How to get a Featured Snippet – maybe…
After Uwe asked on Facebook how to get Featured Snippets, I thought I’d like to list the insights I’ve collected lately. First of all you can say: nothing is for sure! The only way to learn about Featured Snippets is: testing, testing, testing and trying. But there are some basics you can consider that will increase your chances on a #0 ranking. You can see them at a glance in the infographic above (yes, I know: the font size is veeeery small – never use a free tool for something like that :D) or described in more detail below:
Of course, you have to start with a keyword research. My favorite tool at the moment is SEMrush and its Keyword Magic Tool. This tool gives you the opportunity to check every keyword phrase in your keyword cluster for featured snippets. One example for the term „online marketing“:
For sure, you should check the SERPs manually too, especially with regard to competitive results.
The exakt question
Let’s say you found your „perfect question“ (of course, not only questions result in featured snippets, but they surely dominate this topic. In addition, most of the phrases that lead to featured snippets imply a question, so let’s just talk about questions…), then use it as a headline and as the anchor text in internal linking.
The perfect answer
Then give the perfect answer! That will be: a short (40 – 50 words), unique, appealing answer in a paragraph (p or div tag) – or maybe an image, a list or something similar, because…
The format matters
Check the existing or similar featured snippets: are they text answers? Or lists, pictures, charts, tables or anything else? Then use the same format. Why? Because Google thinks that this format serves the best answer. And then get creative: how many list items are displayed? Can I formulate my answer in such a way that Google finds it perfect, but the user would like to know more?
John Mueller says:
„We’ve discussed that with the team a few times, that maybe we should have a structured data markup that people can use to get featured snippets. But the team is happier to surface them organically.They didn’t want to bog down webmasters with even more structured data markup to add to their pages.“
But I am totally sure that structured data can not hurt your efforts. One example:
Kevin Indig, SEO Ninja @ Atlassian, got featured snippets with structured data.
Unfortunately, the schema is no more available on the landing pages – Kevin, when you read this: WHY? :)
But as I said in the beginning: just keep on testing, that’s the only way it works.
Onpage Basics & Content
Okay, how should the snippet and landing page look like? The title tag (short, concrete, appealing – check it here) should meet the expectation of the user and make him click. The same applies to the URL, because these are the main elements of your landing page that are shown in the featured snippet and have a great influence on whether the user is satisfied with the featured snippet or clicks further to your page.
The landingpage itself should contain related questions (you can find them in the SERPs directly) and should be easy to navigate (e. g. through anchor links).
And as to be said in EVERY SEO arcticle: focus on your user! Provide all information, media and documents leading to the best user experience possible. And then: just wait :)
If you’ve had other experiences, have more ideas that could lead to featured snippets or have other suggestions, leave a comment!