- 🟢 Step 1: Identify a featured snippet you want to target
- 🟢 Step 2: Optimize your content
- 🔵 Optimizing for paragraph format featured snippets
- 🔵 Optimizing for list format featured snippets
- 🔵 Optimizing for table format featured snippets
- 🔵 Optimizing for video format featured snippets
- 🟢 Step 3: Include keywords and phrases
- 🟢 Step 4: Make sure your content is up to date
- 🟢 Step 5: Monitor your progress
- 🟢 Other tips, best practices and advice:
If you're not familiar with Google's featured snippets, they are short summaries of the answers to user queries that appear at the top of Google's search engine results pages (SERPs):
Featured snippets contain the answer to the question that was asked, pulled from one of the websites that appears in the search results. The source website usually appears at the bottom of the featured snippet and allows users to visit the page if they wish to do so.
Although featured snippets are designed to answer user queries without the need to click away from the search results page, they can still result in increased traffic for web pages that rank for them.
So, if you want more traffic, targeting a featured snippet position might be a good idea.
In this tutorial, we will teach you how to do just that!
🟢 Step 1: Identify a featured snippet you want to target
Not all featured snippets are the same. There are specific types of featured snippets, such as:
It’s important to know what you want to target and rank for.
- Look through the SERPs for your target topic or subtopic (Nightwatch SEO simulator works well for this task)
- Find the snippet you want to rank for
- Identify the type of that snippet (e.g. is it a paragraph snippet?)
- Find the keyword that triggers the snippet you want to target (a keyword that makes sense with a good search volume)
- Decide if winning the snippet looks realistic based on keyword metrics versus your domain power, content and current rankings (if you rank in the top ten for the main topic of the snippet, then you should be able to win it)
- If everything looks good, then you have probably find the right snippet to target. You can start optimizing for it.
- If not, start over or try another topic
Optional: You can also use Site Explorer by Ahrefs, run its organic keywords report and find opportunities for featured snippets that are within your grasp.
🟢 Step 2: Optimize your content
Once you've identified the type of snippet you want to target and everything looks promising, it's time to optimize your content for it.
🔵 Optimizing for paragraph format featured snippets
- For paragraphs, make sure your answer is concise and direct; Google likes answers that are no more than 40-50 words.
- Try to match the style of a featured snippet with your paragraph. Colored infoboxes that contain an html heading (H2 or H3) followed by an answer work well for this purpose.
- Paragraphs are mostly suitable for definitions, therefore try to stay as objective as possible in defining terms.
🔵 Optimizing for list format featured snippets
- For lists, use H2 and H3 tags to break down your content into small sections and list items; this makes it easier for Google to understand the structure of your content.
- Use bullet points for this type of featured snippet, they are usually the main thing that help to win this type of featured snippets.
🔵 Optimizing for table format featured snippets
- For tables, create a table with relevant information and position it strategically in your content. Ideally, the table should be placed as close to the top of the article as possible in this format:
- Table heading in H2
- Well structured table followed with some additional information below it
🔵 Optimizing for video format featured snippets
- For videos, embed a YouTube video relevant to your query, Google favors videos from their own platform.
🟢 Step 3: Include keywords and phrases
Including the target keyword or phrase you want to appear in the featured snippet is a must. Make sure to use the keyword or phrase in headings, titles and body copy.
For instance, if you're targeting the query "what is the best search engine?" you'll want to include that exact phrase as an html heading in the part of your content which you want to be considered for the featured snippet.
🟢 Step 4: Make sure your content is up to date
Google favors content that is recent and relevant.
Make sure the information in your content is accurate and up-to-date so that Google can recognize it as the best answer to the query you're targeting.
🟢 Step 5: Monitor your progress
Once you've optimized your content for Google's featured snippets, it's time to sit back and wait for the results. Monitor your progress by tracking your ranking position in SERPs for that query and checking to see if the featured snippet is won.
If you don't see any movement after a month or two, go back and re-optimize your content.
It may take some time for Google to recognize your content as the best answer, but if you stick with it, you'll eventually could be rewarded with a featured snippet.
🟢 Other tips, best practices and advice:
- Optimize for a featured snippet only if you are already ranking in the top ten for that topic. Otherwise, the effort might not be worth it.
- Make content look similar to the featured snippet visually.
- Make sure the word count matches the featured snippet.
- Links usually don't matter that much for winning the Featured Snippet if you already rank in top ten of Google for that keyword.
- When writing answers for Featured Snippets, it's best to start them logically, as if you were answering the question yourself. For example, beginning your answer with "Start by" or "The first step is" makes it easier for Google to identify the answer.
- Also remember to keep your content succinct and direct; don't use too many complex words or long sentences. Google favors answers that are easy to understand and can provide an answer in one glance.
- Use the Inverted Pyramid Method (when it makes sense for your content). It’s a technique where you present the essential information before the non-essential to your audience.
- For textual featured snippets give an NLP-friendly answer. For example, if your article contains a paragraph “Natural language processing (NLP) is a machine learning technology …” it would make very easy for algorithm to understand that you have the answer and increase the chances of getting the snippet.
- To avoid confusion, be aware that there are “snippet-like” results such as Knowledge Panel, Knowledge Card and Entity Carousel.
Following these steps should help you optimize your content for Google's featured snippets, and win the featured snippet position as the best answer to a query.