How Can You Optimize Your Content for Google’s Featured Snippet?
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A featured snippet box is a new feature introduced by Google to help users find their answers in a faster and easier way. It gives an idea of the possible answers available and then lets you visit the site for more information. They drive tons of attention to your website and have become an invaluable tool for marketers.
But what do featured snippets really mean? Let us find out.
What is a Google featured snippet?
The informational content that appears in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) immediately after the advertisements is known as featured snippet. It gives the searcher desired information without having to visit the page where the content is posted. Mostly featured snippets that appear in the query have a short answer and the query is mostly for informative content.
Types of Featured Snippet
These are the following types of featured snippets:
This type is the most common type of featured snippet. It encompasses around 50% of all snippet results. It gives a paragraph formatted answer to the searcher’s query.
The list is the second most common type of featured snippet. It encompasses around 37% of all the snippet results. It answers the searcher’s query in the bulleted or numbered list.
Table answers the searcher’s query in form of a table including data and other information.
This type addresses the searcher’s query in a visual or auditory format.
The searcher’s query is addressed with additional information that the searcher can choose to expand.
- Rich Answer
The searcher’s query is addressed in a Short call-out format in which the answer is featured in bold along with additional information. They often appear for questions that have metric-based or factual answers. E.g. definitions are one of the most common types of rich answers.
- Tool or Calculator
It answers the searcher’s query in the form of an interactive tool. It can output user-specific answers. They appear for high-level and concrete queries.
How featured snippets influence search and SEO
Featured snippets were introduced by Google in 2014 and without any doubt, they have been one of the most prominent changes in Google SERP in the past decade. They have helped improve Google SEO in the following way.
- Shortcut to the top organic position
One of the ways to win the featured snippet is to rank your content on the first SERP for a search query that appears in a featured snippet.
A study shows that featured snippets come from pages that already rank in the top 10 positions. Moreover, most of the featured snippets pages rank in the top 5 positions. So, try creating your content in a way that ranks it in the first SERP.
- Featured snippets as superb branding opportunities
As we know, featured snippets are the first thing that appears in the search results. They are even more noteworthy for mobile device users as featured snippets are often the only thing they initially see. When your content appears in a featured snippet, it helps you in building your brand as well. The more users see your site on the featured snippet the more you will be associated as the market leader of your industry. It brings traffic to your website and ensures the long-term growth of your company.
- Fewer clicks
With the introduction of featured snippets, it has become easier for users to find information for a query without doing much work. Featured snippets give you an answer for a query in SERP which reduces clicks on the search result.
Also, according to the latest Google SEO update Google has been testing enhancements for some featured snippets and it looks like a combination of featured snippets and People Also Ask questions. So, the next time you create content and want to win over a featured snippet, keep this in mind and work accordingly.
8 tips to rank your content in Google’s featured snippet
Experts from Jacksonville SEO Company have given various tips to rank your content in Google’s featured snippet. They are as follows-
1. Answer the Question Precisely
The first thing that you need to understand here is what are questions your audience and how you will be answering those questions. You must remember that your content should directly answer the questions that you are writing about and that it serves the query that a user might be searching for. these things are important because Google’s algorithm searches through the countless number of sites to find the content that perfectly answers the question asked. When crawlers find the appropriate content, they display it in the form of featured snippets that helps the user get the required information without having to visit the site. You should also note that here.
Google picks up the paragraph which summarizes the answer in the best way. It may be a definition or any other content. Google also gives more preference to content that is placed higher on the page.
2. Optimize your Page Structure and headings
Optimizing your page structure is very important. You should always divide your page with headings and subheadings and use paragraphs for the rest of the content. You should have the right heading levels while publishing the content. Most people make this common mistake that they insert keywords in their heading and subheadings thinking it will land their page in featured snippets. When in reality, it’s the complete opposite. You should always make that your headings are simple and precise and use the keywords in the rest of the content in a natural way. One thing you should remember is avoiding headings that are irrelevant or a little off-topic from the main topic of your content. They don’t help SEO in any way. So there is absolutely no sense in keeping irrelevant headings in your content. You should ensure that the headings are closely related to the main topic as it increases the probability of your content being displayed in featured snippets.
