Featured Snippets are one of the biggest things in SEO right now. If you’re not sure what they are, they’re Google’s attempt to provide faster answers to questions by stealing them from websites. Here are some examples:
While the long-term implications of Google just republishing our content are debatable, for now at least the clickthrough rates on Featured Snippets are very high indeed, and getting them is a Very Good Thing. They can often make sites leap from nowhere to the top of the Google results, and sometimes get results more quickly than conventional SEO. There have been examples where a site which was ranking on page 2 or 3 for searches on ‘blue widgets’ was suddenly catapulted to this new ‘position 0’ for a search on ‘what is a blue widget?’
To stand a chance of becoming a Featured Snippet, what you need to do is to apply conventional SEO techniques to phrases like the examples above. Write a good page about the search term, and make sure it’s the title of the page and preferably the headline too. ‘How’ and ‘what’ queries are good, but also consider terms like ‘blue widget advantages and disadvantages’.
Ensure that your first paragraph is an excellent summary and is around 30 to 60 words. This is the text which will be extracted. I’d include an image at this point, with a relevant caption and ‘alt text’. If your search is ‘how do I…’, then lists seem to work well.
Give it a try. You can sometimes repurpose existing articles if you don’t have the resources to create something specific. Make sure you track what’s showing for your query (take screenshots) before you launch your page, and use Google Search Console to check what traffic you’re getting before and after too.