Top performers in Google’s new mobile snippet hub share some common characteristics. Mimicking these things can help you get your content featured as a mobile snippet. In this article, we’ll review some of the key steps content creators should take if they are aiming to get featured.
SEMRush.com did a complete study of feature snippets and the top performers. What they discovered is that most top performers meet the below standards. You can use this list as a set of guidelines while creating new content to help increase the chances of it being featured as a mobile snippet.
Skim this content.
The long-form content you write absolutely has to be scannable on mobile devices. That’s why the average top performer used 22 headers and subheads in a piece of long-form content. Subheaders especially make content easily scanned and consumed by mobile users.
Secure URLS only.
About 83% of the URLs used are secure, meaning they use HTTPS versus HTTP. In the past six months, steady growth has been seen in the adoption of HTTPS and that’s expected to continue far into the future. About 73% of domains that rank in Google’s top 20 results use HTTPS, so it’s worth adopting for your site as well.
Get to the point.
Most snippets were found to have a Flesch-Kincaid reading level of about 7th-grade, which matches the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows reading level (book 7). For comparison sake, the Affordable Care Act has a 13th-grade reading level. Get to the point and keep your writing style straightforward and simple. Try to avoid long sentences and paragraph.
Most content featured had about 12 images included, each with ALT text. Using strong visuals will help you break up the wordy content and give the viewer a quick understanding of what it is you are talking about. Include relevant images that paint a picture of what you are saying. Screenshots work too for some informational articles.
Cite your sources.
On average, SEMRush’s study found 33 external links citing the evidence of whatever was being said in the post. So, stop hearing all the “authority” and give some link backs to the content that helped you create the piece. You can even give external links to sources you didn’t reference while writing but ones that are relevant to the writing. More than ever before, people want you to backup the claims you make.
Having mobile experience is very important to stealing a spot as a featured mobile snippet. The websites had an average Google Mobile-Friendly score of 95 out of 100 and the same for Google Mobile-Useability, so work on raising your site’s score overall.
Pay Attention to Hub Architecture
Many other aspects also play a role in determining who gets the featured spots. One of those aspects is hub architecture.
When optimizing your architecture, start with the broadest structure of your topics. For instance, if you are publishing an article about early symptoms of pregnancy, use the broadest applicable structure at the start.
After the broadest structure, get more specific with the folder structure. Healthline.com used “pregnancy”.
This structure allows you to create themed pieces of content that can be linked to similar topics on your site, like:
This URL ranks for more than 8,000 keywords not only because of its construction but also because of how it connects with a smart overall architecture of the website. In all, Healthline ranks for more than 3 million featured snippers, so they are worth emulating.
Optimizing Your Content
Here’s a quick breakdown of the best practices you should follow to get your content ranked as a featured snippet.
Paragraph Featured Snippets
To optimize your content to become a paragraph featured snippet, you need to craft succinct paragraphs that fall in the 40 to 60-word range (roughly about 350 characters. This paragraph, as an example, is just at 240 characters or 41 words.
Featured Snippet Lists
If you want to optimize your content for featured snippet lists, you should make lists with 8 or more items. This allows the results to be truncated. For shorter lists, use longer descriptions for each item. Truncated lists encourage the reader to view more.
Featured Snippet Tables
You can optimize your content for featured snippet tables by designing your tables accordingly. Be sure to use more than 5 rows and/or 7 columns to achieve truncation. Truncation, again, will help encourage further engagemnet with your content.
Featured Snippets for Voice Search
Voice search is becoming increasingly more common, and your SEO tactics need to be keeping up. It has been revealed that optimizing for voice search is strikingly similar to the optimization steps for featured snippets. You need fast loading and secure URLs that rank within Google’s top five. You also need to provide succinct answers that are easily shareable.
Essentially, featured snippet optimization is voice search optimization, so by putting in the work and following these guidelines, you are hitting two milestones at once for your future content. Featured snippets give you insight into how Google imagines the future of mobile search and voice search.
Get To Work
Begin implementing these guidelines and best practices today and it will help you continuously to improve your ranking as you add new content that meets these key marks.
Google will reward websites that follow these specifics with improved overall ranking along with increased mobile engagement and even voice search attention, so it’s worth implementing these things not only into your new content going forward, but also “retrofitting” your current content to these standards.