Google’s Featured Snippets box has been a major change in the look and feel of the search engine. For webmasters and SEO experts, it brings new opportunities and new challenges. Also called ‘Answer Box’ and ‘Rank 0’, the Featured Snippet position could significantly and quickly improve your website’s CTR stats. Also, it’s almost certain to improve your website’s mobile traffic, because most voice searches (done on mobile devices) yield snippets results. I understand that you want to rank your website under featured snippets. How do you do it? Read on to know.
Identify Posts That Deserve Focus
Before even beginning with featured snippets inclusion campaigns, understand the factors that influence a web page’s featured snippet worthiness. Apart from aligning your content calendar with the requirements of Featured Snippets, you would also want to manipulate your existing content for the same purpose. To do so, understand the most important content formats that are relevant for inclusion in Featured Snippets.
List (numbered or bullets)
A GetStat analysis found paragraph snippets to be most common, constituting almost 82% of total snippet search results. Also, understand that at the moment, there are some very clear winners in terms of niches that get Featured Snippets results Here’s a chart to help you understand that.
Keyword Research Focused At Featured Snippets Opportunities
More or less, your shot at Featured Snippets inclusion depends on the choice of keywords for the same. Several studies indicate that long tail keywords invariably result in featured search results.
To begin with, look for keywords for which your website is already ranking in Featured Snippets. This can be done by SEMRush’s tool. Key in your URL, and go Positions in the Organic Research option. Here, you can check URLs that appear in Featured Snippets for their target keyword. On the right side of the Dashboard, look under SERP Features, and click on Featured snippet to see this.
These keywords become your priority keywords to strengthen your position in the snippet box. Also, you could repeat the same procedure for your competitors and find out the keywords for which you could displace them from the Featured Snippets. Because you can check the contents of the featured URL, you can also optimize your content to make it better than the competitor’s content.
Check Pages Scoring High on Engagement Metrics
You might want to focus on engagement metrics to identify webpages that could rank at position 0. Many digital marketers are convinced that Google uses a method similar to its Quality Score, which values CTR to determine content most relevant for users. The strong relation between CTR and Quality Score has been proven time and again, as shown in this graph:
In Google Analytics, look for pages which are doing well on the following parameters.
- Low Bounce rate
- High CTR
- High session duration
- Higher number of new visitors
- High number of visited pages
Create a list of these webpages. Compare it with a list of webpages that rank highly for their target keywords (ideally, rank 1-20 on SERPs). Use VLOOKUP to find the keywords and URLs common in both sheets, and focus on them.
Empowering High Ranking Web Pages to Occupy Featured Snippets Position
An AHREFS study found out that more than 98% of featured snippets results were from pages that already ranked among the top 10 search results for their target keywords. If you have a few web pages that rank in top 10 for their keywords, but don’t occupy the answer box as yet, there is a lot you can do to optimize the content.
- Use the skyscraper technique: Identify what your competitor’s featured URL is doing well, and do it one notch better for your URL. Optimize sub headings: Long tail keywords in subheadings and question-based subheadings can push your webpage into the answer box.
- Break your page content into very short sections so that each of them has a chance to feature in a paragraph styled Featured Snippet.
- The average length of a keyword phrase getting featured snippet is 6 words.
More Sources of Long Tail and Question Form Keywords
Long tail keywords and question form keywords are crucial for your content to feature on the coveted rank 0 position. Apart from keyword research, you could try out one or more of these methods.
- Google suggestions: Let Google’s auto complete suggest some natural sounding and often searched keywords.
- Check out answerthepublic.com; the tool gives you pretty useful keyword suggestions.
- Look for questions from Quora.
- Rank Tracker is a pretty useful tool; it lets you simulate different search environments to give you a lot of keyword suggestions along with vital metrics, which makes analysis and choice easier.
A position higher than even the first search result for a keyword is almost certain to attract attention and get a click. The methods described in this guide will help you get started with focused efforts to rank under Featured Snippets.