If you’re trying to steal the featured snippet position and further explore a specific topic, then the “people also ask” section can enlighten you on questions Google deems important. Some other free tools that come in handy when doing keyword research are Google’s search box and Google Trends. If you find the high-volume keyword you’re looking for and type it into the search box, Google tries to guess what you’re going to type and suggests the most likely possibilities. Google’s dataset is obviously huge, and Google Trends allows you to compare many keyword ideas with a benchmark keyword (keyword you’re already ranking for).
Your lowest-hanging fruit is to find keywords you’re already ranking for on the first page. Once you identify these terms, you can start optimizing your content to fulfill the following requirements:
- High quality
We can’t stress this enough: Your content can’t just skim the surface! Work towards answering all possible questions related to the page’s topic in a digestible way, provide clear structure, and back up your answers with reliable research. Research your competitor’s pages and go the extra mile to cover a perspective that hasn’t been addressed yet. Planning your content, writing it, and eventually ranking for a featured snippet requires patience, time, and resources, but if you make it, you’ll be regarded as an authority in your industry.
What Are the Benefits for Your SEO?
Four years ago, Ahrefs published a study that confirmed that featured snippets have a negative impact on clicks to the first organic results. After analyzing two million featured snippets, Ahrefs also found that the presence of featured snippets means fewer clicks overall for the organic search results. This study helps us realize the potential websites have to grab a user’s attention with featured snippets.
Apart from more attention and awareness, featured snippets have many more SEO benefits for websites:
Improvement in CTR: As you’ll stand out from regular results, you’ll be far more likely to get more visitors to your page. In many cases, users are also looking for more in-depth information so clicking the blue link is far more tempting for those eager to check out the whole picture.
Credibility: If you’re determined to be a thought leader in your field, earning featured snippets will grant you that wish. Users tend to view the featured results as answers coming from authorities on the subject.
Voice Technology: Featured snippets are your opportunity to capitalize on voice technology. Virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant use featured snippets to answer users’ queries. According to Emarketer, one-third of the US population is using voice search features instead of typing.
Best Tips for Optimizing for Featured Snippets and Rich Results
Focus on On-page SEO
Since 30% of queries now include featured snippets, it’s important to focus on on-page SEO and rank on page one. Begin by formatting your content and using clean code, place queries in an h2 or h3 tag, and enclose your answers in paragraph tags. List and table information should also include the proper tags. When writing and structuring a post, it’s also crucial to signal that an answer is expected by including the priming phrases “here are,” “start with,” or “follow these steps.”
Title tags, meta descriptions, and alt tags are also positive signals to Google that you’re conscious of user intent. Ensure that you’re also using your primary keyword phrase and semantically related phrases or synonyms throughout your content.
Structure Your Content and Answer Your Questions Concisely
As a general rule, Google prefers answers that are structured into small paragraphs. As mentioned above, the average length of a paragraph snippet is 45 words, so try to emulate this guideline for all your content. However, this doesn’t mean that your content should be one paragraph long. Google actually gives more credit to sites with long-form content, organized in logical subsections that cover many related topics and questions.
Google also gives preference to articles and blogs with steps, numbers, and lists, and those sections ultimately make it to position zero. The biggest search engine just loves factual, well-structured and number-driven content. You should also focus on creating a multi-level keyword organization strategy, where more generic keywords make sections or categories, more specific keywords become titles and even more specific keywords become the headings. Once you have a core term, there are hundreds of ways you can break your content into various sub topics.
Another great way to earn multiple featured snippets is to organize your pages into a content hub. You can answer multiple questions and present the information in paragraphs, lists, tables, graphs, and videos. Google values clean, scannable, and easily digestible information, so you’ll be more likely to rank for more snippets on related topics.
Track Your Position and Identify Opportunities
SEO tools are extremely useful when it comes to strategizing for featured snippets. You can identify featured snippets you’ve earned or lost and find opportunities for certain keywords. If you rank well for these keywords, then some minor tweaks might suffice for earning a featured snippet. The best practice, in this case, is to analyze your competitor’s content and try to create a better version!
Purplegator’s Success With Featured Snippets
Our SEO experts at Purplegator are no rookies when it comes to optimizing websites for featured snippets. We aim to elevate our clients to the very top of the search results page and establish them as an authority in their niche.
One great success story pertaining to featured snippets is our long-lasting and valued client, Brazils Waxing Center. Brazils Waxing Center is a growing waxing studio with multiple locations in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, providing facial and body waxing services in a clean and professional environment. Brazils Waxing is also a leader in the waxing blogosphere since we frequently publish SEO-optimized content for them on a wide variety of topics, including waxing care tips and how-tos.
With so many great waxing resources on their website, Brazils managed to rank on position zero for long-tail keywords and question-type queries. A few of the featured snippets we were able to earn were the local map pack, the answer box, and the people also ask section.
Below, you can see the featured snippets we earned for Brazils Waxing Center:
Local Map Pack: When a user performs a search for a local business, Google presents three results it believes offer the best answer and value. The local map pack typically appears before the organic search results and displays business information like opening and closing hours, business description, reviews, and other details depending on the type of business. All Brazils Waxing Center locations are known for a welcoming environment, exceptional customer service, and great long-term results. This credibility, which is also confirmed by various customers, helped Brazils win the first two listings on the local map pack. Now, they really stand out among the standard organic search results and grab so much attention for their great reviews that are driving their growing customer base. The recipe to winning the first position on the local map pack is optimizing your Google Business Profile, website, and any other online profiles.