How to Rank for Featured Snippets In 7 Minutes: Watch Me Do SEO to Get #1 In Record Time

I tried to get four different pages of a Shopify store to rank for featured snippets, using a beginner SEO technique anyone can use. With a tight timeframe of 7 minutes per page to get number one in Google, this method is fast and effective.

Adding to the excitement, for every page that doesn’t rank for a featured snippet in the top spot, $1000 will be given to a random YouTube subscriber.

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Read on to see how you can apply the SEO strategy to your Shopify store so you too can quickly increase sales from organic search.

How I Use SEO To Rank Keywords For Featured Snippets in Less Than 7 Minutes and You Can Too

If you can press keys on your keyboard for a few minutes, you can copy this simple tactic to rank featured snippets in Google. You don’t need any money or tools; it works for any website, not just e-commerce. This technique is the holy grail of SEO because it is the easiest and fastest way, out of any other SEO method, to get to rank rank your sites for featured snippets and get in the top of organic search—page one of Google!

My SEO team has used this beginner SEO technique to rank featured snippets for hundreds of Shopify pages in the number one position for popular keywords, and you don’t need any skills to copy it and rank a page in minutes.

Revolutionising SEO: No Tools, No Costs, Just Results

It’s all about the results at the end of the day; ranking for featured snippets is no small challenge, but use this technique just like me, and you rank too.

I discovered it two years ago while working on an SEO client, Galen Leather, in a highly competitive niche with an article targeting the keyword “nibmeister”. By adding h1 and h2 tags and making a few minor content tweaks, the page got crowned number one in under a week.

h2 Nibmeister headings

The article has stayed first, because the phrase “What Is A Nibmeister” has h2 tags directly above the definition, making it a breeze for Google to interpret.

ahrefs graph of nibmeisiter number 1 SERP position

Even with a low search volume for this keyword, there was an instant surge in impressions and clicks from this one page.

The Google Update that Changed Ranking Keywords Using SEO

In 2014, Google made a change to search results that really annoyed SEO marketers. This old Google update will let you rank first in under one week. Google began to show snippets of a webpage that gave answers to search queries directly from search results. The search feature displays a summary of text, tables, or lists called “featured snippets”. Many marketers worry that people don’t need to click through to the website, but that is not the case because a link to the source is shown, which generates traffic and sales.

The advantages of optimizing for featured snippets are significant. By following the strategies outlined in this video, you can enhance your website’s visibility, establish your brand’s authority, increase organic click-through rates, and drive more traffic to your site.

An Ahrefs study of 2 million featured snippets found:

It is 99.58% positive that Google only features pages that already rank in the top 10.

So you need to optimise a page ranking in the top 10 search results that contain a featured snippet.

If you’re not ranking in the top 10 for anything or want to get more pages in the top 10, the study found that you can create in-depth content for long-tail keywords by filling in blanks that searchers might have. This increases your chances of rapidly ranking.

Featured Snippets: 3 Reasons To Use Featured Snippets To Rank

Featured snippets are fantastic for SEO because you can quickly outrank competitors, getting to the number one search result to achieve more clicks and sales. There’s no danger of getting penalised because you’re updating your content to serve users better. This is what Google ultimately wants.

The Ahrefs study of featured snippets found that the click-through rate depends on the search query’s intent. When the user wants a quick answer, like a definition, they don’t need to click any result.

what is a signal circuit featured snippet from google search
ahrefs study screen grab 2

This is a prisoner’s dilemma because if you don’t play the game, some other website will steal the SEO keyword and rank for the featured snippet first.

Another benefit of featured snippets is that you’re optimising for voice search. A Backlinko study found that 40.7% of all voice search results come from a featured snippet.

How You Can Use Featured Snippets To Rank In The First Position Fast

To show you how to do this, I looked into what opportunities existed for Galen Leather, and as I mentioned at the start of this article, I would try to show you how to rank for multiple keywords, 4 pages, in under a week, all with less than 7 minutes of work.

If I failed, my YouTube subscribers could win $1,000, but read on to see how well I did.

If you’re asking yourself how to find keywords to optimise for your site, you can find what search query gets a featured snippet by looking at the average position data in Google Search Console and then searching those keywords in Google.

