Featured snippets are achieved using a structured process which you then can replicate and use again and again. Having featured snippets can give you a huge advantage in the SERPS with 65% of all organic searches including a minimum of one rich snippet.
What is a Featured Snippet?
There’s a huge variety of featured snippets available from knowledge panels, table features and carousels to YouTube featured and many more. In simple terms, a featured snippet is data that Google displays in their SERPS in the form of widgets, content summaries, answers and images.
But Why Are Featured Snippets So Important?
Featured snippets are a trend that’s continuously growing and doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. Featured snippets are sat in ‘position zero’ and are the best way of drawing the most traffic to your site.
Always Analyze Your Competition
Similarly to most areas of SEO, analyzing your competitors is crucial. Even more so when it comes to featured snippets. To steal a featured snippet from a competitor, you must know ‘how’ and ‘why’ they’ve done what they have and then make yours even better.
Finding Featured Snippet Gaps
There’s a lot of different tools you can use to discover featured snippet opportunities, one for example is SEMrush. It’s important to note that you must already be ranking on page one to be able to gain the featured snippet. With SEMRush it not only identifies the potential opportunities but also shows you the exact keyword phrases to target to gain these.
How Do You Get Featured Snippets?
To get those much needed reverse snippets you need to reverse-engineer the SERPS. Google claims they use AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing) to determine who gets those top spots. However, research shows that the decision process is far more mechanical. Instead, Google is focusing on the semantic analysis and structure of content to decide the featured snippet.
Here are content structure points that Google appears to prefer:
- Queries that include ‘What is’, ‘Best X vs Y’ OR ‘How to’
- Make sure the exact same original search query is in H2 or H3 tag
- Include an image within your answer
- The query should be answered within 50 words and never any more than 300
These structural points help you over-optimise for the search query.
Like any SEO hack, best practices can change as Google is constantly updating its algorithm. Therefore the selection criteria will change and your approach will need to be updated to maintain those position zeros. Featured snippets are an amazing way of taking free traffic and should be integrated into every successful SEO strategy. If you’re not trying to get them your competitors certainly are!
Contact us to find out more about SEO and how you can climb the rankings with leading digital marketing services.