One of the most important skills in implementing SEO for websites is to optimize for featured snippets. What is a featured snippet and how to be a "Position Zero occupant” on Google SERPs? Let On Digitals accompany you on this exploratory journey.
The concept of featured snippets is no stranger to SEO practitioners, and even to laymen, as long as they are a user of Google Search. In short, a featured snippet is the very first result shown on the top of SERPs, sometimes referred to as “Position Zero”.
Not every search result includes a featured snippet, but once it appears, even the Top 1 search result has no way but to yield. And not like many mistakenly assume, a featured snippet actually has more than one form: It can be a paragraph, table or list excerpted from an article, an image, a video, etc.
Analyzing one million high CPC queries, STAT reports key findings as follow:
On the other hand, another study identifies certain industries with higher featured snippet frequency:
Rich Snippet is the most informative and comprehensive snippet type, immediately providing users with necessary information. Basic components of a rich snippet include meta description, title and URL. Other components are avatars, rankings, internal links, navigation, etc.
A big part of SEO effectiveness for websites, especially in promoting the highest keyword rankings, is featured snippets. So how to get your content featured at the “Position Zero” of Google is on the priority list of all SEO experts. Let’s look at some reasons why you “must” optimize featured snippets.
The paragraph featured snippet is a small excerpt from an article. Sometimes it will come with images related to the content the user is looking for. This snippet type is often used to answer "What is..." questions.
For example, when you input a Google query as "What is featured snippet". Immediately, you will be shown a paragraph summarizing the definition of featured snippet. This paragraph is usually brief and informative, and displayed just below the search toolbar.
According to Semrush's research, a paragraph featured snippet is usually 40-50 or 250-300 word long. It also depends on the query and how you optimize the content.
The list featured snippet shows the answer to a query in listing format. There are two varieties:
Information will be listed in a certain order. When the search result returns a numbered list featured snippet, you will either see a concise, step-by-step snippet, or a detailed list sorted based on the subjective viewpoint of the writer.
In this case, Google will show you a list but not in any certain order. The only "order" here is based on the writer's opinion.
With this type of featured snippet, Google will return search results in the form of tables.
In addition to these 3 popular featured snippet types, there are also charts, images, etc.
Remember, not all keywords can be optimized for featured snippets. Most of the time, Position Zero is occupied by definitions, comparisons, how-tos, etc.
Therefore you need to take the task of choosing potential keywords very seriously. So how can you know which keywords are “featured snippet potential”? Let's do keyword analysis.
To boost the chance to get the best keywords, analyze both domestic and foreign markets for more data. And of course, to reach Position Zero, original, superior SEO copywriting content must be created based on these keywords.
Let's take a look at the process of analyzing keywords using Ahrefs:
At this point, you will see the keywords featured in Position Zero. Now your task is to pick the most suitable and research for more sub-keywords to facilitate the optimization process for phrase match keywords.
What does it mean? Very easy! You just need to count the number of words of the featured snippet that contains those keywords.
For example, the featured snippet of the keyword "what is booking kol" has 59 words in total. So do your best to present your key content within 50-60 words. This makes it easy to declare to Google and helps bring the keyword to Position Zero.
But remember to pay attention to the type of that featured snippet. Is it a paragraph, a list, a table or a video? With this knowledge, you can effectively decide on the most suitable content layout.
Your content must be accurate and cover the topic in the query. Especially, content with depth and higher quality than competitors' will be the solid foundation to promote chosen keywords.
Besides, don’t forget to invest time on the format or layout of the article. The most important are heading tags, which need to be optimized for keywords in the featured snippet so that Google can easily recognize it. Depending on the context, choose the most appropriate heading type such as H2, H3, H4, etc. On Digitals recommends a focus on H2 to optimize for featured snippet keywords.
For example, if you want to optimize the keyword "what is pbn", put it somewhere in the H2 of the article. It's even better if the keyword is H2. Also, the content needs to clarify the meaning for H2: What is PBN?
Then, based on your competitor's featured snippet, decide your content format to optimize. If it's a paragraph featured snippet, you will need to write a piece of content explaining clearly what PBN is. The same goes for lists or tables.
Note that you should also make the featured snippet pleasant to the eyes. It will give you a higher chance to reach Position Zero.
Also, remember to add Alt tags for images with exact keywords, and if you have videos to show, it will create a bigger impact. Google is known to have a preference for these.
For Google to receive new articles quickly, do submit your URL using Google Webmaster tools aka Google Search Console.
This tool helps you request GoogleBot to crawl your article as well as your website. After that, Google will re-update the article content and give you high rankings if your content is of high-quality.
Here are some notes to keep in mind when you optimize for featured snippets i.e. Position Zero.
Learning how to optimize for featured snippets is an important step to improve your site ranking on SERPs. Do thorough keyword research and choose the best possible option to reach Position Zero in the shortest time. Once you get a featured snippet, your site traffic will increase, which supports brand recognition and helps attract more potential customers.
We hope the article has cleared any confusion about the featured snippet concept on time, including its schema and important role in SEO, and helpful optimization ideas to increase your site traffic. If you want more information about SEO, Digital Marketing, Social Media and related topics, On Digitals is at your service.