Learn the basic concepts of optimizing content for featured snippets in this step-by-step guide to help boost popularity and drive organic traffic.
When the featured snippets have appeared initially, it was considered a podium award. Google, being Google, didn’t provide much guidance on how to get featured snippets, but SEOs, being SEOs, did the calculations to win the race.
This article looks at featured snippets and how you can optimize the content to benefit your site and increase its traffic significantly.
What are the Benefits of Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets boost your website to the top of the SERPs, making it more clickable on mobile and desktop.
The appearance of the Search engine results page, or SERP, has changed over time – Google search results have become more extensive and informative.
In addition to the standard blue links, the results now include pictures, videos, maps with marks, and alternative snippets. Featured snippets are one such example, appearing at the very top of the SERP and more visible than other sites.
According to research, most users click on the top search result.
- The CTR (click-through rate) of the first position is 28.5%.
- The CTR of the second position is two times lower – about 15%
Let’s now dive deep into the world of featured snippets and how to adapt your pages to them.
What are Featured Snippets?
A featured snippet in the search result (the so-called “zero position”) in the form of a selected block generates a ready answer to a question.
Unlike regular snippets with title, description, and URL, it displays page fragments that can be formatted as a paragraph or list, including images and so on. Its elements are arranged in reverse order, with description at the top and title at the bottom.
Among other Google SERP features, this snippet gets absolute priority on the screen – in terms of size, position, and the fact that Google selects only one site for such a result. When a page is featured in a Featured snippet, its CTR and traffic will increase significantly.
Type of Featured Snippets
You can see different options in the search results: laconic, in the form of a small block with text; multiple elements – with a list and photo gallery, and others.
- Paragraph (Answer is provided in text).
- Numbered or Bullet list (In the form of a list, the answer is given).
- Table (Answers are listed in a table).
Let’s explore these types of featured snippets in more detail.
Usually, a definition or piece of text on a page directly answers the question. As a rule, snippets of this format are displayed by information requests with marker words like “what is”, “how”, “how to”, “why”, “where”, “when” and so on. These can be compared to comprehensive summaries containing complete information and illustrations – pictures, diagrams, graphs.
Numbered or Bullet list
Another standard snippet contains an answer that is formatted as a list. In most cases, they appear when the user intends to select options to compare and choose from. Here, marker words can be “best,” “which,” “top,” and others.
This type of featured snippet is less common than the others. Because there is not so much data that can be organized as a table, sites don’t use this method. The block with the answer in a table usually contains its upper part and the link “X more rows” with the number of rows to go to the full version.
A video snippet is displayed when Google finds this content format the most relevant by topic and type. For example, video snippets often appear when searching for instructions, tutorials, entertainment content, and interviews. Typically, a video that has been posted on YouTube appears.
How To Optimize For Featured Snippets
Google itself chooses which pages to display in this block and how long they will be there. But at the same time, there are ways to increase your chances of hitting Featured snippets. Below, you will find some guidelines to help you optimize the articles on your blog and the content of your landing page.
1. Choose suitable keywords
For your texts to be displayed when searching for information and answering questions, you need to know your targeted audience’s interest. It would be best to analyze search queries in your target region to do this.
When choosing keywords, pay attention to the queries with the question markers mentioned above. The next step is adding similar keywords and concise answers to the questions on your pages. For example, a candy maker website might use the query “how much cocoa does dark chocolate contain” to inform users and get them interested in their product at the same time.
Another essential element is the user’s intent, which can be understood from the request. It helps the search engine find the most relevant results. You need to add keywords that implement the search for information, answers, and solutions in pages focused on Featured snippets.
It would be best to use queries that contain the necessary qualifications. These are the so-called long-tail keywords, for example, “the best manufacturers of oil paints for painting.” Compared to general queries with vague intent and high search volume, competition for long-tail phrases is usually lower, and the conversion rate they bring to the site is 2.5 times higher.
2. Analyze featured snippets of competitors
It will be helpful to study the pages displayed in Featured snippets according to the requests of your topic: the informative value of your texts, their structure, and keywords. Pay attention to the page elements that got into the SERP and try to understand why. Analyzing your competitors will provide you with the best experience of learning how to create or update your content.
3. Structure the content of your page
When a page contains keywords from different topics, a good structure helps the search engine better understand the meaning of its individual elements.
The following methods will help you create your page:
- Use of headings and subheadings
- Adding bulleted and numbered lists, tables
- Dividing the text into themed blocks and paragraphs
- Marking types of content using schema.org
If your text contains an enumeration of something in the form of a list, it is worth adding a separate heading above it, such as H2. It is best to avoid lengthy and complex sentences and paragraphs when it comes to text. It will be helpful to stick to the principle: one section, one thought. Since the Featured Snippet includes the entire page segment, your text must contain optimized blocks for specific queries.
4. Pay attention to on-page SEO
Besides good structure and the right keywords, you need to keep other ranking criteria in mind. The overall level of website optimization is essential to Google. Featured snippets usually include resources that are already in high positions. On-page SEO issues are often why a page does not rank in the top 10.
The main quality criteria of the site are high loading speed, correct display on mobile, no duplicate content and 404 error pages, etc. To understand the level of optimization of your resource better, you need to carry out an SEO audit.
5. Using catchy images/videos and so on
The search engine can generate a Featured Snippet and add pictures from other sites. To avoid this from happening, this is crucial to place high-quality and relevant images on your page. Fill in the alt-texts in the settings through the content management system (CMS). It will help the search engine better understand the subject of your photo – precisely what is depicted on it and how it meets the request.
Similar rules apply to videos. A structured description with keywords will be advantageous when searching for a video on a query. Practical, high-quality, and popular videos are more likely to prioritize the search results. Google has a selection of guidelines to help promote such content in search.
A featured snippet usually contains a comprehensive answer to the user’s question and is more noticeable than other SERP results. If your page is displayed in the block, its click-through rate increases dramatically.
Google selects the most relevant results using its own algorithms, so in order to increase the likelihood of featured snippets including your page, you need a comprehensive approach:
- select keywords, paying attention to the intent of phrases and marker words
- make an analysis of your competitors’ pages included in Featured snippets
- structure the content of your pages
- post high-quality visual content and optimize it
- conduct a comprehensive on-page SEO
Using these methods, you can influence the search results. Use special services that allow you to determine if your site appears in SERP Features and, in particular, in Featured snippets.
People also ask (FAQs)
What is snippet optimization?
Featured snippets are created to provide users with as much information about a topic as available in as little time as possible. This means that the content you’re optimizing should seek to cover the entire issue in two to three phrases. The importance of being concise in this rule cannot be overstated.
What’s the best way to get featured snippets?
- You should be aware of the featured snippet keywords you rank for on the first page. The first step is to figure out which highlighted snippet keywords your website currently ranks for.
- Know what your searchers are looking for. The second step is to figure out what your searchers are looking for.
- Provide short but brief answers.
- Monitor keywords for featured snippet targets.
What factors are used to pick featured snippets?
The featured snippets come from the results of a web search. Google’s automatic systems determine whether a page is suitable for being highlighted as a featured snippet for a specific search query.