How to adapt your blogs for Google’s Featured Snippets and stay ahead of the competition with ‘The Perfect Blog’.

jess's picture
| 25th August 2017
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It’s been a little while since we last spoke about featured snippets, and whilst it’s great to aim for a service page to be listed as a featured snippet, there’s a lot you can do with blogging to tailor your content to answer specific questions your target audience might be asking on Google. You might call this ‘the perfect blog’, as you’re hoping it will answer an important question well enough to be listed highly in Google search results, and high enough to be considered as the featured snippet for that specific question. This blog would therefore be responsible for driving relevant traffic to your website, and hopefully a lot of it.

It’s tricky and it’s a big task, there’s no doubt about that. But, with more emphasis on quality content ranking well, you do stand a chance, albeit a small one, on getting that top spot.

What are featured snippets?

Featured snippets are selected search results that are featured on top of Google's organic results in their very own box. Featured snippets aim at directly answering the user's question and therefore are capable of giving your website additional brand exposure in search results.

There are three major types of featured snippets:

  • Paragraph
  • List
  • Table

Do I have a chance to get featured?

Moz summarises this well:

According to research by Ahrefs, 99.58% of featured pages already rank in top 10 of Google. So if you are already ranking high for related search queries, you have very good chances to get featured.

On the other hand, Getstat claims that 70% of snippets came from sites outside of the first organic position. So it's required that the page is ranked in top 10, but it's not required to be #1 to be featured.

Unsurprisingly, the most featured site is Wikipedia.org. If there's Wikipedia featured for your search query, it may be extremely hard to beat that — but it doesn't mean you shouldn't try.

You should start with keyword research (as always!) and then conduct question-type searches around that phrase, such as ‘how’ ‘what’ and ‘why’ type phrases. Look for informational content ranking well, not just search results that only answer the question.

And as a final piece of advice… go beyond the internet, and actually ask people! Ask people what sort of questions they’d have around your topic, and tailor content to answer them. As scary as it might seem to go beyond the safety of your computer screen, it’s important to remember that behind every search result is a real-life person (well, hopefully), and they’re the ones that hold the answers.

How can I adjust my blogging style?

It’s very simple:

  • Ask the question in your article
  • Immediately follow the question with a one-paragraph answer
  • Elaborate further in the article

How long should a blog be?

It all depends on your audience and your topic. It’s best to start with some research and see what’s already ranking highly in organic search results. If you see averages in the top 3 search results of perhaps around 1000 words, but you think you could answer the question more succinctly, don’t be afraid to do so.

You should also match your goals and your content goals with searcher goals. To explain, if you are trying to solve a very specific question and it’s an easily answerable question, it’s unlikely you’ll need hundreds and hundreds of words. Likewise, if you are trying to solve a very complex question, it may be a better approach to adopt a longer blog post.

How often should I publish blogs?

Consistency is more important than raw frequency.

This means it’s much better to post once a week, for example, than posting 3 times in one week and then not at all for the rest of the month. This ensures you’re regularly updating your site with quality content and giving users a reason to come back, as well as staying topical and informative.

For more information on how SilverDisc can assist you with creating quality content for your website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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