The goal of a 2023 featured snippet is to provide bite size information in brief and prompt responses with H1, H2 headings and keeping character count within 50-60 words.
You already know what a Google featured snippet is, you just didn’t know what it’s called!
When you ask a question in Google, or ask the internet’s opinion of the Best SEO Freelancer UK or for the Best [product] to buy in the UK, have you ever seen the big block of text at the top of the SERPs on Google page 1?
This is a Featured Snippet that Google has rewarded a website with for having relevant information to answer your question.
My client saw a huge jump in website traffic and a significant rise in orders, we started to work together on SEO just 4 months previously.
Elevate your revenue and contact me today with a free chat.
SEO help starts here
What is a Google Featured Snippet and How Do I Get It?
A featured snippet is a special type of search result that appears at the top of the search results page, above the regular results. It is intended to provide people on the internet with a succinct summary of the most relevant information for their search query.
Nina’s note: Being awarded a featured snippet is not guaranteed, and it is a result of many factors, including the quality and relevance of your content, the competition for the query, and the algorithm updates.
Featured Snippet method for your website:
- Understand what types of queries trigger featured snippets: Featured snippets are most commonly triggered by questions and long-tail keywords. Identifying the types of queries that are most likely to trigger a featured snippet can help you focus your content creation efforts. What words do you want people to type into Google to find your website or product on an ecommerce store?
- Open a new Chrome Incognito window and visit www.google.co.uk
- Type in the search words, what you are looking for is your domain. If you can’t see it on Google page 1, then search systematically through page 2 through to 5. If you can’t find it at all contact me to tell me your search words. I’ll reply in 24 hours with some free advice.
- If you can’t see your domain for the search words, what you are now looking at is all the other websites that are ranking for your search words, correct? These are your competitors! Time to write content to target the search term in a new blog article on your website.
- Your target search term should be said in different ways and with related wording in your content for the query: The content that appears in a featured snippet must be highly relevant and informative.
- Always ensure that your SEO content answers the question in a clear and concise manner.
- Use structured data: Google uses structured data, such as schema markup, to understand the content on your website. This can help it identify which content on your site is most relevant for a particular query.
- Use H2 headings and lists: Featured snippets often appear in the form of lists or paragraphs with headings. Use headings (H1, H2, H3) and lists (ul, ol) in your content to make it more easily scannable and understandable for Googlebot.
- Use images with the same search query as your alt tag and videos with the same question in your title as featured snippets can also include images and videos. Use relevant and informative images and videos in your content to increase the chances of it being selected as a featured snippet. Read more about YouTube and Video SEO.
- Log in to your Google Search Console: Keep an eye on your Google Search Console for any featured snippet appearing for your website, and make sure to maintain the quality and relevance of the content.
Featured Snippet – Local Services
This is my client CrawfordsPRC who has been working with me for a decade. Most of my client portfolio who have been with me pre 2020 have worked together for 5, 10 and 15 years.
This is a Google reward for consistent SEO work.
How To Write Content To Target A Featured Snippet Search Phrase in Google
Here’s how I help companies in Somerset with local SEO and Great British companies throughout England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland: You write some paragraphs about your business and I take your written content and tweak for search engines.
There’s no one better to write about your business than yourself
When I rewrite your content this is what keeps kicking your keywords and geographical areas up in Google organic search results.
Writing a new blog post should take between 30-60 minutes depending on the material you choose to feature.
Featured Snippet For Your Website - It's A Free Award
Google awards a featured snippet to a webpage that it believes provides the most relevant and useful answer to a user’s query.
So, first of all, you must decide on one concrete search phrase and research online in advance to see whether a Featured Snippet is already awarded to another domain – because it is possible to steal it.
The selection process for featured snippets is determined by Google’s algorithm, which takes into account a variety of factors such as the relevance, authority, and credibility of the page.
To be eligible for a featured snippet, a webpage must meet the following criteria:
- The page must be indexed by Google
- The page must contain content that directly answers the user’s query
- The page must be high-quality and provide value to the user
- The page’s website should be well-structured and easy to navigate
- The page should be mobile-friendly
The algorithm will look for the best match for the user query and extract the most useful piece of information. It will then format the answer in a box at the top of the search results, sometimes including an image and the source of the information. The featured snippet is intended to provide the user with a quick and easy answer to their question, without having to click through to a webpage.
It’s worth to note that Featured Snippets are dynamic and can change over time depending on the queries and the information available on the web.
