How to Get on Featured Snippets: 11 Optimization Tips

Written by Shreoshe Ghosh

Updated on Sep 14, 2020
Category: Technical SEO

The popularity of featured snippets has been soaring since its inception in 2014. According to Moz, a whopping 23% of all search result pages include a featured snippet.

Usually, the first thing users see on the SERP is a featured snippet. According to a recent study, the number of results in Position zero of Google or featured snippets has been increasing steadily every year.

Google featured snippets are an astounding opportunity for advertisers to soar above their competitors on page one, increase online visits, and boost conversions.

Given below is a graph that compares the number of search results that came up with featured snippets between the years 2014-2018.

Graph of Total Featured Snipppets

Source: Perficient Digital

 

The increasing popularity of featured snippets can be attributed to the fact that they provide users with quick and informative results. However, discussions are ripe about how featured snippets optimization are resulting in more “no-click” results. 

There’s barely a need to click on different websites and look for answers to the user’s queries. Hubspot has a different story to tell as their report suggests that the website that makes it to the featured snippets gets a 2x higher click-through-rate.

In Featured Snippet vs Not in Featured Snippet

Source: HubSpot

What Are Featured Snippets?

If you aren’t already familiar with featured snippets, it refers to the search results that appear at the top of the SERP, above the first organic search result (Position 1). This is the reason why featured snippets are also known as Position zero results.

In a featured snippet, you can usually find a part of the content taken from a website indexed by Google that shows the answer to the specific query of an end-user. However, featured snippets are different from Google Answer Box as these are results that Google’s algorithm auto-generates rather than taken from the websites that are indexed. In addition to this, Google Answer Box is not attributed to any website.

Types of Featured Snippets

 Paragraph featured snippets

Paragraph featured snippets appear on the top of the SERP as an excerpt from a webpage answering your specific query.

Paragraph Featured Snippets

 

List snippets

List snippets appear in the form of a list as shown below.

List Featured Snippet

 

Table featured snippets

The table featured snippets show content in the form of a table in position 0 of SERP.
Table Featured Snippet

 

Video featured Snippets

The video featured snippets usually appear when you want to learn a tutorial.

Video Featured Snippet

Accordion

Accordion featured snippets appear as hidden tabs on the SERP, which you need to click on to retrieve the content.

Why do I need featured snippets?

Featured snippets offer maximum visibility to the content published on websites. They have more value than any other standard search results as these are considered by users as recommendations from Google.

The best part about being visible in a featured snippet is that you don’t need to rank number 1 in the SERP order to be featured. You can rank in Position 3 or Position 5 and still find a place in the featured snippet if your content is relevant to what the end-user is looking for.

A featured snippet is also beneficial for brand recognition. When a search query is placed through voice search, Google reads out the featured snippet result beginning with, “according to (your website name)…”

As per an Ahrefs report, if you get a featured snippet as well as Position 1 in the SERP, it may translate into more than 28% of all clicks to your page!

Many businesses wonder whether featured snippets drive traffic since people can get all the required information without clicking on the website link

Adding maximum information in your content is the best way to drive traffic through the featured snippet. That way, when Google shows your content snippet in the form of a list or table, it adds a “More items” or “More rows” link in the end. This encourages users to click on the link to get complete information.

List with More Items in Featured Snippet

Do I have a chance to get featured?

As indicated in a study conducted by Ahrefs, 99.58% of featured snippets officially rank in the top 10 search results of Google. So if you are now positioning high for related search queries, you have great opportunities to get included.

Then again, another study guarantees that 70% of snippets originated from destinations outside of the primary organic ranking. Therefore, it’s required that the page is positioned in the top 10, yet it’s not necessary to be #1 to be included.

While creating new content for your website, look for related keywords that are ranking for featured snippets. Take a cue from the already ranking content and try to write something more informative to take over the featured snippet position for that particular keyword.

Another way to increase your chances of ranking in the featured snippets is to look for questions that people ask online.

As you cover those questions in your content, the chances of it being featured in Position 0 also increases. If you already have existing content that answers most queries and ranks on the top of the SERP, try to optimize it even further to find a place in Position 0.

Identifying Featured Snippet Opportunities

While creating new content for your website, look for related keywords that are ranking for featured snippets. Take a cue from the already ranking content and try to write something more informative in order to take over the featured snippet position for that particular keyword.
Featured Snippet Opportunities

Source: 1

Another way to increase your chances of ranking in the featured snippets is to look for questions that people ask online.

As you cover those questions in your content, the chances of it being featured in Position 0 also increases. If you already have existing content that answers most queries and ranks on the top of the SERP, try to optimize it even further to find a place in Position 0.

11 Ways to Optimize Content For Featured Snippets

The biggest question that most website owners have is how to optimize their new and existing content to show up in the featured snippets. Getting your content to rank in Position 0 is not impossible if you know how to do it right. You can try these 11 ways to increase the chances of your content to rank in Position 0 of the SERP.

