How to Optimise Your Website for Featured Snippets
February 14th 2022 | By Sarah McInerney
Featured snippets are incredibly important. They are something that every SEO content strategy aims to achieve. Appearing in their own prominent box at or near the top of the search results page, they attract the attention of web users. And because they openly reveal the content they contain, they are more likely to compel clicks.
When you optimise your web pages for featured snippets, it helps Google better understand why YOUR page is the best answer for a particular query. So, the million dollar question… how to optimise for Google featured snippets? That’s precisely what we’re going to explore. But, first things first, what types of featured snippets can you optimise for?
What are the different types of featured snippets?
There are different types of featured snippets that you can optimise your content for.
Paragraph featured snippets
Paragraph featured snippets account for 70 per cent of snippets. As they tend to be information-based, most will start with ‘what’ or ‘why’. ‘What’ question keywords generally have the highest search volume, but you’ll need to work out which keywords have low Keyword Difficulty scores if you’re going to land them.
Listicle featured snippets
Around 19 per cent of featured snippets are the listicle type. These are made up of numbered or bulleted lists, and tend to come from ‘how’ or ‘why’ search queries.
Table featured snippets
Just over 6 per cent of featured snippets are tables. These will come from content that includes tables using HTML table tags, rather than graphic-based tables.
Video featured snippets
Video featured snippets make up the smallest proportion of featured snippets at just over 4.5 per cent. Targeting this type of featured snippet is a wise move if your audience tends to engage in video content.
How to optimise for Google featured snippets?
1. Be clear on searcher intent
You’ll first need to have a good handle on searcher intent. This is so that you can deliver the content that best answers the search query.
When it comes down to it, only three types of people will be searching your keywords:
- Your potential customers
- People who influence customers to buy from you
- Your competitors
Obviously you’ll be writing for the first two. Whilst each will have different intent, both will be looking for informational content. But that content will vary. It might be a specific answer. Or it could be a brief answer. It might be a comparison. Or then again it could be a video.
Specific answers don’t tend to get many click-throughs, because the user has got what they want from the snippet and don’t need to read on. If you’re looking for brand recognition, all well and good. But if you want web traffic, it’s not ideal.
A brief answer will be an overview paragraph or a listicle. These will tease the user into clicking to find out more. So, good for web traffic.
A comparison will usually be a table type featured snippet. As the table will usually have many more rows than Google will reveal in its snippet, click-throughs are common.
A video will usually satisfy how-to searches and will generally achieve a good click through rate for this type of search.
2. Produce content that beats your competitors’
Now you know what type of content your users are looking for and which will compel the best click-throughs, it’s time to produce that content. And it’s going to have to smash the competition’s if it’s going to grab those snippets.
- Make sure you deliver the core information that users will expect to discover for your chosen keywords.
- Add value by including rich features such as graphics, statistics, examples and interactive features.
- Aim for a good reading ease score by using shorter, easy to read sentences and by ordering your content with structured headings which include H-tags.
- Keep your focus on research-based content rather than opinion-based. Citations will go a long way to helping Google better understand what your content is about, and its trustworthiness.
3. Include question keywords in heading tags
It’s vital to add question keywords into your heading tags if you’re going to achieve featured snippets.
Research question keywords with high search volume and go ahead and add them in.
4. Add images to your content
Images significantly help achieve featured snippets, especially if you’re targeting the paragraph or listicle type.
Try to avoid stock images and instead go for your own custom photography or graphics so as not to come across as generic.
5. Use on-page SEO
On-page SEO tactics will help optimise your web pages for featured snippets. Some of the strategies that work best include:
- Short, optimised URLs – try to stick to 3-4 words
- Optimised meta tags – including titles and descriptions
- Image Alt tags – to help Google understand what your images are about
- Internal links – to help Google identify your site’s most important pages
- External links – show Google which sites you trust and show credibility
- Schema Markup – helps Google recognise elements such as tables
6. Keep optimising
It’s unusual to nail featured snippets without at least a bit of time and effort. So once you’ve followed the above steps, check to see how you’ve done. If you’re not quite there yet, keep optimising.
You should look to make improvements across the board, and keep doing so until you’ve achieved a snippet. Once you have, you can track how many clicks they’ve brought you using your chosen web traffic monitoring tool.
Looking to get noticed in the search results?
Whether you’re looking to boost your brand identity, or increase traffic to your website, Google featured snippets can make a huge difference. Which is why optimising for them simply has to form part of your SEO strategy.
At Figment, we’ve been helping businesses enhance their online visibility using a range of best practice, proven organic SEO tactics since 2006.
There is a lot more to achieving featured snippets and monopolising the search engine results than we’ve talked about in this post. If you are looking to increase enquiries, boost sales and grow your business, and could use some help with a tailored SEO campaign, you are welcome to get in touch with the team.