How to optimize website structure for featured snippets?

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Featured snippets can make your business or website stand out from the rest.

This increases your chances of getting traffic from Google, which may convert into leads and help you generate revenue.

But how does this happen? A featured snippet, just like the name suggests, is a piece of content that Google ranks and features because it contains accurate information that is deemed helpful to internet users.

That’s why it’s a billion-dollar wisdom for a website or business owner like you to optimize your website structure for featured snippets.

But how do you do that? In this article, we’ve covered pretty much everything you need to know to tap into the potential of featured snippets.

At the end of this article, you will be able to understand the following;

  • What is a Featured Snippet?
  • Why are Featured Snippets Worth the Chase?
  • Four types of Featured Snippets
  • How to Optimize for Featured Snippets
  • Dos and Don’t ys of Optimizing Content for Featured Snippets

Let's get started.

What is a Featured Snippet?

At the basic, featured snippets are short and brief extracts of a text that Google shows on top of the SERPs intending to answer the user's query in the most informative way possible.

This content is normally pulled by the algorithm directly from the web pages that have been indexed by Google.

Here, featured snippets must contain concise, informative, and accurate answers to a question the internet user keys into the search bar on a browser.

For example, if you key in “What is YouTube SEO” in the search bar, you’ll find the following;

Now this answer sits on top of other search results and also gives you a “snippet” of what is contained in the page that you’re about to click and also gives a precise answer to my question.

These featured snippets not only help internet searchers to get answers to their questions but also can drive targeted traffic, clicks, and conversions ultimately becoming a lethal tool for SEOs to outrank competitors.

So, it’s a powerful tool.

Industry statistics suggest that up to 19% of keywords in Google have a featured snippet. That’s a bunch of them, right?

They further add that these snippets show up long-tail keywords, provide to-the-point answers to the searchers’ queries, encourage them to visit your website, explore other web pages and content pieces, and eventually sign up for a free trial if they find your product relevant.

Therefore as an SEO expert or professional, you must aim at ranking for featured snippets to bring high-intent traffic to your website.

Sounds good, right? Okay.

Let's now look at the next section which covers the types of Featured snippets.

Why are Featured Snippets Worth the Chase?

Let’s start with numbers to understand why you must chase featured snippets. Ahrefs’ study of two million featured snippets shows that 30.9% of featured snippets rank in position one.

According to Ahrefs, if you rank first for a search term and also have position zero (featured snippet) you gain 31% more traffic compared to just having the first position without the featured snippet

Featured snippets are a great way to boost your organic traffic. They capture your searcher's attention by providing the information they seek within 40 to 45 words.

In short, featured snippets offer quick answers, boosting organic rankings, brand visibility, and traffic.

Besides these stats-backed claims, you must target featured snippets for a few other reasons:

#1 To rank higher

A featured snippet ranks higher than the search result on Google’s SERPs and is the first thing a searcher looks at.

They provide your brand with the first-mover advantage. If the searcher likes the content, chances are they won’t explore other pieces, which means a huge advantage over your competitors.

#2 Featured snippets are larger than the standard links on the SERPs

Featured snippets tend to be larger and more prominent than the regular blue links in the search results.

This makes them eye-catching and useful for users who want a quick answer. If the featured snippet satisfies their need, they may not even have to click through to another site.

That's pretty convenient, right?

#3 Increased credibility

As Google chooses to quote your blog post, it instantly shows that your website is a trusted source of information — a great source of social proof.

#4 You attract leads most likely to convert

A featured snippet mostly appears for long-tail keywords, indicating specific intent at a particular sales funnel stage. So, you attract audiences who are most likely to convert.

Now that you know why optimizing articles for featured snippets is essential, let’s head over to the how.

Four Types of Featured Snippets

Here we shall go into detail focusing on some of the featured snippets one by one. Ready? Let's go.

#1 Paragraph featured snippets

When it comes to this one should work on some facts for instance, according to Semrush, paragraph featured snippets have “40 to 50 words or around 300 characters roughly”, and 70% of featured snippets are the paragraph type.

Below is an example summary

Most paragraph-featured snippets appear to be “what” and “why” search queries, indicating that they’re informational, hence making it to be directly informational.

#2 Bulleted or numbered feature snippets

This feature explains mostly or usually appears for “how” and “what” whereby it helps with how queries must be answered in a step-by-step format or an item list.

Listicle-featured snippets can be displayed in two ways.

