Using STAT to Identify Featured Snippet Opportunities

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Winning the featured snippet for a target keyword means increased traffic to that page, and you can use STAT to achieve those wins. In this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday, Moz Learning and Development Specialist Zoe Pegler walks you through how you can do so in five easy steps.

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Hi. I’m Zoe from Moz’s Learning Team. Today I’m going to be showing you how to use STAT to identify featured snippet opportunities. If you’re not familiar with STAT, it’s a ranking tool which is very good at pulling big data.

What’s a featured snippet? 

For those of you that might not know what a featured snippet is, it’s one of those answer boxes that appear at the top of a search results page. It’s the result that shows up directly beneath the ads after the search is performed. So, for example, if you did a search for something like “Is coffee good for you,” you’re going to see an answer box saying, “Recent studies found that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from some of the leading causes of death.”

Websites that have URLs ranked in the featured snippet often experience heightened brand visibility and the majority of available traffic from the associated keyword. Where do you start if you want to become a part of that featured snippet box? How do you target those opportunities? Well, the first step here is keyword research.

1. Upload keywords to STAT and filter

You want to discover keywords that you can start monitoring optimizing for. Ideally, you want to find keywords that you rank on page one for that also have a featured snippet. STAT’s keywords tab is a great place to start with this. In this feature, you can upload a bunch of keywords, and once you’ve allowed some time for the data to gather, you can really dig into what keywords you have that are triggering answer boxes and what opportunities there are.

There’s an extremely useful feature in STAT where you can filter a table of keywords to show earned SERP features and specifically answers. You can filter for specific answer subtypes too. STAT currently parse lists, paragraphs, tables, carousels, and videos.

So you can check out all of these. You should also filter for keywords specifically on page one. So do that. Filter the “Rank” column to show results ranking between one and 10. Once you have found all of those keywords, there’s a really smart, useful way of collecting them all together, and that’s by putting them into a dynamic tag.

2. Create a dynamic tag

This lets you group those keywords together and label them. You could call this tag featured snippet opportunities for example. The magic of putting the keywords into that dynamic tag is that it acts like a smart playlist. These fancy segments automatically populate each day with keywords that match the specific criteria you set for them, making it quick and easy to see which of your keywords are featured snippet opportunities.

Being able to segment keywords into these dynamic tags is what makes STAT so much more valuable. Being able to create reports in granular keyword levels is powerful stuff.

3. Check the data set over time

Okay, so what is the next step to prioritize your featured snippet opportunities by the highest potential ROI keywords? It’s usually much easier to take a featured snippet or to steal one if you’re also on page  one.

Taking a look at STAT’s SERP Features tab can help out here. There’s a nifty graph which allows you to see how answer boxes appear if your keywords have changed over time. Using this will help you to access opportunity. You can then start pulling out and comparing some of that data and digging into things like average monthly search volume, current featured snippet URLs, and the featured snippet type.

Is it a paragraph, a list, or a table? Is there any markup? What’s your rank? How does the page look in general? You might want to start investigating which long-tail keywords you could potentially optimize your site for. There are a couple of reports you can pull in STAT which can definitely help you in this research.

4. Set up reports

The People Also Ask report will show you questions and their rank within the box as well as the URL sourced in each answer. It’s worth taking a look at the Related Searches report as well to see related search queries offered by Google which users may also be searching. Once you’ve identified long-tail keywords you want to track and keep an eye on, you can copy and paste those keywords into Google Keyword Planner or even back into STAT.

That way you can see what the rankings, search volume, and CPC look like. You can use one of those smart dynamic tags in STAT to group and label them again as you start optimizing on the keywords you think will be valuable to your site. Once you’ve identified and optimized your site, you’ll want to keep careful watch over your hard work, so monitor.

5. Set up and monitor alerts

I recommend setting up alerts for this. STAT lets you do this so you’ll be notified any time your ranking goes up or down for your featured snippet target keywords, meaning you’re not going to miss seeing an opportunity. I hope this has been helpful and you’re feeling more prepared to try some of this.

If you already have a STAT subscription and want to get even more familiar with the tool features, think about taking the STAT Fundamentals Certification course. Have a great day, and thank you for watching this edition of Whiteboard Friday.

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