Growth September 16, 2020

Tip: Increase organic traffic by optimizing for featured snippets

Growth Bites @growthbites

Getting to #1 on Google can be tough, but getting to the first page is a little easier. And from there, you can jump to #1 by winning the snippet. Optimize for featured snippets to get to the top and increase traffic.

Featured snippets are answers that appear as tables, lists, videos, etc. above Google's organic search results. They put you right at the top and give you more real estate. It goes without saying that this is great for your brand and (if you do it right) your traffic. Case and point, Cyrus Shepard of Zyppy had a featured snippet and when he experimented with opting out, his traffic went down by 12%. Featured snippets are taken directly from top-ranking pages so you've got to be on the first page to be a contender, and the higher the better. Keep featured snippets in mind when writing new articles. But the lowest hanging fruit is to optimize pages that already rank highly for keywords with featured snippets. Make sure the relevant part of your article uses the same styling (bullets, table, etc.) as the current snippet. State the question that you're answering in H1, then seed keywords (and potential "People Also Ask" questions) in H2s throughout. Use a conversational tone. And of course, make the answers flawless and concise. Not too concise, though — you still want them to click the link.

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  1. 2

    State the question that you're answering in H1

    H1 is usually reserved for the page title. So are you suggesting that your page title is the question?

    Not that multiple H1s within an article would confuse Google, but it's probably better form to use H2s for the question within an article instead of H1.

    Another option is to use a FAQ structured content object within an article. Not 100% sure it the FAQ object would get to Feature Snippet level, but Google SERPs shows FAQ rich objects underneath & within the website search result many times. That makes it a bit easier for searchers to digest small portions of your content, and possibly incentivize them to click-through.

    1. 1

      Yep, that's the idea — using the question as the title. What do you think? You can then also use the H2s for potential "People Also Ask" questions. Speaking of which, maybe I'll add that up top.

      Good thinking re the FAQ! 💪

      1. 2

        If you use the main question as the page title, then where within the body of the article would place the answer?

        The question is how does Google know where to find the answer for the question, if the question is in the page title? If you answer the question in the first paragraph of the article, then it doesn't necessarily incentivize readers to read past that part.

        I've not done much deep research on optimizing for rich snippets, but I've always been left with the impression the question and answer are both within the body of the article.

        Generally, using H2 or H3 tags as the question (or just bolding the text), with the answer immediately following in some structured form, or a simple paragraph.

        Again, I've not dug into this much, but it is interesting :)

        The guys over at the Income School YouTube channel have some interesting videos on featured snippets.

        Good stuff!

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