On top of the endless mountain of Google search results lies a spot so sacred, marketers and SEO experts will stop at nothing to conquer, proclaim, and mark their territory. This top search result shows partial and full answers to the billions of questions asked of Google each day. So, the questions is, how do you get your content to show up in Google featured snippets?
Before showing you exactly how to do this. There are two important things you should note:
- Google loves structured data. (it’s easier for their search algorithm to understand)
- Checklists are one of Google’s favorite types of structured data.
Published checklists in Checkli meet both of the above criteria. However, having an extensive background in SEO, I knew we needed to do more if we wanted our publishers to rank on page #1 of Google, or even better, Google featured snippets.
Here are a few additional SEO tactics we implemented:
- We added featured images
- We allow alt tags and captions on featured images
- We added SEO friendly URLs
- We made all published checklists mobile-friendly
- We focused on making sure the entire checklist was SEO-friendly!
After a year of SEO tweaking our published checklists to ethically abide by Google’s algorithm, I am happy to say many of our published checklists appear on page #1 of google, or as a sacred featured snippets, bringing an endless wave of traffic, followers, and sales to our publishers.
How about a few examples?
- Checklist: NFL Teams by State
- Time to make: Less than 20 minutes
- Ranking: #1 in Google for “NFL teams by state”
- Traffic results: 40,000 visits within 90 days
- Checklist: Fear Setting: A Free Template for Listing Your Fears
- Time to make: Less than 30 minutes
- Ranking: #2 and #3 in Google for “fear setting checklist”
- Traffic results: 20,000 visits, 2,000 saves, 3,000+ downloads
As shown in the examples above, below is a simple, step-by-step guide on how to rank your published checklists on page #1 and in Google’s featured snippet area.
Again, it’s free. I’m not trying to sell you anything. But first you do have to create a free publisher account. It only takes about 2 minutes to setup your account and start publishing checklists.
To create a free publisher account:
- Visit checkli.com/publishing
- Click any of the blue sign up links
- Do not click the sign up link in the header. Those are paid options.
After you’ve created your free account, follow these step-by-step instructions to get your published checklists ranking on page #1 of Google, and in Google’s featured snippets.
1. Always do keyword research
Always do keyword research before publishing a checklist. You need to understand what your target market searches for in Google. This should only take a few minutes.
My favorite keyword research method is fast and free. You’ve probably already seen or used it. It’s called “Google Keyword Predictions”. These are the suggested keywords shown in the search bar, or at the bottom of Google, when performing any search.
What better resource for finding keywords than Google, right? However, I do suggest using other keyword research tools as well. Google Predictions are based on other people’s search habits, and your own.
One more thing…
When doing keyword research look for keywords that answer questions, or begin with “how to” “a list of”, “step-by-step…”, etc. Although not necessary, it is a lot easier to look for keywords that do not already show featured snippets.
Free Download: Save a copy of this checklist I made:
9 Free Keyword Research Tools
2. Pick a keyword focused title
Use the keyword you selected to create a perfect title for the “question” you are about to answer.
3. Add a keyword rich description
Fill your description with keyword rich synonyms that naturally flow and fit. Keep in mind, Google understands that Checkli is a site full of checklists, lists, and to do lists, so using terms like “checklist”, “list” and “to do list” in your description will greatly help.
4. Add an optimized featured image
Upload an image and be sure to add your topical keywords in the alt tag and caption fields we strategically provide for you.
5. Add your tasks and subtitles
Add tasks and subtitles in a clear, simple and natural form. Optionally begin your tasks like popular answer formatting like “first, second and third”, “1, 2, and 3” or “A, B and C”.
6. Publish your checklist
Click the publish button, add a category. and a few tags to help search engines and your fellow Checkli users understand and find your checklist.
7. Promote your checklist
Promote your published checklist as you would any blog post. Tweet it out, link to it from previous blog posts and checklists, and email influencers you may have mentioned in the checklist.
Watch the video on how to rank published checklists in Google’s featured snippets.
What kind of checklists are publishers publishing?
Some of my favorite published checklists:
- Tim Ferriss’ Fear Setting Checklist
- Everything by YourFitnessDNA
- 16 Powerful Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read by Neil Patel
To conclude I hope you leave this article with one thought in mind: Why on earth would I spend 4-6 hours on a blog post when I can spend 20 minutes on a valuable checklist that can rank in Google’s featured snippets sending endless traffic, followers, and sales.
Thank you and good luck.
2 startups, both acquired. My 3rd startup, Checkli, is the simplest way to make, share, and find checklists online.
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