How to Optimize for Featured Snippets?

Claiming the top spot in Google search results does include a lot of effort and takes time. Having a top rank helps to gain visibility and an advantage over the competition in reaching out to those who are seeking information related to your page.

While there is a lot of activity to be done at both fore-end and backend to claim the top spot, there are other options which can help you in outranking the top sites even though your page does not occupy the top spot.

Claiming a featured snippet would help in accomplishing it. It is important to understand how to optimize for featured snippets, to gain an advantage of this option.

So, what are featured snippets?

What is a featured snippet?

Featured snippets show up as a block that contains the exact answer to your query. One can find it right above the first organic search results. Hence the position is referred to as “position 0”.

Featured snippets enable easier results for your search as you could see the best search results at a glance. Google featured snippets are a result of a Google programme that picks the best answer from a third-party website.

Therefore, appearing as a Google featured snippet, provides greater exposure and generates more leads.

Before we try to understand as to how to get featured snippets, let’s take a look at types of featured snippets.

Types of featured snippets

There are three types of common featured snippets:

  1. Paragraph:  Paragraph snippets are the most popular type of feature snippets. These show paragraph-type answers to the questions searched on the Search engine. The paragraph snippets generally feature for questions like – how, who, why, what, when etc.
  2. List:  For any searches which require a step-step instruction like – “How to do?” or recipes etc. the Snippet features are presented in the form of numbered or bulleted lists.
  3. Table: Table snippets mostly appear for posts that have comparison charts. Information including – rates, prices, years and other such numerical data is presented in the snippets. Such content is valued highly by Google.

Here’s a look at the benefits that Featured Snippets have to offer-

Featured snippets have been around for more than six years. However, it has been only lately that it is finding prominence in online marketing. There are a few key advantages that featured snippets offer that help in gaining online reputation.

  1. Take traffic away from the first result.

Featured snippet appears above the search results, thereby lending it more visibility. As per the initial new updates in 2020, if a webpage appears in the featured snippet, it would not appear on the first page of the search results. This update was not received positively by experts of SEO services.

If you are ranked lower, i.e. in 5th or 6th position, you can jump ahead of the listing through the featured snippet and gain higher visibility for a matching search query. Therefore, there are higher chances of stealing away the leads from the top-ranked web page.

  1. Gain visibility as an expert

Being recognized as a trusted authority in a particular field is a tough challenge. There are many competitors who are vying for the attention of the same target audience. One of the key aspects of website optimization is to enable the website to rank higher in the search results and thereby gain attention and recognition.

With your website featuring in the feature snippets, you become an authority on the specific niche since Google is recommending your website. A look through the most prominent featured website,  you can see that they belong to most prominent reference sites like Wikipedia.

By understanding how to optimize featured snippet, you can gain more credibility among the audience searching for related content.

  1. Taking advantage of voice search

Voice-controlled personal assistants like Siri & Alexa are gaining wider acceptance. The mode of interaction with these voice-based searches is in the form of questions. Featured snippets work well in responding to question type searches. Hence one can optimize the featured snippets to take advantage of the growing trend in using voice-based personal assistants for searches.

With the varied benefits that featured snippets have to offer, here is a look at how to optimize for featured snippets.

Optimizing featured snippets

Here are a few tips which would help you in optimizing a featured snippet. You can seek the professional help of an SEO agency, which can help you with optimizing the content for you. Else you can try these below tips and optimize it yourself.

  1. Conduct a Keyword research

A good digital marketing agency would always advise you on the importance of conducting keyword research. It is an indispensable tool without which an effective social media marketing cannot be built upon. Even for optimizing your content for Featured Snippets, it is imperative to do thorough keyword research to identify the keywords which feature more in the questions posed by the audience for a niche related to you.

  1. Take help of “People also ask” feature.

While conducting keyword research, also check out for “People also ask” section. This offers you with suggestions of keywords that can help expand your horizons. You can identify key questions from this section and optimize your content accordingly.

  1. Put in the effort to rank on the first page of Google Search results.

By being on the first page of Google SERPs, you have a better chance of featuring in a snippet. Analysis of the data indicates that a majority of the featured snippets belong to websites that rank in the first page of search results.

You can get the assistance of a good SEO agency, who can work on SEO of your website and help to boost its rankings. A well laid out website optimization strategy can help to boost the SEO of your page.

  1. Use words more likely to feature in a snippet.

As part of your keyword research, you can also conduct research on a few common words that frequently occur in featured snippets and also words that are better left avoided.

Develop your content based on these words to increase the chances of featuring in the snippets when a search is done.

  1. Lay emphasis on formatting

Google prefers structured content. We have seen earlier that structures, tables, lists etc. are among the content which appears as featured snippets. Format your content accordingly so that they can easily appear in the featured snippets.

  1. Have a Q&A section on the website

A Q&A page helps to identify your website as authoritative of a particular niche. They also increase the chances of appearing in featured snippets. As earlier highlighted, featured snippets appear as responses for question-based searches. A Q&A section would be the most optimized content picked up by search engines to appear as featured snippets. Make this section more engaging with precise and accurate answers.

By using these tips, you can develop your content strategy to aid your website to appear as featured snippets. By focusing on featured snippets, you can reduce the efforts towards claiming the top spot in Google searches and gain more visibility to divert the web traffic.