For many years, the first position was considered the holy grail of SEO marketing, but what if there was a spot that could bring you even more in the way of search traffic and success? Since the introduction of Google’s featured snippets, position zero is the place to be, but how do you get there, and how can you maximize your chances of getting your content featured at the top of the page? Here’s a useful, informative guide to featured snippets.
What Is a Featured Snippet?
If you’ve used Google to search for something recently, and you posed a question, you may have been greeted with a page of results that was headed by a box, which featured a paragraph, a table or a bulleted list that answered your query. Google snippets are designed to provide an accurate, snappy, brief answer to your question, and they occupy prime real estate at the top of the page, turning heads and catching eyes long before the user has time to glance through the best-ranking alternatives. Google introduced snippets, in their own words, to “enhance and draw user attention on the results page.”
There are three main types of featured snippets, including:
Paragraphs are by far the most common form, accounting for over 80% of Google’s featured snippets.
The Value of Featured Snippets
Position zero has become a priority for many marketers and content producers looking to utilize SEO to increase traffic. If a user enters a search term that is linked to the kind of content you create or the products you sell, you want to be in with a chance of being in that high-profile box. According to Ahrefs, which analyzed 2 million featured snippets, 8.6% of featured snippets attract clicks. This compares to 26% of clicks for the highest ranked URL when a snippet is not provided by Google and 19.6% of clicks when a snippet is featured. This data indicates that if you rate high on the search results page, and you happen to be selected for the snippet, you could attract almost a third of the organic clicks.
When it comes to determining the value of featured snippets, it’s crucial to realize that competition for clicks is fierce, especially among frequently used keywords and search terms. If you can create content that matches Google’s criteria, and you manage to rate highly and occupy the snippet box, the potential for increased traffic and lead generation and conversion is vast.
How to Get a Featured Snippet?
Perhaps the most important place to start is figuring out how Google chooses which content to use for its sought-after snippets. Snippets are designed to respond to questions and to be in with a shot at the top spot; you need to make sure that you’re providing answers to user questions and responses to queries. Talking about featured snippets, Google says that when a question is identified, “We programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.” It’s not possible to brand your page or your content as a snippet, so how do you go about trying to persuade Google to feature your content? The truth is that there are no surefire means of doing this, but there are steps you can take to maximize your chances and boost your click-through rate.
Before we cover tips to improve your chances of getting to position 0, it’s worth noting that over 99% of featured snippets are taken from the content that ranks within the top 10 search results. Around a third come from the highest linked URL. With this in mind, it’s essential to continue to focus on climbing the ranks and finding effective ways to optimize your content.
Tips to Increase the Chances of Owning Position Zero
- Analyze competitor snippets and research high ranking keywords, question words, and search terms. You can use analytics tools like SEMrush to evaluate your use of keywords, as well as to keep an eye on your rivals. It’s also beneficial to peruse the ‘People Also Ask’ sections that follow the snippet.
- Use your FAQ section and customer feedback and reviews to determine the types of questions your audience is likely to pose. You can also use resources like Answer the Public to gather useful information.
- Keep the answers brief: according to SEMrush, the optimum word count for Google snippets is 40-60 words.
- Research keywords: if you’re on a mission to improve your search ranking, you probably already conduct extensive keyword research, but you can adapt the way you work to cover Google snippets too. Using keyword research tools, you can modify the settings to see which words and terms appear most frequently in snippets that are linked to the kind of content you produce and the topics you cover.
- Create content that would work well with different types of snippet format. If you have an article that could easily be converted into a list, a punchy paragraph or a table, your chances of landing that position zero spot could increase.
- Make use of tags and titles: you can optimize keywords and terms that are likely to have an impact by using headers, titles, and tags.
- Create content that responds to multiple queries: it’s often better to produce a meaty, informative piece that answers several questions, rather than numerous articles that each focus on a single question.
- Add a FAQs section to your site: if you’re attracting more traffic with Google snippets, it’s wise to maximize your chances of converting those leads. Since you attracted web users with questions, it makes sense to provide them with more information when they reach your website. It’s well-documented that users abandon carts and leave sites if they have queries to which they cannot find an answer, so adding FAQs is a great idea.
- Use different types of content, including optimized, high-quality images, and video clips.
If you’re looking to climb the search results page, it’s well worth turning your attention to Google snippets. First place is no longer the ultimate goal for many marketers and businesses, with the opportunity to reach the peak and occupy position zero an increasingly lucrative target. To increase your chances of success, take these tips on board, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with Foxxr by calling (727) 379-2207 or completing the quick and easy online form.