7 Tips To Help You Capture More Featured Snippets
Your website’s rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) correlates to its ability to capture traffic, and there is no better way to get people onto your website than through featured snippets.
While SEO agency experts are not 100% sure of how to become a featured snippet, they have some solid ideas.
This guide shows how to boost your chances for more featured snippets, including:
- A quick look at what featured snippets are and how to “use” them
- Seven tips to help boost your chances for featured snippets
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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What are Featured Snippets? How Do They Work?
A featured snippet is a Google SERP feature developed to connect searchers with the best-match answers to their search query. Google’s algorithms randomly select these answers from its vast library of indexed content, meaning there is no known way to control when and how it appears.
In other words, optimizing for featured snippets is difficult if for no other reason than no one knows exactly how Google makes them. SEO agency experts know that high-quality content has the best chance of becoming a featured snippet, which is an excellent place to start.
While you cannot mark your content for featured snippets, you can modify its format to replicate the look and feel of a featured snippet. This approach is essentially "fake it till you make it," as the saying goes. Fortunately, there are a few different types of featured snippets for which you can aim:.
- Paragraph snippet
- Rich answer snippet
- Accordion snippet
- Bulleted list snippet
- Table snippet
- YouTube video snippet
- People Also Ask
- Numbered list snippet
- Carousel snippet
Now that you have a slightly better understanding of what a featured snippet is and its place in SEO strategies, the next step is to look at how you can optimize content for it. Below are seven current best practices that SEO experts have found through extensive research.
7 Tips That Bring You Closer To Featured Snippets
While optimizing for featured snippets is ideal for improving website traffic, it is not easy, even for experts. The tips they give come from observation and experimentation. Science, not guesswork, is also behind this research.
After all, Google is not giving away the secrets of its platform for everyone to read. While there is no guarantee that you will get featured snippets by following these seven tips, they will boost your chances. In fact, you lose nothing by trying them.
1. Find The Right Triggers
Google’s algorithm is picky about content that turns into featured snippets. Just as not every indexed page is the “best answer” to a question, there are also times when none exists. Therefore, the first step to becoming a featured snippet is to do research.
Check if your target keyword yields a “best answer” by doing a quick Google search. What, how, and why questions usually can easily result in concise, objective answers. "People Also Ask" can also provide topics with featured snippet potential.
2. Write Like You Are One
Do a few sample searches with featured snippets, and you will probably notice a pattern in how they sound. Admittedly, adapting your writing style takes time. With that, here are three adjustments that you can make to capture that same sound:
- Write content from an objective, fact-based perspective and avoid embellishments.
- Focus on answering a target question as concisely and completely as possible.
- If possible, use question headers and place the answers as close to them as possible.
3. Revisit Popular Content
Sometimes, there is no better place to start looking for ideas than inside of your own website pages. This means that your content (or some of it) already has the potential to become a featured snippet on Google SERPs.
Make a point of looking at your site on Google Search Console (or another auditing tool) and select the highest-performing content, in terms of traffic and keyword ranking. Then, see how your competitors rank on Google SERPs and optimize your content to improve its chances.
4. Make Every Word Count
An excellent way to characterize featured snippets is that they are essentially sound bites of content. Knowing this makes it easy to understand why each word counts when optimizing for featured snippets. According to HubSpot, 54–58 words works best, or roughly a three-line paragraph.
This does not mean, however, that you should over-optimize your content for keywords. Aim at using the word limit to create helpful and natural-sounding answers. Keep in mind that you should be writing for a human audience first, and search engine algorithms second.
5. Fit Your Target Keyword
If you want search engines to value your content enough to turn it into featured snippets, it has to fit the context of the searcher’s query. Basically, make sure that your target keyword appears throughout your content, especially in the parts that you think have the potential to become featured snippets.
Include some semantically related keywords into your content, as well. Another solid strategy for strengthening SEO, is to avoid stuffing in keywords where they don’t belong. For now, play it safe and stick to using your target keywords.
6. Format Content Properly
When Google generates a featured snippet, all it does is lift parts of a web page as-is and put them together. For this reason, how your content looks matters just as much as what it says. For instance, creating an itemized list makes it more convenient for Google to pull that list.
If you use numbers and statistics in your content, consider putting them together in a neat table for quick reference. You can still get featured snippets even if you do not, however, you gain a lot by boosting user experience (UX).
7. Check Google Regularly
This is perhaps the most obvious solution to the dilemma of becoming a featured snippet, given that Google SERPs contain plenty of examples. As mentioned, "People Also Ask” is a reliable source for featured snippet ideas, especially if you want to conduct in-depth competitor analysis.
Google’s autocomplete, and the Related Searches section at the bottom of each SERP, can also point you in the right direction. Additionally, the featured snippet for a keyword is not exclusive to one source, so check other sources to gain better insight into what it takes to be one.
Google’s many unique SERP features make it possible to rank high and draw traffic in multiple ways. Among the best is the featured snippet, which puts you at the top of the results page. While it is not the easiest to figure out, even for SEO veterans, it is possible.
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