  1. Optimize Content to Rank on Top
  2. Write Content That Answer Questions
  3. Answer Related Queries
  4. Stay Focused On Answering Questions Throughout the Content
  5. Write Short & Crisp Answers
  6. Add FAQ Section to Your Content
  7. Format Content Structure For Featured Snippets
  8. Add a Table of Content With Anchor Links
  9. Optimize Image For Featured Snippets
  10. Improvise on the Existing Snippet
  11. Add a TL;DR Summary

1. Optimize Content to Rank on Top

Before you seek out to rank for the featured snippet on Google, you must strive to find a top position on the SERP. The featured snippet is mostly likely to rank from the top 5 results of the SERP.

2. Write Content That Answer Questions

Most people, while surfing the web, use search terms in the form of questions that start with words like what, when, how, whom, why, or where. Therefore, ensure that you are optimizing the content for question-based keywords. Also, when you write content, make sure that it answers these questions comfortably. This way, you will have a chance to rank in the featured snippets as well. 

So, for example, instead of writing “5 easy ways to make a cake,” try writing “how to bake a cake easily?”

3. Answer Related Queries

Query Related Searches

Whatever topic you chose to write about, ensure you cover all the related search terms on the same page. You can research to find the associated questions to your core topic and then optimize them in the content accordingly.

Tools like Ahrefs’ question section can be beneficial to find related questions on any given topic. You can also take suggestions from Google’s “related search” suggestions to find a cue about the different related topics to cover.

4. Stay Focused On Answering Questions Throughout the Content

While creating content, you should be focused on answering questions throughout the particular post. Every section of the content, including H1, H2, H3, etc. should answer questions related to the target keyword. According to a study by Jumpshot published on Moz, almost 8% of the search terms in 2017 were question-based. 

The best way to identify the questions asked by the target audience is by analyzing the “People also asked section on the SERP. These are the questions that people frequently ask on Google, and answering them in a better way can help you find featured snippet opportunities.

5. Write Short & Crisp Answers

The more concise your answer is, the easier it gets for Google to identify the content and deem whether it satisfies the online query or not. Wherever possible, try to answer questions based on your target keywords and within 40-50 words. 

6. Add FAQ Section to Your Content

People Also Ask Snippet

An FAQ section can improve your chances of showing up in the featured snippet. Proper schema markup for FAQ pages can showcase a fruitful search result to the right audience and increase the CTR along with the possibility to rank in Position 0.

7. Format Content Structure For Featured Snippets

Try to format your website content to fit the five types of featured snippets mentioned in the section above. Content structured as lists has the maximum probability of ranking as a featured snippet. Use heading tags like H2 and H3 to create a list structure for your content. Also, ensure to add a heading for every individual step explained.

8. Add a Table of Content With Anchor Links

Adding the ‘Table of Contents’ to any blog post makes it easier for Google to identify the potential for featured snippets. The best way to go about it is to make sure you list the content in a well-structured manner. Place the table between the introduction and the conclusion and link each section to the respective part in the TOC.

9. Optimize Image For Featured Snippets

 

Answer Featured Snippet

In addition to the text used in featured snippets, you should also try to optimize the image for featured snippets. Unlike the text, the image that appears alongside some snippets can be from a different website. Look for the current featured image for a given keyword and try to optimize the image on your site with something more appealing. Add an alt text that is more relevant to the keyword and the given query and add it on the top part of your blog post/website content. Also, ensure that you go for original images only.

10. Improvise on the Existing Snippet

Look for a featured snippet and try to analyze the gaps in your content that are preventing it from ranking in Position 0. Try to follow the content structure, tonality, and add additional information that is missing from the existing content ranking in the featured snippet. Research well on the search-intent keywords and try to answer them more elaborately than your competitors.

11. Add a TLDR Summary

As a website owner, you must be already aware of the high-ranking web pages on your site. If you can provide a summary of the content on those web pages, it could improve your potential to rank in the featured snippets. 

Conclusion

It takes a great deal of research and planning to get your content on Google. You can’t be assured of when you’ll see the outcomes (particularly if you don’t have too many of the best 10 rankings presently). Regardless, think along these lines: Being highlighted in Google featured snippets is your motivating force to work harder on your content.

If you implement the things given in this post, it will deliver massive traffic to your website and the views on your content and brand awareness as well.

Not only this, you’ll be able to engage an audience, generate leads, and sales. However, achieving this goal isn’t easy because several companies dream of getting this position.

About Shreoshe Ghosh

Shreoshe has been crafting and editing content on multiple niches for more than 4 years. She specializes in blogging on SEO and digital marketing. When she isn’t writing, you can find her working for the welfare of street animals. Reach her @ Mail | LinkedIn | Facebook or View all posts by Shreoshe

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Very nice post learn a lot from it. Actually today I understand how to get featured snippet. Its a detailed procedure for any one like me. I never used this before. Thanks

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Bawal,

      Thank you for taking time to let us know the feedback. We will put in all our efforts to come up with such informative blog posts.

      Reply

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