How to get your site to appear on Google's featured snippet
Last modified: 2018/08/09 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
In our current technological age, everything feels like it should be immediately available. When it comes to smartphones and computers, anything your heart desires is at the touch of your fingertips. Whether that means food, clothing, home décor, tools, a specific service or even just the answer to a question. When turning to Google with an answer-based query, it’s likely you’ve been greeted by a featured snippet. Essentially, this is the primary spot in search engine results.
From a business standpoint, it’s an excellent place to strive towards when looking for a way to increase the online visibility of your business while connecting with your audience. But how does one manage to get that coveted spot? Read on for all of the necessary information regarding how to have your content appear on Google’s featured snippet
What exactly is the featured snippet?
As mentioned in our introduction, the featured snippet is the top spot in the search engine and is often classed as “position 0 listings.” The featured snippet will contain question-based and informative-seeking keywords. Featured snippets exist to make the lives of consumers and users easier. When someone types a question into Google, the featured snippet will appear at the top of the screen with the highlighted necessary information or an answer to a specific question. The text itself is larger and thus, easily accessible.
With the rise of voice search, featured snippets are becoming closely linked to how questions are asked by voice. This means that blog posts and articles that look to answer a colloquial question are more likely to be featured.
How can you be featured on Google’s featured snippet?
When it comes to being featured on Google, the first point we’d like to address is the necessity for creating quality content. If your content is not clear and concise, as well as looking for direct answers to questions, it is very unlikely you will be featured. As mentioned, search engines are beginning to recognize and interpret sentence structure and keywords in different ways. Therefore, it’s important to restructure your marketing strategy to comply.
First, you’ll need to switch from generic keywords, also referred to as long-tail keywords, to question form keywords. Think about sentences that begin with the following:
- How does
- How do
- What is
- How to
Google’s algorithm works by scanning through all of the content on the internet that relates to a question and tries to pinpoint posts that best answer that question. When crawlers come across a post that best suits what they’re looking for, it will be displayed as the featured snippet on SERP’s. To create content that best complies with this, you’ll need to understand what your audience is looking for and how you can tailor blogs and content to specifically answer those questions. Ask yourself how your users might frame questions in relation to the information they’re seeking as linked to your website. How can your content be tailored to deliver the most accurate answer to their question? Start with basic keyword research and move from there.
Another way for your content to be featured is by way of lists in both numerical charts and bullet points. Lists tend to be one of the easier approaches to appearing in the featured snippet, so consider ways to implement them into your articles and blog posts.
Evaluate and compile data
Check your current ranking for keywords that you are employing regularly to increase your visibility. Take stock of the keywords where you rank on page one and focus on finding a way to optimize these. Collect all of this information into a giant spreadsheet and consider ways to prioritize the keyword opportunities. Consult your metrics including domain and page authority.
Next, employ one of your high-ranking keywords and type it in the form of a question into Google. What is the featured snippet that appears? Just below this should be a box featuring related questions. Search these questions and see what comes up in the featured snippet and with the collection of this data, create a list of questions that could potentially have you rank in Position 0. This will be a way for you to seek out holes or opportunities in search queries where the current competition isn’t strong enough to maintain the top spot.
How do you know what your audience is searching for?
There are plenty of popular routes to find out the questions that are important to your target audience. Use popular Q&A portals and type in generic questions that you’ve previously compiled. Further, consider doing a generic search and finding groups that are directly related to your topic or marketplace. This will help you to determine some more question-based keywords to try and grab a place in the featured snippet.
How can you compete with the current featured snippet?
Now that you’ve determined the keywords and phrases that you can work with in order to try and rank higher, you’ll need to consider how you stack up against your competitors. This can be completed by doing a competitor analysis, filtering down to the keywords which have lower competitive rates. Analyze what your main competitors are doing to make them reach that top spot, and this can be completed using several available tools that work by finding profitable keywords. Plug in your competitors' keywords and identify the most valuable and low-effort options.
Other aspects to consider are the optimal word count to beat your competitors at obtaining the Google featured snippet. We’d recommend aiming for between 40 to 50 words. As mentioned, structure is another important aspect of obtaining the top spot. Therefore, it's important that you correctly optimize your content to be featured. Think about creating short paragraphs, with a sub-heading on each one that includes a question. As mentioned, try to employ tables, lists or charts everywhere you can, as this is a sure-fire way to be featured.
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