Targeting Featured Snippets: The Importance of Words on a Page

What is a Featured Snippet?

Featured snippets are summary answers to the questions or search terms you type or speak into Google’s search bar. The snippets are displayed near the top of the search results page (SERP) and have the keywords from your query emphasized in bold text.

Google generates featured snippets by pulling relevant content from a web page. The purpose is to enhance a user’s search experience by providing an immediate and useful answer to their question. There are three types of features snippets: paragraph, list and table. Since paragraph featured snippets are the most common, we’ll focus on those for this blog post.

A paragraph featured snippet is displayed a bit differently than other search results. In the example below, you’ll notice that Google places the page description first and the URL underneath, where other search results display with the URL first and a short meta description underneath.

“We display featured snippets in search when we believe this format will help people more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description and when they click on the link to read the page itself,” Google said in a recent blog post. “It’s especially helpful for those on mobile or searching by voice.”

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How SEO Plays a Role in Featured Snippets and Search Engine Ranking

Using relevant keywords makes it easier for search engines to find your page, increasing your chances of “winning” that featured snippet spot and driving more traffic to your website. And with the increase of people using voice search it’s important to make sure you optimize for two types of search queries: basic search terms and spoken phrases that are more conversational.

Are Keywords Really that Important?

Absolutely. Most people don’t look past the first handful of listings on a search engine results page, so if you want to get noticed, you need to focus on search engine optimization. Not only that, but how you focus on optimization is also important.

Keyword stuffing used to be a common practice for companies trying to increase their search result ranking or earn the featured snippet spot. It involved overuse of keywords and phrases in copy and some people even “hid” keywords on their web page by making the text the same color as their background. In the end, this process backfired, and Google started penalizing pages that were clearly been stuffed with keywords. Some people still use this practice, but it’s just not worth the risk for a potential short-term gain.

Working with An SEO to Develop an Effective Copywriting Plan

Writing for SEO and increasing your chances of a featured snippet involves finding that perfect balance between providing information and making sure your page gets noticed by search engines. So, how exactly do you do that?

  1. Tell people about your products and services using clear, concise language
  2. Include keywords used by your competitors, but only if they are relevant to your business
  3. Incorporate keywords into body copy, headings, title tags and meta description
  4. Use long-tail keyword phrases that answer long-tail queries
  5. Make your headers conversational

Work with your SEO to determine which terms you would like to rank for and they will help you create copy that matches those requirements. They’ll likely have keyword suggestions based on in-depth competitive reports and how your different web pages—and your competitor’s web pages—are ranking. Keywords and long-tail keywords will then be meaningfully incorporated into your copy to create readable, user-friendly content that is also optimized for search engines.

Remember, people don’t want to be forced to navigate their way through a page filled with irrelevant information just to find an answer. For the best long-term results, you need to focus on creating fresh, SEO-friendly content that establishes your authority on a topic and is useful for users.

Does your business need assistance optimizing website copy for SEO? Learn more about copywriting services from Ecreativeworks.

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