How do you rank for featured snippets? - And get tons of traffic

How do you rank for featured snippets? – And get tons of traffic

how do you rank for featured snippet

Looking to get your website appearing on Google’s featured snippet and attract tons of traffic? 

You’ve come to the right place!

The “trick” is to know what and how you are getting them.

In fact, featured snippets are nothing new. It has been around since 2013 and we have witnessed tremendous growth of its appearance over the years. 

Looking at the growth and popularity of this topic, I’ve decided to share with you on how you can get your sites featured. 

Allow me to give you a heads up on today’s topic. In this post, we will be covering:

  • What is a Google featured snippet
  • What are the four types of featured snippets
  • Why should you  care about featured snippets
  • How can you mark your page as a featured snippet
  • How to find featured snippet opportunities
  • 8 Optimization Tips for ranking in Google’s featured snippets

What is a Google featured snippet?

The featured snippet or Google snippet is actually pretty simple to understand. It is a summary of an answer to the user’s query. It is also known as position zero because it is placed right on top of the first ranking website.

According to Google,

“We display featured snippets when our systems determine this format will help people more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description about the page and when they click on the link to read the page itself. They’re especially helpful for those on mobile or searching by voice.”

Google

The primary objective has always been the same, that is to help searchers in getting what they want when they are performing any searches. But it’s worth noting that not every search result has a snippet. 

If you’ve not noticed before, there are actually a few types of featured snippets in the search results. Let’s look into them below.

What are the four types of featured snippets?

Here are the four primary ‘types’ of featured snippets:

1. Paragraph

Paragraph or text featured snippets are the most common snippets that you will stumble upon in the search results. According to Getstat, the most popular featured snippets are paragraph snippets as it takes up around 81.95% of the total snippet.

This is because they provide a direct answer to a user’s query. This snippet usually shows a paragraph type-answers to questions like how, who, why, when, and what. 

An example of the paragraph featured snippet:

An example of the paragraph featured snippet

2. Lists (numbered, bullet points)

The list featured snippets come in 2 types: numbers and bullets

The numbered featured snippets appear when the searchers are looking for a set of steps to complete a certain task. While the bulleted snippets show a compressed view of the content in a list where the order doesn’t really matter. 

Example of the list featured snippet:

Example of the list featured snippet

3. Tables

The table featured snippets show structured content in an easy to understand format. It is often used for comparison purposes. Google will reformat the data found on the website into what it thinks is the most useful for the searchers. 

Example of the table featured snippet:

Example of the table snippet

4. Video

Other than text snippets, Google may also feature video snippets from Youtube. It pulls in relevant videos that they think are likely to best answer the user’s query.

Example of the video featured snippet:

Example of the video snippet

Now that we understand the four types of featured snippets, let’s talk about why you should care about featured snippets in 2019 and beyond. 

Why should you care about featured snippets?

1. High click-through rate (CTR)

Getting your website displayed on position zero of the result page is the same as being featured on the Forbes’ front page. You’ll get the fame that you deserve for being featured; you’ll get more clicks too.

As found by Hubspot, content with a featured snippet has a 2x higher CTR in search results than content that is not shown in a featured snippet.

2. Increase in organic traffic

No matter what business you are in when you have a website, it means you want website traffic. And Google featured snippets will help you achieve that without a doubt. 

SEOPressor saw an increase of 200% in traffic after their articles got featured on snippets. 

Google snippet helps to increase your website organic traffic

This traffic usually comprises of those who are interested in your content. Giving them the content that will be able to answer their questions will make them stay on your website.  

3. Increase in conversions

Now, if you can increase your CTR by 2x then your conversion rate will also follow by a 50% increment. 

More clicks simply mean more chances of your website in convincing more people to convert into your customers, provided that your website is able to get people to do certain actions. Since we’re talking about this, feel free to check out this blog on how to map keywords to your buyer’s journey.

4. Increase brand awareness

Being featured on Google’s snippet helps to boost your brand awareness. More people will see your website and this automatically gives the impression that you are the most credible source of information for the users’ searches. 

Indirectly, they will view that your content is the most authoritative and trustworthy in your niche. 

How can you mark your page as a featured snippet?

The short answer is you can’t just simply wish for it to happen. 

