What you can do to get a featured snippet on Google search results
A client of ours had a major spike in visits from organic search traffic recently and we wanted to know why. Search console revealed that a couple of phrases had very high click through rates. We looked into it and found that the reason was that Google had awarded us a coveted featured snippet.
What is a featured snippet and how can you get this pot of gold for your site?
A featured snippet is something you’ll recognize from Google search results pages. It looks like this:
Google offers featured snippets as direct answers to questions that people enter into their search bar. Rather than listing your page in the search results, Google borrows content from your page to directly answer the searcher’s question.
Why should you care about featured snippets?
Featured snippets bring a host of benefits and for that reason they are coveted by marketers. Here are some things you can expect with a featured snippet.
- A featured snippet allows you to be seen as an authority on the subject.
- A featured snippet can steal you the #1 rank from competition that usually ranks better than you.
- Click through rates skyrocket because visitors know they can get the information they are looking for.
- Ultimately, featured snippets lead to more conversations, more links and more domain authority.
So what can you do to get a featured snippet?
There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll get a featured snippet. But there are ways in to increase your chances. Here are some things you can do to help land a coveted featured snippet spot on a search results page.
- First, find out what questions people are asking that you can answer (or already have answered). You can check Quora, check the related searches in Google, look on Reddit, or find queries through a process of keyword research that we outline here.
- Consider which pages on your site could be re-optimized to answer one of these questions.
- Check to see if any of these pages are already ranking in the top 5 of a search results page. If so, then these pages will have a chance at getting a featured snippet. Note: you can always add a new page to directly answer a question, but it may take some time for Google to take notice and to award you a snippet.
- Make sure the question and its answer are prominent on the page and as close to the top of the page as possible. Use H2 tags for the question and put the answer directly below it.
- Be sure to answer the question as simply and directly as possible. Use bullet points if possible. If it’s a recipe or a “how to,” then you should use an ordered list (with numbers) to answer the question. Google prefers ordered lists for featured snippets, whenever possible.
- Be sure to optimize your page for speed and make sure that you have a healthy number of backlinks. Research shows that these metrics matter in how Google awards featured snippets.
If you’re having trouble getting the featured snippet spot for a particular relevant query then check what the competition is doing. If there’s a way to provide more in-depth or better optimized content, then do so. Featured snippets can be moved from one search result to the other without much notice, so you’ll always stand a chance to grab the coveted spot! If you want professional help optimizing your site and increasing click through rates and traffic to your site, get in touch!