HOW TO OPTIMIZE FOR GOOGLE FEATURED SNIPPETS: A 12-STEP GUIDE – SMO Company India

6 mn read

Overview

Do you want to rank first in Google search results overnight? Then frame a supergood serp snippet. If you have the most relevant answer for a customer’s query, then you are sure to strike first in search results.

Wait! What about backlinks, updating content and all the other SEO stuff? That’s the best thing about Google featured snippets. Remember Danny Sullivan ’s Tweet, “Featured snippets count as one of the ten web page listings we show.” No second thoughts. The message is straight. Go on to optimize featured snippets. The What and How are detailed out here plus 12 greats ways to optimize them.


What are featured snippets

To put it simply, Google featured snippets are search results in the form of answers for a selected search. They appear in a special box below the ads that feature on top of Google’s organic results. You can click on the link of the website to continue to read more.

They are displayed exclusively near the search page as the purpose of a Google featured snippet is to answer the needs of the searcher right there in search results itself.

Types of snippets

There are 4 types:

  • 1.Paragraph featured snippets
  • 2.List featured snippets
  • 3.Table featured snippets
  • 4.Video featured snippets

1 .Paragraph featured snippets

Paragraph snippets carry a text inside a box or a text and image inside a box. The messages go up to 42 words or 250 characters. They usually are the answer to the questions like “Why” and are largely informational in nature.

It has been researched that the featured snippets that form the answer for “What” question keywords produce the highest search volume. If you want to win over the ranking through featured snippets, then go for keywords with low keyword difficulty.

2. List featured snippets

List snippets are the ones with answers for your search are provided in the form of a list. These listicle types show around 6 items that make up to 44 words on an average. They can be of two types:

  •  Ordered list
  •  Unordered list

Ordered list (Numbered /Bulleted):

The ordered list will have the answers exactly listed like the search result that you get for “What are the benefits of SEO?” That is, you will get an exact result one below the other as numbered list or bulleted list and you may click the link to find the detailed explanation.

Unordered list:

This type will show up results but not as a perfect list. You get the information distributed randomly and you need to click on the page and continue to read to derive at a list.

They mostly answer the “Why” and “How” keywords.

3. Table featured snippets

Table snippets carry answers for your queries in a table. They display an average of five rows on two columns with about 45 words. The best way to optimize these featured snippets is to use the table tags in HTML and add the relevant content in the table format.

4. Video featured snippets:

These featured snippets put a video clip that runs for about 6 minutes and 35 seconds. Easy way to optimize is to find keywords with low search volume and finding an audience that prefer videos than texts.

Difference between featured snippets and rich snippets:

Featured snippets are taken from your website and are essentially answers for the query. But rich snippets are enhanced content as they may have something like a review attached to them.

Why is Google featured snippets optimization important

Optimization of featured snippets is crucial as it gives your brand a powerful exposure. As these Google featured snippets carry a link that directly takes the visitor to the concerned website, it is a rich source of organic traffic.

Previously, the sites used to enjoy two rankings on Page1 of the SERPs which drove traffic dramatically. But now the happy days have ended as Google has decided to rank either the featured snippets or the site. Still featured snippets get you the top rank and sizeable clicks without other hassles cluttered with SEO.

What are the benefits of featured snippets

  • • High visibility
  • • Improve search rankings
  • • Increase in targeted traffic
  • • Capture quality leads
  • • Audience behavior insight
  • • Increased brand authority
  • • Higher click through rates (CTR)

How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets

Let’s see how to optimize Google’s featured snippets. To start with you should understand which types of queries will get featured results and which will not.

Search queries that get featured:

  • • DIY processes
  • • Status
  • • Mathematical
  • • Transitional
  • • Health
  • • Financial
  • • Requirements

If your snippets are about DIY, Health and Finance, you are most likely to be ranked in featured snippets Seo.

