Winning Over Google: How to Get Featured Snippets
Stephen McCance June 21, 2019
For nearly enough every query typed into Google’s search bar, users can see a featured snippet of content from a site answering their question. It might seem impossible to get your site there, but somebody’s got to do it. So, why can’t it be you? If you want to knock your competitor off the top spot, here are some tips on how to get featured snippets.
How to Get Featured Snippets
What is a Featured Snippet?
A featured snippet is that little box of content answering a question that the user has typed into Google. In order for your site’s answer to feature here, you’ve got to show Google that your site is superior to others in terms of knowledge and expertise. Users often don’t need to click onto the page when they’re searching for an answer to a simple question, as all the information they need will be displayed in the box. But, they may wish to click through to your site if they want to research the topic further. And that’s when the increased traffic comes in!
Identify the Questions Being Asked
Having the right structured data in place for your content is crucial. This demonstrates to Google the exact nature of content that’s on your site. Query-based structured data is becoming increasingly important for SEO because of this.
In order to appear as a result for a featured snippet, you need to identify the questions being asked by users – especially those who are likely to continue through to your site. This means doing a bit of research into what the user wants, and tailoring your content to their needs. Check with your sales and customer service teams what the most asked questions are, and turn them into a rich source of information. You can also explore more in Google Adwords. Here, you’ll be able to see just how many people are searching for the questions or keywords you want to include.
Furthermore, if you want to conduct even deeper research, you can head straight to your audience and ask the public. Commit time to ask consumers what they’re saying about your brand. Forums are a great way of collection such information. Alternatively, you could try focus groups or surveys, this is a great insight into how to get featured snippets.
How to Word Your Content
Given that your answer needs to be very specific to the question the user is asking, it’s important that you word your content in a certain way. For some pages, steer away from your generic keywords and try to include more long tail keywords in the form of a question, such as:
- How do…
- What is…
- Who has…
- How to…
- How does…
Before writing your content, think about how your users word their questions around the information they’re seeking. When it comes to how to get featured snippets, you should mould your existing content around this to deliver accurate and useful answers that are more likely to be picked up by Google. If you’ve already got a page ranking highly, then this is a great opportunity to add in some featured snippet focused content.
Is There an Optimal Word Count?
The optimum answers for a featured snippet are 40 to 50 words. This means that you should be organising your content into short sentences and paragraphs, no longer than 50 words. If it’s too wordy, then it won’t be good enough for featured snippet selection!
A short, concise answer that includes everything the user is looking for is ideal. You shouldn’t allude to more information on your website. If the user wants to find more information, they’ll know to click onto your site.
How to Compete With Current Featured Snippets
Carry out a competitor analysis to see what they’re doing right. The chances are, you’ve got a competitor who is already featured in Google for a keyword that you’re also targeting. Take a look and see how they’re structuring their website, and what the snippet being featured looks like on the website layout. Filter out some low-competition keywords that should earn you some more clicks. You can then implement this on your site.
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