The Keys To Optimizing for More Featured Snippets (5 Tips)
Featured snippets are bits of text at the top of the Google search results page that provide a quick, concise answer to a question. Google pulls content from web pages that it has indexed, which provides visibility and possible traffic to the reference website.
Ask an expert SEO agency, and they recommend optimizing for featured snippets. This guide shows you how to do it according to the different types of featured snippets:
- The definition
- The table
- The ordered list
- The unordered list
Aim for featured snippets and promote your site on SERPs. Let’s go!
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Improving Site Content for the Definition Featured Snippet
You cannot mark your page as a featured snippet. Only Google can determine if a page makes a good snippet, but you can optimize your content to improve your chances. The featured snippets come in various types, the most common of which are in the definition box.
The definition box contains a few lines of text that describe something. For example, a user searching for the meaning of "osteoporosis" gets a SERP with a definition box at the top of the "People Also Ask" and organic search results. It would describe osteoporosis and show the title of the page and the URL where the definition was derived.
Google shows a definition box after a “what is” query like, “What is osteoporosis?” or “What causes osteoporosis?” It can also reply with a definition after only a word is searched. For example, the query typed is simply, “osteoporosis.” For definition featured snippets, Google provides short answers to questions, usually an average of 40 to 60 words.
Find out what kind of results you get for your keywords to optimize your content to appear in Google’s featured snippet. Doing this lets you know what keywords you want to rank. You can search manually, or use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to find keywords that yield a featured snippet. To optimize your content specifically for definition snippets, follow these strategies:
- Create a “What is X” page. This is the exact way a definition snippet looks. Place the “What is X” question above the definition so that Google can easily recognize your content and use it as a featured definition.
- Provide an objective definition. Google prefers factual content rather than opinions as definitions. There should be no emotion or a sales tone. Use a dictionary or encyclopedic tone when formulating answers to “what is” questions.
- Follow the correct text format. Create answers to questions that are 40 to 60 words long. Answer the question directly in the first part of the content.
Revising Your Web Pages for the Table Featured Snippet
Google can also show a table as a featured snippet, if it thinks this is the best way to present an answer. For example, a user searching for the "recommended daily calcium intake" gets a table featured snippet showing results according to age and gender, along with the recommended intakes.
The user may only look at recommended calcium intakes according to age, but Google knows that the recommendations also are gender-specific. Local weather results are provided in table form. Searching for "Chicago weather," Google shows the weekly local weather, including temperature (highest and lowest), precipitation, wind, and humidity.
The way Google presents tables as featured snippets is very straightforward. It does not get content from various parts of your web page to present in a tabulated form, but looks for related tables. Just like our example above, Google used information from the weather calendar provided by Accuweather. Using the strategies listed below could help you optimize for the table featured snippets:
- Use tables to present information when necessary. For an e-commerce site, use a comparison table of products, features, or prices. For a services website, a table that highlights the pros and cons of like services would work.
- Keep the information in tables concise. This allows Google and users to quickly understand the contents of your table.
- Describe your table. Create a concise description for your table that is placed beneath it. This helps Google and users understand what the table means.
Upgrading Site Information for the Ordered List Featured Snippet
The “ordered list” featured snippet lists items in a particular order. This type of snippet answers queries requiring steps like, "How to potty train a puppy," for example. The user will get a list of actions, that includes taking the puppy outside more frequently and removing food and water bowls before bedtime.
An ordered list may also rank results in a specific order, like the "top-grossing movies of all time" or the “tallest buildings in the world.” Depending on the topic, Google may show a list of results, with a thumbnail and link to lead readers to a dedicated SERP. To optimize your page to rank in the ordered list of featured snippets, remember these tips:
- Improve page layout. This helps Google understand that you have a list of steps on the page, and that this list answers the query. Present every step as a subheader to promote consistency, as well as enable Google to quickly recognize your list.
- Create a listed preview of your content. If you have a how-to guide, post the steps after a short introduction to help Google understand your content. Make items in your list concise and easy to follow.
- Make more list content. The list is perfect for optimizing content for featured snippets and makes it easier to explain complex topics. Lists are also skimmable, thus helping people to easily and quickly find the information that they need.
Optimizing Content to Rank for Unordered List Featured Snippets
Just as there’s an ordered list featured snippet, Google also shows unordered list results. This type of snippet is for presenting items that are in a different order. For example, a query about "foods rich in calcium" does not have to be ranked from the best to the worst kind of food.
An unordered list is simple and has no information indicated for each item. A note that says "More items..." is at the bottom of this long list. Optimizing for ordered and unordered lists is the same.
The most crucial strategy to get your content into featured snippets is to optimize your page to rank in organic search. 99% of featured snippets results are from pages that are on page one of SERPs. It makes sense that Google would use pages it trusts to answer featured snippets. Using SEO strategies can help you reach the featured snippets.
Optimize your content to be part of featured snippets. Find out which type of snippet that your keywords and topics will rank. Create content that matches Google's snippets to let Google understand your content.
Finally, include SEO in your optimization strategies, as Google prefers to gather information from page one sites. Follow these steps, and your content will soon become part of featured snippets, too.
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