Optimizing for Featured Snippets
It’s becoming difficult to build referral traffic from Google. This is because competition has become tougher and Google’s algorithms keep changing.
So, how can you adapt?
Google has always been optimizing its search algorithm. And they always focus on improving the user experience – making it easier for users to find what they’re looking for and avoiding spammy, low-quality results.
To make it easier for users to find what they need quickly, search engines are now placing a huge emphasis on featured snippets. Thus, you need to know how to get your content to appear in them.
According to HubSpot research, content with a featured snippet gets a two times higher click-through rate.
These are great results, right?
Five Tips for Optimizing Your Content for Featured Snippets
- Provide Short, Clear Answers to Specific Questions
While Google loves long-form content, you’re more likely to get more featured snippets if you keep your answers concise and specific. This also helps with the content organization, which boosts user retention.
The average length of paragraphs with featured snippets is 45 words. Keep this mind as you create content that you want to get recognized as a featured snippet.
However, this doesn’t mean your content should be one paragraph long. Google seems to favor long-form content that’s broken down into logical subsections and contains attention-grabbing images. Also, cornerstone content will help you cover more related questions within one article.
If you want to get a featured snippet, you may have to change your blogging style a bit:
- Ask the target question in your content
- Answer the question with a one-paragraph answer
- Give detailed information in the article
- Write Data-Driven, Well-Structured Content
Google loves lists, steps, and numbers. And featured snippets often list the actual ingredients, the number of steps, time to cook, city and year of birth, etc.
Therefore, in the paragraph answering the target question, list useful numbers and names. Make sure your answer is factual.
Comparison lists and charts are an easier way to get featured snippets because search engines love structured content. Even for branded queries, Google is more likely to pick a table from another site and not the answer from the brand itself if it has no table.
This shows just how much Google loves factual, data-driven, and well-structured content.
There’s no specific markup to structure content. But Google easily picks up <table>, <ul>, and <ol> and it doesn’t need any other pointers.
- Answer Many Related Questions in One Article
A study by Ahrefs found that once a page gets featured, it’s more likely to get featured in many of the related questions. This means you need to structure your content properly and it must answer similar questions.
Google is good at establishing synonymic and closely related questions, so do this too; it makes no sense to create separate pages answering each specific question.
Creating one solid piece of content that answers many related questions is the best strategy if you want to get featured in answer boxes.
- Organize Your Article Properly
To successfully combine many related questions in one post, make sure you organize your questions properly. This also helps to structure your content.
You can follow this keyword organization strategy:
- A specific search query becomes the title of the post.
- A generic keyword makes a category or a section of the article.
- More specific queries form the subheadings of the article and define its structure.
- Multiple questions that are closely related should all go under a single subheading.
Using a tool such as Serpstat, you can easily come up with topic ideas and you can break them into subtopics. Once you type in your core term, Serpstat will provide hundreds of questions and it’ll generate a tag cloud of other popular questions that come up with those queries.
By clicking any word in the tag cloud, you can filter the results into the questions that only have that word in them.
- Use Attention-Grabbing Images
Paragraphs of featured snippets that contain images are very eye-catching, compared to regular featured snippets.
The best way to influence your images getting featured is by making sure ALL your in-post images are attention-grabbing, annotated, and branded well. This makes sure that no matter which image Google features, it will still look nice.
By using Bannersnack, you can create eye-catching branded images.
Keeping up with Google is exhausting.
However, featured snippets aren’t going anywhere. This means that if you want to dominate the search results, you must optimize your content and webpages for featured snippets.
Featured snippets are the first thing that comes up in most SERPs. By earning a featured snippet you’ll rank for position zero, which is the highest-ranking position.