Search Intent and Google's Semantic Brain
Some people find this easier than others and I’m here to help guide you through your homework so I can tweak for SEO. Here’s my on-page SEO checklist of tasks that’s been the same since the early noughties, remember the very first step. Do not write one single word before you decide on the search phrase you want to target in Google.
Let’s use this blog as an example, there are many ways to say the same thing, but today I am writing on how to claim a Google Featured Snippet.
- Semantic Google: Learn how to use lots of different words in your articles – If you are targeting a local area, inject a little local news, or welcome a new member of staff as an introduction. Google’s Search Intent and Semantic Brain means that you need to learn to say the same thing in different ways, as users online will not use the exact terminology as you, especially if you’re in a niche industry and users don’t know the accurate industry terminology. Begin by talking about a new product that’s helped your business such as a new vehicle, an equipment investment or an event you’re attending later this year. If you are ecommerce, use your article to promote a featured product with your own descriptive text to entice extra sales.
- Search Intent Research: Settle down with a cup of tea – or maybe something stronger? You’ll need at least 700 words for Google SEO, however please write more if you can. The more the merrier, this blog post is around 2,000 words.
- Be inspired with someone else’s article – We know that breaking copyright rules is illegal, however if you credit the original source to an article you can copy and paste that text, even amend it to suit as long as you say something like “The original Google Analytics article can be found here” at the bottom of the page is perfectly fine to avoid a copyright claim and a duplicate content penalty. However, avoid this if you can and write your own content, or hire an SEO Copywriter.
- YouTube videos – Do you have mobile phone footage that you can upload to YouTube? Maybe a demo? Maybe a walk around the office or a movie of your welcoming reception area. Google owns YouTube so this is an SEO trick not to be missed.
- Before and After photos – Are you in a skilled industry such as a plumber, plasterer, builder or property maintenance? Just a couple of photos can light up your blog post, plus when you add an Alt tag and rename the image with your keywords this is another Google SEO green tick ✔
- Customer Reviews – Everyone loves to read a success story so from your existing client base simply ask (or bribe) your current client base for details of how you helped them, or review a product or service.
- Industry News – Newsletters which land in your inbox can often be the perfect starting point to apply this news to your business. Is there a new product launch that will benefit your clients? Tell them how.
- Trade Shows and Exhibitions – Many events take place over a few days annually, if you are attending, speaking or have a stall then this is the perfect time to invite your customers to meet in person for a catch up.
- Cross Promoting – Do you work closely with another company? One huge benefit of cross promoting is that a well written article on your blog recommending their products or services will often be shared by them, increasing Google’s trust as your blog gains more views and clicks.
- Focus on Geographical Areas – It’s easy to Google search and compile a list of geographical towns and villages in your service area. Write about why your customers should choose you and include as many local areas with aesthetics in mind.
SEO Freelancer Bristol, Somerset, England UK Nationwide
My client base is throughout the UK including: Bristol, Somerset, Bridgwater, Weston-super-Mare, Taunton, Portishead, Gloucester, Trowbridge, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Swindon, Devon, Dorset, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Torquay, Exeter, Cardiff, Swansea, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Scotland, South Wales and Northern Ireland.
With nearly two decades of working from home as a sole trader, you’ll only ever speak with me. I’m not a team but I’m your all in one Digital Agency.
I’m hired for a lot of one-off projects, to problem solve, data mine and fact find in the back end of a website from the view of all Search Engines; Bing, Google and Yahoo are the three big names that bring in revenue to Great British business located in the United Kingdom.
Google Released the Featured Snippet in 2014
Google launched Featured Snippets in 2014.
Back in 2007 Search Engine Optimisation was never a major issue for websites, it was easy to rank on the first page of Google simply by repeating key words on the website and also in the meta tags to climb up in rankings. Business also used other tactics of keyword repetition to shoot up in Google – simply by adding white text on a white background so the human eye couldn’t see the junk text, but Google could.
Now in 2017 Google and other search engines are getting smarter – and businesses need to do the same. Let’s explore the methods in my guide to SEO using an example law firm in Brighton:
What are the Search Engines really looking for?
- Page URL structure – great for geographically tageted businesses. For example, a law firm in Brighton should create a blog post or an internal page with the URL ending in /law-firm-brighton.
- Maximise your H1 header – Avoid saying “Welcome to my website” in big bold letters, tell Google that you are a Law Firm in Brighton (and your specialist areas too).
- Textual Content – Each page should have at least 300 words. Search Engines are like humans, they read a website like a newspaper. No one wants to buy a newspaper with nothing to read.
- Images – Rename your images from “My logo” or “DC0034” to your chosen key phrase, so “Law Firm Brighton Family Lawyers Logo_1” instead.
