How to optimise your content for featured snippets
Optimising your web content for appearing in featured snippets can increase your chances of driving more traffic to your site. In this blog, we look at how to optimise your content for featured snippets, to improve your chances of getting noticed on page one of search engine results.
Ultimately, you’re striving to get your website content appearing high up in search results. For some firms, web visitors come through a referral such as a friend or family member. Sometimes, it could be through links on your social media pages. But most of the time, people are going to find you through search engines such as Google.
In order to get more of your pages appearing higher in search results, you need to optimise your content with the right keywords and information to deliver the content the searcher is seeking. Search engine optimisation is a simple concept but can be relatively difficult to implement. However, it’s arguably still one of the best ways to grow your brand and get noticed on the internet.
The coveted number one spot on Google is always being fought for. Companies spend a lot of money on website content and marketing to reach that first place, but fail to look at options to appear above the number one search result and in a featured snippet.
Featured snippets sit above the #1 organic result on Google
Above the number one spot is where featured snippets sit; short and concise bits of information that link to a website. Claiming a featured snippet position is the newest strategy that many websites are investing in, but it takes a slightly different approach than regular SEO.
In this post, we’ll be taking a looking at how you can optimise your content for featured snippets.
What are featured snippets?
A featured snippet is a small block of text that answers an exact query.
If you Google something like “top coffee brands in the world”, you’ll get a featured snippet above all of the search results which shows a list of coffee brands and a bit of information on each one. It also provides you with a link to the site that the information is located on.
Since the question can be answered with a list of multiple brands, it’ll be formatted with bullet points as well to make it easier to read. You can also do this with exact questions such as “how hot is the sun?” and “what is the population of the world?”. These featured snippets can also contain images.
Many people refer to the featured snippet as “position zero” because it sits directly below the search query. This makes it extremely easy to find and gives a real answer to the question that the user typed. This greatly improves the chances that someone will click on it, making it a coveted position that every brand is aiming for.
Types of featured snippets
There are several different types of featured snippets, some of which you may have already seen while searching on Google.
Paragraph snippets show blocks of text that are often taken directly from a page. These usually answer questions that start with who, what, when, where or why. Paragraph snippets are the most common type and they’ll typically be paired with an image. Notably, however, the image doesn’t always have to be taken from the website and can actually link to a totally different place.
List snippets present information in a bulleted or numbered list. These snippets can be used as instructions, as a ranking or even just to show several related items to the search query.
Table snippets are often used for data and comparisons; for example, price comparisons on mobile phone models. Google structures this content based on how the data is formatted on the website. It typically displays numerical data.
Why are featured snippets important?
Featured snippets have a number of unique benefits that make them worth optimising your content for.
- Featured snippets help you occupy more space on a search page. While not everyone browses the entire front page of search results, a featured snippet takes up more real estate on the page which makes it more likely for someone to click it if it’s relevant to their search. If they don’t click the featured snippet, there’s still a chance that your SEO has helped you appear in the top five or at least on the front page.
- It improves your website’s position as an authority on a subject. Having a featured snippet can drastically improve your authority on a subject. This makes people more likely to trust your brand in the future and you essentially get a recommendation from Google.
- Increased organic traffic. While the number one position of a search page can often result in the most organic search traffic, having a featured snippet essentially lets you “steal” traffic from the number one spot, resulting in more organic traffic.
Optimising your content for featured snippets
There are a couple of ways to help improve your content for a higher chance to appear in featured snippets.
- Write original content that provides value to your readers. Make sure it’s helpful in some way and provides some kind of benefit, even if that benefit is just more knowledge.
- Look at what your audience is asking or searching and try to answer those questions directly. Don’t give vague answers. Instead, make them direct and as clear as possible.
- Format your content to make it clearer. If something deserves a list, use numbered or bulleted points. If you’re displaying a lot of information, make sure it’s in an organised table.
- Do keyword research to see what your audience is searching for. Don’t stuff your content with these keywords, but do use them liberally and make your content is helpful.
- Don’t neglect to aim for the coveted number one spot, or at least page one on Google. By improving your SEO, you’re also improving your chances of getting a featured snippet as many of the strategies are shared.
Getting a featured snippet on Google is an excellent way to increase your exposure and get noticed.
It can sometimes be surprisingly easy to appear in a featured snippet but also annoyingly difficult at other times. But as long as you’re honest with your SEO and provide value to your customers, your chances will be greater.
As always, make sure you focus on creating useful content, format it correctly and post regularly and consistently to your site.
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