How to Discover and Target Featured Snippets on Google
One of the best ways to increase your brand’s exposure and awareness on Google is to achieve a Featured Snippet. But in today’s congested online world, this is easier said than done.
In order to stand the best chance of winning a Featured Snippet, you’ll need to discover and target the right opportunities appropriate to your brand and its products or services.
Understanding what Featured Snippets are
In all likelihood, you already have a good understanding of what Featured Snippets are. But here’s a quick recap anyway.
In fact, let’s use the Featured Snippet for Featured Snippets, which has been achieved by Moz:
“Featured Snippets are selected search results that are featured on top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box.
Featured Snippets aim at answering the user’s question right away (hence their other well-known name, “answer boxes”). Being featured means getting additional brand exposure in search results.”
But why should you care about Featured Snippets? The statistics speak for themselves:
- Search Engine Land says that the click-through rate (CTR) on a featured page increased from two percent to eight percent once it’s placed in an answer box, with revenue from organic traffic increasing by 677%.
- Perficient Digital revealed a 20–30% increase in traffic for ConfluentForms.com while they held the Featured Snippet for the query.
In light of this, here’s how to go about discovering and targeted Featured Snippets on Google.
Conduct keyword research
First of all, conduct some keyword research that focuses on questions rather than basic search terms. After all, a study published by SEMrush revealed that around 41% of all Featured Snippets come from questions.
Another defining characteristic of many Featured Snippets is that they take the form of lists, especially with ‘how’ questions. Bear this in mind when it comes to your research and whether a resulting piece of content could be turned into a list.
Evaluate your current ranking
Once you’ve identified some keywords and questions, look at your current ranking performance for each. You should prioritise keywords based on the ones that you already rank well for, as this makes it easier to achieve Feature Snippet status.
When it comes to both the research and evaluation stages, consider using Moz Keyword Explorer or SEMrush, both of which should have all the functionality you require.
Identify featured snippets you could ‘steal’
The next step is figuring out how to target the keywords that currently have Featured Snippet status. Here’s what you should be doing:
- Simplify the content – Google wants to give its users clear, concise and cohesive answers to searches. Create content that is as easy to consume as possible.
- Summarise the content – Whether this comes at the top or bottom of the page, content summaries often become Featured Snippets.
- Provide a point of difference – From using your own research to compiling multiple resources together, unique information is a big winner.
- Provide more in-depth content – Content that goes the extra mile and delivers added value to searchers will be rewarded by Google.
Optimise pages for Featured Snippets
In addition to high-level changes concerning your content, you should also address the finer details too. For example:
- Fix broken links – Google doesn’t like broken links and if any are present on your page it could affect your Featured Snippet chances.
- Fix spelling errors – High quality content has been king for a long time, which means paying close attention to your spelling and grammar.
- Deleting extra mark-up – This is yet another way to clean up, simplify and improve your page to curry favour with Google.
- Clean up the title and H2s – Make tweaks to your title and H2s to provide as much value to your audience as possible.
Keep optimising and never give up
Featured Snippets are the holy grail of SEO. For this reason, Google doesn’t provide them to any old site or change them as soon as a slightly better alternative comes up.
If you really want to win a Featured Snippet, be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort. As with most other SEO activities, it should be a long-term strategy for success. And if you do achieve Featured Snippet success, make sure you continually optimise and update your content so that you don’t lose it.
Thankfully, the process of discovering and targeting Featured Snippet opportunities brings about additional benefits anyway – you’ll discover hundreds of new content ideas, learn to research topics more thoroughly and discover how to structure articles better.