How to rank for featured snippets
Google is constantly changing its features and refining the way it displays results to users. How do you keep on top of the game?
This guide teaches you how to optimise your content for one of Google’s most coveted features: the featured snippet.
A featured snippet shows the summary of an answer to a user’s query, showcased in a box at the top of Google’s results page, otherwise known as ‘position zero’.
There’s no exact science for earning a featured snippet, and even once you achieve position zero you’re not guaranteed to stay there if Google decides that another page is better suited to rank for the keyword.
However there are a number of ways you can format your content to increase your chances of gaining, and hopefully retaining, the top spot.
Let’s start with an understanding of the different types of featured snippet you could rank for.
There are four main types of featured snippet which you can optimise your content for:
This is the most common form of featured snippet which provides users with a direct answer to their question.
According to Search Engine Journal, you’ll see paragraph snippets for questions beginning with:
List-style featured snippets can be either ordered lists showing steps in a process or unordered lists where Google formats the headings of a bulleted list to show a summarised view of the content.
For structured data, Google will present information in a table for better readability.
Video snippets are appearing more frequently in search results, highlighting the growing popularity of this type of content.
An Ahrefs study found that 99.58 percent of all featured snippets are from sites that rank in the top 10 for that search term. So your best chance of winning a featured snippet is with keywords you are already ranking on page one for and which have a featured snippet. You don’t need to have the top ranking organic spot to feature and there is no specific markup required.
You should then identify what content is currently earning the featured snippet position to see how you could adjust your content so it features instead. There are a number of ways you can do this:
If your content is a blog, follow these steps:
Think of the inverse pyramid approach to presenting content, where you put the answer to your question at the top of the page, and the rest of the content provides supplementary context to the query. With this in mind, for a blog you would structure your content as follows:
If your content is a list, you should follow these steps:
FAQs and Q&A-style pages relating to frequently asked questions about your product, service or industry are a great way to optimise your content for a featured snippet.
FAQ pages are perfect for answering multiple short questions at once while dedicated blog pages are better for more complicated questions.
When writing your keywords, follow these tips and hints to ensure they are properly optimised:
High quality images and videos boost your chances of ranking for featured snippet. Remember to optimise your images using a minification tool such as Tinypng.
For the user, featured snippets provide highly relevant answers to their questions in a way that’s convenient, quick and easy to read.
For a business that achieves position zero, there are many benefits:
Struggling to keep up with changes to Google's search results? Need advice on optimising your content? Contact us today and speak to an SEO expert about improving your search visibility.
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