To continuously get traffic from Google you should always keep up with all of the search engine’s giant features. It is not an easy job, as Google is on a constant quest to add new features.
If you haven’t noticed, Google results are much more than just plain links. When searching for something, featured snippets are the first thing most people notice.
Snippets are shown by Google at the top of the page, just above the rest of the results. That is the reason they are called position 0.
A snippet usually contains the page title and its URL, together with… a “snippet” taken out from the content of the page that attempts a short answer to the search query.
Google says that they are programmatically detecting pages that contain the correct answer to the questions and display it as a featured snippet.
In short, the featured snippets are meant to increase the click-through rate for your pages.
Maybe now you are asking why are they so popular.
That’s simple. Featured snippets are popular because of the fact that they use a convenient method to answer people’s questions. They are quick, convenient, and easy to read. There’s no clicking through in order to find the piece of information you are looking for.
Also, featured snippets provide marketers with means to beat the competition, boost conversion rates, and generally get more traffic to their websites.
It is important to mention that a snippet can contain many things besides plain text. You can use bullet points, numbered lists, and many more.
To conclude, ranking for a snippet is considered more helpful for getting visitors to your website than targeting for #1. Featured snippets simply dominate the SERPs and they are always giving you lots of exposure.
Furthermore, featured snippets have the capacity to increase your company’s credibility faster than any other method. And, also very important, they do not require you to pay advertising fees, meaning that almost all companies, no matter how small is their marketing budget, can aim at position 0.
Google is able to show rich snippets only if you have structured data on your webpage.
But what is structured data?
Structured data is just a piece of code. However, it is written following some specific rules that allow search engines to read the information and create rich snippets based on it. You can build featured snippets using one of the several plugins that are available today.
In order to increase your chances to have a featured snippet at position #0, we came up with a list of useful tips:
For starters, the easiest method is to find out which snippets earn money for your competitors.
You can do this with a simple Google search. Once you find this incredibly useful piece of information, you have to start optimizing your content for the same keywords.
Also, when building your own snippets, it is useful not to overlook variations of the keywords. These can help you too.
Another best way to optimize your content is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes.
Just try to think like a person who is new to a specific domain and it does not understand some terms that can be confusing or be intimidating to newcomers. Hence, a good approach is to try to ask questions in layman’s terms.
Most featured snippets are going to be shown by Google as responses to questions.
Thus, it is a good idea to start asking yourself simple questions like:
If you need inspiration in finding questions that people are most likely to ask about a subject, you can head to Answer the Public. Just enter your subject and instantly you are going to get many suggestions for questions that are related to your topic.
When using this approach, don’t forget to make sure that the words you are searching for are SEO friendly. Remember, it is always a good idea to do keyword research in advance.
Most often, a page that has featured snippets, has good chance to earn another snippet for other related searches. Hence, it is always a good idea to build your article to make sure it answers all the related questions in just one location.
It is important to focus on writing an extensive article, built to answers many questions, rather than having multiple articles, each one answering a particular question.
It is essential to keep text concise to allow Google to feature your content. Therefore, it is best to have multiple sections, lists, and paragraph rather than a continuous flow of text.
As many researchers proved, for best results you should aim to keep each section no shorter than 40 words but no longer than 50.
It is maybe the quickest and most effective method. Just make sure that you format your content using lists, paragraphs, and headers. Take the appropriate measures to make sure that your subheadings are organized by size.
Another simple method to benefit from featured snippets’ capacity to attract traffic to your website is to redesign your content. Many successful websites already have created “how to” sections that just give answers to their reader’s questions.
Optionally, if you don’t feel like a “how to” is a good option for you, you can create a “Q&A” section instead. Here you can have the answers to the most common questions that customers are asking about your services or products.
It is not easy to keep up with Google but we think that featured snippets are here to stay. More, they are actually on the rise. Featured snippets always show first in most SERPs and they provide much more than just plain text. By earning one, you rank for zero, the highest ranking possible without paying money for advertising.