23rd May 2019
How to Find Featured Snippet Opportunities
Our recent blog series, ‘What’s SERP?!’, looked at different types of SERP features, why they are important for your site, and how to optimise your content and code to capture them. Our first blog of the series focused on one of the most coveted SERP features, the Featured Snippet. However, before you can begin optimising your site to obtain a featured snippet, you first need to undertake some research and investigation to find relevant and achievable opportunities for your site.
Finding featured snippet opportunities
1. Assess your site’s current featured snippets
Like with most research processes, before we begin looking for new featured snippets to target, we must first assess our current performance. Whilst possible, it is not easy to find current featured snippets or potential opportunities without the help of some SEO tools. These (usually paid for) tools help you to assess your current portfolio of featured snippets (if any) and before identifying others you could aim to capture.
Using one of these tools, you can identify keywords and phrases that generate featured snippets. The tool will also provide you with which page on your site the featured snippet is taking content from and is linking to. You can then review the pages on your site which have featured snippets and identify what these pages have in common that might be helping them obtain the snippets. At this point in your research, it is also a good idea to look at the featured snippets that your competitors have. You can assess their pages in the same way, identifying layouts and features of the pages that are generating featured snippets.
2. Use Tools to Identify ‘Easy’ featured snippets
Once you have identified the featured snippets your pages currently generate, it’s time to focus on those that your competitors have. The first featured snippet opportunities to look for are those that are quickly and easily achievable with a few tweaks to your content. We can identify these ‘easy’ featured snippets by looking for search terms which meet the following two conditions:
- Generate featured snippets when searched
- Your site ranks in the top 10 on the SERPs for the search term
Featured snippets that show for search terms satisfying these conditions are the easiest to target, as your site already ranks well for the keywords (so you know Google likes the content on your site). Again, these search terms can be found by using the featured snippets section of the tool of your choice. Your tool should identify featured snippet opportunities, which you can then sort based on your site’s current ranking position. The tool will also show you which site currently has the featured snippet. You can then use this information to review the competitors site and identify why their page has the featured snippet. This will help you to think about what changes you can make to your site to better target the featured snippet.
3. Complete some featured snippet focused Keyword Research
After you have identified ‘easy’ featured snippets, and have optimised your site to target these, you can begin looking for other featured snippet opportunities. In order to find these opportunities, you can complete some focused keyword research. Research into featured snippets has shown that many featured snippets are generated by search phrases using question words. You can find question search terms relevant to your site by using a combination of the following methods:
- Use keyword checkers on SEO tools, filtering all keywords to show only question/featured snippet relevant searches
- Consider using free sites such as AnswerThePublic, which generates questions related to a given keyword
- Use the Google Suggest/autocomplete function by imputing keyword relevant to your site and noting questions that appear in the suggestions
- Use the Google Ads keyword planner
Image from a search on AnswerThePublic
4. Let Google know!
Your featured snippet portfolio has been reviewed, opportunities have been found, and your site has been optimised to target these coveted Position 0 SERP features! You’ve done all of the hard work now, so don’t forget to submit your optimised pages to Google for a recrawl. This can be done in Google Search Console using the URL Inspection tool. It will alert Google that you have made changes to the submitted page, prompting Google to recrawl this page, and hopefully deem it worthy of the Featured snippet you were targeting.
However, it can be difficult to know exactly what Google is looking for, so don’t be too disheartened if your site doesn’t get the Featured snippet on your first attempt. If you don’t get the featured snippet, review your page against your competitor again, optimise your page further and try again!
If you would like more information on how to find Featured Snippet opportunities or how to optimise your site for search, contact the experts at Varn.