Featured Snippet is a format that’s supposed to provide users with a direct and concise answer to their questions right on the SERP (without them having to click on a specific result). In other words, they’ve selected search results featured in a box on top of organic search results and below the ads.
Featured snippets are important for your SEO for two reasons. First, they present an opportunity to get more clicks from organic traffic without higher Google rankings. Second, they increase the number of no-click searches. When performing a search, you’ll likely see these featured snippets for all sorts of things, and it’s an opportunity you should target. But how to do it?
The first step to targeting featured snippets is identifying the right opportunities. You can do it by finding the featured snippet keywords you rank for on page one. Just run your website through a keyword research tool, and it will show you the ranking keywords for your specific domain and filter them by ranking. Also, evaluate and reconsider where the qualified traffic might come from and go after it.
Understand Your Searcher’s Intent
Next, it’s important to know the intent of your searchers. For example, if one of your keywords is kids costume DIY, and the SERP provides visual content, you will need to provide quality visuals in order to compete. When people perform a search, they expect a certain type of content, and that’s a huge factor that affects creating content to rank in SERP and featured snippets.
Now that you have your keywords and know your searcher’s intent, you should proceed to target your keywords that have a featured snippet.
- Clean up and simplify your pages because Google wants to provide a quick, simple, and cohesive answer for searchers. Create easy-to-consume content. Fix grammatical and spelling errors with tools like Grammarly. Remove duplicate content and fix broken links in your older content to remove the 404s (page not found) and find out what you should update.
- Competitive markup. Have you seen a marked up featured snipped? To be more competitive, you can do this as well.
- Provide unique and relevant information. Go that extra mile to provide value.
- Add summaries – whether they’re at the top or bottom of the page, they often perform well.
Optimizing Content for Featured Snippet Search
There’s no exact formula for creating featured snippets because Google chooses which results will end up being featured. Also, Google doesn’t say how to get your pages to appear among these results, but there are some practices to follow to increase your chances of showing up in these featured snippet boxes.
- Target long-tail keywords that are in the form of questions. Featured snippets typically include information that provides an answer to a question. Create evergreen content that targets specific long-tail keyword phrases that start with: How To, How Does/Do, What Is, and Why Is.
- Make sure that the answer you provide in your content is clear on the page by presenting the questions in a subheading (<h> markup) and answer in the text below (with <p> markup).
- Structure your content in a table format to increase your chances of showing as a table featured snippet.
- Acquire high-quality backlinks to show that a page is authoritative.
- Featured snippets are often pulled from pages that rank high in Google SERP. Strong on-site SEO will help your site rank higher.
You should do a lot of planning, research, and optimization to see the results. Still, you cannot be sure whether or when you will see them, especially if your site doesn’t already rank high in SERP. But think of it this way – being featured in Google search results and having a page with a featured snippet box is a great incentive to work harder on producing quality content.
For more information and help with optimizing your website content to target your featured snippet, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to discuss your marketing strategy and help in any way I can.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.