Is your content struggling to rank for featured snippets and missing out on valuable traffic?
Relax, you aren’t alone! Despite optimized content and educated guesses on cracking the code to win those elusive featured snippets, the process can be time-consuming and very hit-or-miss.
In this blog, we take a closer look at:
- What are featured snippets
- Why they are crucial for SEO
- Role of keyword research in reaching position zero
- Different tactics to apply to get your snippet features on Google SERP.
The following sections will discuss how it can help boost your eCommerce development and revenue. Let’s get started.
Understanding Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are specific areas in SERPs that display excerpts from web pages, links to the original web page, and the normal organic search results.
Google describes snippets as follows: “Google’s search results occasionally include listings where the snippet summarizing a page occurs before a link to a page, not after as with our regular structure. The results shown in this highlighted manner are called “featured snippets.”
Featured snippets are Google SERP results placed in the page’s top position. Rich snippets (occasionally mistaken for featured snippets) are regular results with extra data, including star ratings, addresses, phone numbers, and prices, among other relevant information.
But why are feature snippets important?
Because they allow you to display your website on the spot zero (the 1st rank) of the SERPs (Search Engine Result Page). Moreover, featured snippets are crucial for SEO because they significantly increase domain visibility, with a typical CTR of 8.6%.
So now that we have an idea of snippets, position zero, and their role in page ranking, let’s learn more about their types in the following section.
Types Of Featured Snippets
While most highlighted snippets use just one source, some are ranked for more. You can find double snippets and snippets that combine text from one source with media from another.
Based on the source, snippets can be found in any of the following formats:
1. Paragraph Snippets
A paragraph snippet displays an overview of primary information on the topic. The picture above is an example from the search “How do laser pointers work.” As evident, the snippet comes in the form of paragraphs that comprise a few sentences.
2. List Snippets
Next, we list snippets, the second-most standard features for eCommerce technology websites. They are also common for DIY web searches, where the list presents several steps.
3. Table Snippets
Sometimes, Google extracts information in the form of tables from a page. Such snippets are common in the form of tables of rates or statistics.
The Power Of Keyword Analysis
When targeting featured snippets, you can’t miss out on keywords!
Targeting the right keywords is the essence of ranking in position zero. Practical keyword analysis and research help you understand and target the words and phrases people are using to search for products, information, or services online.
You can leverage these keywords to create better content and rank your website in position zero based on the information. However, it’s easier said than done. There are several aspects to keyword research, more of which we’ll learn in the next section.
Identifying High-Value Keywords for Snippet Optimization
Identifying high-value keywords is one of the best ways to find featured snippet opportunities.
Once you analyze the SERP for your target keywords and examine the types of snippets that are already displayed, you can leverage practical research tools like Moz, SEMrush, or Google Search Console to get the right insights into the snippets, keywords, and competitors in your niche.
Besides, look for long-tail keywords to target better snippet opportunities while you’re at it.
It’s simple: Ensure your content is optimized for long-tail keywords, such as informative purpose searches and phrases with a question-like structure. This is considered SEO best practice since long-tail keyword inquiries frequently result in better click-through rates.
Furthermore, research suggests that most highlighted snippets appear when users conduct long-tail keyword searches. Optimize for more specialized but industry-related keywords to take advantage of the low-hanging fruit. As voice search usage on our modern gadgets grows, targeting long-tail keywords and inquiries in your content is also essential.
Steps To Winning Position Zero
Reaching position zero is a matter of research, analysis, and content curation. For instance, you cannot rank your digital marketing services if you fail to follow this process’s core factors.
Keeping the same in mind, we’ve curated a list of steps required to win position zero; let’s check them out in this section.
Conducting Comprehensive Keyword Research
It all boils down to doing good, old-fashioned keyword research to find worthy candidates for highlighted snippets. As you conduct your study, have the following in mind:
- Higher-volume phrases are more frequently given snippets.
- Featured snippets are more likely to appear for longer queries containing six or more words.
Special inquiries like “how,” “who,” “where,” “why,” and “what” search queries will frequently contain featured snippets because highlighted snippets aim to answer questions. On the contrary, words like “costs,” “does,” and “cause,” as well as verbs of action like “becoming,” “making,” “forming,” “doing,” “getting,” or “cooking,” based on different search inquiries.
What’s more? You can also look for the “People also ask” section, where you can find general questions enquired by people. Here, you can also find additional keywords in the SERPs.
Once done, it’s time to move to the next step, creating high-quality content.
