The featured snippet (answer box) that sometimes appears at the top of the SERPs is a coveted spot for marketers, but how can you get your content there? Columnist Brian Patterson has some tips.

GHow on earth do you get your content in the featured snippet (answer box) that sometimes appears on the top of searches? Heres some tips…

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This, is a featured snippet. Just look at how much space it takes up and how much content you can get in there.  So how do you get your content in there?

First of all you need to determine the keywords that will generate the answer boxes. This is impossible to do without tools that can track the search engine page results and indicate what keywords will have answer boxes. Theres a few tools out there that can do this for you.

This lets you figure out where answer boxes show up just now and you can then review the data and see where they might have potential to. We’ve found the following three strategies give us a decent impact in generating featured snippets.

1 - Structure your data properly

Heres what a pattern we noticed out of our pages that managed to generate featured snippets:-

  1. Ordered Lists

  2. Paragraphs of text

  3. Unordered Lists

  4. Headings

  5. Data in tables

Paragraphs and ordered/unordered lists are pretty common in featured snippets. When you’re optimising lists, you’ll want to use a heading tag above the list and give your list a title that is as close as possible to the keyword you’re trying to target. This way google will be able to figure out what the list contains.

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See how the list is titled by using a big h2 tag! Google also really loves its tabular data and makes sure it's included if it makes sense for the query. So any chance you get to ad tabular content to your site you should give it a go. I mean look at wikipedia, they do a great job of using tables and they get rewarded with answer boxes all the time.

2 - Don’t give it all away

Don’t give all your information away at first. You don’t want google to scrape your content and stop people clicking on your site to get more information. To prevent this add some extra steps, as Google will generally truncate after seven items.

3 - Use Google Search Console to re-crawl pages

Google Search console has a great feature which allows you to request your page to be indexed. This is pretty mental as it seems to almost instantly update Googles index of your page. We’ve literally seen featured snippets appear within the same day after requesting an index!