If content marketing is your main source of generating leads and sales then by now you might have noticed that getting one from organic search is becoming close to impossible. Using content marketing for conversion is one thing, getting close to showing up via organic search in the huge pool of content is another aspect all together.
So how could you stand a chance to stand in front of the content marketing giants? Well Google has its updates and ways to enhance user experience. One of them is the Google’s featured snippet.
What are featured snippets?
Google’s featured snippets are information pulled out directly from a website and displayed as the first result in Google’s SERPs. These are tiny bits of content summarized to provide the most relevant answer to the query or search. See example below when I search "How to gain weight".
How to actually show up in Google’s Featured Snippet?
The simplest answer to that is to have content that gives a precise answer to a search query or keyword. Not to forget, to be eligible to appear in the featured snippet, your content should have a descent organic ranking for the particular query.
So dig out the pages that you rank for and follow these 5 steps to take home your very own Google’s featured snippet section.
Your content should answer queries specifically: Featured snippet is simply a way of pulling out information from your site to deliver direct possible solution or answer to a query and this get sorted out from tons of other web pages. So the closest you are at answering the queries and with a good page rank you can break the deadlock.
On another note, most of the searches that uses a question format such as, How to, How does and what is etc. results in a featured snippet in the first page. If you could tailor your content to answer these specific queries by using a long tail keyword then your chances of getting up in the featured snippet becomes all the more likely.
Use list to answer queries: If you check the samples below, most of the featured snippets are a direct list pulled out of a webpage. The list may be ordered or unordered.
You’ll need to attend to both and see how your content exactly fits in. In both the cases you’ll need to have a list post that answers a query. The only difference would be whether it is numbered (for ordered list) or an unordered list, but the format does have its final say. Here is a sample for the both the options.
Use appropriate images: If you noticed, almost all of Google’s featured snippet section includes an image. This is where you would need to look at the alt text and how well you actually describe your image. It does follow along optimizing your on page SEO, but this is something that shouldn’t be ignored. While describing your image using Alt text and the image title, please keep in mind to use synonyms of the target keyword that describe the image best. So be ahead of your competition with a well optimized image.
Use relevant header tags: Header tags such as H2/H3 are as important as the list itself to be able to show up in thee featured snippet. See the example below. The featured snippet for “How to write a blog” shows the exact keyword as a header which is marked as an H2 on the page. So don’t forget to work around your header and optimize it based on the keyword you are targeting to get up on the featured snippet section.
Create High quality content: While leveraging the above tips, we do need to keep in mind that your content has to still follow Google’s ranking metrics.
Create content that could get you a high on page time and a high CTR (Here's a post by Neil Patel that'll come in handy for CTRs) to be able to not only appear on the featured snippet but to actually stay there. This may well be your goldmine to get unlimited attention as readers will refer back to you knowing and trusting the quality of content you have.
Ready to start
With Google focusing more and more on user experience, featured snippets could well be your way up as the go to authority on your topic. Though these steps will not necessarily guarantee you a spot at the snippet, you’ll have a well cushioned rank for your content.
How’s your experience with featured snippet? Share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.