Getting traffic from the world’s most popular search engine i.e. Google means you have to be vigilant about all possible traffic drivers. In layman’s language, you’ve got to figure out what affects rankings so that you can optimize your website for that element/factor. One of the neglected factors that we think can significantly increase website traffic organically is Google’s featured snippets.
What are Google’s Featured Snippets?
Before telling you how to leverage featured snippets for improved traffic and rankings, let’s quickly go through their basic description:
- Google’s featured snippets are the answer boxes that appear at the top of search engine results for users’ queries.
- Position zero (0) is another name for these snippets, because they show above the first organic result in Google.
- Featured snippets are also related to voice search; voice search assistants rely on these answer boxes to return answers to end users.
- The content that’s already present on SERPs’ first page is more likely to secure a place in the featured snippets’ box.
Hence, feature snippets dominate search engine listings, provide the featured websites with tons of traffic, and boost companies’ credibility.
Tips for getting your website to appear in Google’s featured snippets
1. Conduct snippet research via SEMrush
Did you know there are tools you could use to explore featured snippets? Solutions like SEMrush let you see the type of snippets the competition is using and improve upon them. It also shows whether or not your site is ranking for any featured snippet currently. Once you see what’s out there, you can try optimizing your blogs for the same titles and phrases.
2. Leverage ‘People Also Ask’ in Google to uncover more opportunities
Often, the ‘People Also Ask’ section in Google presents questions which are similar to the theme of the paragraphs and list that appear in SERPs. Those who click on these questions will see that something similar to a featured snippet has appeared below it. While not every question is going to return a featured snippet, most of them do – that’s one of the most ideal ways to unlock new opportunities.
3. Use ATP (Answer The Public)
Because featured snippets are highly likely to appear for questions, you need to include the why, who, where, and when of a theme. Perhaps the best tool to find questions internet users could be asking on a specific subject matter is Answer the Public. Enter your keyword in its search bar to see a list of questions, and then choose the angle you wish to write content on. If you’re planning to address the ‘why’ in your copy, just keep your focus on the why section. If you’ve already covered that section, but failed to win a featured snippet, see if there are any differences between yours and competing snippets, and try improving (Maybe your copy isn’t that concise).
4. Write paragraphs with the optimal word count
When writing with the intention of appearing in a featured snippet, keep the copy concise and clean so that your content is easily picked up by Google. Break your steps, lists, and paragraphs instead of compiling them in a single section. SEMrush says that featured snippets have a word length between 40-50 words at a maximum. Due to this fact, website owners should try keeping their paragraphs and lists to no less than 40 words and no more than 50 words. Additionally, they should utilize header tags to create spaces between the text.
5. Utilize Headers to Format for Featured Snippets
A quick way to format website copy for featured snippets is to ensure each section formatted with breaks in between. If you’re using WordPress, you can do this with the ‘Paragraph Styles’ feature that’s present in the WordPress text editor. Use headers to organize the lists, paragraphs, and steps you intend to create for snippets. We recommend using h2 and h3 tags on most occasions, but h4 and h5 can also be used if needed. For instance, if there’s a subheading required below the h3 heading, you can use h4 for it. Also, format the content in chronological order, so that is has the best chance to making it in the featured snippet window.
6. Create a new how-to webpage on your site
Because Google’s featured snippets are great drivers of traffic, it’d be smart to revamp your site in a manner that allows you to create a how-to webpage (could also be termed as a FAQ page). Some domains create whole separate sections on their sites that list answers to their visitors’ questions. The section is exclusively for content that is geared toward addressing people’s pain points. In addition, you could enrich the section with a Knowledge Base and high-quality visuals, all of which would boost its odds of occupying featured snippets when people enter related queries in search engines.
Tips if you’re using videos
Featured snippets that include videos are increasingly popping up in search engine listings, especially when it comes to niche-based content. If you’ve already created YouTube videos, or have a channel, you may well see them appear in Position zero. If you still have to, here are some tips:
- Pick a DIY niche and create video content around it
- Get a transcript copy of the video with a transcription tool – these offer a text variant with closed captions. The alternate is to use a site like PeoplePerHour to find a transcriber.
- Organize the text version into bite-sized chunks of text, and then use this text in the description box of the YouTube video.
- Always use a script for the content of the video.
The secret to occupying featured snippets and driving good traffic is to get the keyword research right. Along with that, you should keep an eye on the other aspects of featured snippets in your copy, including readiness like question based keywords and high-quality visuals. The tips above should help you get started.