Regardless of what you’re selling online, competition is fierce. You must do whatever it takes to drive as much traffic as possible to your ecommerce website.
The sooner you learn more about featured snippets the sooner you can (hopefully) take advantage of a Google Search function that many people overlook.
Let’s start with a basic overview of featured snippets, as shared by Google:
“When a user asks a question in Google Search, we might show a search result in a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results page. This featured snippet block includes a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, plus a link to the page, the page title and URL.”
For those visual learners among us, here’s how a featured snippet is displayed (more examples to come):
With featured snippets displayed above organic search results, your content has “first crack” at impressing the person conducting the search. That’s a big deal when you consider the fact that the click through rate for the site in the first position is right around 30 percent.
How to Use Featured Snippets
Are you intrigued? Of course you are! With the average click through rate of featured snippets hovering around 10 percent, there’s a big opportunity to secure some serious traffic.
If you’re able to combine a featured snippet with the top organic result, you’re likely to secure roughly 40 percent of all traffic for that keyword. Talk about a game changer!
Now, let’s get into the good stuff: a strategy for securing featured snippets with the idea of boosting traffic to your ecommerce website.
There’s a simple four-step process you can follow to achieve the desired results.
1. Research Commonly Asked Questions and Suggested Searches
To start, compile a list of keywords you want to appear in featured snippet for. Don’t sell yourself short here. You can always narrow your list as you move through the process.
Let’s take for example an online store that sells K Cups. More specifically, green tea K Cups. Here’s what you’ll see in the suggested search box:
Now, it’s time to run a search for “best green tea k cups.”
FriedCoffee secured both the featured snippet for this keyword, as well as the first listing in the search engine results. That’s exactly what you’re going for.
2. Choose the Right Page to Optimize
Depending on the depth of your site, it’s time to compare your keyword list (see above) with the page on your website that best aligns with it.
So, sticking with the example above, if you already have a page dedicated to green tea K cups, this is a good place to start.
To better improve your chance of “winning” the featured snippet, optimize pages on your website that already rank in the top 10 for your selected keyword. This is preferred over choosing a page that doesn’t rank, or creating content from scratch.
3. Create Content to that Answers the Question Succinctly
Choosing the right page is a good start, but optimizing that page for a featured snippet is where you’ll make your hay.
Not only should you create content that directly answers the question, but it must be in a format that is easy for readers and search engines to digest. Consider the following:
- Unordered list
- Ordered list
- Numbered list
- Headers wrapped in H2 tag
- Paragraph that directly answers the question
The example above displays a numbered list, which is very common. Here’s an example of an ordered list (which is also common):
There is no definitive answer as to which format is best. What matters is that you create clear, concise, and informative content that directly answers the question or addresses the suggested search.
4. Expand Your Content to Improve Your Odds of Greater Success
Securing a featured snippet for one keyword is a great accomplishment, but why stop there? With the right approach, you can use the same page to secure more than one featured snippet.
Doing so means one thing: creating the most informative and comprehensive content on the subject matter.
Here’s an example for the keyword search “world’s best chocolate bars”:
That same page also secured the featured snippet for many related keywords, such as “top selling candy bars.” Check it out:
This is a prime example of “working smarter, not harder.”
You don’t have to create a fresh piece of content for each keyword you’re targeting. You can use the same page for multiple keywords, as long as it’s properly optimized.
Here’s why this particular page has had so much success in the featured snippets section of the search results:
- The content is broken down in a numbered list
- Each product is called out in an H2 tag
- The content acts as a comprehensive guide (not something thrown together on a whim)
- The content is optimized for a variety of related search terms
(Source: Candy Central)
Is There a Shortcut?
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), people are always looking for a shortcut. They’re always looking for a way to beat the system.
There’s no fast and simple way to secure a featured snippet. Instead, you need to follow the process outlined above, all the while continually tweaking your approach until you find something that works for your particular ecommerce website.
Google has made it clear that there’s no way to “game” your site into a featured snippet result or mark it for inclusion:
“Google programmatically determines that a page contains a likely answer to the user’s question, and displays the result as a featured snippet.”
Featured snippets may be the key to increasing traffic to your ecommerce website. With the right research and well-crafted content, you’re putting your website in position to secure a featured snippet listing – and there’s no greater feeling than that!