  • Ordered lists are numbered lists displaying ranked items or steps
  • Unordered lists are lists of items that aren’t ranked in a specific order.

The example below summarizes everything.

#3 Table featured snippets

Google pulls out table-featured snippets for data that must be displayed in rows and columns, such as price, size, dates, tax slabs, years, and so on. Table types featuring snippets have an average of five rows and two columns.

Featured snippet optimization:

  • Add a “What is” heading.
  • Use an “is” sentence structure.
  • Fully define the topic.
  • Match the featured snippet format.
  • Don't use your brand name.
  • Don't use first-person language.
  • Scale featured snippets.
  • Prioritize when you rank in the top five

#4 Video featured snippets

The Video snippets – are short videos(more like a teaser to any longer programs) whereas video-rich media snippets mean that when someone searches for

An EngineScout survey of 3500+ regular Google users revealed that featured snippets received 35.1% of the total click-share.

According to Semrush reports, 5.53% of all queries have a featured snippet on Google, you can have a small video show up next to your result to let the user know that particular result (yours) has a video to help.

How to Optimize for Featured Snippets

Earning featured snippets brings you to the spotlight regardless of your article's position in the SERPs.

By making an effort to format the content of your website once, you can replace featured snippets with yours.

Let me take you through what you need to do.

1. Start with analyzing SERPs to find snippet opportunities

For you to be able to do this, you need a tool like Semrush which can help you do it properly. Analyze the SERPs to find snippet opportunities. Here are the steps:

  • Look at the SERP results.
  • Categorize them according to your target audience’s intent.
  • Read these content pieces and identify the information gaps missing in your content.
  • Address these gaps and refine your existing pieces

The point to note while undertaking this process is to keep the featured snippet type the same as the existing one.

If you attempt to optimize for a different type, Google will most likely choose the current type that’s ranking. For instance, avoid optimizing for a bulleted snippet when the current one is a paragraph.

2. Optimize for long-tail keyword

While doing structural optimization long-tail keywords are particular search queries with relatively low search volumes.

Although users search for them less often, long-tail keywords make up a large percentage of overall searches when added together.

And because they’re more specific than other keywords, searchers who use them may be more likely to convert or make a purchase

Let's look at some statistics on this, according to Semrush’s study, “Of keywords made up of 10 words, 55.5% had a featured snippet.”

Targeting long-tail and low-difficulty keywords instead of highly competitive ones makes winning the featured snippet spot easier. Moreover, as discussed above, long-tail keywords reflect a user’s search intent.

Once you understand what the user is looking for, provide them with the content they need — a video, a comparison table, or a precise definition.

3. Focus on Q&A

The primary purpose of a featured snippet is to provide quick, valuable answers to user queries, assuming now you want to clarify something the best way to do that is by publishing Q&A content.

According to statistics from Semrush’s study, around 29% of keywords that trigger featured snippets are question-based — “how”, “why”, “what”, “our”, “can”, “do”, and more. These keywords indicate the search for informational content that featured snippets seek to answer.

In simple language easily incorporate question-based content, incorporate questions into your title, and headings, or add an FAQ section to your blog.

For example, if you’re writing a piece on dedicated servers, you could title the piece “What is a dedicated server?” to target the featured snippet.

4. Find out what’s currently ranking

When it comes to this a lot of effort is needed by analyzing your website and identifying the keywords you currently rank for. Look at Google Search Console and use SEO tools like Ahrefs to find keywords you can target to win featured snippets.

Another milestone you need to go to is to check competitor websites to find keywords they rank for and get ideas for optimization.

Another important thing on this is to use Ahrefs. You can easily track the keywords that trigger featured snippets:

  • View your organic keywords report.
  • Click on the SERP features filter.
  • Choose the featured snippet option from the drop-down.
  • Add a position filter from 1–1 and click apply

5 Craft well-structured content

Apart from the content quality and writing style, structuring the content well is crucial for featured snippet optimization. According to research, 66% of structured articles appear in the Google SERPs as featured snippets.

  • Use descriptive headers that contain long-tail and question-like keywords with H1, H2, H3, and H4 header tags.
  • Use short sentences to optimize for paragraph snippets.
  • If a specific query displays a bulleted featured snippet, create the answer as a bulleted list.
  • Add relevant images along with snippet queries you target to answer.
  • Include some user-generated content on the website to reduce the bounce rate. It will help you signal to Google that the blog is more relatable to that particular query.

