It’s always the dream/goal to be in that number 1 position on the SERPs, but now that isn’t even the first thing you see on the page anymore. You’ve got to compete with paid ads, local listings, and even featured snippets. Paid ads and local listings are in their own field, but featured snippets are a natural expansion of SEO.
So, how do you get on to the featured snippet? Summarize your answer, rank on page one, optimize your page, and answer the right question.
Summarize Your Answer
This one might seem a little counterintuitive since we’ve all been trained to write content a bit longer to stand out to our Google overlord. But the trick here is that you just need to summarize your answer at some point in your article (like what we did a bit earlier).
Now, it doesn’t have to be the very first paragraph on your page, but the higher, the better. This also plays into Google’s algorithm trying to put more emphasis on user-friendly content.
Just think how annoyed you were the last time you were looking for a recipe and had to scroll through the entire length of War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy.
The paragraph with the highest chance of getting that featured snippet position will be the one that provides a direct answer to a question.
Rank on Page One
This one is going to be a bit of a punch in the gut for most, but in order to be eligible to show in a featured snippet, you need to rank on the first positions of the SERPS but not necessarily at the top position.
This makes sense since Google tends to rank a page higher if it deems the content itself is better.
This also implies that in order to get high rankings you need to have a solid backlink profile but it doesn’t have to be the strongest compared to the rest of the pages (or domains) that rank in the first 5 positions.
If you try different queries you will see that Google may show a featured snippet from a page that ranks on position 3 or 4 and not always from the page that shows in position 1.
So luckily for most, it looks like Google can reward a single page with a featured snippet regardless of the domain authority.
Optimize Your Page
Having a clear page structure does matter.
Best on-page SEO practices like having one H1 tag for the title of the page and then H2 and H3 for the subheadings together with <p> for the text is important.
Google has to understand a page correctly before extracting text to use for featured snippets so making the crawler’s job easier, helps in that direction.
Think of Google as a recruiter looking at job applications. You might have all the right information on the page, but if you don’t have your job experiences properly labeled from your skills, then Google doesn’t care as much.
Answer the Right Questions
One of the ways to increase your chances of getting a featured snippet is by providing direct answers to questions people actually ask on Google.
To be more precise, when you type a query in Google, and you scroll down the page you will see a section called ‘People Also Ask’ or ‘Related Searches’.
These queries/questions are perfect candidates for getting a featured snippet.
Sure, you can answer the question of “how to get a featured snippet on the 5th of November”, but who is actually looking for that search term? The key is to be as helpful to actual users as possible, and that means answering the questions actual people are asking.
So that’s all it takes. Easy, right? Not really. SEO is always somewhat overwhelming to the masses, but fear not! If you need help with your SEO strategies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation.