When creating and optimising your site content for search engines, it is important to utilise a broad range of techniques and strategies. After all, the competition is vast, and ranking on the first page of Google is the goal of all of your competitors too.

Optimising for featured snippets is just another way that you can elevate your site above the others. Gaining a featured snippet makes it far more likely that your post or page will be read, as it can immediately answer the search query and indicates to the user that your post will be the one to tell them more.

In this post, we will look at what featured snippets are, as well as how you can get them and optimise for them. Keep reading to find out how to take your site to the next level.

What is a featured snippet?

When one types a search term into Google and the top of the results page shows a block of information and the content in the block answers your search query, that is a featured snippet.

These snippets are automatically pulled from web pages in Google’s index. They normally include lists, steps, definitions or tables. 

How to get featured snippets

As we’ve just mentioned, featured snippets are usually connected to certain types of content. There are a number of ways to get snippets, but they all revolve around your content being able to match these formats. 

Here are four ways in which you can get Google snippets:

  1. Use the correct format 

By using the correct format to display the information you’re presenting, you make it easier for Google to automatically pull the data to a featured snippet. Whether you’re providing a concise definition for something, adding information to a list or table, or providing your reader with steps to a certain outcome, you’re far more likely to gain a featured snippet with the correct format.

  1. Make use of headers

Headers show Google what is most important on your page, and splits information into sections that the search engine can understand. Using keywords in these headers make it more likely that Google will also know what you are targeting, and what it should rank you for. For instance, if you have a header such as ours above, “how to get featured snippets” Google may consider the following list as an answer to that search query and can make that the featured snippet.

  1. Do keyword research

The above ways of gaining the featured snippet are completely ineffective without a strong base of keyword research. You need to show Google that you are targeting certain keywords and should be ranked for them because you are an authority. 

  1. Answer multiple questions

If you manage to get one Google search snippet, you are far more likely to gain another. Since this is the case, answer multiple questions in your post, so that the post can feature for multiple search queries. Google has also been shown to feature beefy posts that answer multiple questions over a number of different posts that each answer one.

How to optimise for featured snippets

The ideal way to gain Google featured snippets is by already having content that is ranking for a certain term. If your post is on the first page of Google, then you are in an excellent position to go after the featured snippet. Here are two ways to update your existing blog posts for featured snippets:

  1. Look at existing featured snippets

If you are targeting a certain keyword, type it into the search bar and see what comes up. If there is a featured snippet, take a look at what that competitor did right, and what was featured. Your post will likely have similar content to this if you are answering the same query, so you can optimise the content to fit the format of the post that gained the snippet. This is called “stealing snippets”.

  1. Section off your post

Staying in the optimal word count and adding sections is extremely useful when optimising for snippets. Instead of sections that run into each other or large blocks of text, use the formats mentioned above, as well as headers, to section off your content into segments that Google can feature as the answer to certain queries.

Featured snippets overview

Once you know how to get a featured snippet, the rest is simple. Not easy, but simple. Of course, your content must still be topically relevant and interesting. You also need SEO and backlinking to ensure that your content ranks. From there, you can go after the snippets, and have your content clicked on more than ever before.

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