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How to Find New Featured Snippet Opportunities

BrightEdge's Data Cube Captures Featured Snippet Opportunities From Competitors

As a marketer, I have researched many tools in an effort to find opportunities to rank in the featured snippet area in Google. For those unfamiliar with what this is, take a look at my previous post on how to optimize for featured snippets.  Most tools  do a great job of compiling keywords and filtering them by interrogative terms that are most popular in featured snippets, but only a few tools show all instances of featured snippets driven from competitor data. Bright Edge, in my opinion, is the best resource available for gathering the most opportunities for optimizing pages to rank in featured snippet positions. Chris Bennett, our CEO, just spoke at Share 16 about search intent. I will break down his featured snippet section in more depth below.

Currently, most research for featured snippets stops at compiling first page rankings filtered by words like “who, what, where, when, and why.” While there is no doubt that these types of queries are popular in featured snippets across multiple SERPs, the fact of the matter is that centering your efforts solely on incorporating those words often results in several missed opportunities elsewhere. The Bright Edge tool can find opportunities independently based on keyword groups you are tracking. The Data Cube in the Bright Edge platform provides a trove of opportunities sourced from all sorts of in depth competitive data that reaches beyond what you may already be tracking. I’ll show you how to use this tool to extract key insights for featured snippet success.

1)Pull your site’s data

Featured snippet ranking is contingent on at least one thing: the resource must already rank on the first page of Google. Knowing this, we can filter ranking pages by those keywords for which we’re currently ranking on the first page. In my experience, I’ve have seen featured snippets pulling primarily from the top 6 results, but the optimizations you make should increase your overall organic rankings anyway, so why not focus on all first page rankings? Start your research in the Data Cube by entering the domain or page you wish to optimize for and then select “Ranked on Page 1”.

featured snippet


All first page rankings will then be displayed at the bottom of the page,and you can download the report  as a CSV file. You’ll want to compare this layer of data to the competitive data you will extract next.

2)Pull your competitive data

Now you can use the Data Cube to determine quick answers for which any competitor ranks. Do this by substituting your site with a competitor page or domain in the Data Cube. Next, select “Content Strategies” and then“Quick Answers”.


Featured snippet - Data Cube


All your competitor’s featured snippet rankings will be listed below for you to download. These results present opportunities for you because if your competitors currently own the featured snippet position then you inherently do not. You can repeat this research as many times as you want to continue learning from your competitors. Don’t forget about other sites like Wikipedia that are perpetual winners  in these categories. If you didn’t have any first page rankings to begin with, this would be enough to get you going. If you have pages already on the cusp of ranking in these featured snippet positions, stay tuned. Below I’ll show you how to filter the extracted data to see pages you already built that may only need a few tweaks to capture the featured snippet spot.

3) Combine and compare data sets

Now that you have your site’s first page rankings and your competitor’s featured snippet rankings, you can combine the data to show your first page rankings for which your competitors own the featured snippet . I prefer creating this analysis by combining all of the data into one spreadsheet with multiple tabs. The first tab should be your site’s data with a column reserved for a VLOOKUP formula that pulls from the other tabs. All other tabs should be occupied by your competitor’s data. You will want to use the IFERROR function to combine multiple tabs into the formula. I recommend having your VLOOKUP column pull the URL column from other tabs to represent which URL competitors hold rankings in each featured snippet. Once you sort by URL on the first tab, you will see all of the featured snippet opportunities based on the competitors you selected. It should look something like this:

featured snippet - spreadsheet


Cole Rieben

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