SEO: Build more traffic by optimizing Google’s Featured Snippets

If you know something about Google snippet, then your SEO goal would be to reach one of those coveted spots on the search engine result page. If you are not involved with SEO for a long time, then you would feel like walking on water analyzing the best practices that would catapult your position to the top of a search engine promising you with increased page views and good conversion boost. In this blog post, we will learn about the word that might right now be confusing you.

A Little detail on Google Snippet

Snippets are generally used synonyms with Google’s search listing.

A Google snippet includes a headline, URL, short description, and cached link.

Then, what is a rich snippet?

You can call rich snippets as the advanced form of snippets.

Now let’s say you searched for an article or a novel.

Hmmm, I searched for one of Charles Dickens novel, ‘A tale of two cities.’

The search result had something like this,

You will have a listing appearing and if you observe carefully you will see a text line in gray color.

The gray text defines data on people, locations, product reviews/ratings, or events. And this is referred to by Google as a rich snippet.

Rich snippets help customers know the value of products they are searching for and help them make smart buying decisions.

Now, what is a featured snippet?

I know there’s lot of snippeting going around still it’s necessary to understand each one of them.

Deconstructing Google’s Featured Snippet (Quick Answer Boxes)

The featured snippet is a summary of the answer offered by the search engine when the user makes a search based query. It doesn’t basically mean that your query should start with words like how, what, which, why, when or end with a question mark.

The Google’s search engine can easily interpret the user intent and provide a direct/quick answer to the search queries. A featured snippet appears in paragraphs, lists (ordered/bulleted), and video and table format.

Suppose your query reads something like this, ‘Distance between Earth and Sun’, ‘Age of some celebrity’.

Now, as you can see, these queries have not started with ‘Wh’ words and nor have ended with a question mark.

Google will provide quick answers and you need not even have to visit the actual web page for answers. And it looks something like this.

Also, there are short answers.

Now, here’s another example, where Google would provide short answers.

A query like, ‘how to make pancakes?

When you search for such queries, Google will provide a box with a featured snippet that includes the actual instructions and a direct link to that website.

The instructions would have been pulled off from the actual web page.

Now let me come to the burning question,

Why are Featured Snippets so important?

There was an argument that featured snippets decrease CTR. Marketers believed that since people would find answers on the SERP itself, they would not find any purpose to visit the actual website. But in reality, featured snippets increase CTR.

As of May 2017, the 21.9% of queries displayed featured snippets.

So, it makes out that featured snippets are important.

You should not be bothered about featured snippets. A web page if it’s being featured that means Google is finding some piece of your content actually relevant to the user’s search query.

Note: With featured snippets, you will build more traffic and rank better (position #0) with zero effort.

What’s more!!!

Even if your website is on page 70, Google will not bother to display the feature snippet in #0, if the content is relevant.

How to Optimize Google’s Featured Snippet?

  1. Investigate questions that are asked more frequently

Google doesn’t provide snippets to every question that starts with what, how, when and how.

You should know keywords/ queries that people use more frequently in your niche to get the content featured in the feature snippet/ quick answer boxes.

And how to do that?

Use SerpStat, an all-in-one online SEO tool.

Using this brilliant tool you can easily find phrases that are frequently used in the search boxes by users based on the base keyword.

Suppose the base keyword is website development. Then you can easily find the frequently searched phrases with the base keyword that you have given.

The “Only questions” filter option allows you to see all the queries that people type based on your base keyword.

  1. Answer as many as Questions through a Solid Article

People are more inclined towards making search-based purchases. They prefer going well-beyond the product information.

It’s easier to get ideas for related queries.

Just type ‘what is website development?’ in the search box and you will get a snippet in the form of a paragraph.

If you just look below, a little down the featured snippet, you will find a section that reads ‘People also ask’. Go through each of the questions and you will easily get ideas about related questions that can be asked within the niche.

You can also do that with the help of a tool.

Use ‘Answer the Public’, an automated tool and discover what people search normally in the search box.

Also, don’t forget to organize your queries. Let the content structure be as relevant as possible.

  1. Give importance to Page Structure

Follow best on-page SEO practices.

Make sure that you are using H1 tag for the title, H2 and H3 for the subheadings, and <P> for the text.

Prior to readers, the Google crawlers should easily find the content and it is possible only if the page structure is designed in an acceptable form.

  1. Don’t forget to Summarize the Answer in a Single Paragraph

Google expects the featured snippet to be well-organized and factual, so make your content like one.

The feature snippet can be found in four different formats, so use any one of them that suits better for your content piece.

It’s more digestible for people if they find content in a single paragraph, organized, and bulleted. And Google, will therefore, prefer content to be presented as such.

  1. Make use of High-quality Images & Videos

Don’t forget to add relevant alt text if you are using images.

I know, a featured snippet may not be as big as a blog or article, but it’s definitely icing on the cake if you add a high-quality image.

Even a tasty dish turns cold if it is not garnished. So it is a way of me telling you that people eat a dish through their eyes first. Add video, it will be much more influential.

You can always use Canva, this way you will not find it difficult to create or add images. In case of videos, you can optimize them for Google through creating voice transcripts. This way your featured snippet will be content rich and will gain more viewership and traffic.