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The Art of Featured Snippets: Winning the Zero-Click SEO Game

Have you ever noticed something while running a search query on your system? Take a moment to find that Google sometimes answers or summarizes content from a relevant website. This is called a featured snippet, appearing in a box on top of the organic search results.

Also, Google yielded about 10 backlinks to a site. Is it enough? Any search can turn up snippets and knowledge graphs and answer the query. You can now seek endless ad options and provide context with a “People Also Ask” alternative. 

This way, individuals can easily find answers without making a single click. What’s next?

Don’t lose hope. Rather than abandoning SEO, you can rely on Google’s algorithm. Offer the audience in front of you with the key insights by optimizing for featured snippets.

Let us take a deeper dive into some other aspects of featured snippets.

About Zero-click Search

A zero-click search is when you find answers without visiting any website outside the search engine result pages (SERPs). You’ll find these searches everywhere, most resulting from Google’s SERP features. 

According to Semrush, over 83% of individuals directly navigate the retailer sites, which is a major concern. On the other hand, businesses with a complete content strategy can find zero clicks as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

Featured Snippets Affecting Web Traffic

As mentioned above, zero-click searches are rising.

About 60% of searchers need to visit results before finding their answers. But that doesn’t mean your top-performing content will take a 60% traffic decrease. Many users may find answers in the featured snippet above the SERPs. This snippet, sometimes referred to as “position zero,” is a rich result at the top of the page. It’s in a large text. Google displays one or two sentences directly answering the search query from an organic result.

According to Ahrefs, almost all organic traffic went to the top three results before introducing the featured snippet. Specifically, 30% to the first, 25%, and 15% to the second and third. After featured snippets started displaying, the SERP-provided link stole 10% away from the top result. 

For sites that now see their first position seized by a different website’s position zero, which can sting. But it’s excellent news for a website optimized for the featured snippet. 

How to Optimize for Featured Snippets?

Google mainly defines indexing and ranking by crawling the web with bots. Featured snippets are no different.

While Google searches your site to index and rank its content, the algorithm also estimates whether your content makes an illustrative featured snippet to emphasize a search query. That means delivering high-quality, useful content is the best way to earn a rich snippet.

Below are some helpful tips and directions to help make your content featured:

Answer Frequently Asked Questions

The “people also asked” and “related searches” sections ought to provide you with content ideas. To earn a featured snippet in related searches, answer question-based queries directly related to your topic.

Concentrate on Question Words

Question-based interrogations are your friend in the game of featured snippets, even outside of FAQ or related searches. Semrush says 29% of keywords that triggered a featured snippet start with questions, such as “can” or “why.”

Structure Information Naturally

If you Google “how to do utensils,” a numbered list of steps (good luck!) is a featured snippet. If you Google “types of dog toys,” it will show a few bullet points. Those interrogations ask for more than a sentence. If it makes sense, numbered or bulleted lists may help Google bots, as well as humans, understand that you are answering a query.

Stay on Topic     

Google pulls 2 to 3 sentences for a featured snippet. If you are trying the Google-approved description, try to have a quick and sweet answer without risking too far into the weeds.

Include imagery

Google and readers adore visual content. According to Semrush, featured snippet hubs include an average of 8 images smashing up long text walls. If you want your image to be a part of the snippet, optimize it for thumbnails following the crop.

Deploy Schema Markup

Schema markup is a way to let Google know precisely the agenda of your content. Also called structured data, schema markup utilizes code to help sort your content into separate boxes, such as:

  • Organization Schema: who you are
  • Local Business: where you are
  • Product page: what it is
  • Job Listing: what you want
  • Event Page: what to do
  • Video Page: how to see
  • How To: how to
  • FAQ: did you know
  • Article: What You Say

Many content management systems automatically implement schema for structured lists. However, a content agency may need to help you with a more complex schema.

When to Optimize for Zero-click Searches?

Now that you know how to get perks from a zero-click search, “when to do it” is another important subject.

It would be best to let go of some queries. Location-based queries replied to on your blog likely aren’t going to beat the local pack. Similarly, optimizing your product listing to appear in Google Shopping will be easier than aiming for a content or blog page.

If you have a high-quality content piece that has yet to earn a snippet, consider going back and updating it. Add fresh data so you’re more up-to-date than the current position zero. Answer more questions to snag snippets for related queries. Alternatively, check Google Search Console and see other searches people make to land on that page.

Getting into the Featured Snippet Position

For one thing, a more established website with richer content and a higher authority score tends to win the Featured Snippets Day. Here’s the perfect formula for your snippet quest fame:

Organic Keyword Research

You take a tool such as SEMRush’s keyword toolbox and research keywords, looking at all the stems, relations, and variants for those phrases. Quora is the best place for this. SEMRush also has a topic research tool, with sub-topics helpfully worded as questions and sorted into categories. You can even narrow the questions by the first words: “Who, what, where,” etc.

Market Knowledge

Always look at your competitor, if you have one, or the general websites within your industry. Do your query research in Google, mentioning which sites pop into the upper boxes and how the content there is worded.

Content Structure

Content in featured snippets can have various formats. It would be best to have a question-and-answer form. You can even follow some simple guidelines. These can be:

  • Appropriate Headers: Google still likes h1, h2, and h3 tags to sort out significant content.
  • Include Multimedia (if possible): This can help you get attention beyond mere content.
  • Featured Snippet Material: An old blog post could contain a Featured Snippet if only the answer were more concise.
  • Everything, not in a Single Answer: To encourage click-through, you can offer the overview of a Featured snippet-sized solution, with more in-depth information promised on the page proper.

Just because a Featured Snippet is claimed doesn’t mean a better response can’t bump it from that spot. So, never give up!

Regarding driving raw clicks, Featured Snippets get fewer clicks than a top-ranking “vanilla” search result. An updated Ahrefs research of July 2020 found that Featured Snippets draw only 8.6% of clicks rather than the top result without any Featured Snippet receiving 26%.

There has been a new change in how Featured Snippets influence traffic, resulting in a minor controversy of the year. Earlier, ranking for a Featured Snippet had no direction on the vanilla links; you could appear in a snippet and still have the same link repeated in the standard links below. 

Work Smart for Clicks

Google has always been the people’s platform. The idea of connecting those who know with the ones who can’t understand a thing has changed significantly. When you face zero-click searches, try to generate helpful content and make individuals crave lengthy solutions. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get help from an expert and identify opportunities for featured snippet optimization!

kunal Kakkar

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