Being ranked on Google’s first results page as the first result is a great thing. If you have such a ranking for the right keywords, you will get thousands of targeted visitors. Did you know that your website can rank even higher? Read this article to learn how to do this.
Featured snippets are the key
If your website is listed as a ‘featured snippet’ on Google’s search results page, it will be displayed above the first regular result page.
Featured snippets appear only for some search queries. Usually, the snippet contains a short text from the listed web page, as well as the title and the URL of the page. Google tries to display the answer to the question of the searcher directly in the featured snippet box:
As you can see, the featured snippet is much more prominent on the first results page than the first regular result. If your website is listed as the featured snippet, you will get many more website visitors than before.
How to get listed as a featured snippet
1. Check the topic of your website
Featured snippets do not work for all websites. Queries with financial, transitional, or mathematical questions often have a featured snippet on the search results page. The same is true for questions about time, health, do-it-yourself help, or the status of something.
If you have a local business then it’s unlikely that Google will show a featured snippet. Featured snippets are also unlikely for image/video searches, and shopping searches. In that case it is better to invest your time in regular web page optimization and link building (which is also important for all other sites).
2. Search for relevant words
Use the keyword suggestion tool in SEOprofiler to find the keywords that could show featured snippets. In general, higher-volume search terms often get a featured snippet if the search term includes ‘who’, ‘how’, ‘where’, ‘what’, etc.
Search for ‘how to’ in the keyword suggestion tool in SEOprofiler and you will get many ‘how to’ search terms. Of course, this also works with other questions.
There are also words that can imply a question, for example ‘does’, ‘getting’, ‘making’, ‘cooking’, etc. The ‘People also ask’ section on the search results page (see screenshot above) can also help you to get new keyword ideas.
3. Invite Google to choose your web page for the featured snippet section
If you want to increase the chances that Google picks your website for the featured snippet, you must show Google that your page is the right page for the question. You can do this by doing the following:
- Repeat the search term or the question in the title and in the headline of your page.
- Answer the question directly below the headline. The answer should be short, clear, and precise. Bullets often help. The answer should not be longer than one paragraph.
- Add additional information (images, videos, etc.) to make sure that the question has been answered as completely as possible.
Use clean and structured HTML code that makes it easier to parse your pages (headers, lists, etc.). If the content of your page has question/answer format, Google might also pick a short answer from your page as the featured snippet for a question.
This has a very positive side-effect
Google only picks the best pages for featured snippets. By optimizing your web pages for featured snippets, you have to make sure that your web page is the very best page that answers the question of the searcher.
It is important to structure and improve the content of your web pages to get listed as a featured snippet. It is even more important to make sure that your web page offers the best solution. This will be rewarded by Google and by your website visitors.