It is up to Google’s systems to determine whether your page would make a good featured snippet for a user’s search queries. If it does, then it will be elevated. 

But, the good news is you can work out some optimization on your page to get chosen for featured snippets.

How can you find featured snippets opportunities?

Before we go into snippet optimization, we will need to identify whether there are any snippet opportunities found for a particular query.

First, take out a paper and list out all the keywords that are related to your business. 

For example, if your business is about conducting a baking class, keywords that are related to your business could be, “how to bake a cake”, “learn to bake a cake”, or “baking class”. 

Now the important question is this: how do you know if all these keywords have featured snippets? 

Ask Google

The best place to search for featured snippet is from Google because it is where you want your snippet to be featured. I will be sharing with you a few ways on how I used Google to find featured snippet opportunities.

The simplest way is to observe what phrases appear when you type your keyword in the search box. This is known as the Google Autocomplete. You can get a basic idea of what people are searching for once you start typing in a keyword.

When you type “how to bake a cake”, you’ll also get some other keyword suggestions such as “how to bake a cake from scratch”, and “how to bake a cake without eggs”. These are some of the keywords with high intent because it returns with commonly asked questions and searches terms for a given subject. 

Keywords that appear in the suggestion usually will have featured snippet. Let’s pick one of the keywords suggested by Google, “how to bake a cake without eggs” and then type in the search box:

how to find featured snippet opportunities

See! It immediately returns results with a featured snippet on “How to Make a Cake Mix Box without Eggs”. When I attempted to select the other keyword, “how to bake a cake for beginners”, it returns with featured snippet too:

how to find Google snippet opportunities

Another way to check if there is an existing snippet on the search result using Google is to check out the People Also Ask section:

Use Google's People Also Ask to find Google snippet

Let’s take the first question “What are the ingredients used in baking cake?” and put them in the search box:

google answer boxes

It returns with featured snippet too! 

The People Also Ask section highlights questions that are closely related to the search topic. It lays out the common questions that people ask regarding the topic itself. In other words, Google is basically giving you a free look at what questions they think are deemed relevant or related to a topic. 

So what does that mean? 

All those keywords from Google Autocomplete and People Also Ask are a good place for you to start finding featured snippet opportunities. Select and compile keywords that are relevant to your product or service. Then, create content surrounding the topics and optimize them to rank in Google’s featured snippets. 

Use BiQ’s Rank Intelligence

BiQ’s Rank Intelligence will help you to discover featured snippet opportunities available for your website.

Simply enter your URL and it will show you all the keywords that your website is ranking together with the featured snippet opportunities.

You will also get to know all the keywords where you already own the featured snippet in the app.

Now you know how to find featured snippet opportunities, let’s move on with the optimization part!

8 Optimization Tips For Ranking In Google’s Featured Snippets

Here are 8 useful tips you can use on how to appear in a featured snippet.

Tip 1: Get your content on the first page

95.58% of featured snippet pages already rank in the top 10 SERPs in Google. So if you want to rank in a featured snippet, you must first get your page up on the front page of the Google search result.

Use the BiQ’s Rank Intelligence to check the keywords that have already ranked on the first page.

If your content is already ranking on the first page, you may continue with the rest of the snippet optimization.

If you’re not, you may want to start with optimizing your content to rank on page one for your target keywords. Check out this post on the 13 best free keyword research tools for you to start your keyword optimization. 

You don’t have to be ranking on #1 or #2 to make it to the featured snippet, but ranking in the top five ranks will definitely give you higher chances of being featured in snippets. 

Tip 2: Use words that are likely to generate featured snippets

Upon researching on featured snippets optimization, I came across a study of ‘The Best Words and Themes To Generate Featured Snippets’ by the STAT team.

Their study revealed the top common queries that generate featured snippets which include:

words that generate Google snippets
Queries with high featured snippets occurrence based on question types.

Go through the list and check which words would be effective additions to your titles. 

