One way to dominate on Google is to be featured in their snippets. Snippets automatically give you top page rankings and establish you as an authority in a given subject. For people who have question-based queries, Google often answers them with snippets that appear on the top page of searches. Featured snippets are the most accurate answers to questions and are in position zero in searches. Question-based queries are often answered with snippets. Google takes these answers from page one of the Google results. However, snippets can also be taken from page two, three, of the SERP line. Snippets are displayed in bullets and paragraphs so users will not have to click on any links to view the answers.
Snippets are prime real estate on Google not only because of the page ranking of zero but for the psychological message it provides that you are the top authority on a subject. You can increase click-through rates for sites and online sales with the content featured in a snippet. Snippets usually come in the form of paragraphs at 81.95%, lists snippets are second at 10.77% and table snippets come in last at 7.28%.
Creating content specifically to answer questions
You increase the likelihood of being featured on a snippet by answering questions specifically. Google prefers answers that are given in paragraphs. The ideal length of a featured snippet is 45-967 words, so use this as a basic guideline when creating content for search queries. This length is the average number of words that get featured. However, this doesn’t mean that your content should only contain one paragraph. You will likely be featured of you employ useful strategies such as asking a question in the subheading and providing a one-paragraph answer along with an article elaboration.
Knowing the questions your readers are asking
You must be aware of what your readers are asking. In a study by Stone Temple Consulting 19% of searches using a question resulted in a featured snippet on the first SERP. Ideally, your content should answer the following questions:
Answering questions are particularly powerful in landing you a snippet. When it comes to your readers, don’t just rely on one-word keywords. For example, you can consider using the long tail keyword “how to do marketing research” instead of just the word marketing. The one-word keyword marketing is too broad while the more specific “how to do marketing research” is more likely to be typed by your readers into Google. Because of this, you are more likely to land in a snippet box.
You can get an idea about what questions people are searching for in the Google search box. Type a question you think your audience member will enter and you will get to see some ideas pop up. You can make content from any one of those topics so you can be featured in the snippets.
Creating high-quality content
Snippets completely adhere to Google’s complex ranking system. Snippets are among the top organic results for a query. You have to keep your content up to standards to meet the ranking requirements. This means keeping your content high-quality, comprehensive, entertaining and user-focused.
To make sure you are coming up with high-quality content your content should be relevant to users. Relevant content enhances your chances of landing in a featured snippet and becoming available to a wider audience. Don’t use shortcuts. Your content must be high-quality and user-focused so Google notices it.
Aiming to provide the best answer
To land the featured spot you have to be the best. Your answer must be the best in a given topic. To arrive at this goal, you have to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. They will be seeking answers that are detailed and include relevant keywords and phrases. You have to hit three core goals in creating your content to increase your chances of satisfying your readers. First, you have to go in-depth with your content and cover every question that might come up on the topic. Second, you have to break down each step in the answer. It would be good if you can provide visual content to back up your answers such as videos, infographics, and screenshots. Lastly, you have to tailor-fit your content to be understood by beginners in your topic.
Having a question and answering pages on your site
You can make a Q-and-A page to provide value to users and to collect questions and increase your chances in landing as a featured snippet on Google. Q-and-A sections already address user questions in the same type of wording searchers would use. They can be picked up as snippets and can boost your chances of getting front-page exposure. For better results be sure that your Q-and-A page features all the relevant questions with formatted and complete answers.