How to Find, Earn and Leverage Featured Snippets
If you’ve ever typed a question in Google and been returned an answer in a box, right at the top of the Google search results page, you were looking at a featured snippet. They are also called position #0, since it is displayed above the number 1 result.
Featured snippets come in a variety of formats, including paragraph snippets, numbered and bulleted list snippets, YouTube snippets, and table snippets. The vast majority is the paragraph snippet, making up about 82% according to Search Engine Journal.
Here’s an example of what a paragraph featured snippet looks like.
And here’s an example of what a list featured snippet looks like.
Moz says questions trigger featured snippets and contain words like: will, have, does, are, do, can, is, should, who, what, where, when, why and how.
As you can imagine, it produces a lot of organic search traffic to the sites that earn this coveted spot. According to Ahrefs’ data, ~12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in their search results now. The Ahrefs study goes on to say:
When there’s a featured snippet at the #1 position, it only gets ~8.6% of clicks (on average), while the page that ranks right below it will get ~19.6% of clicks (on average).
How does it compare to a regular #1 ranking page with no featured snippet above it? That page will get ~26% of all clicks.
So, if you got the featured snippet and the number 1 spot for a given search term, you could be getting over 28% of the clicks!
And, according to the Ahrefs study, more than 85% of featured snippets are triggered by long-tail keywords that have a monthly search volume of less than 100.
So how do you get your site in a featured snippet? First, you need to find the right phrases.
How Do You Find Potential Featured Snippet Keyword Phrases?
You first need to be already ranking for that phrase on page one of Google’s search results. According to Ahrefs study cited above, Google almost only features pages that already rank in the top10, with most being in the top 5 results.
One great way to find potential featured snippet keyword phrases that you could realistically earn is to use Ahrefs. Enter your domain name and then click on Organic Keywords in the left-hand side. Then click on the SERP Features dropdown in the middle top of the page, choose Featured Snippet, and click Apply.
This is a list of phrases that your site ranks for that already have featured snippets in the results. The phrases that rank in the top 5 are your ‘low-hanging fruit’ and will likely have the most potential for earning the featured snippet spot.
If you don’t discover any realistic ones with that method, simply do the same thing but don’t click on the SERP Features dropdown. Instead just sort the Position column to see all your keyword phrases you rank in the top 10 for.
When you find one or more phrases, you then need to translate it into a question, and then answer the question.
For example, if you see you’re ranking in the top 10 for the phrase ‘multi tenant intercom systems’, turn it into a question like ‘What are multi tenant intercom systems?‘
A phrase such as ‘buy car with no social security’ could be translated into ‘Can you buy a car without a social security number?’
A phrase like ‘fix laptop keyboard’ could be translated into ‘How do you fix a laptop’s keyboard?’
Another one could be translating ‘tips for freshwater fishing’ into ‘What are some tips for fishing in freshwater?’
Now you have a potential phrase that:
- Triggers a featured snippet
- You already rank in the top 10 for it (preferably in the top 5)
- You’ve translated it into a question
So how do you get the #0 spot?
How to Earn the Featured Snippet
The top factor in landing this spot is being the best answer to the question. Therefore, whatever you create for this ought to be better than the existing featured snippet.
Step 1. Create a sub headline that feeds the answer to Google and give it an H2, like any of these three:
<h2>Top Tips for Fishing in Freshwater Are:</h2>
<h2>List of Tips for Fishing in Freshwater Are:</h2>
<h2>Here Are the Best Tips for Freshwater Fishing:</h2>
Step 2. Underneath that, add your paragraph, list or table answer. Ideal paragraph answers are around 50 words in length.
Step 3. Next to your answer, include a unique and relevant image. Name it something along the lines of your keyword phrase.
Factors that increase the chances it will be chosen:
- Quantity of relevant facts to the query in your answer and on your page.
- The relevance of the page in general to that query.
- The quantity of the related entities (related words). This is likely the most important factor, so include more related entities than the current featured snippet result. You can find them using keyword tools like Ubersuggest, Answer the Public (which is also great for suggesting questions), or Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.
- How recent your answer was posted.
Step 4. Post your newly optimized page and then in Google’s Search Console, Inspect it and then Submit it.
To Increase Your Chances of Getting Your Page Chosen:
- Move your answer higher up on the page
- Add more synonyms and related entities to your answer and page
- Add more facts to your answer
- Add a relevant and unique image
- Add internal links to it from other, high authority pages within your site
- Build inbound links to the page from other sites
How to Leverage the Featured Snippet
You’ve gotten your page in the featured snippet, congratulations! One thing you’ll notice is that there are a lot more visits to your page now.
What can you do with all these new visitors?
There are a few good ways you can take advantage of this new flow of visitors.
- Often featured snippet pages earn links from other sites since it’s useful information that others will cite in their articles. That means your page will accrue ranking power over time from these back links. Therefore, link to other pages in your site that you want to rank from this page. They will get a boost because they’re being linked to by a page on your site that has inbound links from other sites.
- Add a lead capture form to the page. Add it below your answer, in the sidebar, or as an exit pop-up. If you do choose to use a pop-up, use it sparingly, as they can annoy your visitors too.
- Add a coupon code somewhere prominently on the page to entice visitors to come back and buy from you.
- Add remarketing code to your page so that your ad shows up on other sites that they visit after yours.
You could do all four of the suggestions above too.
When you achieve a featured snippet, it’s a great feeling. And it also produces more visitors, some of whom become fans, subscribers or customers, making featured snippets a coveted spot worth pursuing.