Creating High-Quality Content
Content that ranks at position zero is often in-depth and explicit. In other words, the information provides the best, detailed insight into a particular inquiry. The answer suggested by position zero content is comprehensive, precise, and well-researched, making it easier for Google’s bot to access and crawl.
Therefore, considering it’s the most detailed, well-researched article ranked in position zero, you must create high-quality content around your chosen keyword. Here are a few steps to help you deliver high-quality content that ranks for position zero:
1. Structuring Content for Snippet Eligibility
Word count is a crucial element for snippet eligibility. When targeting your content to feature for featured snippets, ensure it’s between 40-50 words.
Besides, ensure you use the HTML format wisely to divert Google’s attention to specific information in the quoted text.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while structuring your content:
- Make the page’s header the search term.
- When formatting text for paragraph snippets, use the HTML element “p” and put the content exactly below the header.
- Use the table HTML element (table>) for tables.
- Use the ol> tag for an ordered list and the ul> tag for an unordered (bulleted) list to indicate a list on your page. Then, for the list elements, use the li> tag.
2. Addressing User Queries
For the second step, ensure that your content addresses user queries. For instance, one of the most popular queries is “How to do SEO?”
The search query shows that the content that ranks for this long-tail keyword revolves around well-curated content. The content that subtly answers the user’s question is considered the best option by Google’s bots.
3. Optimizing for Voice Search
After you’ve streamlined your content, it’s time to optimize it for voice search. It is a process of improving your internet visibility in a manner that shows up for voice search inquiries by different voice assistants, including the likes of Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri.
However, it’s essential to understand that it’s a completely different approach from regular content optimization. Before you optimize your content for voice search, ensure that you:
- Research for target question keywords by other users.
- Use conversational language in your content.
- Use schema markup.
- Capture Google’s featured snippets.
- Prioritize local SEO.
- Optimize content for mobile.
Analyzing Competitor Snippets
Identifying Competing Snippets
Identifying competing snippets is easy! To get started, you need to put your long-tail keyword as a query to look at the featured snippet holding position zero.
However, since it’s a labor-invasive technique, we suggest using rank-tracking tools to simplify the approach. They use Ahrefs or SEMrush to get information on all the featured snippets on your competition websites.
Once you have acquired the data, it’s time to move to the next phase.
Evaluating Competitor Content and Structure
You must check your competitor’s website for their latest snippet. Check Google’s search results for your query to see if the highlighted snippet appears. Inspect desktop and mobile.
After you locate it, examine the currently highlighted piece to comprehend what it states fully. Once done, it’s time to plan and strategize your content to beat the competitor for the rank zero position.
But how to do it? Let’s find out in the next stage.
Strategies for Outranking Competitor Snippets
- Plug Your Keywords Into Google Search
One of the easiest ways to rank your content for featured snippets is to conduct a thorough keyword and choose low-competition keywords. Once finalized, plug those keywords into Google search to check whether they populate a featured snippet.
If you have a long keyword list, look for question keywords in the ‘people also ask’ box of Google SERP. Questions are 480% more likely to have a featured snippet.
- Optimize Your Post Until It Ranks on Page One
Acquiring the rank zero is impossible if you don’t have your content ranking on the first page of Google SERP (between 2-5). Stats suggest that 30.9% of featured snippets are picked up from the number-one search results, and over 90.1% are acquired from the top five search results.
On the contrary, if you’re trying to get a featured snippet for an older blog post, try to update it by putting more value and making it more relevant and comprehensive.
- Use Landscape Images and Write Alt Text for Them
Google will occasionally add a picture with a paragraph or series of highlighted snippets. The intriguing thing about these photographs is that they don’t always (or even typically) originate from the highlighted pos and can also come from articles that aren’t on the first page of search results.
Google’s algorithm tends to favor landscape photographs, particularly those with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and you should provide informative alt text for any image you expect to include in a featured snippet.
Measuring Success And Tracking Progress
Achieving position zero for your digital eCommerce brand isn’t the end of your optimization journey. Interestingly, it’s just a start!
Once you’ve optimized your content and followed the guidelines to position zero, tracking its performance is time. Here are some key metrics that you need to keep in mind to check the progress of your featured snippets:
- Impressions: The frequency with which a page appears in a search result.
- CTRs: The proportion of people that click on a page after finding it in a search result.
- Conversion Rates: The percentage of people that perform a desired action (such as completing a purchase) after clicking through from a search result to your site.