Also, including subheadings will greatly improve the readability of your content. It segregates your content into smaller pieces which let your readers and crawlers understand the content in a better way.
3. Choose the right questions to answer
According to Jacksonville SEO experts, around 19% of the searches using a question result in a featured snippet on the first search engine result page. Generally, these inquiries have categories like – how does, how to do, why, what is, etc. Now, it’s time for you to think about how to apply these categories to your success. You can find relevant questions by typing these categories in the Google search box and choosing the questions that you and your target audience can mostly relate to. Also, one other way to choose questions that might help you appear in featured snippets is to answer questions from a section called ‘people also ask’. These questions are a perfect way for getting in featured snippets.
4. Create user-friendly content
Your content should always have the motive of serving the users and searchers. featured snippets are one of the top results for a query or a question and also they do not bypass Google’s ranking system. That’s why we often forget to keep the standard ranking requirements in our minds. So, when you create content, you should make sure that you include the following points in your content such as:
- High quality
- User experience
Apart from these points, you should make sure that your content is simple. The sentences should preferably be short. Long sentences make it tough for the users to understand the meaning as it might complicate the wordings. You should also try to avoid using complex words that are difficult to understand and instead try using simple words that we use in our normal lives.
You should not obsess over how your content ranks in Google SERPs, instead you should create content that is understandable, simple, high quality, and relevant to users. Thus, you should be following these tips to appear in featured snippets. While there is no guarantee that you will achieve your desired results, but you are likely to succeed in 90% of the cases. Always remember that your content should be user-focused if you want to win over google. Also sometimes, entrepreneurs lack the skill and time to create the right type of content, and so there is always an option to hire a company that provides SEO services like Jacksonville SEO Company.
5. Keep an eye on your competitor who is already in featured Snippet
You should always keep an eye on how your competitors perform, what are areas you lack in, what tactics your competitors use that will be beneficial to you, in what ways are they better than you, and more. Also, one of the easiest ways to appear in featured snippets is to copy the format and style of the featured snippet that is already being displayed in the featured snippet column. You should pay close attention to how many characters the competitor has placed in a paragraph that is being displayed in the featured snippet column. You should also keep an eye on the number of list items if you want to steal a position zero for a query that has a list appearing in the featured snippet column.
6. Work to provide the best answer
As I mentioned earlier, your content should be of high quality and relevant to users. You need to understand that for your website to appear in featured snippets, you must respond to your users in your best capacity. Your users want answers that provide detailed information and include some relevant terms and keywords. You should also work on hitting three core areas which are-
You should thoroughly research the topic relevant to the question asked and provide in-depth information about it. You should also cover every question that could appear from that topic.
You should segregate your content in paragraph lists bullets and back your answer with visual content like images, videos, etc.
You should create your content in a way that the beginners in your niche can understand it and work from it.
By following these tips, you can outperform your competitors which will ensure that your content covers a larger audience across the web. Also, readers who find your content helpful will visit your site again and again in turn increasing your bounce rate and engagement. Also, they will see you as an authority in your industry.
7. Use question and answer pages
One way to increase your chances of getting on the front and being picked up as featured snippets is to add questions and answer pages on your site. They provide value to users, consolidate questions and increase your chances of getting into featured snippets.
You should make sure that your Q and A page has all the relevant questions, and each one of them is well formatted with complete answers.
You can also provide links in the answer to offer background information or context. When you format your page in a user-friendly way it will increase the likelihood that Google will pick your page to appear in the featured snippets column.
8. Achieve the first-page ranking
One thing that you need to remember while working to appear on featured snippets is that your website should appear on the first page of Google SERPs but not necessarily on the top spot.
It means that if you want to get a high ranking, you need to have a solid backlink profile but it doesn’t necessarily need to be the strongest of the rest of the websites.
You may have noticed, that google generally shows featured snippets from pages that rank on 3rd or 4th position and not always from the page that ranks on 1st position. It means that Google gives a page featured snippet regardless of its domain authority.
As we all know, Google focuses on user experience and user-friendly content, and featured snippets will continue to gain importance. They are convenient, helpful, relevant, and accessible on virtually every platform. So, you should be following the above tips to rank in featured snippets and boost your online engagement and instructiveness.