Google describes its Featured Snippet as an answer to a user question that “includes a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, plus a link to the page, the page title, and URL.” It’s a matter-of-fact description for a place that SEO strategists covet like an Olympian yearning to stand on the medal podium. Unfortunately, there is no specific way to feature your content in a Featured Snippet. You can only code your page to opt out of being featured – to which we say, “Why?” The good news is, there are ways you can create content that has a better chance of landing in that prime spot. Here are three do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Don’t zero in on getting the Featured Snippet.
In addition to there being no way to specifically code your page to achieve Featured Snippet status, earning that accomplishment doesn’t happen as often as you might think. In fact, in an Ahrefs study 19% of questions and 17% of prepositional phrases came back with a results page that has a snippet. That same study found that out of 112 million keywords, approximately 14 million (or 12.29%) ended up with Featured Snippets.1 Therefore, concentrating solely on getting that snippet status might not pay off.
Do concentrate on SEO that will put your site in the top 10 on the first page of search results.
What would provide the best benefit for your site is to appear on the first page of search results, as that’s what gives your content the highest chance of landing as a Featured Snippet. In the Ahrefs analysis, over 99% of snippets came from URLs listed from pages in the top 10 of search results.1 You also don’t have to be the #1 URL either; according to a study by Getstat, 70% of snippets came from sites not in the top position.2
Don’t provide only enough content to answer the question.
Answering the question should be just a portion of your content goal. While Featured Snippet lengths are less than 100 words, the simpler the question and answer, the more likely the Google will answer the question itself, as we touched on in our last blog post (SEO and Voice Search). Aim for content that provides information that can answer a question while including the long-tail keywords.
Do answer the question but also elaborate and provide as much information as possible.
The more information you provide, the higher your ranking could be on Google’s search results. That content includes not only copy but other media as well – including tagged images, charts, and videos. In fact, the Google crawlers love bulleted lists, subheads, and numbered steps. Break down your copy on the lowest level possible. Try gearing your content to inform the reader who’s just started researching your topic. By incorporating as many details as possible, your content could actually gain multiple Featured Snippet statuses. In its study, Ahrefs discovered one page that had over 4,600 snippets!1
Don’t assume that getting a Featured Snippet will result in a deluge of web traffic.
While there are studies that show sites that earn a Featured Snippet experience an increase in page hits, don’t expect to see double and triple numbers should your content land in that premium spot. Ahrefs sampled two million keywords and found that on a page with a snippet, the featured URL had a click-through rate (CTR) of 8.6%, and the link right below the snippet had a 19.6% CTR.1 While a Featured Snippet appearance provides a bonus, it shouldn’t be your end goal.
Do realize that the first page of search results still reigns supreme.
Landing your site in the top 10 on Google’s first page of search results is still your best bet. The Ahrefs study observed that on a search results page without a snippet, the CTR of the first URL on the page was 26%.1 That statistic – combined with the earlier facts that Featured Snippets show up in much less than half of inquiries and that almost all snippets come from pages in the top 10, Page 1 search results – proves your SEO strategy should always set an ultimate goal to be #1.
While Google’s Featured Snippets presents a unique opportunity for a bump in web traffic, if you keep your overall focus on creating excellent SEO content, your reward could be landing in that top spot. The Digital Marketing Department at Chumney & Associates provides expert SEO services you need to get you there, so feel free to contact us today for an SEO analysis of your site.
1 “Ahrefs’ Study of 2 Million Featured Snippets: 10 Important Takeaways,” https://ahrefs.com/blog/featured-snippets-study/
2 “How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets to Build More Traffic,” http://moz.com/blog/optimize-featured-snippets