Featured Snippet Optimization

Video Transcript:

hHy there my name is Joe Hall and in this video I’m going to tell you about the exciting world of featured Snippets and Rich search engine result page optimization uh so in this video we’re going to talk about uh what exactly are featured Snippets um what are the most common types of featured Snippets um what are some of the known uh prerequisites for obtaining a featured snippet um we’re going to talk about how a user’s query may have a relationship to a featured snippet um and then we’re going to talk about uh how having the right content formatting and having that formatting in a logical order can influence uh feature Snippets um and then we’re going to get down into some details and talk about optimizing for paragraph featuring Snippets optimizing for a list featured Snippets and optimizing for table featured Snippets uh

and so to get started we really need to talk about what is a featured snippet and ironically or maybe not ironically if you uh run the query what is a feature snippet a featured snippet comes up to tell you what a feature snippet is and so a featured snippet is a summary of content related to a user’s query which is displayed on top of Google search results and it’s extracting from a web page and includes the Page’s title and you URL and so in this screenshot example here we can see what is a featured snippet and a paragraph is shown right here from Google’s developer hand guide about featured Snippets in your website and then below that we see a people also ask box which is sometimes also included within the featured snipping ecosystem uh now what are the most common feature Snippets you know we just saw an example of one and usually that one is called a paragraph snippet um but there are also other types and I’m going to talk about four of the most common here but there are also many other types of featured Snippets that are coming out um you know all the time uh but there is the paragraph feature snippet that we just took a look at there’s also the orders list featured snippet the unordered list snippet um and then table Snippets and we’re going to take a look at examples of all these uh right now uh so

But before we get into that um what are some of the prerequisites uh for Featured Snippets you know if you’ve got a piece of content but you’re optimizing and you think that piece of content should uh get a featured snippet or should rank high uh for a featured snippet um then you’re going to want to follow SEO best practices uh so the page needs to be on the first page of ranking for the query uh that you want to get a featured snippet for um and so it’s not you know if you’re ranking on page two or page three for a specific query then it’s not likely that you’re going to get a featured snippet uh for that query uh yet so the page really does need to be ranking on page one um and uh especially if there’s already a feature snippet on that first page that some is already getting uh so you have to be ranking on page one which means what you need to really adhere to SEO best practices um also the content needs to be aligned well with the query um and so this comes down to things like your keyword optimization for the content um how well the query intent matches up with your content so is it a commercial query is it an informational query does your content uh satisfy the needs of the user that is the content optimized for the term um the content used to have logical formatting and structure uh so it needs to have uh you know a structure with paragraphs and heading tags and uh a structure that makes sense uh not only to the user but also to a search engine algorithm that might be comparing that page against thousands of other Pages you know if your content structure is all over the place uh in different fragments then it may be difficult for the search engine to really understand uh what the what the topic and and point of the content is um in-depth content helps uh so in-depth content is not always required for a featured snippet but it definitely helps if you have a a long form article or a very detail-oriented uh piece of content that provides a lot some information lots of details that usually helps more than not for obtain a piece from snippet and then content patterns so um

content patterns are uh you know if you’re showing like if you know if you’re if you’re in your content if you are presenting like a series of data or a series of content um that are grouped together differently then it makes you follow a pattern uh so for example if if on one page you’re showing the uh Team roster for a sports team um and then later on down the page you show another team roster for a different sports team then those two uh team rosters should be for my the same way I’d say you might format them in a table or you might format them in a uh in a list or something the same finish for like paragraphs if you’re going to talk about a specific subtopic in a paragraph and include an image that’s related to that topic and then later on down the content you talk about a different subtopic but you might want to include an image within that uh within that section as well essentially creating patterns within the content um that are aligned uh and make it look like the content is organized in a structure with a pattern but really helps uh

so let’s talk about get a little deeper um talking about featured Snippets with the right query uh so what does that mean um not every query is going to get a feature snippet right and so a lot of times the future of snippet appears for queries that include uh proper nouns uh so that’s like a person place or thing that is well known or has a unique characteristic to them um and a lot of times featuring Snippets show uh for question content um and so the example here that I have is who is Jim Henson how tall is Kermit the Frog what planet is Gonzo from these are all questions obviously related to uh The Muppets um but ideally you want to you know try to look for Unique pieces of data that are related to uh specific um entities uh that people might be searching for um otherwise you know if if it’s a very broad question or very broad uh topic it probably will not get a featured snippet um

so featured snippets also require logical content formatting and structure uh we talked a little bit about this already but essentially what this means is that the content needs to be structured is laid out in a way uh that uh users like proper heading tags meaning like H1 H2 H3 and H4 tags and the correct hierarchy uh the context should be divided into logical sections and subsections you know so you might start off with a very broad topic or section and then inside that have several paragraphs with subtopics or subsections um headings uh it should contain targeted queries and terms so yeah I mentioned the proper use of H1 h2 h3s those should all contain uh targeted terms um especially the types of terms or language that you want to align with the featured snippet um you know like I said before in-depth content helps so more content the better you want to have you know uh long-form articles work really well um Etc content patterns help I mentioned that before too again this just means kind of like formatting the same types of content in the same types of way uh so that the search engine can easily understand that these two pieces of content are somehow related uh even though they might have unique content included in them um and then an article summary at the beginning or end is helpful and

