Finding and Acquiring Featured Snippets -

Finding and Acquiring Featured Snippets

Are you trying to acquire more organic traffic without necessarily having to put in work into acquiring backlinks or creating better content? If that is the case, you should definitely try and optimize featured snippets.

If you do not know what featured snippets are and how they work, you can refer to this article on featured snippets.

If you are still on the fence on whether featured snippets are for you and how effective they are, you will be pleased to know about an Ahref featured snippet study.

Featured Snippet Optimization

According to this study, 8.6% of all clicks end up going to featured snippets. Since featured snippets are usually above the position #1 result, it means then that featured snippets are redirecting all these organic leads away from top ranking sites.

The data gets even more interesting. Assuming that your site is in the top position for a particular query and you site also has a featured snippet for the same query, you can be sure that you will end up with 28.2% of all clicks.

This is a huge boost when compared to the 19.6% your site will get if you only have the #1 position but not the featured snippet.

What this means is that you could easily double the traffic you are already getting by having a featured snippet.

So, now that you know the benefits of having featured snippets, how can you go about finding featured snippet opportunities in your industry and optimize them to ensure that Google notices?

Finding Featured Snippet Opportunities

Featured snippet opportunities

The first step you need to take is to find featured snippets you already own. To do this, you will need Ahrefs. Use the following steps:

  1. Click on Site Explorer
  2. Next, enter your domain
  3. Click on Organic Keywords on the right panel
  4. On the drop-down menus on the main panel click on SERP features
  5. Check ‘Target domain must be featured’
  6. Click on ‘Featured Snippet’

By following the above steps you will become aware of any search queries that show featured snippets on your website.

For any featured snippets you already have, you will need to go through them one at a time and ensure that they are well formatted to keep Google happy.

Find Featured Snippet Opportunities You Don’t Have

Studies have shown that if your website is featured in the top 10 results of a search query, you are eligible to get a featured snippet.

This is obviously good news. If you have been diligent in ranking your content, then all you will need is to make a few minor tweaks to your pages and you will hopefully get the enviable featured snippet.

For this, you will need to find queries where:

  • Your website is featured in the top 10 results of a query
  • Google already displays a featured snippet for such a query

With Ahrefs this is easy to do. Use the following steps:

  1. Click on Site Explorer in the navigation menu
  2. Enter your domain
  3. Click on ‘Organic Keywords’ on the right panel
  4. On the main panel, click on the ‘Position’ filter and filter the top 10 results
  5. Click on ‘SERP’ filter and in the drop-down menu click on ‘All Features’
  6. Then click on ‘Featured Snippet

This will help show all the queries you currently rank for in the top 10 that also have a featured snippet result.

Next, you will need to weed out all snippets that are owned by you and leave only the snippets that are owned by your competition.

The next step will be trying to figure out why you don’t have the featured snippets in the first place. Below are some few reasons that might help you to get a featured snippet if resolved.

  • Competitor has better answer

If the solution offered by your competition is better than what you have offered, then you stand no chance of overtaking their featured snippet. In this case, you should go through your answer and look at some of the aspects you can improve on.

  • Structured Markup Issues

HTML markup is generally used by Google to help their search engines understand what your content is about. If your content does not have appropriate HTML markup, this might be one of the reasons why your content is not getting displayed as a featured snippet.

If your content has the right markup, that is, unordered/ordered lists/tables, h-tags etc, your content is likely to show up in the featured snippet section.

You need to note that pages that are marked schema markup do not stand a higher chance of appearing in featured snippets.

  • Content is in a format that is not approved by searchers

If your competitor’s featured snippet is in an ordered list while your featured snippet page is in tabular form, it could be that searchers prefer your competitor’s format. It might be impossible for you to get that featured snippet that you have been working so hard to get.

Acquiring More Featured Snippets

If you were able to identify niche-relevant keywords that are characteristic of featured snippets, it would help you achieve more featured snippet opportunities.

Featured snippet keyword research

Here are three ways you can go about this:

  • Conduct research on huge generic sites
  • Do a little digging up on your competitors
  • Exploit the ‘Featured Snippet’ filter on Ahrefs

This is how you would go about finding featured snippets using a seed keyword in Ahrefs:

The steps on how to go about it have been outlined below:

  1. Click on Keywords Explorer in the Navigation Bar
  2. Enter your seed keyword
  3. On the right panel under ‘Keyword Ideas’ locate ‘Phrase match’ and click on it
  4. Next, click on ‘SERP features’ filter in the main panel
  5. Then click on ‘Featured snippet

This routine will give you access to hundreds if not thousands of queries that contain featured snippets.

Click on any of the queries you are presented with to find out the sites that own a featured snippet for that particular query. Once you have determined which site has that featured snippet opportunity, use the Site Explore feature to see what other featured snippet opportunities they have grabbed.

To achieve this use the following steps:

  1. Go to Site Explorer
  2. Key in the competitor’s URL in the search bar
  3. Under ‘Organic Search’ click on ‘Organic keywords
  4. Then click on the ‘SERP Features’ filter in the main panel
  5. Click on ‘All Features

If you get numerous results, for instance, running into hundreds of thousands, filter by search volume as this will reduce the number of queries you need to go through.

At this point you will manually have to put in the keywords into Google in order to find a featured snippet that can be replaced due to formatting issues discussed above.

Simply create some well-optimized content around that word and chances of Google picking your content over your competitor’s will exponentially increase.

Given the significant size of organic traffic that is directed to your site from featured snippets, trying to get featured snippets is well worth the pursuit.

If you would like to know more about featured snippets, feel free to get in touch.



By Mervyn Kinuthia on April 23, 2018

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