- Ensure other people are linking back to your site – Google likes backlinks from relevant and trusted websites like Yell, Thompson Local and even Google+ and YouTube. Google owns YouTube and also the site blogger.com. Create extra traffic by ensuring your website is mentioned online with business profiles.
What are Search Engines not looking for?
- Spammy blog comments from outside of the UK.
- Hundreds / thousands of low level backlinks that have been bulk added by an overseas SEO company for a few $dollars.
- Linking from ‘bad neighbourhood’ websites such as adult or gambling.
- A pretty website with lots of photos and zero text.
- A website built on a free platform such as Weebly or GoDaddy.
Try it for yourself – Google search for your geographical area and your services – what page in Google is your website? Can you see your competitors above you? Often wonder how they dominate Google search results?
Google Researching Tips for Keywords and Semantic Search Phrases
One very powerful, but undocumented, search tool, is the AROUND function. If you wanted to research Barack Obama’s interactions with Australia, you could simply include both terms in a search, but you’d find thousands of articles in which these two terms may appear many paragraphs apart, and bear no relation to one another.
The Google ‘Around’ Function Search Trick
But if instead you search “obama” AROUND(10) “australia” then the first results will be one in which Obama appears within ten words of Australia. NOTE: for this to work, both search terms must be in quotes, AROUND must be capitalized, and the number must be in parentheses.
Ebay and Google – Using the negative sign to exclude results
(-) Knowing how and when to use the minus sign in a search query. i.e. search George Washington -gwu.edu. This also work with eBay e.g. iphone case -gel (to exclude all iphone cases made of gel)
Using Other Characters in Search
- ~ before a word to search simultaneously for the synonyms of that word.
- <number>..<number> to search for a range of numbers. For example, 1..10
- (*) as a wildcard in quoted search strings to stand for one or many unknown words. “The * cat” will return things like The angry cat, the big brown cat…
- (+) will ensure that a word is included in every search result. (per u/izerth, google got rid of the + operator, so now you have to put ” around single words or use search tools->results->verbatim)
- Quotes surrounding a phrase will ensure that exact phrase turns up.
- Triple quotes “””word””” will get you ‘actual verbatim’ and leave out what google thinks is relevant.
- filetype: .whatever will make sure URLs have that extension at the end.
- inurl: some.words_here will make sure whatever follows shows up in the URL. Good for refining your search by domain name.
- intitle:word returns sites with ‘word’ in the title bar – also useful for index or mp4, mp3 / intitle:whatever will look for whatever to appear in the title bar of the page – for example try site:docs.google.com intitle:mp4
- site:sitename.com will return only results from that site
- Add ‘forum’ to the search to find others with the same question
- Use Google Scholar to find only relevant articles from academics, case studies, etc. Great for medical as well.
Thanks to Reddit for these awesome tips!
How To Write SEO Content and Copywriting Tips
SEO copywriters always research current Google positions before writing starts, here’s a run down once you have benchmarked your Google rankings:
Keyword research: Identifying the keywords and phrases that people are searching for, and incorporating them into the content in a natural way. Take note of the domains already ranking in SERPs as these are your competitors and it’s up to you to chase them and replace them on Page 1.
On-page optimisation is key: Making sure that the simple HTML elements of the page, such as the title tag and meta description, are properly configured to signal to search engines what the content is about. Always start your title tags with your keywords and avoid using your brand name. As a rough guide you have 70 characters including spaces.
Relevant content creation: Writing in depth and quality helpful, informative content that engages readers and provides value.
Link building: Acquiring links from other websites to the target website. I use Video SEO as a safe way of attracting backlinks, as Google owns YouTube.
Google Cloud Spreadsheet: Using Chrome Incognito, search for your keywords/search phrases online and see where your website ranks, is it on Google page 2? When you get to Google page 5 and you don’t see your website, stop and contact me.
Press releases and awards: When you broadcast an online press release, this generates a backlink and may be shared on social media. If you have been given an award, send your news to your local newspaper and they will usually link to your website from their online news website.
User experience: Creating a great user experience for visitors that will help keep them on the site and encourage them to share the content with others. Use the ‘4 click rule’ so when visitors land on your homepage they can purchase an item in 4 clicks, or for a services website 2 clicks to find your contact form and hit the ‘send’ button.
- Time on site: By writing for visitors before search engines, it’s your job to write engaging content that is actually read by human eyes. Longer time on site is an excellent indicator to Search Engines that you’re writing encourages readers to dwell, and hopefully share.