Optimise your content for Google Featured Snippets

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27th July 2021 | | Blog, Search Engine Optimisation

Content is the backbone of an effective SEO strategy. Search engines such as Google aim to give users the best search experiences – this now includes featured snippets. 

Google’s featured snippet is a unique result that stands out among the other listings on the search engine results page. It generally appears at the top of the page with a bit of copy and a link to the website. Google provides the snippet to help searchers find the answer to their question immediately – without needing to click on the result. The text varies in formats, including lists, tables, or one paragraph. 

 

Why are featured snippets important for SEO?

Research conducted by Moz found that 23% of all search results pages include a featured snippet. Since their introduction, featured snippets have become a prominent feature of Google Search results and consequently play a crucial role in SEO. 

So, how do featured snippets influence search and SEO?

  • They create a shortcut to the top organic position – If your website is currently ranking on the first page of Google for a query that shows a snippet, capturing that snippet offers a shortcut to the top position. 
  • They increase organic traffic – Though there is a debate as to whether featured snippets lead to fewer clicks, as the answer is in the SERP, this isn’t necessarily the case. Many snippets only provide a basic answer meaning most searchers would want to know more, thus resulting in an increase in site traffic. 
  • They offer an excellent branding opportunity – If Google chooses to highlight your website in featured snippets, you can expect an increase in brand awareness as well. Featured snippets are the first result that users see (they’re even more prominent on mobile as they take up all given SERP real estate).

When optimising your content for featured snippets, you should consider two things – ensuring your content answers questions people are asking and properly formatting listicles. 

 

Answering Questions

Google uses its algorithm to determine which page contains the best answer to a user’s search query to display as a featured snippet. There are few ways you can optimise your content through keyword research to earn that space. 

Conduct keyword research: 

  • When optimising the content on your website, you firstly need to know the question your website visitors are asking. With proper keyword research, you can see what question your audience is asking and tailor the copy on the website for those specific questions. To ensure your content is relevant and always up-to-date, make sure to continue to conduct keyword research to spot trends or changes in searching behaviour. 

Now you know what questions to answer, it’s important to note that not all searches will trigger a featured snippet. Usually, a snippet appears when searches include question-related terms (who, what, where, when and how) at the beginning of the query. Your answers should take this into consideration and be thorough but also concise. Featured snippets are a brief space to answer the search’s question. Make sure the content on your website answer why and what type of questions, including a summarised answer at the beginning or end of your content. 

 

Optimise list content

Listicles are popular and an effective way of earning a featured snippet. 

Featured snippet for listicles shows a bulleted or numbered list on the results page. They’re great for ”best” and “how to” related searches. With a list, searchers get a quick and easy-to-understand answer.

Some simple structured techniques optimised the post to help it appear as a featured snippet. Here’s how to do it:

  • Use proper heading and formatting: The H1 tag for the title should describe what the article is about and ideally match the target query as much as possible. Each step in the list should have an H2 tag. 
  • Use the HTML list elements: in this case, make the list titles an H1 and each list item an H3. Wrap you list items using the HTML list elements (UL).
  • Use the list element and named anchors: Expand on the above techniques by adding anchor links to each list item. 
  • Use how-to schema, A how-to schema is a form of structured data that explicitly tell google that your content contains a list. It also lets you specify what the steps are. 

 

Keeping up with Google search engine results pages can be difficult. There are always new sections or search features being developed. In fact Google’s search results pages are getting so rich and informative that searches have no need to click anywhere. 

There is only so much that you can do to get people to visit your site. Making the most of featured snippet opportunities is a great way to bring traffic to your site. At Dental Design, we are experts at optimising content for SEO and can help your website shine. Get in touch with us today for a review of your current SEO performance. 

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