That is the free way, without paying. The best method is to use tools like Ahrefs Site Explorer then look at the organic keywords report. Filter results by “Featured Snippets”. Remove first-position rankings with another filter. Then “bam”, you have a full list of keywords and content that can quickly rank for a featured snippet.

Ahrefs featured snippets

These are all opportunities. If you want to give yourself the greatest chance of success, it’s not about editing pages ranked 2 or 3. Featured snippets have their own ranking system. I gained this pearl of wisdom from Matt Diggity. His video on the “Google Holy Grail” revealed a hidden ranking queue for featured snippets. You can see where your website stands by sifting through Google so that you can then optimise the right page for the right keywords. This is the Google Holy Grail because you can see what’s needed to rank.

Let’s look at the featured snippets for the query “dopp kit meaning”. Plug this into Google. Travelpro.com has the number 1 featured snippet.

What I’ll then do is remove the website from search results with the minus site search query by typing in “-site:travelpro.com.”

Next, I see the number one ranking, so I’ll add “-site:graveltravel.com” to the search. I repeat this process until my website is ranked number one. The number of websites you exclude in your search is the ranking queue for featured snippets.

If you’re limited in time, go after the ones where your website is ranked number 2, then 3, then 4, etc., in the featured snippets queue.

How Did I Rank Pages For Featured Snippets in Record Time?

So now you get the idea, but you want to know how well I did at ranking the keywords for SEO. For this experiment, I picked 4 random queries from the Ahrefs report that have the featured snippets in search results and ranked between the 2nd and 6th position.

I tried to rank number one for “what is patina on leather”, “a4 notebook size”, “leather grades”, and “oil vegetable leather”.

“what is patina on leather”

what is patina leather 3rd position

“a4 notebook size”

a4 notebook size postion 2

“leather grades”

leather grades 3rd position serp result

“oil vegetable leather”

This was a real experiment!

For each page that didn’t reach number for the featured snippet one in one week, I gave away $1000 to random YouTube channel subscribers who commented.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of keyword ranking. You’ve identified the pages you want to rank first and the SEO keywords you’re targeting. But how do you make it happen?

Types of Featured Snippets

There are four main types of feature snippets: paragraph snippets, table snippets, video snippets, and lists.

The first secret is replicating the number one ranking snippet format. Most pages I tried to rank for were paragraph snippets—others I found featured snippets in a table format for prices, years, and numerical data.

google search results mens trouser size - lowes number 1

Using a list format in your content can be a powerful tool, especially for queries that list items or require step-by-step instructions. This format not only makes your content more structured and easy to follow, but it also increases the chances of your content being featured in search engine results, boosting your web page’s visibility and ranking.

One effective strategy is to incorporate videos, often from YouTube, in your content. These videos can be used in featured snippets for “how to” queries, such as “how to remove an oil stain from concrete”. This approach has proven to be successful, inspiring you to take similar steps to improve your webpage’s visibility and ranking.

Copying the format isn’t enough, though. How can you improve your webpage? How will I make the right changes to these four pages so I don’t give away $4000?

Being Succinct and The Inverted Pyramid: Two Secrets To Ranking For SEO

In 2020, Google search advocate John Mueller tweeted that featured snippets are algorithmic and that ranking keywords using SEO has a variety of factors that are used to pick a good snippet.

Featured snippets ranking factors from Google

Before then and since then, John has been secretive about what exactly must be done, tweeting there’s no technical method to achieve it.

His secretiveness is understandable since everyone would be hacking their way to the top.

Google has said there is no minimum length requirement to get a featured snippet, so your best bet is to be like your top competitor and observe the data.

The Outcome: How I Ranked My Keywords Using Featured Snippets

So instead of depending on what Google tells us, I depended on the data, and used large data studies like the one from Ahrefs to understand what gets ranked.

I found there are 3 other main changes you can make to quickly get top place.

The first is to be succinct. I’m going to look for ways to use tighter language. If a word is unnecessary, it’s going to be culled. Ask yourself, “If I remove this word, does it still make sense?”

