Optimising for featured snippets – 10 top tips

Feb 19, 2021 by
Optimising for featured snippets – 10 top tips

The best SEO techniques used to be as simple as using basic keywords to achieve that glorious number one ranking. But with the advent and increasing popularity of featured snippets, it’s now no longer good enough to get to number one.

Now, it’s all about getting to number zero – that space above the number one result that has more information and takes up more space.

We’re talking, of course, about the featured snippet, which has become the holy grail of organic search. But how do you optimise for these featured snippets?

1. Optimise for page one – You don’t need to be ranking at number 1 or 2 to earn a featured snippet but being in the top 5 certainly won’t harm your chances.

This means optimising your content to at least get on page one of the results with your target keywords. Indeed, virtually all featured snippets will be generated from the top 10 results.

2. Focus on a question – If your content can answer the questions that your audience is likely to ask then you’re already halfway there.

Ultimately, search engines are there to answer questions above all else and with more users pivoting to voice search by the month, questions are more relevant than ever before. Short answers also make perfect snippets!

3. Consistency is key – Think of your chosen keyword as the question you’re trying to answer and ensure you focus on answering that question in the pieces you’re optimising. This means constantly referring to the question in headings, sub-headings, and elsewhere.

4. Keep it short and simple – If you can be as simple and concise as possible then Google will be more confident that it satisfies their search query.

These are snippets, remember, so if you answer the question with a full-blown paragraph then it’s more likely to be overlooked as a snippet.

5. Build on what’s already there – Look at the pages ranking in the top 10 that already have featured snippets.

What is it about them that you feel is helping them get featured and do you think you could do better?

If you see the snippet that’s featured and think you could answer the same question more succinctly and accurately then go for it.

6. Utilise structured data – Adding schema markup to your content is a great way to help Google better understand your content and know when to feature it. This is a simple coding technique that is fairly easy to learn and could make a lot of difference.

7. Be content with your contents – At its heart, optimising for featured snippets or ‘page zero’ is all about making it easier for Google to see how great your content is.

One simple and often overlooked way of doing this is to structure your content with a table of contents that have anchor links added to them for ease of access.

8. Format properly – A featured snippet will typically be either a short paragraph, a list or a table. So, it’s imperative that your content is formatted to suit one of these three use cases.

You should also be formatting your content with proper numbered H2 and H3 tags if you want to give yourself the best possible chance.

9. If you can’t land the snippet try the image instead – Did you know that the featured image used in the snippet is not always from the website used for the snippet itself? If you see a featured snippet with an image that doesn’t match, maybe you can do better?

10. Don’t give up – Once you’ve managed to get yourself onto page one, start experimenting with the tips above, mixing and matching until the Google gods decide to shine their grace and glory upon you. Because it has to happen eventually, especially if you‘re in the top five.