so a good example of all of this let me just show you a piece of content I created uh this is a blog post on one of my websites called how to secure your WordPress hosting and down here we start off with um an entry paragraph right here and then a list of table of contents uh this is what I mentioned when I mentioned you know the the uh the summary section um anyways let’s keep going here um let’s optimal optimize for paragraph featured Snippets

uh so this is going to be uh essentially a paragraph like we looked at in the first slide uh but in this in this example we’re looking at Hot Dog Eating champion and then uh this uh featured snippet a really good example here from Nathan’s Hot Dog company um they hold a hot dog any contest every year and this clearly shows the answer Champion Joey Chestnut the 2022 hot dog eats contest um and this is a great example of a featured snippet uh because like I mentioned this is a a a proper noun Joey Chestnut is a person he’s a competitive eating a champion um but some of the elements that that helped that do well was that the targeted terms uh were in the proper heading tags um and then the content should be in cleared in direct language in the paragraph right below the heading and so like if if you’re if the query is a question like who is Joey Chestnut then that should be in a heading I mean underneath the heading should be a paragraph that discussions exactly who he is and that paragraph should contain at least 45 to 55 words now if we look at that example before about the hot dog eating contest champion on this article right here this is the article that had that uh featured snippet um on that article there’s an H2 a heading tag for 2022 hot dog eating contest and the paragraph right below that says world champion Joey Chestnut currently holds the title for Hot Dog Eating world champion after setting a new world record of 76 hot dogs and buns in 2021 so this is uh very clear and easy to understand the language that has a relationship to the heading right above it and then also both of these have a relationship to the query that was run

so let’s now take a look at um list featured Snippets um and I mentioned before that there are two different types of list featured Snippets there are ordered and unordered list featured Snippets this example here is what are the top boat Brands and here we can see a list of uh orders uh featuring Snippets because they are numbered so this is top 10 both best Spokes and manufacturers and they show the first eight right here uh with the late for more a link for more items right here um to to optimize for this type of feature snippet you want to you’re going to want to include an article summaries table of content in the form of a list at the beginning or end so that is again like this list right here uh this is a list of all the different paragraphs on the uh in the article and if you’re doing an ordered list then this will be numbered like this uh so far um and then you’re going to want to use numbers heading tags if appropriate so if this is the top 10 list or whatever you’re going to want to include like number four you know in in the heading tag um so you might use HQ tags for the heading tags in like a top 10 list and each one of those you’re gonna put like number six you know for the six item um you know include those in the heading tags um and then use the right list type so uh on the orders list and orders list um that that can uh be a big uh thing here so to get started here if we look at the article summaries and the table of content I already showed you example of that here um but what we’re talking about essentially is you can add this at the beginning or the end or both but you want to include it in a list format list items should match content headings and subheadings so if you look here like each one of these items in this list this is this is just a one of the uh H2S these are all H these are all things that are mentioned in the HQ tags of each one of these so you can see this this first one here is use a web application firewall and that is the first h2 tag right here um and then uh you when you use anchored jump links in each item helps so what that means is right here you can see if I click any one of these things like hide your WordPress version if I click that it takes me down to that this is a jump link that takes me down to that section of the article and that really helps because that helps Google understand that this section of the article is about

um hiding uh your WordPress version

um and then there are some WordPress plugins to make these article summaries automatically uh if you’re using WordPress um and so the first one here easy table cut of contents I use this quite a bit um it’s a good plug-in it basically creates uh this table of contents um and all you have to do is create the uh article content and then um it will essentially uh go and scan that Oracle content for all the different headings so this is an H2 and it will go ahead and just include a a chamber of contents automatically at the top of the article um after after you’re completed

um let’s take a look at uh the different list types and so you know this is kind of looking at HTML a little bit uh this is an unordered list and so this is a list of things that maybe don’t uh that don’t need to follow the sequence uh they just they’re just sort of uh arranged and appointed list uh just for presentation purposes um and in that case you can just use this UL for unordered list uh but an ordered list is uh ol and it will be displayed with numbers on them um I understand that you know from if you’re if you’re not using if you’re not used to writing HTML uh this this Mac you know this might not make sense to you uh but if you’re using something like WordPress uh WordPress does have uh these different options integrated into the Gutenberg editor uh WordPress content editor so you can just select the different particularly in order to this and an unordered list um this does make a difference because uh the search engines will understand that if it’s an ordered list they will understand that you know this part of the content first item needs to come ahead of the other parts and they’ll analyze uh the content and when when processing it for Featured Snippets in that order so this does make a difference between which one you’re going to use and it really does help by utilizing uh these uh HTML tags um let’s talk about tables featured Snippets

