The Power of "Is": A Featured Snippet Case Study

Posted by EricSerdar

I’m not a literary scholar, but I believe it was Hamlet that said “to have a featured snippet or not to have a featured snippet? ” Ever since featured snippets came onto the scene, locates have been trying to secure them.

My team and I craved in on this fashion. Throughout our pilgrimage of studies, testing, outage, and success, we felt some interesting pieces of information that we wanted to share with the community. I’ll walk you through what we did and demo you some of our results( though can’t share traffic crowds ).

It was Britney Muller’s webinar on Feature Snippet Essentials and the release of the featured snippets cheat membrane that stimulated me to captivate what we’ve learned.

What are peculiarity snippets?

A featured snippet is the box that appears at the top of the search result page that provides information to succinctly and accurately answer your query and quotes a website.

Why are boasted snippets important?

A boasted snippet is important because it represents an additional SERP feature that you are able to self-assured. Usually located at the most top of the results sheet, peculiarity snippets volunteer you greater visibility to searchers and can improve brand recognition.

Our featured snippet plan of attack Research, investigate, and more research on how to gather this offIdentify keywords we wanted to targetChange how we organized our on-page content Measure, test, and reiterate the process 1. Research, experiment, and more study

We spent a great deal of experience experimenting peculiarity snippets. We looked at different ways to find featured snippet openings and researched how to optimize our material for them. We also went and realise Kellie Gibson speak on boasted snippets volatility.

Did we implement everything from what we learned during this discovery phase into our featured snippet programme? No. Are we perfect at it now after a year and a half of rehearsing this? No , no , no. We are getting better at it, though.

2. Identify keywords we wanted to target

We primarily started out focusing on large-scale “head” keywords. These represented words that had indeterminate searcher message. The first head period that we focused on was HRIS. It stands for Human Resources Information System — sex, right?

Note: Looking back on this, I choose we had focused on longer posterior keywords when testing out this strategy. It’s possible we could have refined our process faster are concentrated on long tail keywords instead of the large psyche terms.

3. Change how we organize our on-page content

We worked closely with our writing team to update how we lay out content on our blog. We altered how we utilized H2s, H3s( we actually abused them now !), lists, and so on to help impel our material easier to read for both useds and robots.

In most of the content where we’re trying to rank for a featured snippet, we have an H2 in the form of a question. Immediately after the H2, we try and answer that question. We’ve met this to be highly successful( construe visualizes later on in the affix ). I bid I could say that we learned this tactic on our first try, but it made several months before this dawned on us.

4. Measure, measure, and echo

The first blog announce that we tried this out on was our “What is an HRIS” clause. Overall, this pole was a success, it ranked for the manager expression that we were going for( HRIS ), but we didn’t prevail a featured snippet. We regarded it a modest los and went back to work.

This is where the fun started.

Featured snippet successes

We detected a featured snippet provoke that we have been able to capitalize on — chiefly by collision. What was it?


Really. That was it. Just by adding that to some of our content, we started to pick up peculiarity snippets. We started to do it more and more, and we were winning more and more peculiarity snippets! I believe it was this strategic HR example that clued us onto the “is” trigger.

So we remained it up.

Featured snippet won for Featured snippet won for Featured snippet won for What did we learn?

I want to preface this by saying that all of this is anecdotal evidence. We haven’t looked at several million URLs, run it through any illusion number-crunching, or had a statistician look at the data. These are just a few examples that we’ve noticed that, when reproduced, have worked for us.

Blog/HR glossary – We found that it was easier for us to gain peculiarity snippets from our blog or our glossary pages. It seemed like no matter what optimizations that we drew on the produce sheet, we weren’t able to make it happen.Is – No , not the as from the Stephen King novel. “Is” seemed to be the large-hearted prompt text for earn peculiarity snippets. During our audit, we did find some examples of list boasted snippets, but the majority of members were paragraphs and the trigger utterance was “is.”Definitions – We envisioned that the definitions contained in the pate call we were trying to go for was usually what got the definition. Our on-page copy would have the H2 with the keyword( e.g. What is Employee Orientation ?) and then the relevant paragraphs mimic would answer that question.Updating old-time affixes – One surprising thing we learned is that when we went back to old-fashioned positions and tried supplementing the “is” trigger word, we didn’t examine a modification — even though they are we added a good amount of brand-new content to the page. We are nothing but able to grab featured snippets with new material that we created. Likewise, when we informed large amounts of content on a few sheets that had boasted snippets, we lost them. We compiled sure to not touch the sections of the page that the snippet was gathering from, but we still lost the snippet( some have come back, but some are still gone ). Conclusion

A few final things to note 😛 TAGEND First, while these examples are anecdotal, I think that they show some rehearsals that anyone wanting to capture boasted snippets can do. Second, this was process was over a 12-18 month period and we’re still progressing what we think is the best way for us and our material team. Third, we had a lot of disappointments with this. I evidenced you one example, but we’ve had countless( short-form content, long-form content, glossary expressions, blog affixes, etc .) that didn’t work. We simply restrained quantifying, testing, and optimizing. Lastly, I need to give a shout out to our writing team. We massively interrupted their process with this and they have been miraculous to work with( effective interdepartmental ties-in are crucial for any SEO project ).

Let me know what’s worked for you or if you have any questions by leaving a comment down below.

Note: On January 23, 2020 Google announced that featured snippets would no longer be listed twice on the first sheet. For more information, you can check out this thread from Google Search Liaison. This may change how valuable featured snippets are to companies and the amount of clinks a enumerate gets. Before you start to panic, remember it will be important to watch and measuring how this affects your locate before doing anything drastic. If you do decide to go nuclear and to remove your boasted snippets from research results, check out the working papers.

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