Featured snippets are becoming content marketers’ dreams because they take a prime spot (position zero) on Google search results. They answer users’ questions right on the first search result, offering a unique opportunity for businesses to capture attention, drive traffic, and establish authority. Although earning a featured snippet isn’t always guaranteed for everyone, SEO experts believe that there are strategic approaches to take to increase the chances of landing this sought-after spot.
DMi’s webinar in November had some insights to offer on this very topic. Habeeb Abdulrauf, DMi’s Head of Growth and SEO and Success Olagboye, a content marketing mastermind, explored some tips for crafting content that could grab the coveted “position zero.” Insights from their conversations have been added to this blog post.
What Is a Featured Snippet?
A featured snippet, commonly referred to as position zero (PO), is a concise piece of content that appears at the top of Google search results, providing an immediate, concise, well-structured response to a user’s query without visiting the website. It stands out visually from other search results and can take various forms, including paragraphs, charts, images, videos, tables, or lists. Google Systems design it to adapt to the nature of the content on a website and the search query.
Photo credit: Google.com
The Significance of Featured Snippets
Featured snippets wield substantial influence. It can significantly augment website traffic. Users are more likely to visit your website because of a featured snippet. The information in it looks helpful for their search request.
According to Google, “We display featured snippets when our systems determine this format will help people more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description about the page and when they click on the link to read the page itself. They’re especially helpful for those on mobile or searching by voice.”
According to stats from Success in the webinar, featured snippets occupy 12.3% of search real estate, address 9.8% of Google searches, and cater to 40.7% of voice searches. He also noted that featured snippets outperform regular search results by a staggering 46%, translating into an 850% surge in website click-through rates.
Watch the full Replay Below.
How to Optimize Content for Featured Snippets
As mentioned earlier, having your content as featured snippets is not guaranteed. However, there are guidelines that can be followed to significantly increase your chances of being selected by Google systems. Here are some of them discussed in the webinar.
Laser-Focused Content: Maintain a clear, central topic for your content to steer it in the right direction.
Keyword Brilliance: Employ clear, descriptive, and question-based keywords, both in headlines and subheadings. You can use these 10 best free keyword tools for your keyword research advantage.
Unlock Audience Intent: Dive into keyword research using time-tested tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and BuzzSumo to decode what your audience is seeking.
Swift Answers: Ensure your content cuts to the chase by delivering a direct answer to the user’s query within the first paragraph, encompassing no more than 50-60 words.
Finally, consider incorporating videos and infographics to cater to the growing audience of voice search users. These multimedia elements can enhance the user experience and elevate your chances of securing featured snippets.
The Role of Headings
Google interprets headings as intended, meaning that it uses them to determine the subject matter of the paragraphs that follow. When hunting for the perfect headings and subheadings, consider these strategies:
Question Treasure Trove: Investigate the questions people are frequently asking (the “ask segment” is your sure bet).
Related Search Inspiration: Delve into the related searches at the bottom of search results.
Tools at Your Disposal: Utilize resources like “Answer the Public” to generate headings and subheadings based on the questions your audience poses to search engines.
Competitor Analysis: Leverage tools like SEMrush to gain insights from your competitors.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Writing for Position Zero
As you embark on the quest for ranking for featured snippets, steer clear of these two common mistakes:
Lack of Directness: Many SEO experts, including our guest, continue to argue that failing to provide a direct answer in the opening paragraph can hinder your chances of getting indexed and having featured snippets. So, it’s recommended to go straight to the point and give the answer to the query in your first paragraph that follows the title or headings. That argument seems plausible in a time when users’ attention spans are shorter than goldfish (around 8 seconds), and search engines prioritize immediate gratification.
However, nuance deserves consideration, too. While direct answers are crucial for simple queries, complex or nuanced topics like Climate change and economic inequality…, might benefit from a slower reveal. Building context and interest can lead to a deeper understanding and engagement, especially for longer-form content.
Subheading Discord: Ensure that your subheadings align seamlessly with the content they introduce. The content body shouldn’t say something different from the subheading; the two must align.
How to Harness the Power of Internal Linking for Feature Snippets
Internal linking, the art of connecting pages within your own website, plays a pivotal role in optimizing for featured snippets and enhancing your SEO. It demonstrates to search engines that your website is well-organized and interconnected, improving visibility. Additionally, it enriches the user experience by guiding visitors to relevant information. Don’t forget to incorporate internal links wherever they make sense.
In the dynamic realm of SEO, staying abreast of Google’s constantly evolving algorithms and best practices is a prerequisite for success. Be vigilant about updates to Google’s ranking factors, including new features like passage ranking, which can influence your content optimization strategy. Embrace adaptability and stay informed with the latest SEO trends to maintain your competitive edge.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or require further assistance. Stay tuned for more insightful posts by following us on this journey of digital marketing mastery. You can catch up with the replay of the webinar here.