusing on What Google Wants
Author Bio: Dave Brown is a Sr. Editor at Content Development Pros, a content marketing agency that help businesses stand out the competition with impactful content.