GOOGLE FEATURED SNIPPET SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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PORTFOLIO

The search volume filter is an obvious one, as there’s no point in targeting long-tail keywords at this point. Regarding the positions and referring back to our study, the probability of owning a featured snippet increases with your organic position for that search query.

Although it gives a basic answer to the question, most searchers would want to know more.

Rank Tracker -> select project -> Overview -> filter for the snippets you’re tracking with the “tag” filter -> click “SERP features” tab -> select “Featured snippet”.

Again, scroll down and see the featured snippet winners of the week (or whatever period you choose):

Being in lower positions and opting out can hurt your traffic. You’ve been warned.

Featured snippets after SERP deduplication.

The takeaway here is that targeting keywords with a low number of Clicks Per Search (CPS) is rarely a good idea.

We can see two new featured snippets in this view, with the bottom one being elevated from the fifth position. That’s the shortcut I’m talking about.

Just to recap, here’s how you can find these: Site Explorer -> Enter domain -> Organic keywords -> SERP Features -> Featured snippets -> Only linking to target.

Export this report to CSV, then copy all the keywords and paste them into Rank Tracker.

If your content is ranking on the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for a search query that shows a featured snippet, you can “win” that snippet and shortcut your way to the top position. Let’s break this down.

In conclusion, the higher your content ranks, the more likely it is to get a featured snippet.

To isolate the winning cases, we’ll need to apply two more filters:

What we’re seeing here are keywords that the top-ranking pages for “pizza dough” also rank for, which also happen to trigger featured snippets. If we can incorporate some of these subtopics into our pizza dough recipe, we may be able to rank for them in the snippets.

Rank Tracker -> select project -> Add keywords.

Now, let’s say that you encountered one of those non-ideal features snippets like this:

1. Paragraph.

Again, these filters will be different for you. However, if you don’t rank for a substantial amount of keywords already, I’d suggest focusing on creating more great content and building links.

We can tell that Google prefers a list format here. Unfortunately, the only suitable answer to this query is in the navigational sidebar in our post about “how to get backlinks.” And that’s clearly just a UX element:

While you might come across featured snippets that could do with a bit of polishing, I wouldn’t recommend editing things unless Google pulls poorly formatted, misleading, or just plain wrong information as shown above.

It’s also important to note that there are other “snippet-like” results you need to know about to avoid any confusion:

We need to make the article more clear for Google to understand. The solution here looks straightforward: move the H2 tag to either right before the table, or make it part of the table header:

Let’s stick with Site Explorer. Paste in your site, then head to the Organic keywords report to see the keywords you rank for, then filter only for those where Google shows your page in the featured snippet:

Here are the key parts to keep an eye on:

Leverage content that you already have and rank for.

We need to prioritize. Stealing 6,000 featured snippets at once is a mission impossible.

Go to Site Explorer and filter keywords that trigger featured snippets where your website is ranking in positions 2–10.

I can report that this was indeed a success and it took around three weeks to get it fixed:

As you can see, from the keywords I’m tracking, the website lost 11 from 61 featured snippets, while 60 from 644 featured snippets disappeared from the SERP. This is just a week-over-week comparison; the SERPs are truly volatile these days.

Unfortunately, if we look at the current featured snippet for this query, it’s quite good.

I reduced the list to 72 keywords by prioritizing those with higher search volumes where we rank in positions 2–5.

The problem is that there are thousands of keywords here. It wouldn’t make sense to incorporate them all. Instead, we want to filter for relevant ones with decent monthly search volumes that show signs of being easy to rank for.

Google introduced featured snippets in 2014 and I would say that they’re one of the most prominent SERP changes of the past decade. There are quite a few things that featured snippets changed for both users and SEOs.

Around 6.3% of featured snippets are of the Table type. They have an average of five rows and two columns with 40 to 45 words.

Use this step-by-step guide to learn the basics of optimizing for featured snippets to help boost brand reputation and drive organic traffic.

With this process of optimizing for featured snippets in place, I check the results at 7, 14, and 21 days.

How To Optimize For Featured Snippets.

It’s no secret that featured snippets are powerful. Every SEO professional (including yours truly) aims to own any available featured snippets for their content.

Whether Google picks up your page for Featured Snippet or not depends on how you create & organize your content. The query here starts with Is, so technically you can expect a paragraph FS. But, if you use this Q in your content with pointers, it can turn it into a listicle FS. pic.twitter.com/9lERfkHDwt — Himani Kankaria (@himani_kankaria) June 4, 2021.

Put the competitors’ URL in Semrush and look for the keyword groups that own featured snippets.

In this column, you’ll find my tried and tested strategy for optimizing for featured snippets (including examples), my curated content calendar template for featured snippets (which you can copy and use), and FAQs to clear up any remaining questions about FS. You’ll learn:

This type of search query assists in both CTR and brand reputation.

Graphics play a crucial role in owning a featured snippet, especially for the paragraph and listicle-type featured snippets.

What Are Featured Snippets?

Here, the user expects a paragraph or listicle type of featured snippet as shown in the types section above. If users want to get more information, they’ll click on the results.

Keep on optimizing your content until you see a featured snippet and can track results from it, such as:

I recently tweeted about how you can turn a paragraph featured snippet into a listicle just by organizing and creating content accordingly.

Most of these featured snippet titles start with “What” or “Why,” indicating that they are largely informational in nature.

“Also covered on this page” Section.

Collect the related as well as question keywords and add them to your content calendar.

Get A Specific Answer.

When Google launched featured snippets, some sites were able to achieve two results on page 1 of the SERPs, which initially drove dramatic improvements in organic visibility and traffic.

And lastly, if users are looking for “how-to” answers and a video attached to those answers, it will get the maximum CTR.

Here are some SEO tactics that work for featured snippets:

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