A featured snippet is coveted by content writers and web developers alike, across almost all industries and disciplines. That’s because, when your content is featured as a ‘snippet’ in Google search engine results, you can expect a lot more traffic to come through to your site. Even if your blog isn’t the number one search result, if the result is framed by a box, it is more likely to draw the user’s attention. That should mean it will be read and clicked on by a lot of people who are in the market for what you are selling.
What is a featured snippet?
It is simply a featured section of content from a web page that is relevant to the terms or phrase searched for. Usually, it appears at the top of the search results page, highlighted in a text box. If you use Google (and really, who doesn’t!) you’ve seen them. If you haven’t, ask your search engine a question: “how to write a tech blog?” for example. The results will likely contain a featured snippet in a text box giving you a quick answer to your query.
The goal or purpose of a featured snippet is to provide the user with a quick answer to their question, saving them having to read through many different webpages.
According to reports, about 12.29% of search results have featured snippets on the results page. If you can optimise your content so that your search engine will decide it answers a question, you massively boost your chances of readers visiting your website.
Most featured snippets serve to answer public queries quickly in as few words as possible, by search engines extracting related information from all online content. Therefore, tailoring your content to answer a specific question will massively boost your chances of readers visiting your website.
Getting your content into a featured snippet?
There is no exact formula for guaranteeing a featured snippet of your content, especially as Google’s search algorithm continues to evolve. However, there are certain measures you can take to give yourself the best chance.
- Find keywords you’re currently ranking highly for
- Choose a page to optimise for an answer box
- Choose the kind of answer box you want to rank for
- Edit the copy to be ‘answer box- friendly’
4 tips on how to get a featured snippet in Google for your content:
1. Find keywords you’re currently ranking on page 1
Search engines like Google will extract its featured snippets from the top ten ranked web pages. You don’t have to be the first ranked page to get a featured snippet. It can extract answers from any of the ten organic results on page one. So, even if your page is at the bottom of the first page, with the right optimisation Google is still likely to extract your information and turn it into a featured snippet.
Choose blogs or web pages you currently rank on the top page for. To do this use an analytics software site like Moz. If you don’t rank on the top page, you need to get there first. Do this by optimising your content. See our other posts to help you with this.
2. Select a page to optimise for a snippet
A blog on company news, or an update to your product, probably won’t be right for answer box optimisation. You will likely need a page that answers a question. Choose a page and tweak if necessary to improve its SEO optimisation.
3. Change the copy to be more appropriate for a featured snippet
The most important thing to know about optimising content to be answer box-friendly is that, at present, the featured snippet algorithm seems to be less sophisticated than Google’s more general search algorithm. Using specific formatting headers like H2 and H3 can help Google to see your information as a featured snippet.
So, make your content as simple as possible for the best chance at netting a featured snippet. For relevant content to be extracted, it’s a good idea to state what the content on the page is about in a way that is understandable. This especially goes for technical content that can sometimes be difficult to grasp. Turning a piece of content from a detailed review of a work process that contains all the right information into a ‘Top 5 process best practice’ article is a good example. By using a list format to simplify your content, you are making the content more snippet-optimal.
4. Optimise your current content
- Rename your blog titles to include words like ‘how to’
- Use numbered lists
- Write copy which clearly shows that the content is an answer to something. For example: “how to” or “easy ways to”
- Write a short title or introductory sentence which includes your keyword, immediately before the content you wish to be in the featured snippet – that could be a list, a paragraph or a table.
The featured snippet bump
A featured snippet for your keywords could be a serious boost to your page visits, which directly correlates to the number of leads you can expect to receive. Our clients are tech organisations, who are predominantly part of the Microsoft Partner Network and we believe that these companies are really missing out on the huge ROI that featured snippets can offer them.
So if you think your company could do more to optimise its search results and get a greater return from its marketing, get in touch and see how we can help.
Fifty Five and Five are a full-service digital marketing agency, guiding clients through the entirety of the content process—from ideation and creation to distribution and analytics. For more information, get in touch with us today.