Google is constantly finding new ways to deliver the most relevant search results to users. One way that the search giant is delivering on this is through Featured Snippets.
If Google is your "go to" search engine, you've most definitely noticed that Google is increasing the number of Featured Snippets that appear in search results. Typically, when a Google user types in a question-based query, Featured Snippets will be displayed in the results that directly answers the user's question without the user necessarily having to visit the webpage.
As you're reading this, you might be a little concerned that a Featured Snippet would actually decrease the number of people that click-through to your website. However, that's not the case at all. In fact, research shows that Featured Snippets have the potential to dramatically improve your click-through rate.
So the big question that you're probably asking yourself is how to optimize your content for Google's Featured Snippet Box?
I wish we could tell you there was a magic formula for doing so. While you might assume that your Featured Snippet would be at the top if your URL ranks on page one of search results, you may be disappointed to learn that this is not the case at all.
It turns out the semantic relevance to the keyword in question and having a clear page structure seem to matter much more with Featured Snippet rankings than if your URL is on page one of search results.
Still, understanding how Featured Snippets are ranked are somewhat of a mystery to even the most experienced SEOs.
Fortunately, we do have some helpful takeaways to share with you about how to optimize your content for Google's Featured Snippet Box based on adetailed analysis that HubSpot put together:
Identify clear questions that your audience is typing into search queries related to your business and industry.
By formulating a list of the questions that your target audience has regarding your business and industry, you'll be able to incorporate and directly address these questions in your content. The more clear you are with your explanation, the more likely you will get Featured Snippets for your website.
When addressing questions that your audience is typing into search queries, offer value beyond the direct answer.
Google wants to give users a superior experience, and the best way that they can accomplish this is by delivering the most relevant, useful, and value-added content in search results. By taking the time to write quality content, clearly address the searcher's question, and expand on the subject, you will put yourself in a good position to earn Featured Snippets.
Make it easy for users (and Google) to find your website.
One way that you can accomplish this is by having updated and accurate local listings for your business in search directories--most specifically, Google. Another effective way to help users and search engines alike find your website is to regularly publish content that touches on relevant topics that your target audience is searching for and wants to hear about.
While there is no magic formula for getting featured snippets for your website, the best practices referenced above will certainly go a long way in helping you to gain this exposure.