So, by now, I’m sure you’ve heard the term featured snippets. If not, you most certainly have seen them in searches on Google.
But, if you’ve been living under a rock, here is an example of a featured snippet about an online store:
Yes, you noticed, and you understand why featured snippets are so important now. The site with the featured snippet attained “position 0” the nickname of the infamous position before all other search results.
Getting a featured snippet puts you at the front of the pack. With attention spans going down every second, this is conversion gold.
So, now that you understand the power of this concept how the heck do you get your pages into featured snippets? It’s not easy, but, if you follow a few steps when crafting your content, you substantially raise your chances of making it into one.
How do I get my content into Featured Snippets?
Getting your site to pop up for a featured snippet is a formula. But, remember even if you follow the instructions it doesn’t guarantee placement. Why? Because there can only be one for each keyword young grasshopper.
That’s right, while about 12 million sites appeared as results for the query in our example above, only 1 (one, yep) can be made into a featured snippet. Google rewards sites that use this formula for getting into snippets, but that also follow all of their other best practices as well.
With the bad news out of the way, let’s give you a fighting chance, eh? Let’s go over the steps to getting into featured snippets.
Create your content with snippets in mind
When you begin to write, you have to remember to include snippet friendly items to get placement. Featured snippets will only be shown as answers to questions. Make sure the phrase you’re optimizing the page for is included in a question.
Next, snippets will only be served up that answer that question in three different specific ways. You can answer the question in:
- Table Format – Using a table to answer the question gives you the potential to appear in a table snippet.
- List Format – Google loves a bulleted list. Answering a question with a bullet list makes it possible to appear in a list snippet.
- Paragraph Format – As in the example above, if you give the answer to the question in a concise paragraph, Google may reward you with a paragraph snippet.
The question you’re answering will determine the best format to answer it in. However, it is almost always best to use a list or table because Google really likes them.
What do these look like? We showed you a paragraph snippet in the first example but here are examples of list and table featured snippets:
Make sure to include your targeted keyword phrase for a question with some search traffic, in an H2 or H3 heading.
What else does my page need to get into Featured Snippets?
Every page with a list, table, or some text is NOT in the running for being a featured snippet. There are a few other factors Google considers.
Your page needs to satisfy these factors to get a snippet:
- Be on page one, anywhere on page one, not only in the first position
- Be concise and specific in your answers to your questions.
- Make sure your questions are researched and relevant to your keyword.
- The question terms you can find most commonly in featured snippets are when, where, who, why, how, where, does, and should.
- Make any question you answer in hopes of a snippet feature into a heading on your page. Even better if it’s H2 or H3 because it looks more natural.
What else do I need to get into Featured Snippets?
While this is still a new process and there are no guarantees, we have found some additional ideas that make your chances better at winning position “0”.
First off, you need to make sure you’re doing quality keyword research. You can find keywords and questions relevant to your audience using the Serpstat keyword tool. You can take it a step further by using the search questions tool to find out the questions people are asking about your keyword.
Consider including some of the following in your page to make it more likely to appear in snippets:
- A substantial Q&A section: Answer every question you can think of on the topic. Make sure it’s relevant to the topic of your post though. Do your research to make sure people are searching for these answers. Gather up all the top searched questions on your topic and answer them in a snippet friendly way.
- Use terms that clue in the bots: If you’re answering questions in list form use phrases like “In the list below,” or “in the following list” to give Google bots a clue as to what to expect. It is more likely your list or table will be recognized when you prime the reader for what’s to come.
- Do better than the current snippet on your topic: As in so much in the search realm, all you’re trying to do is answer the question better than everyone else. If you choose a topic, that is relevant to your site, that already has a featured snippet result you know who you’re competing against. Look at that page and do your best to answer the question better and in a more snippet friendly way.
Featured content is showing up more and more
Google is pretty clued into what their users want. The main objective is to provide the answer to the user faster, better, and with greater accuracy. Getting your content into these new Google features like snippets, dropdown questions, featured carousels, all make you look more relevant to users and leads to higher traffic and conversions.
With Google’s push for higher quality content, they are taking it one step further with featured snippets. Not only do they want great, long-form, content they want it to answer their user’s questions quickly and with authority.
Go with the flow, incorporate these techniques into your content creation, and Google will reward you.
Guest author: Inna Yatsyna is a Brand and Community Developing Specialist at Serpstat, an all-in-one SEO platform. She likes writing useful posts and helping people. Also, Inna is a passionate lover of traveling, reading, and especially dogs.