3 Tools to Discover and Monitor Google’s Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are still volatile (Google keeps tweaking the algorithm on a regular basis), so it’s impossible to recommend a sure-fire way to get featured in Google. However featured snippets already pose a big threat to the brand’s search visibility.

How to get featured?

Working to make your authority high is going to increase your chances of being given a Featured Snippet, especially if the information you provide is better than what can be found elsewhere.

Here are three tools that help you discover queries triggering featured snippets, monitor featured snippets for your brand and your competitors:

Serpstat

Serpstat is a multi-feature SEO platform that comes from my native country Ukraine, which automatically puts it on my favorites list.

Serpstat is one of the first SEO tools I am aware of which started tracking featured snippets. To do that, click through “Filters” select “Special elements” and there, select “Featured Snippets”:

Serpstat

Other tools you can find useful for featured snippet optimization:

SERPSTAT cluster

It starts at $19 a month, and has a very feature-rich freemium plan too.

SEMrush

SEMrush is pretty much the go-to on most lists of SEO related tools. It is thorough, powerful and can elevate just about any site that chooses to use it.

Their enterprise work has earned them a place as one of the most used and praised tools around. They also have featured snippet specific features now, which is pretty great.

SEMRush featured snippets

The only thing that isn’t as great is their price, which starts at $99 per month. I would say for the results it is worth it, though.

Ahrefs

Another big one in the SEO game, Ahrefs is regularly suggested as an incredible tool to use to get optimal results. Like SEMrush, they tend to put out analyses and various research white papers about the topic and do awesome breakdowns that show what is working and why.

My favorite tool they offer is their keyword research tool. You can definitely use it to start improving your snippets and your content results in the first place.

Arefs

Remember the tip above: the higher the ranking, the more chance you have of getting your own featured text box.

As for price, they sadly start at the same amount as SEMrush, though they do have their own unique features. It really depends on exactly what it is you are looking for.

Steps to Optimize for Featured Snippets:

  • Identify groups of queries that trigger featured snippets. For example:
    • Brand-focused queries: Those are your highest priority. You want to be featured for the queries that contain your brand name, e.g. [brand name pricing], [brand name reviews], etc.
    • Queries containing a certain modifier, often it’s [price] or [pricing]. Google loves numbers!
    • Queries where your brand ranks in top 5 but isn’t featured. It’s quite easy to get ranked in the featured snippet with top 5 organic rankings.
  • Optimize pages for identified queries or groups of queries:
    • Google loves short concise answers with specific details (e.g. actual prices). In addition to this, DirJournal offers a quick guide on where to put your keywords which still holds true.
    • A little tweak of adding an <h2> subheading and a quick answer right below it works very well. This relates mostly to informational queries.
    • Create more how-to content to address informational queries that could funnel customers into the sales process (e.g. gift guides, product reviews, etc.)
  • Listen to your customers! I’ve talked about this already: No keyword tools will give you the amount of eye-opening insight into your audience as the actual interaction with your current customer. Use your customer relationship management software to record your customer questions and optimize for those. Here’s how I use Salesmate for that:

Salesmate questions

Try my quick checklist:

Optimize for featured snippet

Do you have a tool for tracking featured snippets? Let us know in the comments.

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3 Comments

  1. Hot topic right now, Ann, as Google Home and Google Assistant currently read out featured snippets when they answer voice search queries. Semantic & Voice Search is where it’s at and that’s why your post is right on target!

    Thanks for the tips.

  2. Great article Ann, thanks for sharing. We agree with JL that 2018 is all about semantic rich snippets and knowledge base work. More and more voice searches are being conducted so conversational language in your content could see some ranking improvements. Using a company blog to answer questions can help your site rank well especially for conversational questions. Instead of, “Top 5 web design trends 2018” you could write “What are the top design trends in 2018?” for example. It will be good to see a reduction in click-bait blog posts that more often than not contains low-quality content and a ton of adverts. What is your take on this? Are you in agreement with our ideas?

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