How to Optimize the Website for Google Featured Snippets (“Zero Position”)
Who doesn’t wish to jump to the first Google ranking without a ton of backlinks and significant content updates? Featured snippets are a miraculous option to achieve this! Use the information below to get up there and wave to the world from the top.
You might have come across different formats for display of information in Google SERP. The elaborated display of content that gives you a quick view of information is called “Zero Position”.
What is a Featured Snippet anyway?
A featured snippet is a column that appears at the top of the search result page. It provides you with the exact information to concisely and accurately answer your question, with a citation to the website. Refer to the example below.
There are various types of Google featured snippets (or ‘Answer Boxes’) that pop-up for your search queries:
- Numbered list
- Bullet list
Featured snippets are crucial to trickle in high-intent clicks, and you must leverage their power to your benefit. Featured snippets offer greater visibility to searchers and help boost brand recognition. The next important thing to learn is how to rank your featured snippet on the top to increase traffic.
How to rank in Featured Snippets? Do I stand a chance?
Research shows that 99% of the featured pages are already ranking in the top 10 of Google. So, if your website ranks high, your snippet stands a greater chance of getting featured on the top. Do not be surprised to know that pages like Wikihow and Wikipedia are the most featured sites. The competition is, however, fierce, but not tricky enough to give-up without trying!
Some search queries related to Images, Videos, Local information, and shopping don’t show Featured snippets. With already high rankings, you must focus on long-tail informational queries to improve overall rankings. If your website’s niche is health, DIY, or finance, your snippet certainly stands a good chance to get featured on the top.
What’s to do to get included in Featured Snippets?
If you are familiar with basic SEO tools, you can easily get included in Featured snippets for relevant queries. Research, identifying the target keywords, changing structuring of on-page content, and a few other tweaks go into the process. Let’s take a look into it:
Research, research, and more research
Featured Snippets demand a colossal research input. A lot needs to be studied about the types of answers people look for, the type of questions you need to answer and make a query list that your content must contain to optimize the chances of getting featured. You can browse and learn what people look for; take the help of Google’s own “People also ask” sections to check for new search results. It provides valuable insights into which questions Google deems related to each topic.
Identify keywords you want to target
You can start with big “head” keywords. The next step should include focusing on long-tail keywords when testing out a strategy. Take the help of keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and WordStream. Question research is keyword research with other terms added in the beginning. For example, instead of researching “blog revenue,” you can try researching “how to increase blog revenue.” SEMrush gives you an Organic Search Results section where the results vary from that on Google. This is because they eliminate advertised links and give you a more accurate idea of your competition for a given organic keyword. Check websites and break down keyword performance in-depth. You can also look for related keywords. But, remember to keep the search on question-based keywords.
Change the structuring of on-page content
Closely work with the writing team to update the content layout of your blog articles. Include keywords, frame and structure the blogs in a way that they are relevant to the user’s questions and look closely into other related things.
Measure, test, and repeat
Once you have a plan, you can alter it accordingly, test it live, and make repetitive changes until the desired results are achieved. Remember, like SEO, it takes time and patience. Try and measure performance of your changes to have the best output. Keep a check on the keywords your competitors are targeting. Check for improvements in the design, details, and other nuances of the content. If you manage to create a new answer and drive traffic to it, you’ll replace your competition in the featured snippet.
How to optimize your website for featured snippets?
Start with on-page SEO! For Featured snippets SEO, there is no quick-fix trick to get featured. Remember, Google favors the user, and you have to match-up to their standard. Start with non-specific SEO best practices. Aim for structured markups. Sometimes, using Schema.org is suggested.
What is schema mark up?
Schema markup is semantic vocabulary or code that you tag to your website to assist the search engines to give more informative results for users. Schema explains to the search engines what your data means, rather than what it just says. It deploys a unique semantic vocabulary in a microdata format. Schema featured snippets help provide the most precise results of the user queries.
By now, we have learned that the best way to get featured in snippets is to provide the best possible answers.
Below are some more tips to help you rank better in featured snippets;
- Answer each question concisely: Google prefers to feature an answer which is given within one paragraph. Let this be a guideline. Ascertain how long each answer should be to get featured. Remember, Google does give preferences to long-form content divided into logical sections and structures of relevant attractive images. So, adjust your blogging style, ask questions in your article, follow up with a short-paragraph answer, and elaborate the details further. This trick will also gain higher user-retention as better structured articles enhance readability.
- Be factual and organize well: Google appreciates steps, numbers, and lists. Featured snippets, for e.g., list the actual ingredients, number of steps, time to cook, flavor and nutrition for a recipe. Stay factual, although Google will love to feature your well-structured and number-driven content.
- Ensure one article contains answers to various related questions: Once a page gets featured, it is likely to get featured for a lot of similar queries. The requirement is being structured and worded in a way to address multiple-related questions. Google very well determines synonymic and closely related questions. So, mould your content this way.
- Organize your questions accurately: To associate closely related questions in one article, organize the queries properly to craft a well-shaped, well-structured content. Use this keyword organization strategy for the same:
1. The generic keyword makes one section/category of blog
2. More specific search query forms a title
3. Other specific queries go into the subheadings to define its structure
- Update the images: This is a trick as old as the internet. Update your content images with relevant alt-text and let Google pick your page for featuring the snippet.
Google recently announced an update to the Google featured snippets. For some featured snippets, Google will now take the users to the relevant text on the web page and highlight the text. Clicking a Google featured snippet in this new feature leads to a page with the relevant text highlighted.
Landing on a featured snippet position is not just possible, but also probable. Remember, as it happens in SEO and marketing, there isn’t a given method to achieve this. You are free to experiment and optimize content, but nothing comes guaranteed! Make sure you include content optimization as a regular process of your SEO strategy and you may expect to see one of your pages being featured in Google Featured Snippets.
Comment and share your experiences of Featured Snippets!
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