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25th September 2020

How To Write Content For Google Featured Snippets

Boosting your business’s exposure should be the goal of every entrepreneur. One way that’s overlooked quite a bit is Google’s featured snippet. In this article, we will break down how to write content for this and the benefits of doing so.

What is a Featured Snippet?

More than likely you have Googled a question and some text has appeared at the top of the page giving you an answer. This information even appears above the website search results, so we refer to this as ‘position 0’. 

Google will choose the best-suited answer to your query from a third-party source. The text will usually be accompanied by an image that will be from a different source than the text. A featured snippet of content from your website could bring a lot of traffic your way, so it’s best to use SEO copywriting techniques to give your site the best chance. 

Types

Dependent on the results or query, Google will present one of three types of featured snippets. 

Table

Searching for numerically related queries such as currency rates, Google may present a table as a featured snippet. This is a good option if you are looking for up-to-date rates and comparisons.

Paragraph

The paragraph snippet is the most common and will generally give answers to who, what, why, how, and when type queries. This will give you a direct answer between 40 to 50 words in length to your question.

List

If you are searching for recipes or a ‘top 10’ of a certain subject, the featured snippet may be shown in list form. Make sure your content is laid out in the correct format for a better chance of Google using it.

Advantages of the Featured Snippet

Your content appearing in the featured snippet has many advantages and more and more people are using it as part of their SEO content strategy

Beat the Competition 

Steal traffic from the first organic search result by your content appearing in the featured snippet. Research shows that 8.6% of those that have queried will click on the snippet before the first search result. This could mean a lot of traffic coming to your site and bypassing the competition. 

Build Trust

You want your site to be known as a reliable and accurate source of information that will build trust with your audience. Sites like Wikipedia and Quora will often appear as a featured snippet as they are very popular and have a good reputation to source information from.

Voice of Reason

It’s estimated that 50% of users seeking answers to their queries will use voice technology on their phones. This is a huge number, and you want your content to be optimised for appearing as a featured snippet to take advantage. 

Tips to Have your Content as a Featured Snippet

Keywords and Questions 

Research exactly what it is your potential audience is searching for by taking the time to find the keywords and questions they are asking. There are many online tools available for you to take advantage of, or you can use an SEO agency to do this for you.

Google will show a list of questions with a drop-down answer tab for each one. These are the questions you want to be aiming for. If you can provide the answer to these questions, your content stands a better chance of appearing as a featured snippet.

Improve your Site’s Search Results

Appearing in the first SERP will stand your content a better chance of appearing as a featured snippet. You can help boost your site’s SEO by following some of the guidelines below.

  • Update your content regularly
  • Optimise your content for search results
  • Link building, both internal and external
  • Make your site easy to navigate
  • Swap HTTP for SSL protocol

One thing to keep in mind: Google won’t show your site as both a featured snippet and in the top search result. You may not want to aim for both as this may be detrimental to your site’s visitor numbers.

Format

The structure of the content on your site should be formatted for a featured snippet. This may be a list, table, or paragraph that you need to optimise for the best chance to appear. 

Follow the steps below for your content:

  • Give straight to the point answers and keep it short
  • Use header tags and make them descriptive
  • Include images that are relevant to the questions you are answering
  • Bullet points, lists, and tables should form part of your content

The Pyramid

The reverse pyramid writing scheme is a well-known concept in journalism to follow when writing content. Start your article by getting to the details that the reader came for by telling the facts of the topic. This is the who, what, why, when, where, and how information that gets straight to the point. 

The reader should be then provided with the important details about the topic and finish off with other general related information. 

The featured snippet is a great way to boost your site’s traffic organically and best of all, at no cost. Many sites don’t optimise their content for this and that’s a great opportunity for you to boost your site’s exposure. Particularly, if your competitors haven’t done so, you can steal visitors from them even if they are at the top of the search results on Google.

Follow the guidelines below and your content will have a much more likelihood of appearing as a featured snippet. 

  • The word count should be between 40 to 50
  • Format your content to make it as clear and user friendly as possible
  • Improve your site’s SEO
  • Research keywords and the questions people are asking
  • Optimise your content to aim for your targeted snippet
  • Format headers to H1, H2, etc
  • Look at the ‘People Always Ask’ section for questions to target
  • Take advantage of the 50% of people who use voice search by optimising your writing

We hope this article has provided you with enough information to get your content on a featured snippet and have your site hitting high visitor numbers. 

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