Though reaching a spot on page #1 is rarely easy, especially if you are trying to rank for a high-volume keyword, the effects of doing so make it an endeavor worthy of the effort. However, even though your page might not be in the top 3 positions, you could try to gain an advantage over your competitors by winning the featured snippet. It won’t be easy, and at the same time, it might not always be desirable, but it could be an excellent opportunity to attract more organic traffic to your website.
Featured snippets are especially useful to mobile users, which is due to the nature of the queries. If your goal is to have your content in a featured snippet, optimization is key, though you should put more focus into some of its aspects than you typically would. Below you will find more information on how to go about optimizing your content for Google’s featured snippets.
What Is a Featured Snippet?
In some instances, when you type in a query, you’ll see a block of text, a table, or a list above the #1 ranking website. That’s a featured snippet. It is especially useful if someone is looking for definitions, explanations, or short answers to their questions – they might not even have to click on any of the presented websites, which would save them some time.
Is Winning a Featured Snippet Always Desirable?
Unfortunately, it turns out that contrary to what you might think, featured snippets don’t get more clicks than the top-ranking page. What’s more, if your content ranks well enough to appear on the first SERP, and it then becomes a featured snippet, you’ll no longer find it on the first SERP.
It wasn’t the case up until about a year ago, but now that Google has updated how featured snippets work. Winning a #0 position might no longer be beneficial, especially if you are currently ranking as a #1 or #2 page.
However, it really depends on the type of the query and the user intent – if you feel a bit lost, you could contact the experts at Edge – digital marketing agency. In some niches, the featured snippet might actually get more visits than a #1 page, whereas, in others, it could be a burden.
What Type of Content Often Appears in Featured Snippets?
If you’ve decided that your page would benefit from winning a featured snippet, you should first consider what types of content most commonly appear there:
- An explanation or a definition in the form of a short paragraph.
- A list, with either examples or instructions, which happens especially often in the case of “how-to” queries.
- A table is another type of featured snippet that can be usually found when users are trying to decide between several options or discover trends.
How to Increase Your Chances to Win a Featured Snippet?
Now, we encourage you to google several queries starting with wh questions. Check the form, but also the type of content. As you’ll quickly find out, there are several things that could help you in your endeavor.
Try to Be Concise
Google introduced featured snippets to save users’ time – in some cases clicking on any of the pages to find out more about the subject might not even be necessary. However, the text that you’ll typically find in featured snippet boxes is always concise. Word count matters from an SEO standpoint, but if you are trying to win a featured snippet for a particular query, you should make sure that the parts of your article that provide the direct answer don’t contain any filler.
However, it doesn’t mean that your page should only contain information directly related to the query. The best way to go about it is to provide a concise answer at the beginning of your article, then provide more data, and after that you could focus on the background information, perhaps answering some frequently asked questions related to the subject.
Although the content itself is extremely important when it comes to winning a featured snippet, there are also other factors that you should consider.
- External links. Though external links are of utmost importance if you are trying to improve the position of a page, they are also essential for winning the featured snippet. Google treats them as signs that a particular page provides content worthy of recommendation.
- Easy-to-navigate. Although the type of language used in featured snippets will vary depending on factors such as the niche and the target audience, it shouldn’t be too complex. However, it’s not only about the complexity of the language itself but also about your website being easy-to-navigate. A confusing layout will decrease your chances of winning a featured snippet.
- Page speed. Even if you’ve drafted concise explanations that would be invaluable to the users, your efforts wouldn’t be quite helpful if your website takes ages to load. By improving the speed of your website, your content will be more likely to end up as a featured snippet.
Consider the Format
Before you start creating content, you should first consider the format that would benefit users the most. Are they trying to compare the price of some products and, on this basis, make a purchase decision? A table would be an excellent choice. If the goal of the query is to find out a number of things, no matter whether it’s about universities in the Midwest, traits of a good teacher, or the countries that participated in the Second World War, you should include a list in your article. On the other hand, if someone is looking for a brief definition, a regular paragraph would do just fine.
Getting to the top spots in SERPs takes a lot of effort, but with online shopping becoming even more popular than ever, the money spent on SEO is money well spent. If getting to the top three spots for a particular query is next to impossible, you could choose an alternative method of attracting visitors and try to win a featured snippet.
Although achieving this goal requires largely similar efforts as improving the rankings of your website, you should pay more attention to your content being concise and right to the point. At the same time, you should consider what format would work best for a particular query. Apart from that, let’s not forget that external links, page speed, and readability are other factors that influence your chances of winning a featured snippet.