6. Create clear and readable content

Talking of this, below here is the short way of making your content to be good looking and straight to the point. Here are some guidelines:

  • Use strong headlines
  • Use lots of subheads
  • Use bullets and numbered lists
  • Use white space
  • Keep sentences short
  • Keep paragraphs short
  • Keep the line width short
  • Use colors, bold, and italics for keywords

Another format you can use is the inverted pyramid format to create detailed but concise answers. In this format, you give the essential details and the rest later. From an SEO perspective, it shows the readers what they want immediately.

Also in your content, you can emphasize the following:

  • For table feature snippet optimization, be concise: give the reader information they can understand at a glance.
  • For paragraph feature snippet optimization, write objectively without any personal opinions.
  • Readability is a crucial factor in content. Even the most helpful information isn’t useful when your audience can’t understand.

7. Implement SEO tactics

You need to help Google understand your content page by applying SEO tactics that work well for featured snippets.

  • Title tag. Use a headline analyzer like Coschedule to create an engaging and catchy title tag that fits your requirements.
  • Meta description. Write a user-centric, keyword-specific, and attractive meta description within 155–160 characters to drive the highest clicks.
  • Insert links. Insert internal links to help Google identify your website’s most important pages and add trustworthy external links to increase your content’s credibility.
  • Image alt attributes. According to Semrush, Google image searches account for 22.6% of all searches. It’s essential to consider image SEO. Add descriptive alt text for your content images to help Google understand what the image is about.


Dos and Don’ts of Optimizing Content for Featured Snippets

However, optimizing for featured snippets requires a nuanced approach. Here are the dos and don’ts of optimizing for featured snippets. Let's start by looking at the dos.

DO’S

#1. Focus on Question-based Content

Featured snippets tend to appear in response to questions or phrases that begin with “how to,” “what is,” “why,” and “where.”

Use keyword research tools to identify popular search queries and craft your content around them.

#2. Use Structured Data Markup

Structured data markup is a way of providing additional context to search engines about the content on your website.

By using structured data markup, you can highlight the most relevant information on your page, making it easier for search engines to display it in a featured snippet.

Use schema markup to identify the type of content on your page, such as recipes, how-to guides, or product descriptions.

#3. Optimize for Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that are less competitive than broad keywords.

Optimizing your content for long-tail keywords can help you rank higher in search results and increase your chances of appearing in a featured snippet.

Use keyword research tools to identify relevant long-tail keywords and incorporate them into your content naturally.

#4. Create Comprehensive Content

Featured snippets tend to display concise and informative summaries of content that directly answer a user’s query. Use subheadings, bullet points, and lists to make your content more scannable and easier to digest.

DON’Ts

#1. Use Clickbait Titles

Clickbait titles that over-promise or mislead users can harm your website’s credibility and reduce your chances of appearing in a featured snippet.

Instead, use descriptive titles that accurately reflect the content of your page and incorporate relevant keywords.

#2. Overuse Keywords

Keyword stuffing, or the practice of using keywords excessively in an attempt to manipulate search rankings, can result in penalties from search engines and harm your chances of appearing in a featured snippet.

Instead, use keywords naturally and incorporate them into your content in a way that enhances its readability and value.

#3. Neglect Mobile Optimization

With mobile devices accounting for over half of all internet traffic, optimizing your website for mobile is crucial for appearing in a featured snippet.

Ensure your website is mobile-responsive, loads quickly, and has an intuitive user interface.

#4. Ignore User Intent

Appearing in a featured snippet is not just about optimizing for keywords and technical SEO factors.

It’s also about understanding the user’s intent and providing relevant and informative content that directly addresses their query. Conduct user research and create content that meets their needs and expectations.

Final Thoughts

Considering that pages with featured snippets are dominating search queries and this situation is trending now, you should start benefiting from them.

Remember, earning a featured snippet requires ranking for the zero position and it means you have the highest ranking without ads.

I know that you aim to increase your website traffic as well as boost conversions. To make it possible, you should think about featured snippets over and over again and do your best to make it happen!

Also, try to use “how-to” phrases in the FAQs area of your website and provide optimized content for featured snippets.

Don’t forget that images and videos have high value, start using them effectively! By you doing all those, I promise you will move a step forward in your business.

All the best!

About the Author

ContentMarketingCentre

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I am a highly skilled content writer with a passion for infusing the power of AI with the artistry of human storytelling. I specialize in transforming AI-generated content into human-like masterpieces that engage, inspire, and rank higher on search engines.

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