How to Best Optimise Your Website for a Google Featured Snippet

Aug 29, 2018 | Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation

Kevin Fouche

How to Best Optimise Your Website for a Google Featured Snippet

Posted by Kevin Fouche, Pixel Fish Director

Kevin handles the planning, design, launch and training of every website that Pixel Fish creates. He ensures that every website is highly engaging and aligned with our client’s goals. With over 20 years of design and web industry experience to draw upon, Kevin aims to pass on his knowledge to our clients and like-minded businesses wanting to grow their online presence.

Optimising your website content to appear in a Google featured snippet is how you can best position your business as the authority on a given subject and the key to future-proofing your SEO. If your content is selected, it will appear in Google’s featured snippet, usually at the top of search results for a related query.

What is a Google Featured Snippet?

If you use Google, and most of us do – several times a day – you have probably already come across a featured snippet. These helpful little extracts pop up above the search results below them, with a clear and concise answer to your search query.

Featured snippets are how Google provides users with a short answer to their questions on the search page itself. Featured snippets may remove users’ need to click through to find their answer using the links provided in the search results.

Featured snippets generally appear in three forms. These are:

  1. The Paragraph: An answer to the searcher’s query formatted as a short paragraph.
  2. The List: Typically a step-by-step answer, or a bulleted or numbered list answering the searcher’s query, and
  3. The Table: Not as common, but a tabled answer will appear for specific results.

A featured snippet can also be image-based or as simple as a quick answer box showing the definition of a word or phrase. These are less likely to obtain click-through traffic as they provide an instant, albeit brief, answer for the searcher. Appearing here may not get you clicks, but it will help position your business as an authority on a given topic.

Featured snippets show above the #1 ranked spot in the search results and are pulled from the content of pages that rank on Page 1 of the search results for that particular query. Being the #1 result does not automatically mean Google will choose you to have an excerpt from your page to appear as a featured snippet. Google selects the excerpt based on its ability to simply and concisely answer the query.

That’s right, content not from the #1 ranked result can appear above the #1 result! 70% of featured snippets are pulled from sites ranking #2 through #10, according to one study. So, to secure this sought-after position, you will first have to ensure your page appears on Page 1 of search results. (To read more about how to do this, check out our blogs on Search Engine Optimisation here)

What are the benefits in appearing in a Google Featured Snippet?

Many search terms your customers use in their Google queries will lead them to a result that prominently displays a Google featured snippet. Right now, your business should already be operating a mobile responsive website.

After all, your customers are changing how they search online: mobile search is now more popular than desktop search, and voice queries are expected to overshadow mobile search in the future.

Voice search, which favours featured snippets, is expected to be 50% of all searches by 2020, according to Google and rival Bing. Your business must keep tabs on the shifting ways your customers search by implementing an active strategy to ensure your site appears in search results. Otherwise, you will be left behind.

On the other hand, if you optimise your website content for featured snippets, you will be working solidly towards positioning your business as the authority on each topic related to the content you choose. You may even score that coveted position – position #0 – sitting above even the #1 ranked result!

Now you’ve got sufficient motivation to optimise your website for Google Featured Snippets, let’s discuss how it’s done.

Best Ways To Optimise Your Website Content for Google Featured Snippets

How do you determine the Google featured snippets your website could secure? Here are a few simple tips on how to get started.

7 Steps to Optimise Your Website Content for Google Featured Snippets

1. Pinpoint the target keywords for your piece of content

Use a keyword research tool to discover the keywords for which your content ranks higher than #10.

2. Identify the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How searches related to your content

What questions are your customers asking Google that your content provides the answers to?

3. Search for any featured snippets already appearing for your pinpointed keywords.

To do this, open a new incognito window and search the Google domain you wish to create content for (Google.com / Google.com.au etc.). Now type in each keyword, one by one, and note if a featured snippet is present. Is it a paragraph or a list?

4. Add the featured snippet code to the top of your page

Do this after identifying a high-traffic query where your page ranks above #10. (Even if a snippet is not already showing for a keyword, don’t let it deter you as Google constantly adds new snippets).

5. Keep your list to short sentences

Keep in mind Google prefer featured snippets to sit around the 50-word mark, and keep your lists to short sentences. If a featured snippet is already appearing for keywords you have identified in your site’s content, take note of what is appearing and try to improve on it.

6. Include Your Keywords in the snippet

Include the keyword you are optimising within your featured snippet code, as it will appear in bold if it appears as a featured snippet. Try to include the question in the title (or the) of the snippet, and keep it simple and concise. Using featured snippet code is simple and varies slightly based on whether you are creating a list or paragraph-style snippet.

7. Keep adding

Suppose you are optimising for a snippet on multiple queries (multiple snippets). In that case, it is best practice to add additional featured snippet code throughout the content or place it at the bottom of the page as an FAQ.

Remember, ensuring your snippet content is clear and concise is paramount, but try to make your content make people want to click through to your site to read more.

Building referral traffic from Google is increasingly difficult for anyone that hasn’t gotten on top of optimising their content to adapt to Google’s more recent change: featured snippets. Hopefully, you are well on your way to optimising your business website for featured snippets and securing your position above the search results!

Keeping up to date with current SEO strategies is vital to ensure your customers can find you online, and the time you invest will reap clear rewards. You may be interested in checking out our blog on optimising your website design, or our blog on how to optimise your e-commerce site.

Contact us if you want to learn more about optimising your website to grow your business.

Further Information
How to Create a Saleable Business Using Your Website
Top 5 Online Learning Platforms to Help You Grow as a Business Leader
10 Tips to Becoming a Thought Leader in Your Industry
Top 10 Ways to Use QR Codes to Promote Your Business and Your Website
Top Reasons Why Your Website Speed Impacts Your Business
Top 20 Website Accessibility Tips for Creating a W3C Website
How to Set Up Your Home Office for Video Meetings
Top 5 Web Browsers for WordPress Website Editing
Website Platform Review: Squarespace vs WordPress

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