Tip 3: Create a proper format for your content

A proper format content will make it easier for Google to understand your content type. The easier it is for Google to understand your content, the higher is your chance of being featured in the snippets

Depending on which featured snippet you are trying to rank, use the HTML code below:

For Paragraph Featured Snippet

<h2>QUESTION</h2>

<p>ANSWER</p>

</div>

For List Featured Snippet

<h2>QUESTION</h2>

<ol>

<li></li>

<l1></li>

<l1></li>

<l1></li>

</ol>

</div>

Check what type of snippet is being featured for the keywords you are targeting. If Google is pulling a paragraph, create a paragraph structure to increase your chances to get into the featured snippet. 

Tip 4: Add A Question and Answer page on your site

Adding a Q&A page to your site will help Google understand your content easier. 

When creating a Q&A page, list out all the questions that are related to your overall topics.

Go to BiQ’s Keyword Intelligence to get ideas on the questions that people have frequently asked.

After you have a list of questions that are relevant to your topic, compile them and provide a clear and concise answer in short paragraphs. 

Tip 5: Maintain within the optimal word count

According to SEMrush’s discovery, the most common length of content in featured snippets is between 40-50 words. 

But I noticed that some snippets may have more than 50 words such as in the example below. It’s 63 words to be precise!

seo featured snippets

Even so, I would strongly recommend that you keep your answers between 40 to 50 words. Keep your answers concise and specific to get higher chances of being featured. 

In any case, it’s not the quantity that matters, but the quality. 

Tip 6: Use high-quality images 

If you noticed, featured snippets often include an image in the snippet box. And the interesting thing about a featured snippet image is that it can come from different websites. 

There’s no way to make sure Google will use the image that you want them to, but it’s a good practice to always use high-quality images for your posts. 

Another best practice for high-quality images is to always put alt text and title for your image. The alt text describes what’s on the image. It helps Google to understand your images better. 

This is a complete HTML image tag for your reference:

<img src=“image.png” alt=“image description” title=“image tooltip”>

Tip 7: Post videos on Youtube

Hubspot analyzed over 160 featured clips and it resulted to these interesting findings:

  • 80% of the featured clips contained the exact keyword in their title
  • The video length doesn’t matter 
  • It’s important to keep your video content updated because the average video age was 4 years and 8 months. 
  • Your videos’ Youtube ranking doesn’t affect your chances of being featured. 

We found out that most of the video snippet answers a user’s “how to” question. Choose a video title that is related to such a question. Or you can also use the title suggested in Google’s People Also Ask section. 

After selecting the right title for your video, the easiest way to optimize your video is to create a voice transcript for all of your videos. It will be easier for Google to recognize the text. Thus, giving you higher chances for your video to get featured in the snippets. 

Tip 8: Do better than the existing snippet

Once you’ve found a featured snippet opportunity, check how the current website ranks for the snippet. 

When optimizing for a featured snippet, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Identify the format being used in the snippet and replicate the format to your content. However, you should not simply copy your competitor’s content. 

Spend some time on figuring the searcher’s intent. Give what the searchers want and you are on the right track. You want to give what’s best for Google and also the readers. 

To sum it up, here are the 8 optimization tips you can use now to rank your pages in featured snippets:

  • Tip 1: Get your content on the first page
  • Tip 2: Use words that are likely to generate featured snippets
  • Tip 3: Create a proper format for your content
  • Tip 4: Add a Question and Answer page on your site
  • Tip 5: Maintain within the optimal word count
  • Tip 6: Use high-quality images 
  • Tip 7: Post videos on Youtube
  • Tip 8: Do better than the existing snippet

Conclusion

Featured snippets aren’t that complicated. 

As we are living in a fast-paced world, we want quick answers to our questions. Google, as the master of user experience, acknowledge the needs and gives what’s best for the searchers; featured snippets. 

While there’s no exact formula to get your website on the featured snippets, the easiest way is to always produce quality content that Google and humans will love. Focus your effort on creating engaging content that answers the user’s query. 

Once you are on the first page of search results, you will have a good chance of snatching that snippet. Use the eight featured snippet tips above and keep optimizing! 

If there is a will, there is a way.

How will you apply this to your own SEO efforts? If you have any queries and additional information to share, please do so in the comments section below! I’ll be more than happy to discuss further on this topic with all of you.

About Allysa
Allysa is always eager to learn something new whenever she got some free time and that includes SEO and inbound marketing. She also has a passion for traveling and discovering the unknown.