A new feature on Google is the featured snippet that heads the search engine results page. When a web browser types in a question, such as ‘What is a featured snippet’, an answer will appear in a box. Google crawls through websites to find the best answer and places this above all the other results. Known as position 0, this position is highly coveted for obvious reasons.
A featured snippet is a fantastic way to drive more organic traffic to your website, but you can opt out of it by adding a meta tag to the head of your page. Isn’t everything more appealing when you have the option of not doing it? So smart, Google.
You have more chance of securing position 0 if your website is already ranking highly. It doesn’t necessarily have to be first and it doesn’t have to have a strong domain – at the end of the day, it’s all dependent on the written content.
But before you begin reworking your content, check if your website already has any rankings at position 0. There are two ways to do this. The manual way is to check through Google Search Console, in the Search Analytics Report. The second, easier way is to use a tool called SEM Rush. For more on how to check your rankings, read more here.
If you’re not there yet, then we can begin working on earning position 0. While scoring this position isn’t something that can be guaranteed, there are ways to increase your chances. Here are three ways to work your way to the top:
Summarise the Answer of a Question in One Paragraph
Provide a concise summary to the answer of a question in one paragraph. One paragraph is all the featured snippet will hold, so make it informative but keep it direct and short. Don’t try to be clever by answering the question in a roundabout way. Google won’t understand it and certainly doesn’t have the time or patience for it. Include keywords and phrases and get to the point and get to it fast.
Aim to Answer Many Similar Questions
Your article should be structured and worded to address a lot of similar or related queries so it’s more likely to be featured more often.
It also helps to answer questions that ‘People Also Ask’, which is another feature on Google. This is the bit underneath the snippet that shows related questions and answers. This way you know you’ve covered all your bases.
Include an Image with Relevant ALT Text
Even if your content makes it to the featured snippet, sometimes the snippet is accompanied by an image from another site. Avoid having to share the limelight by including an eye-grabbing image with relevant ALT text. If you’re unsure what your ALT text should be, remember to keep it short and relevant. Using your headline or keywords or phrases from your article is always a good idea.
Update or Re-Upload Images
It’s good practice to update and re-upload the images that are associated with your content so Google is more likely to think that your overall content is up-to-date. Quality images are also more likely to take users from the featured snippet on Google’s SERP to your actual page.
Structure Your Page on Google’s Terms
Structure your page to make it easier for Google to understand. The golden rule to get a featured snippet is to have one H1 tag for the title of the page, and H2 and H3 subheadings. Using bullet points and charts can also increase your chances of showing up in a featured snippet.
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Rachel is a Filipino Kiwi with a passion for the arts. Having graduated with an Arts Degree in English from UoA, she found writing work at PureSEO as a Junior Copywriter and quickly moved on to the role of Editor. In her spare time, she reads Austen and teaches dance classes in the weekend.
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