How to rank for Featured Snippets at position zero?
Featured Snippets are not for all kind of sites such as local businesses. For local businesses, it’s important to emphasise on Google, Bing or Apple maps. If you own a site or you are in a market, which deals with frequently asked questions or provide direct answers, Featured Snippets are for you. You need to leverage this amazing Google feature to grow your business.
Stat Search Analytics conducted a study for 92,000 search queries and found that following search categories return Featured Snippets as search results.
It’s very rare that a Featured Snippet appear for search categories like:
To identify the keywords and search phrases, it’s always good to research your competitors and identifying the search queries they do appear in Featured Snippets. Following type of search queries have very high chances to appear in Featured Snippets:
Higher search volume queries - You can use Google Keyword Planner to research and identify these.
Long trail keywords - more than 5 or 6 words
Phrases containing action words such cooking, farming, making, riding, fundraising, crowdfunding, doing, becoming etc
Questions like - who, what, why, where, how etc
Implied questions such as definitions ‘crowdfunding’ or ‘what is crowdfunding’
You can also look into ‘People ask section’ on Google search results pages, as the ‘questions’ in this section have higher chances to appear in Featured Snippets.
Answerthepublic.com is a very useful site to identify the questions for featured snippets. It uses Google Suggest API as a source. You can also use Moz Keyword Explorer, Rank Ranger’s Keyword Finder, Stat Search Analytics to identify the ‘questions’, which return Featured Snippets.
It’s always important to utilise your FAQ’s content for featured snippet targeting. If you are creating new content or improving the existing, it’s very important to follow these to enhance the potential of appearing in featured snippets.
The content needs to provide a clear and concise answer to the target search query in the beginning of the page and then should be supported by more information, data and images as much as possible. You can follow the ‘Inverted Pyramid’ framework to structure your page content.
It’s very important that you optimise the page content for the target search query or question such as title tag, meta description, headings, body or images. It’s always necessary to create a balance and avoid keyword stuffing.
Clear code and tagging should be used that Google easily understands.
Positive user engagement such as high average page time and low bounce rate is necessary for existing content. If your existing page content has low engagement, Google will not show it in Featured Snippet section. Google uses ‘Dwell Time’ and ‘CTR’ from search result pages to know the engagement of sites and landing pages. It doesn’t use Google Analytics for this purpose.
Your HTML formatting can boost your efforts to appear in Featured Snippets.
Use the target search query or the close variation in the headings such h1, h2, h3 and so on.
Summarise the answer to the search query in the first paragraph of the page just underneath the heading, and tag it using HTML tag <p>. Keep the size of this paragraph around 40-50 words.
If the search query provides the answer to a process or list, format your code using HTML <li> tag. If the process includes order, use HTML <ol> tag. For bullet points use HTML <ul> tags.
For table type content, use HTML <table> tag instead of CSS formatting.
Google has a smart algorithm and it extracts the answer from your content automatically, if it is relevant.
If your site appear for featured snippets in Google search results today, this is not necessary that it will appear tomorrow as well. This is why, it is necessary to keep tracking your Featured Snippet rankings regularly especially for questions related queries. You can track the featured snippets using the tools such as SEMRUSH, Stat Search Analytics and Search Metrics Suite.
Also, it’s necessary to match your Google search console data such as clicks or click through rates for the search queries your site appear in featured snippets, and you should also compare this data when your site doesn’t appear in Featured Snippets for the same search queries. It will give you insight that how these search queries are impacting your business growth.
All the above mentioned tactics will help you grab this ‘Position 0’ means ‘Featured Snippet Positioning’, but the best part is to provide the very best answer to the search query, this is the key. Great content is not only rewarded by Google, but also by users in terms of acquisition and retention.