Obtaining a featured snippet on Google allows you to get a horde of traffic for a given search term and you’ll get positioned as an authority in your niche. A snippet greatly increases the amount of screen real estate that your listing takes up in the Google search results.
Achieving a Google featured snippet is no easy task and the chances of getting the job done is rather low if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, with the tips and advice in this article you can tilt the odds in your favor and achieve that elusive Google snippet your competitors will be jealous of. Keep reading this article to get a step-by-step process of how you can get a Google snippet for your own content.
What is Google’s Featured Snippet?
The content in the featured snippet is a summary of the content on your site. The point of the snippet is to answer the user’s question without having to visit a webpage at all. However, they can click on the featured snippet in order to receive additional information. It’s estimated that 19% of all queries come with a featured snippet. Let me ask Google what the featured snippet is actually –
Hope you have got your answer and that without even visiting any page.
Just like the search results, the featured snippet is dynamic that will change over time. You can lose the featured snippet status as fast as you gained it, or a competitor can take it away from you.
Furthermore, you can add a line of code to your web pages to not be included in the featured snippets, but that would be unwise. That’s because Google featured snippets can drive a boatload of traffic and at the same time give you the status of an authority in your niche.
Featured snippets can directly lead to a significant increase in sales which makes optimizing for them worth the effort. There is an element of luck involved with achieving a Google featured snippet, however with the tips here you can use a proven approach that tilts the odds of success in your favor.
Common Featured Snippets
Not all feature snippets look alike, some make use of tables while others might be in a list form. Here are a few of the more common features snippet examples:
- Paragraph: the paragraph format is the most common and you can expect to find this for the majority of featured snippets that you come across. It might contain a few keywords that are bolded to allow the user to quickly identify the keywords of interest in the paragraph.
- Lists: another type of featured snippet involves having a numbered format. This could be to list a number of different solutions that a problem might present. However, more often it has something to do with a process or a series of steps required to accomplish something. For example, if you search for instructions on how to re-paint your boat then you’ll get step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish the goal. List type featured snippets are great as they can boil down a complicated process into a few simple steps. Some list snippets also come with a picture that accompanies the instructions. Perhaps having one of these on your website increases the chances of obtaining such a featured snippet.
- Table: some featured snippets might be in a table format to convey the information. To increase your chances of achieving such a featured snippet you’ll need to make use of the <table> tag on your webpage. Table snippets will certainly catch the eye of the user and give you the majority of the attention on the search page. Therefore, if there is information in your content that makes sense in a table format then implement it, and don’t forget to make use of the correct tag.
Tips for Optimizing Content for Google Featured Snippet
The process of achieving a Google snippet can be broken down into 6 steps that work in any industry you might be operating in:
1. Research Your Niche To Find Out Questions
Figure out a common and simple question that’s asked frequently in your industry. You can take a look at forums in your niche to figure out what type of questions people are asking. Good places to start are Quora and Yahoo Answers.
Furthermore, if you have an e-mail list you could ask for feedback on the type of problems that customers typically have.
2. Conduct a Keyword Research
To increase your chances of obtaining a featured snippet you must carry out keyword research to find the opportunities. You need to look for high-volume search terms as they are more likely to receive a featured snippet.
Furthermore, search terms that are in excess of 5 words tend to be chosen as featured snippets. This might be because it allows the search engine to pinpoint a specific question at this word length.
Also, it’s important to look for queries where words such as who, what, how, when, and so on are used. This indicates that the query is a question.
If you are more interested in obtaining the paragraph format of featured snippets, then go for general question types. Additionally, when general questions are answered in paragraph format there is often a “People also ask” section underneath. This is a list of related questions with drop-down boxes to see the answers. You’ll need to come up with a list of related answers to a query for a chance to obtain this format.
Use a data mining tool to figure out related questions to a specific query. It can provide you most popular questions people are asking related to your target keyword.
3. Get to The Point
Answer the question in a direct, concise, and clear manner. The secret here is to make the sentences as informative as possible, yet using the least amount of words. A featured snippet is not going to be the length of an article, it’s short.
Therefore, if you want your answers to be featured in the snippet you need to make them short, yet informative. Keyword-rich answers are much better than long sentences that touch on unrelated points.
4. Be Better Than Your Competitors
By offering additional information that is useful to the end users, you’ll have a higher chance of getting that elusive Google featured snippet. Other competitors will also provide an answer to commonly asked questions, so you need to differentiate yourself. One way of doing it is going the extra mile of finding useful information and providing it in a concise manner.
5. Use HTML to Format Your Content
Formatting your web pages correctly will significantly increase the chances of landing a featured snippet.
Firstly, you need to ensure that the search query is in a header tag such as <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4> and so on.
The answer to the query should be in a <p> tag directly underneath and it’s best if the answer is concise at around 54-58 words long.
Google might not look through the entire body of text, so if you can use a format such as Step 1, Step 2, or Step 3, then it gives Google clear breaks in the content to examine for possible queries.
Also, it’s preferred that an answer starts by immediately answering the query instead of containing any “fluff” words.
6. Separate Wheat from Chaff
There is no use in doing the first 5 steps if users, and more importantly Google, cannot find the information readily. Ensure that the answers are not mixed with other content so that it can easily be extracted by Google. For most websites, this shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s a consideration you should make anyway when designing where the content goes on your website.
It is a great business practice to answer common questions that potential customers might be having. Therefore, the process of achieving a featured snippet should be natural. However, by taking the 4 steps into account above you have a roadmap of how to get it done in a way that increases your chances.
The payoff for adhering to these guidelines can be worth it as you’ll get more recognition from the marketplace. After all, if you’ve been awarded a featured snippet by Google then in the eyes of the potential customers that’s going to be quite impressive.
In addition, you’ll receive a higher proportion of the traffic giving you more leads to convert into paying customers. Take the time to experiment for yourself to see what works and what doesn’t. However, the tips mentioned here are a great starting point.
Keep in mind that Google’s search algorithm is constantly changing, so what works now to receive a featured snippet might not work as well a year from now, or even a few months down the line. Therefore, keep experimenting to get the edge over the competition.