In this guide we will be outlining the six essential steps you need to take in order to steal your competitors featured snippet and gain the coveted spot zero in Google organic rankings.
How to optimize your page for a Featured Snippet
1. Make sure you are ranking on first page for the primary keyword being used to populate the featured snippet
Your primary keyword does not have to be ranking in the first spot of Google. There are many cases where featured snippets are acquired even when the page is ranking in the 4-10 spot, but you are more likely to take over a featured snippet if you have a higher ranking page. Specifically for local SEO marketing, a great example of a primary keyword with a featured snippet is “Local SEO Agency Akron Ohio”
2. Restructure your content to the same format as the current featured snippet
One of the most important aspects of trying to acquire a featured snippet is the way you structure your content. When trying to acquire a featured snippet you must format your content exactly like the current featured snippet. If the current featured snippet is a list snippet using bullet points you must use bullet points. Because Google’s algorithm already qualifies that format as a featured snippet you must use the same format.
3. Make sure the structured markup on your site/page is correct
Once you have correctly formatted your page you need to add structured data that further enhances your content. If the current competitor does not use structured data this will automatically give you a step above them. Before adding structured data enter in the current competitors url that has the featured snippet into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool so you can see how and what your competitors are marking on their page.
Make sure when determining what structured data markup you are choosing the proper schema for your industry. Schema.org has hundreds of different schema markups and you can have specific markup from automotive to healthcare.
4. Add headers to breakup your page
Another way to organize your page is to add multiple headers to make it easy for Google to scan your page and find the answer that needs displayed in the featured snippet. The best headers to use are H1 and H2 but using multiple headers that contain the key question being asked and the primary keyword will help get you closer to obtaining a featured snippet.
5. Add multiple images
Adding relevant images to your web page is critical to obtaining a featured snippet. You want to have 2-5 images overall and make sure you are adding the correct image alt tags. For maximum effectiveness you should add a landscape image directly under the content you wish to be the featured snippet. The digital marketing example below shows a great image for “Benefits of Robotic Surgery”.
6. Add synonyms of the keywords people would be searching for on the page
When updating your content for the featured snippet make sure to include synonyms of your primary keyword. One way to optimize your content is to write it using the “people always ask” questions below the featured snippet (see image below). By looking at the questions people are already asking you can find other featured snippet opportunities and increase the amount of synonyms in your content.
Once your page has been successfully optimized for a featured snippet you will want to continue to search for other opportunities and keep an eye on the featured snippets you want to take as Google is always searching for better content and you may have to add more keywords and continue to structure until you finally achieve victory.
Below we have outlined more details on featured snippets and have provided multiple resources that will help you find multiple featured snippet opportunities for your website.
Benefits of Featured Snippets
- More traffic
- Increased CTR
- More Revenue
- Used for Voice Search
Types of Featured Snippets
- A paragraph featured snippet has an average of 43 words that give a clearly defined answer to the question being searched, and is always followed by a landscape image that accurately relates to the question and answer.
- A list featured snippet has an average of 5-6 list items that uses bullet points or numbers and has under 10 characters per list item.
- A table snippet shows a table of information with only two rows and three columns.
- A video featured snippet takes up the entire space above the fold with an embedded video that the user can watch from Google search results.
Tools to find featured snippets
- Enter your URL into SEMRush
- Go to Organic Search
- Go to Positions
- Click on “Featured Snippets” all the way on the right hand side of the page
- This will show you the keywords your competitors are targeting that have given them a featured snippet
- Next you can click on the blue number, then click on the “view SERP button”
- This allows you to look at the SERP source to see how the snippet appears on the results page
- Enter your URL into their site explorer search bar
- Click on “Organic Keywords.”
- Under the top 10 filter click SERP Features.
- Click “Featured Snippets” and “All Features.”
- This will reveal all queries that you currently rank for that are in the top 10 of all results that also have a featured snippet.
- Remember this doesn’t mean you own the featured snippet it could be owned by a competitor.
- To know what featured snippets you own you will have to automatically create a spreadsheet and filter the data manually as Ahrefs does not have this feature yet.
Words to use in your featured snippet
According to SEMRush the following keywords are the most common when it comes to featured snippets. View the full breakdown by SEMRush here.
Now that you have a great featured snippet strategy added to your marketing arsenal, do you want to learn more? Click the button below and lets find more ways to grow your business using digital marketing