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Are you looking to secure a top position on the Google SERP without having to go to the extremes of adding vast amounts of content to your website or having to acquire a wealth of high authority backlinks?
Then you should most definitely be looking into the featured snippets section on Google.
These are the small, useful snippets of relevant information that can appear in the upper section of the SERP, and are taken from high raking pages to give answers to specific queries. True, you might not get the click through to your actual page, but as the information is so limited, it invites the user to click to obtain that further relevant information they’re seeking.
A featured snippet is only meant to be a titbit of information, so it is something that answers a users query directly however you may have to follow through to find exactly what you’re looking for. In order to get where you want to be with your snippet, you need to know the different forms that they can take. Google gives priority to short paragraphs, numbered lists outlining steps to be taken, a bulleted list (or a section of it), a table form, or even a video.
Featured snippets are one of the major changes that Google has made to the SERP, taking effect in 2014 for the first time, but have since grown to become more useful to the searcher. They assist people in finding answers to their questions in fewer clicks, give sites a much-needed shortcut to the top page of the SERP, and they are an excellent brand booster.
Google often used featured snippets when the search query contains long-tail SEO keywords, so make sure that your snippet is organised as such. It needs to be relevant for the kind of snippet mentioned above, so keep it in short paragraph form, a table, or a bulleted or numbered list, if it’s written content you have there as opposed to a video.
This may mean rearranging a subheading that is SEO friendly closer to the text you want to use as your featured snippet so Google understands exactly the right response to give. If your snippet is already being featured then that’s a major boost for your site, so don’t play around with it too much, only make changes if you know that Google is pulling the information in the wrong format, or that the snippet just isn’t correct. Don’t risk it being taken away from you and given to a competitor just because it was slightly inaccurate.
Trying to get your content on featured snippets is a sure way to boost your organic traffic, so it’s always ideal to have a few to make it known you’re an authority in this area. If you don’t already have your site at a high rank for some of the chosen keywords in your sector, you shouldn’t attempt to progress to expanding your reach of featured snippets, instead focus on boosting content production and paying attention to link building.
You can use the content that’s already been ranked and leverage it towards new snippets. It’s quite possible to steal the spot of someone else’s snippet for your own with a few minor adjustments to your content. You shouldn’t aim to do too much too soon, so find a featured snippet that you wish was your website and focus on that.
If you have a selection of keywords you wish to rank for as featured snippets, narrow this choice down to which queries would be most valuable to your website. Look at what your competitor has done to achieve this much-desired snippet, and aim to imitate it, whether it’s a table, a video or paragraph form.
Ensure that your content is created with information that aligns with the snippet you wish to be featured for, and present it in a way that the search engine can take with minimal effort, parse it and interpret what it is going to be useful for.
Obtaining a coveted featured snippet is the same as hitting the top position for a certain keyword, so whatever method you use to track regular keywords can be used to keep an eye on how your snippet is performing. Ahrefs boasts a tool called Rank Tracker which is very useful for this purpose
Getting a featured snippet is equal to ranking first for a keyword. You might already be tracking keyword ranking positions, so let me help you expand it to tracking featured snippets. Simply add your keyword that is part of the featured snippet and add them into the Rank Tracker. From here you can do a week by week comparison of how they are doing, and whether they are holding on or have dropped off the SERP.
You can see lots of information here to stay ahead of the game, including a graph that shows how the snippet SERP changes over time. You will be able to judge which of your snippets have dropped position, and by how much, and how that equates to a decline in traffic.
One thing to keep at the back of your mind in relation to featured snippets is that they are chosen via an algorithm, so make sure that you appease that algorithm and at the same time hit the search query on the head with your content. Those two facts will be sure to generate lots of traffic in the long run. Don’t be disheartened if the position drops, simply start the process again and see where you’re going wrong.
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