Keeping up with Google is no easy task.
Their ever-evolving search engine, updates, and features require quite a lot of effort and time to be invested. That is if you look to keep up with all the SEO best practices to rank your website.
Luckily, the big G has this one feature in their search results which can really make your life easier.
We’re talking about Featured Snippets, a.k.a. Answer Boxes, that are frequently shown on top of search results.
*The snippet position on Google search results is also referred as ‘position zero’.
In short, they display a brief answer to search queries directly from relevant pages and also link directly to those pages. Like in the image below.
We won’t go wide and describe the ins and outs of featured snippets. We’ll rather offer you some stats worth considering as well as some actionable tips.
In case you want to learn more about the functionalities of featured snippets, take it directly from Google’s blog.
Featured Snippet Stats That You Should Know
Featured snippets are pretty popular with both users and marketers.
No wonder – they’re useful, quick and simple for users, but also help marketers rank their websites. They dominate the SERPs, give you tons of exposure, and keep your website far above the fold.
Plus, they boost your credibility.
Now let’s back all that up with data:
👉 ~12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in their search results (Ahrefs)
👉 Wikipedia is the absolute leader in the number of featured snippets it owns – 11.2% (Ahrefs)
👉 content with a featured snippet gets a 2X higher click-through rate. (HubSpot)
👉 search queries with the following words have a better chance of getting featured: RECIPE, BEST, VS, MAKE, DEFINITION (Ahrefs)
👉 the most popular type of featured snippet is the “paragraph” type (Getstat)
👉 the most common length of content in featured snippets is between 40-50 words (SEMrush)
👉 99.58% of featured snippet pages already rank in the top 10 SERPs in Google for a particular search query. (Ahrefs)
👉 70% of snippets come from sites that aren’t in the top-ranking organic position (Getstat)
Tips That Will Help You Get in Google’s Featured Snippets
First and foremost…
There is no magic formula that will grant you the ‘position zero’.
It’s exclusively up to Google and their programmatic decisions.
However, there are things that you can do to make it more likely to get the ‘Answer box’. The stats we covered earlier are pretty clear. Getting to the featured snippet can greatly boost your traffic and credibility, therefore your bottom line.
Keeping up with Google’s practices and generally SEO can be daunting, which is why the featured snippet is somewhat of an easier alternative to rank your website.
If you rank 5th on a search result, it’s easier to get to ‘position zero’ than it is to rank 1st.
So, here are some tips and ideas.
1. Use headers
A quick and simple way to format your content for featured snippets is to make sure that you break up each section. Do it with different headers to keep it easier to skim and navigate.
It is more likely that Google will display it that way.
2. Optimize the answers’ word count
A SEMrush study has shown that featured snippets contain 40-50 words.
Keep your section tight and to the point so that Google can easily detect and feature your content. Section off your lists, paragraphs, and steps rather than letting them all run together.
3. Discover snippet opportunities by just googling
It’s a quick way to track competitors and content ideas all at once. You can overtake their snippet by investing some time and efforts into offering a better answer and formatting it correctly.
4. Use AnswerThePublic to get ideas
Questions are most likely to bring up featured snippets. Basically, you look to answer how, what, when, where, why, or who.
AnswerThePublic is probably the best way to find out what types of questions people ask about a particular topic.
❗️ NOTE: You may want to do some keyword research to make sure the words you’re searching are SEO friendly.
5. Use tools to track competitors’ snippets
SEMrush or similar will do wonders.
When you know which snippets your competitors hold, you can optimize your content for the same words and topics.
If you already hold a snippet – make sure to keep an eye on all the variations of the keywords that you could rank for as well. Google appears to favor sites that already have a featured snippet.
6. Answer multiple questions
Once a page earns a featured snippet, it’s more likely to become featured in other related queries.
It’s wise to structure your article so that it answers many related questions in one place.Focus on beefing up one solid article that answers tons of questions rather than multiple articles.
7. Add a “how-to” section to your website
A lot of people redesign their sites just to optimize for “how-to” content. It gives a higher chance to answer relevant questions which can then get featured as snippets.
8. Add high-quality images and video
Humans are visual beings. They prefer photos and videos to plain text. Leverage HQ photos and videos, they’ll help you rank for featured snippets.
9. Research your keywords
Along with your regular keyword research, you can tweak it a bit to optimize the research for featured snippets.
A tool like Serpstat can help you track if a query brings up featured results. That way you can track your competitors (again) + if you already rank high for a keyword, it’s worth finding out if Google currently shows featured snippets for those keywords.
Then you just have to format your content and include tags that relate to those questions.
10. Update images if you use WordPress
Google prefers up-to-date content.
You might already be ranking well for certain keywords, and your article is updated.
However, WordPress adds dates to image URLs, so even if you update an article, the images can still be considered old. Just re-upload them and it might just be the boost you need to get the featured snippet.
That’s it. 🙂
Hopefully, you got some answers and ideas about getting to Google’s position zero.
We would love to hear your thoughts – In case you would like to suggest a tip of your own for how to rank in the featured snippets, you can do so in our Future Marketing FB group.