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How to Optimize Your Content for Featured Snippets

What exactly is a featured snippet? And how can you score that highly coveted position on the SERP? Here’s what you need to know!

There are many benefits to appearing in Google featured snippets, such as increased brand awareness, higher conversion rates, more search traffic — the list goes on. So how can your brand earn such coveted placement? You start by understanding featured snippets and learning how to optimize your site’s content to make them work for you.

Buckle up for this crash course on Featured Snippets — we’ll discuss what they are, why they’re important, how they’re formatted, and what you can do to optimize your content for a prized spot in position zero.

What is a Featured Snippet?

Featured snippets are short text excerpts on a SERP that appear below ads and above organic search results. To quickly deliver the most accurate information possible, Google will pull short, bite-sized chunks of text from a web page to answer a searcher’s query. This information is then placed in a snippet containing the website’s title tag, URL, and summarized answer.

Why are Featured Snippets Important?

Over 50% of all Google searches are executed without a single click to any SERP results. This is known to folks in the digital marketing space as a “zero-click search.” One reason for this is increased voice assistant usage.

When searchers ask their Google Home a question, for example, the answers they receive are pulled from featured snippets at least 40% of the time, according to Brafton. What’s more exciting — these numbers aren’t expected to decline any time soon.

With zero-click searches and voice assistant utilization on the rise, you’ll want to gather as many featured snippets as possible for your site. It’s becoming more important than ever to create well-structured, relevant content that is easily digestible by searchers and search engines alike.

Types of Featured Snippets

Featured Snippet Paragraphs

This format is the most common as Google pulls content or meta descriptions directly from your site to answer a searcher’s query. These usually include a featured image and the URL to your page.

Featured snippet example can landlord ban candles

Featured Snippet Numbered Lists

These are used for step-based queries such as recipes and how-to tasks. Google will pull the bulleted list from your site and present it with a link to the relevant web page.

How to tell if your car is leaking oil featured snippet list

Featured Snippet Bulleted Lists

These are used for ranking or listable queries, such as “top pro-athletes in history” or “habits of a highly skilled strategist.” Google will pull these directly from a webpage or compress and format the headings of a list-style post for a more manageable, easy-to-read structure.

featured snippet bulleted list example

Featured Snippet Tables

Google may present a table to provide the consumer with information regarding competitive pricing, rates, or other numerical data. This table doesn’t need to be pulled directly from your content because Google can re-format information from your web page to make it more succinct — if your content is well-structured.

Featured snippet table example SERP result

How to Optimize for Featured Snippets

Since you’re unable to mark a page as a featured snippet, the next option is to optimize your content for them instead. Start by writing relevant content for your users, and then put the steps below into action to increase your chance of reaching position zero:

  • Craft content for a 7th to 8th-grade reading level. Ensure that the average 15-year-old could consume the information on your web page without much difficulty.
  • Add structured data (i.e., headers, subheaders, lists) to your web pages so that they’re easier to crawl. Google Search Central states that this is a great way to get featured.
  • Avoid long, chunky paragraphs and large blocks of text. According to Fernando Angulo of Semrush, you’ll benefit by sticking to about 40-60 words per paragraph.
  • Follow basic SEO best practices in order to rank for the first page of a SERP. Basic SEO includes incorporating keyphrase research, optimizing for mobile, limiting redirects, and sculpting your site’s link structure, to name a few.
  • Use a descriptive title and meta-description tags for every web page you’d like Google to consider.
  • Include external links and citations in your articles.
  • Use images with relevant alt text.

All of which we’ve done here.

To optimize your site in its entirety, ensure that your domain uses (HTTPS) and not (HTTP), and make sure that your page speed is up to par by doing things such as reducing redirects, optimizing images, and enabling compressions.

As zero-click searches continue on their upward trend, it’s becoming increasingly important to optimize your site and the content your brand puts out onto the web in order to stay in the game. Need support with reaching your maximum featured snippet potential? Reach out to GPO today.

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