Optimising Your Featured Snippets
Your featured snippet is a block of your website text that contains a succinct and exact answer to a particular query. It’s known as ‘position 0’ because it features above the first organic search result. Ideal! If you get a featured snippet, you’ve beaten the top result!
It shows as a block of text, a list or a table, with a link to the rest of your content below it. It offers the answer at a glance and is chosen specially by Google, giving you loads of traffic and exposure.
Do you want to optimise for featured snippets (you should, btw)? Read on.
Research your keywords and use question-style search terms
You have to do your keyword research if you want to rank at position 0. Think about what your customers and readers are most likely to ask and include these queries in the copy (it’s a good idea to answer them in the copy as well…).
Check out the ‘people also ask’ box
Keywords are great, but this box often appears beneath a featured snippet and can prove to be a huge source of inspiration for expanding on the topic. You can feature more questions, leading to more clickthroughs.
Try to get onto the first page
Most featured snippets are from pages already on the first page of SERPs, showing how important it is to stay old-school. Go back to basics, checking your SEO over, optimising for mobile, making your site easy to navigate, optimise images, use internal and back links and so on.
Write in an inverted pyramid
The inverted pyramid is one of the basics in journalism. It means that you get the gist of the story in the first paragraph so that the chief takeaways are in the first few lines. You can expand further in the rest of the content.
Use the words most likely to earn you a featured snippet
Some words generate featured snippets more often. Words like ‘removing’, ‘often’, ‘how’, ‘cause’, ‘be’, ‘improve’, ‘age’ and others are more likely to get you a featured snippet.
There are also some words that will work against featured snippets, such as ‘free’, ‘diagram’, ‘comparison’, ‘tutorial’, ‘course’ and ‘best’. It’s easy to see that action words and time-limited terms work best.
If you have a particular format in mind – paragraph, list or table – make sure your content fits one of these forms. You need a well-crafted paragraph, a definite list or a clear table so that it can be excised from the main article and used as a standalone block in the snippet.
Use your words sparingly
Most featured snippets have 40-50 words in them, so aim for no more than 50 or so in the paragraph or list you want to be ‘snippeted’.
Use a Q&A page
Not only do Q&A pages showcase your expertise, but each Q (and A) can be written so it’s ideal to be snipped. Remember the 50-word guideline and keep it simple and concise.