This is a technique journalists use to grab and keep attention. You share the most newsworthy info first, which is the who, what, when, where, why and how. If there’s room, you then give the important details followed by further background information. The tactic makes perfect sense because you’re desperate to hook attention as quickly as possible, then deliver on it in order to satisfy the people searching.

inverted pyramid from wikipedia

Ranking For Featured Snippets: The Third Method I Used To Rank

The third best way to rank multiple keywords first in Google, specifically for a featured snippet, is to improve your rankings using all the good SEO things. Ranking keywords using SEO is a mixture of optimizing images, having user-friendly URLs, and getting backlinks. I won’t discuss that in this video as I want you to get organic traffic quickly. For help here, you can watch my YouTube video on common SEO mistakes.

Let’s see what I can do. “a4 notebook size” in search results has Gold Spot in number one position.

Let’s compare content. Here’s the content on the website from which Google pulls the featured snippet.

A4 notebook size

The heading is a h2.

h2 notebook size heading

This is Galen Leather’s content.

Notebook Size Table content

The heading is a h4.

I can update the heading to h2. I also changed “Format” to “Notebook Format”.

h2 change and heading format change for notebook

There’s no perfect way to do this, so it’s an experimentation.

Here’s the second page I needed to rank to save my butt. We’re ranking number 3 for “what is patina on leather”.

what is patina on leather number 1

Here’s what’s ranking in search results which has a h2 tag immediately followed by a clear definition “Patina is”.

what is patina leather h2 heading

Galen Leather also has a h2 tag.

what is patina leather second heading h2 heading

The intro sentence acts as a miss-placed definition of Patina. Also, “fine” is an unnecessary adjective that dilutes the title. Starting the sentence with another adjective, “leather”, makes the content seem like it doesn’t apply to the broader “Patina”, so I removed that and cleaned up other parts of the sentence.

what is patina leather additional picture of headings

For the third page, I wanted it to rank first for “leather grades”.

leather grades google search

The content has a simple paragraph with general language. There’s two possible pieces to modify. One is in a list format, or we can work with the intro.

How is leather graded page

It makes more sense to have a proper definition first since it’s being talked about. Let’s edit the intro to be stronger.

how leather is graded stronger intro

For the last page I’m trying to get first, the keyword is “oil vegetable leather”. I’ve read the top ranking competitors page and seen their content.

Competitor Page What is vegetable tanned leather

Looking over what I’ve got.

vegetable tanned leather current page

I reckon there’s some improvements to make. I can change the h3 to h2.

Part of this was removing the redundant h2 tag that targeted nothing compared to the h1 tag.

vegetable oil h2 changes

I rejigged the heading tags and made the definition more chronological in its wording.

how is vegetable oil made fixed headings

How I Went Ranking Keyword 1 – “what is patina on leather”

Let’s do the next check for the featured snippet and ranking for “what is patina on leather”

No, it was not a featured snippet, and it didn’t take the top position. Let’s hope the next one does better.

what is patina on leather result

How I Went Ranking Keyword 2 – “a4 notebook size”.

Let’s do the next check for “a4 notebook size”.

Yes, it was in first position, but while it’s the first position, it didn’t get the featured snippet, which is in the second position in the “people also ask” box.

Phew. That one saved me $1,000.

a4 notebook size first position serp result

How I Went Ranking Keyword 3 – “leather grades”

Next I checked the keyword “leather grades”.

Sadly, I didn’t have this one either, so as of now, I had to give away at least $2,000.

Unexpectedly, the ranking snippet has been updated to a different format. For another optimisation test, I could follow the list format and create some new images in the search result that visually describe the different leathers.

Experimentation is the big thing about featured snippets. Like any SEO, there’s best practices, but nothing is guaranteed. You study what’s best, implement, observe, and try again. I can also get more backlinks, improving the SEO of the page. If what you do doesn’t succeed, try again. That’s a big secret to this strategy that I want you to understand.

leather grades 1st position

How I Went Ranking Keyword 4 – “oil vegetable leather”

I then checked the last keyword, “oil vegetable leather,” and I got number one position. Thankfully, I didn’t have to give away any more money!

How I Went Ranking My Keywords First Quickly and Did I Give Away Any Money?

So, as you saw above after one week of this experiment, I had to check all the pages to see the results and I gave away 2 out of 4 $1000 lots. 50/50 isn’t so bad for 7 minutes of SEO, imagine if I had no newborn and those extra 3 minutes!

One week later, I saw I got number one for “leather grades”, but this was 2 weeks after, not the 7 days like I said. While this beginner SEO technique works, I’m a man of my word so I gave away $1000 each to two of our subscribers.

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