um and so a table featured snippet is typically content that’s displayed in the search results uh at a table um and uh typically this type of content will come directly out of a web page that is presenting the content as a table uh so for example in this example we’re looking at gas tax by state 2022 and we’ve got the title of the page here and then they literally just went in and took the table out of this page and put it here in the search results uh if you click view 48 more rows it will take you actually to the page itself um and so this is a great thing because now you get a link here to the page and a link down here to the page that’s really nice I’ve seen some instances where uh Google will understand table content so well that they’ll even uh re-organize the content um and kind of reposition it a little bit in a way that they think that the user might better understand um and so that that’s kind of interesting um you can obviously you want to use tables for data uh so you don’t want to really use tables for like paragraph content or anything like that because it’ll be confusing of the search engines if you have numbers or any specific data that needs to be broken out into different data points that’s the best thing to do um you want to use easy to understand column and row headers uh so I guess if it’s a column then that would be a header if it’s a row like I think that you you would call it a label but you want to use easy to understand language within those headers and labels uh the search engine you can understand and uh so they’ll know like okay in this column uh is you know the percentage of tax by state or in this column it is the average amount of gasoline purchase you know per state um and they’ll understand what each which each data point means uh within the column um and then within those columns and have n row headers uh the target you know Target terms should be included um and so if you want that content to get a feature snippet you should include the chart it turns within uh the labels and the headers of that table um and then table should be on your appropriate headings so we talked about this before with the paragraph featured snippet uh that you really should include the tables underneath uh the appropriate headings uh because sometimes the search engine might have a difficult time really understanding what that table was about um so if you were to put that gasoline table uh gasoline tax table on the page without an appropriate heading above it the search engines might not really understand what it is so if you place a heading tag up of the table which says you know give the take give the table a name and describe what is inside the table it gives more relevance um and keyword some Antics to the table um and then here’s an example of a table uh that I might include on my own website and so this is top pages and Page Pages or hallanalysis.com and so you can see this heading tag right here is a very good description of the table itself and then the column headings have a very specific um and unique names here for the data found in each column and then the row label uh includes all of the specific uh you know um labels here in very specific terms so if by chance for some weird reason if somebody wanted to know like how many page views did uh Hall analysis software page get then Google would make an easy it would be easier for Google to understand that page views software and call analysis could all be put together if everything is labeled correctly and then it would hopefully come back at 665 uh ideally we’re gonna try and make it easier for the search engines to understand what the data is in this table using the appropriate labels and the appropriate counter columns um so I’ve went through a lot about the different types of future Snippets just now I probably went through that pretty quickly um but I want you guys to leave this uh video we’re thinking about New Opportunities because uh future Snippets are changing all the time um and different serp uh uh features and different things happening in the result pages are occurring constantly um and and I probably didn’t include everything that is even possible uh in this video it would take too long to do that um so what I want to impart to you guys now is to explore new opportunities as you see them within the search results and so if you see something new in the search results um you should ask yourself uh what can I learn from this and the types of questions that you want to ask yourself are things like what is the relationship uh to the content in the query right so if you see something interesting in the search results then you should ask yourself okay uh the content that that’s coming from like how is that content related to uh the search term that we’ve put in like is it optimize 12 is it the same topic like what is the what is the relationship between that page and the query that we put in um what type of content is it and this is very important because Google is now uh understanding like different types of content they know that a blog post is a blog post they know they’re gonna take a product page is a product page but they all know an archive page uh they’ll know an about page they might know a staff profile page so it really it’s really important to know like what type of content is getting the featured snippet and if there’s any relationship to uh that uh what is the page structure so take a look at how the page is laid out um is it a long form article if it is does it have uh the correct heading tags um how many paragraphs are there how long are the paragraphs um does each paragraph have some of the similar uh features or elements to it uh you know try to identify really what the structure of the content is um if it’s not long form content it might be like a list of products or a list of real estate listings uh try to look at the structure of that content and and see how the search engines might be interpreting the page based off that structure um and then finally one HTML and which are supporting content found in the future snippet so if you find you know when you look at the picture snippet if it’s a paragraph uh featuring snippet for example then you might say okay what you know what HTML elements are supporting that paragraph if it’s simply just a paragraph tag then that that kind of explains everything uh but it could be that that paragraph is in a special spot on the page that is surrounded by other HTML elements that might be interesting um if the featured snippet is a table um take a look at that HTML that supports the table um and any other HTML elements that help support the content found inside uh that featured snippet um anyways I hope you guys really enjoyed this talk um I think featured Snippets are a really exciting thing uh to investigate and to um and to understand and can be a really fun way to get more traffic to the site uh by just optimizing content that’s already ranking really well anyways hope you guys learned a lot and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or thoughts going forward foreign

Joe Hall is an SEO consultant focused on analyzing and informing the digital marketing strategies of select clients through high level data analysis and SEO audits.

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