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How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets are descriptive, expanded search results displayed in a box at the top or near the top of search results pages (SERPs). Google uses featured snippets to determine if your page is the best answer for a query.

Google has been improving how it displays results to users over the last few years. It has increased the number of Google snippets it displays for queries, pushing organic search results down the page. What does this mean for SEO?

Ranking in Google featured snippets solves the problem of positioning. But is this strategy worth it? What is a featured snippet? What do you need to do to be featured? In this article, ADVDMS explains snippet meaning and how to optimize content to be featured and drive organic traffic to your site.

What is a featured snippet?

A featured snippet provides users with a quick answer to a search query. It’s located right above the first organic search results and is also known as “position 0.” Google featured snippets often appear when people enter informational searches.

Before we get to the details of how to improve your SEO strategy to optimize featured snippets, here’s a closer look at its different types:

5 Types of Snippets

It is important to understand the types of featured snippets that Google displays for search queries. There are several forms to choose from:

  • Video: Videos can be a great way to reach your audience if they are avid consumers of video content. About 4.6% of snippets are in video format, with the average being 6 minutes 35 seconds long.
  • Paragraph: Seventy percent of snippets are in paragraph form, accounting for around 72 words and 250 characters. These snippets typically begin with “What” and “Why,” which indicate that they are primarily informational.
  • List: This snippet type includes answers that are presented as bulleted or numbered lists. List snippets are mostly for posts that provide step-by-step instructions or recipes.
  • Table: About 6.3% of snippets are in table format. They average five rows and two columns, between 40 and 45 words. Use the table tags in HTML to mark up relevant content in table format to optimize your featured snippet.

These different types of featured snippets and their formats can be used naturally in your content. It is helpful to keep a type of snippet in mind when creating content.

The paragraphs that follow the featured snippets may include humor, examples, or other information that will appeal more to those who value greater depth.

How to Optimize Content for Featured Snippets

Strategy is the key to winning “position 0”. You must format your website content correctly to rank for Google featured snippets. You also have a good chance of landing a featured snippet if your content is already ranking high for a specific search query.

There are two main ways you can increase your chances of being featured once your content and keywords have already been ranked on the first Search Engine Results Page:

  1. Give a better answer
  2. Optimize your SEO on-page

Here are a few more tips on how to optimize for featured snippets:

1. Look for your competitors’ Google featured snippets.

Checking for your competitor’s search keyword groups is an excellent place to start planning, implementing, and optimizing your content to rank. Some keywords may rank you well, but your chances of earning the featured snippet could be even higher with some tweaks and updates. Looking at your competitor’s lists of keywords can also allow you to analyze their content, which is ranked as a featured snippet.

2. Identify the keywords used in the current snippets.

After you have finalized the topic content, it is time to identify keywords present in Google featured snippets.

Keyword research is crucial for creating successful content, notably for a featured snippet. Find out and answer your target audiences’ most frequently asked questions.

3. Understand the search intent.

Optimizing for Google snippets requires understanding the search intent behind every triggering query.

There are three types of people who search for your keyword:

Potential customers
Influencers that persuade potential customers to purchase from you
Your competitors

While each search will have different purposes, the content should be informative and navigational when users click through them.

4. Aim to answer questions concisely.

Google favors answers in one paragraph for featured snippets. These paragraph snippets also have an average length of 46 words.

This will require you to change your blog style to follow this format:

  • Ask a question in an article, usually as a subtitle.
  • Answer the question in just 50 words.
  • Continue to elaborate.

This structure will enhance the readability of your content.

It is worth noting, however, that Google also prefers long-form content. Also known as “pillar content” or “cornerstone content,” this content is broken down into subsections and includes many images.

5. Get ideas in the “People also ask” box.

Investigate the topic further by visiting Google’s “People also ask” section when you see it in the search results. This section gives you a great insight into the questions Google considers relevant to each topic. This is a great resource because it gives you more options to explore a topic.

You can also monitor Twitter questions to uncover untapped opportunities further.

6. Organize information and facts.

The most popular type of featured snippet is the one that follows paragraphs.

Comparison charts and lists are also easier to feature, as Google loves structured content. Google may pull information from other websites with relevant tables, even if a user is researching a brand.

7. Pay attention to your content format.

Google featured snippets can be in many formats. Your content structure will depend on the types of featured snippets you’ll use.

If you are looking for a table, put your answers on a table. When aiming for a list snippet, make sure that the items are clearly labeled with headings or lists.

How to format your blog post for Google featured snippets:

  • Use header tags such as H1, H2, and H3 to describe your headers.
  • Use concise, punchy sentences to provide immediate answers.
  • Use bullet-pointed lists or tables to create numbered lists.
  • Include a relevant image with the snippet question you are answering.

Think about your readers’ experience, i.e., the information’s usefulness and readability.

8. Follow the proper word count.

Most snippets are between 40-50 words long. Keep your answers short and to the point. Your answers should not exceed 58 words.

9. Add high-quality graphics.

Graphics are crucial in owning Google featured snippets, especially list and paragraph formats.

To improve user experience and avoid being generic, use custom-made graphics or real-life photos instead of stock images. Use as many images as you need to convey your message.

A featured snippet’s average graphic is 159 pixels high and 197 pixels wide. You should keep the ratio of 160x200px when you upload your images.

Google will create thumbnails if they are used in featured snippets. You can then scale them up to 960x1200px for better quality.

Google will not feature images unless you include lots of eye-catching, annotated, and branded images within your content.

10. Keep optimizing your content.

You have a chance of being featured in a snippet if you are on page one. Nearly all Google featured snippets are on the first Search Engine Results Page.

This shows that organically ranking your website in search engines is a solid practice.

Here are a few Google optimization strategies to help you increase your on-page SEO and provide a better user experience:

  • Fix SEO issues and diagnose any penalties
  • Make your site easy to crawl
  • Use internal linking
  • Invest in mobile-friendly website design
  • Use search intent to target your content and keep it fresh
  • Optimize images
  • Your page should be user-friendly and easy to read

Optimize Featured Snippets with Advanced Digital Media Services

Researching and discovering new ways to optimize featured snippets can be fun and rewarding. Getting more exposure through featured snippets can be a great way to increase your online presence.

Let Advanced Digital Media Services lead you to reap the many benefits of SEO and being featured in Google’s answer boxes. Our content creation process is thorough, well-researched, and relevant. We have tons of new content ideas that your target audience will appreciate.

Discover how well-structured content and our SEO services in Denver can help increase customer engagement, decrease bounce rates, and propel your website to the top. Call us today.

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ADMS Paul Donahue

About Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue has been in the digital marketing realm since 2009. He has an intense passion for creating a dynamic digital presence for his clients through modern websites that rank well on Google. His company’s website is Colorado’s top-ranked SEO company. Author of three books published on Amazon, he is particular about staying abreast with the constantly changing SEO and digital marketing industry trends.

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