Featured snippets are those that appear on the top of search results. A featured snippet box is an answer box in the search results that contains valuable and relevant content in various forms: paragraph snippets, tables, lists, or videos.
Since we've already discussed the SEO importance of Google's featured snippets, we'll now discuss how you can optimize for featured snippets. To start, here's a step-by-step guide on how you can get into Google's featured snippets:
- 1 1 – Study Featured Snippets of Competitors
- 2 2 – Understand Search Intent
- 3 3 – Perform Competitive Analysis
- 4 4 – Create a Content Outline
- 5 5 – Create Your Content
- 6 6 – Optimize Content for Readers and Search Engines
- 7 7 – Add Graphics
- 8 8 – Implement SEO Techniques
- 9 9 – Keep Optimizing
- 10 Conclusion
1 – Study Featured Snippets of Competitors
Identify your competitors' featured snippets. Although it's difficult, identifying and getting ideas from their featured snippets is essential.
You can use Semrush and these steps to do this:
- Put the URL on Semrush and perform keyword research for groups that have featured snippets.
- Export the list you found.
- Categorize them based on their type of featured snippet.
- Sort by search volume and highlight those with high scores.
- Start content planning based on these keywords. Don't forget to include the topic you will discuss and the type of featured snippet you're targeting. This helps emphasize why you're optimizing your page.
2 – Understand Search Intent
Search intent is one of the most critical aspects of creating content for any type of featured snippet. You must understand the search intent behind every search query that may trigger the content you'll make.
There are three kinds of people that may search for your keywords:
- Potential customers
- Influencers with the same target market as you
Each of them will have different intents when searching online, but the most common ones would be informational and navigational. Since you can only focus on one type of content in every featured snippet, you can classify them into these four:
- Brief Answer: You can use paragraph featured snippets for this or listicle types of featured snippets. Users can click on the results if they want more information besides the brief overview of answers. This helps improve click-through rate (CTR) and reputation.
- Specific Answer: This is for questions that require specific answers. It doesn't drive traffic that much. A featured snippet like this has a lower click-through rate since users only need specific answers and don't usually want to read about the content further.
- Video Snippets: Video featured snippets are most common for “how-to” search queries. Instead of written content, videos are placed in the answer boxes. These get the highest CTR among the four.
- Comparisons: Table featured snippets come up in these search results. Table snippets usually show only a portion of a larger table content, so it would definitely drive more traffic to web pages and increase CTR.
3 – Perform Competitive Analysis
Use Semrush or other tools to help determine SEO recommendations for your preferred keywords. Using SEO content template tools, you can easily determine the following:
- Key Recommendations: These include SEO aspects that your content should have, like what backlinks to include, readability to attain and the appropriate text length of the content.
- Suggestions: This can be on how to effectively use keywords based on how your competitors use them and how to make your website and content more search-friendly.
- Top Competitors: A list of your leading rivals that can help you understand more about your competitors.
4 – Create a Content Outline
You now have the set of relevant keywords, topics, search intent, types of featured snippets, and a list of SEO recommendations based on your competitor's Google featured snippets.
To start content marketing and writing, start with a content outline first. Incorporate everything you've gathered in the outline. If you already have an existing outline, you may have to update and modify it to accommodate the new research you made.
5 – Create Your Content
Start creating content better than your competitors:
- Cover all essential information based on the user's search query and intent.
- Improve readability by writing in short and simple sentences.
- Include citations if you can since it helps Google understand your content better.
- Add more value to your content by adding statistical data, examples, media, etc.
Additionally, create content that meets your needs for:
- Targeted keywords
- Target audience
- Determined user's search intent
6 – Optimize Content for Readers and Search Engines
Your content and featured snippets must be well-organized to make it easier for readers and search engines to understand and scan. One way to do this is to establish a good structure.
Add and use appropriate heading tags to your content to give it an organized structure. This will make reading and navigation easier for your readers.
Ultimately, add question keywords in your heading tags to appear more on the search results page. Choose target keywords with high monthly search volume and make sure to input them in the right place in your content.
7 – Add Graphics
Rich snippets contain relevant graphics in all types of featured snippets. It's a common content marketing strategy to appeal more to Google's algorithm, appear more in organic search results, and improve site ranks.
Try to use your own photographs or custom-made graphics more than stock images. This helps avoid being too generic. Lastly, add as many graphics as you need in your content and featured snippet.
8 – Implement SEO Techniques
Use SEO tactics to appear more on the Google search results page to maximize your featured snippet opportunities. For any type of searcher's query. For all kinds of featured snippets, you can use these working SEO tactics on your relevant content:
Meta Title and Description Tags
In content marketing, a catchy title and informative description are what increase CTRs and drive traffic to a website. You can use SEO tools to determine and generate catchy tags. Use a specific keyword in the tags to drive the highest clicks.
Image Alt Texts
In all graphics, you will include in your featured snippets, don't forget to add descriptive alt attributes. This helps the Google search console understand what the pictures are about and in indexing them to show in search results.
Internal and External Links
These links help the Google search console identify your website's essential pages and sites. Add internal links in your featured snippets to improve the rankings of your best pages.
At the same time, add external links to your featured snippets to show the credibility of your content and citations.
9 – Keep Optimizing
Until you achieve any type or all types of featured snippets, paragraph featured snippet, table featured snippet, bulleted or numbered list, and video featured snippets, keep optimizing your content.
Check your results and performance every once in a while, weekly at its best. From there, make adjustments and add more SEO techniques, like optimizing for voice search queries, to land on the best answer that will give you a featured snippet position.
Additionally, focus on and track the differences in impressions, CTRs, traffic, and Google SERPs visibility to know where to start.
Featured snippets increase the rankings and traffic of a website. This means a lot for a business or brand since it means appearing more on Google's search results. Follow the nine steps above to start optimizing content to get featured snippets. You can also contact us to help you plan and dive deeper into how you can get featured snippets and have your content ranking on search results.