Search queries that usually don’t get featured:

  • • Shopping
  • • Local
  • • Images
  • • Videos

With these starters in mind, let’s dig deeper into identifying all the nooks and crannies of optimizing for Google’s featured snippets.

1. Nail down the search intent

Understand what for a search is done. The searches will arise from your potential customers, influencers, and competitors. Remember you are writing for the first two. If your answer is a listicle or a part of a paragraph you may get many clicks and more traffic as the user would like to read more. But if the search is for a brief answer, then it is mostly unlikely to generate traffic. Table contents are larger and are more likely to boost traffic as all info cannot be got in the search result itself. It is wise to analyze what you are going to put in the answer box and in what format.

2. Choose Keywords that trigger featured snippets

This is not about targeting featured snippets but about targeting the keywords. List out the powerful keywords that are relevant to your business and in high demand and then plan a post. What you should do is select the seed keyword, go to the “Also rank for” filter and apply the featured snippet filter. Of course, you will find thousands of keywords and to narrow them down you should add few more filters like

  • • Keyword Difficulty (KD)
  • • Minimum monthly search volume
  • • Keyword includes
  • • Keyword doesn’t include

Then go for the keywords that trigger featured snippets and start to frame content which will answer questions like “What” “Why”, and “How”.

3. Include eye-catching images and graphics

Featured snippets with images work well than the regular ones. See that the images are branded and well annotated. Don’t forget to update and reupload new pictures when you update the content.

4. Run a competitor search

Gather up all the strong keywords in your competitor’s featured snippets. Collect all the keywords, categorize them for framing different featured snippets, classify them according to the search volume, analyze the low KD score and then pitch on.

5. Create a content that will outbeat competition

Now that you have the competitor’ keywords in hand, start to write a content that is better than your competitor’s featured snippet. You can out win by adding more value to the content, including statistical data, using simple and easy to understand sentences, and by adding citations.

6. Include question keywords in Heading Tags

Google’s featured snippets are typically answer boxes. They directly answer the straight questions that start with “what” or “how”. It’s clever to add the question keywords in the heading tags after analyzing the search volume as you can see that most of the Google’s featured snippets start after a question tag.

7. Organize as a well-structured content

To be on top, your featured snippet should an easy to read, and easy to scan through by the search engines. Arrange the content like:

  • • Heading 1

  • • Heading 2

  • • Heading 3

Or you can smart play by converting a paragraph featured snippet into a Listicle.

8. How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets for More Traffic

Make it easy for Google to identify your featured snippet. Featured Snippets SEO is important to take it from position zero to the first page.

  • • Keep your URLs short
  • • Create a catchy title tag
  • • Take care of pixel requirements
  • • Use keyword specific meta tags
  • • Add question keywords in Heading tags
  • • Build internal and external links
  • • Focus on schema markup tags

9.Double-check the content

Ensure that you verify the value and authenticity of the content. It should fit in the search intent of your targeted audience. The essential keywords presence should be confirmed.

10. Explore in Google for more questions

Search for more questions in Google. Get a greater insight on the question that Google considers for a topic. Look through “People also ask” section to pile up more questions.

11. Create answers that are suitable for many questions

Make sure that the structure and words of your answers are suitable for questions in various forms. Google easily identifies closely related questions and words that are synonymous. You should also be that brilliant while aiming to prepare a content for featured snippets. The advantage is that if your page gets featured for one query, there is a great chance of it getting featured for other searches also.

12. Put precise dates in content

Many avoid dates in their content as they fear the fact that it may seem outdated after some time. Although current contents are preferred usually, dated content appear regularly in the searches and are especially useful when they are searched for research purposes or for comparative studies. Dating your content avoids confusion, builds trust and if your content is fresh then algorithms prefer your content. So, if you think strongly that Google favors the recent content, update your content, but date them.

The Bottom Line

Featured snippets and the algorithms will evolve continuously but they are sure to get you more organic traffic so develop your own insight and get your featured snippets ready now. If you already rank for some featured snippets keep optimizing them and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the already featured snippets as they keep growing.

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