- Bounce Rates: The percentage of visitors that abandon your site after just seeing one page.
- Time on Site: The time spent by individual visitors on your website.
You can determine whether your optimization efforts are paying off using these metrics. Based on the results, you can identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy appropriately.
Utilizing SEO Analytics Tools
While the key metrics are clear, the question is, how do you plan to utilize these metrics?
It’s simple, using different SEO analytics tools. Here are some tools to help you track metrics effectively:
- Google Search Console: Google’s free service, the GSC, provides insight into search performance, such as CTRs (Click-Through Rates) and impressions for the webpages that rank for Featured Snippets.
- SEMrush or Ahrefs: Both SEMrush and Ahrefs have a function called “Featured Snippets” that help you track which pages on your website appear in Featured Snippets and their ranking methodology while giving you other useful information.
- AnswerThePublic: This tool can assist you in identifying common queries relating to your target keywords, which can assist you in creating content that is more likely to get Featured Snippet positions.
Challenges And Pitfalls in Snippet Optimization
Even after having access to all the tips, tricks, and types of content, several users miss out on some common basics, making mistakes during snippet optimization. Keeping the same in mind, we’ve listed two of the most common mistakes hundreds of website owners make.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Keyword stuffing is one of the biggest mistakes made by website owners while aiming for position zero. Users are in the dilemma that many keywords in a confined area can help them rank their content on the first page.
However, it’s contrary. Stuffing many keywords in a confined word count will confuse the Google bots and lead to the removal of content in extreme cases.
Not following the course of content is another common mistake several website owners and marketers make. Many people forget to align their content with the keyword they’re writing for.
This way, it ends up in confusion for Google’s bots, ultimately disqualifying your content from the featured snippet race.
Handling Fluctuations in Snippet Rankings
Dealing with unpredictability in SERP fluctuations and changes in content and competition are critical components of a good SEO campaign. Here are a few tips to deal with such instances:
A. Dealing with Unpredictable SERP Changes:
– Investigate the possible causes of SERP fluctuation, including recent site adjustments or Google algorithm upgrades.
– Keep an eye on the volatility of SERP elements such as highlighted snippets, local packs, shopping results, and reviews.
– React to and gain from volatility by determining whether your competitors are affected by volatility and using a more aggressive SEO approach if the SERP is on your side.
B. Competition and Content Updates:
– Continue to tweak your SEO strategy per the latest guidelines and keep it relevant.
– Optimize your website for an excellent user experience and simple navigation to enhance rankings, increase total conversion, and minimize bounce rates.
– Identify long-tail question keywords in your audience and answer popular inquiries in your content to rank in the ‘People Also Ask’ SERP feature.
Future Trends In Featured Snippets
Voice Search and Snippet Evolution
As the popularity of voice search grows, highlighted snippets will become even more essential. When consumers use voice search to ask a query, Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa will frequently read aloud the highlighted snippet as the answer. As a result, websites that want to rank in voice search results will need to optimize their content for highlighted snippets.
The Impact of Mobile-First Indexing
When designing highlighted snippets, mobile optimization was a main priority, and as a consequence, prominent snippets now take up almost half of a smartphone screen. With most searches now being made on mobile devices, optimizing for featured snippets is critical to ensuring that mobile visitors see your content.
Google Algorithm Updates and Snippet Changes
As AI and NLP improve, Google can better comprehend the purpose behind search searches and produce more accurate and relevant highlighted snippets. To enhance their chances of being featured in a snippet, businesses must provide high-quality content that answers particular queries simply and concisely.
In conclusion, we can say that:
- Rich snippets may significantly increase the visibility of your website and drive organic traffic by offering quality, straightforward responses to user searches.
- Conduct rigorous keyword research, arrange your material to answer target searches using multimedia directly, headers, and lists, use schema markup, and optimize for voice search to optimize for featured snippets.
- Understanding the many sorts of featured snippets, such as paragraph, table snippets, list, and video snippets, is essential for optimizing content for them.
- SEO professionals may use tools to monitor their performance on Google SERPs, uncover possible Featured Snippet prospects, and find relevant keywords connected to their content particular demands.
Winning the position zero is more than an approach for SEO. It is an affordable and effective way to rank your website at the top of GoogleF’s SERP. Whether opting for a normal website or eCommerce web development, targeting featured snippets can improve revenue and overall SEO performance.
So now that you have an idea about winning position zero, when do you plan to execute your strategy? Let us know in the comments below.