Having your content featured in the Google featured snippet has become a primary goal for many digital marketing managers and business owners. The impact of featuring in the featured snippet at the top of the search results cannot be overstated. Not only does being in ‘position zero’ allow your content to be more visible but it also leads to a higher organic click-through rate, more visitors to your website and puts you in an authoritative position within your industry. So, how to get your content in the Google Featured Snippet and rank in position zero?
Featured snippets are the first thing that users see after typing a search into Google. This has been termed “position zero” in the rankings as the featured snippet appears even before the first truly ranked search result. Following our tips, you can come one step closer in boosting your organic web traffic and establish your website as an authority in your industry. In a recent report, Search Engine Land found that a site with content in the featured snippet had a 516% in sessions and their conversion rate jumped from 2% to 8%. As you can clearly see, once you have established yourself as a trusted source of information, all of your efforts will translate directly into increased interest in your products or services and subsequently into higher sales.
Here are some useful tactics and established methods you can use to get your content in the Google featured snippet.
How Does Your Content Get In The Google Featured Snippet And Rank In Position Zero?
Google created the featured snippet to answer questions from users. The content that Google places in position zero is easy to digest, concise and is designed to solve whatever problem the user might be facing. The idea of the featured snippet is quite simply to help people, so the more your content can help people, the better chance you have of ranking your content in ‘position zero’.
In fact, when asked about the featured snippet, Google says, “When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.”
Do I Have A Chance Of Getting My Content In The Featured Snippet?
Of course, there is no guarantee that your content will be display in the featured snippet. Google does not have an application process to get your content in the featured snippet. However, there are many things that you can do to give your content a better chance of getting the featured snippet. And, even if you don’t secure ‘position zero’, these tactics will still count positively towards your overall SEO efforts and help to improve your website content.
What Type Of Content Ranks Well For Position Zero?
Producing high-quality content that both informs the reader and captures their interest is critical for your SEO efforts. Quality content is still considered a pillar of any SEO strategy and this applies to moving into the featured snippet as well.
However, since the key purpose of the content in the featured snippet is primarily to answer questions, then you need to ensure that that is what your content is doing. In fact, if your content is not answering questions, it will not get into the featured snippet. It’s as simple as that.
When constructing your content, your questions should be your subheadings that are used to break up your content. Typically, these will be your H2 or H3 headings and this is where Google will see that your content is answering questions from users. This can then be easily identified by Google as a question and answer pair, which is perfect for giving those quick answers found in the featured snippets. For example, in this post you are reading now, you might notice that each of the subheadings are questions. This is a good strategy in terms of getting your content into position zero.
Lists (bullets and numbers), tables, videos are also frequently found in the featured snippet. Formatting and organizing your posts as lists can increase the likelihood of Google identifying this structure and scooping it up for a featured snippet.
How to Identify Featured Snippet Opportunities?
The best way to identify featured snippets opportunities is to look for keywords that you are already ranking for on page 1 but someone else holds the featured snippet for that topic. Semrush or Ahref can help you identify these opportunities. Then, analyze why your competitor has grabbed the featured snippet and improve your page’s optimization for featured snippet by restructuring the content, add an appropriate header,creating/formatting a list, or answer a specific question. These changes can help make your page a stronger contender for position zero.
How Do I Find The Right Questions To Answer?
As we have already mentioned, answers to direct questions are often found in the featured snippet. As such, Hubspot has found that incorporating statements such as “how to,” “what is,” and “why do” into your page content, along with quality content that answers these questions can drastically improve your odds of getting your content into the featured snippet.
J Ghergich of Moz identified the following question types for featured snippets:
How to Identify Featured Snippet Opportunities
When you are trying to get a feel for what works when creating content to capture the featured snippet, try to think like a typical Google user, trying to find information like that on your website. Since Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update, it is increasingly important to focus on a user’s search intent rather than the specific words used in a given search. Naturally, if you are answering questions that people actually want to be answered, it is important for you to be aware of what discussions are happening in your industry. Find out what people want to know about your industry and your products and provide that information.
Conduct some long tail keyword research using keyword research tools such as Serpstat, SEMrush, and Google’s Keyword Planner. In the context of featured snippets, these keywords will more commonly be in question form.
If you are not familiar with these tools or you simply don’t have the time for in-depth keyword research, go straight to Google, enter your search term and scroll through the “People also ask” section of the Google search results at the end of the search results pagefor some real insight into how the Google algorithm identifies related questions. You can also type your keywords related to your industry into the Google search box and see what suggestions Google presents you within the drop-down box. These are questions that are commonly searched on Google and can be a great way to find popular questions from users related to your industry.
How Can You Offer The Best Answers To Users’ Questions?
With the experience and knowledge you have of your industry, you should be in a great position to provide top-quality, up-to-date answers. However,it’s important to answer each question concisely and structure the copy correctly.
Start by following your usual on-page SEO tactics, ensuring your keywords are included in the right places, i.e. in your titles, at least one subheading, and are included naturally throughout the content. You should also include Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords that fit organically into your content. LSI keywords are words that are commonly found together within a single topic and are semantically related to each other.
When it comes to choosing what content will make it to the featured snippet, Google seems to give preference to numbers, steps, and lists. It’s crucial that your content is structured in this way. Include facts and figures where applicable to give more authority to your content and to make it more factual. Ultimately, Google wants to give its users the most definitive answers to their questions as possible, so the more accurate your answers are, the better.
Finally, be sure that your content answers many different questions in the same theme. For example, in this post, all of the questions are related to one overall question:“How does your content get in the Google Featured Snippet?” Answering many questions on the same related topic within one post shows Google that your content is helpful and will provide people with the information they need. With this approach, you give your content a better chance of getting into the featured snippet.
Keep One Simple Thing In Mind When Aiming For The Google Featured Snippet
What the featured snippet fundamentally does is to quickly answer a user’s question. It is vital that you keep this point in mind when optimizing your content. Within the competitive digital marketing environment, there is no guarantee that you will reach the featured snippet even if you do all of the things we have mentioned above. However, following a carefully thought-out strategy in terms of structure, keyword research and the content you produce is truly the best way of maximizing your chances.
Get in touch with our team of digital marketing experts here at Mikesell Digital Consulting and let us assist you with implementing these new concepts into your overall SEO and digital marketing strategy. With our help, you can be confident that the effort you put into optimizing your content for the featured snippet will not be wasted! Get in touch today and don’t miss out on the opportunities that Google snippets can create for your business going forward.