What is a Featured Snippet?
A Featured Snippet is an organic search result or a brief summary, including clippings of texts from specific content that answers the users query. It is a search response that users see at the top of a search engine results page. It is also termed as “position 0” because it appears above the position-one organic result that users get to see.
The main purpose behind showing snippets is to give users a quick and prompt answer at first glance, without having to click and open any specific search result. The users can have a look at the snippets and then make up their minds on which websites they want to look into.
A typical snippet includes an image, the source page title and the source page URL. The featured snippet stats say that “snippets’ have caused a 10% increase in traffic and a 6% increase in the click-through-rates.
User also read: What are the best ways to increase traffic to your website?
Types of Featured Snippets:
- Paragraph– Paragraph Featured Snippets include lines from the source page that intend to answer the user’s question. Featured snippet stats show that nearly 82% of the featured snippets are paragraph featured snippets. Paragraph snippets are mostly seen on searches that include questions beginning with who, why, what, and when. These snippets are also useful for search topics related to comparisons.
- List– List featured snippets include either a bulleted list or a numbered list of items, topics or steps. Numbered featured lists mostly show up on how-to-do queries, content related to step-by-step tutorials. Bulleted featured lists appear for answers to queries for which order is not a matter of importance. Featured snippet stats show that 10.77% of featured snippets are list snippets.
- Table– Table snippets mostly show up in queries related to comparisons. Around 7.28% of featured snippets are table snippets. Table snippets are best used to display collections of data. Search engines value well-structured contents with prices, years, rates, and similar numerical data.
- Video– Recently, users are coming across more and more video content in the coveted snippets section. Videos, too, are mostly displayed for how-to searches where the user is probably looking for step-by-step instructions to complete a specific task.
Type Of Featured Snippet
|Description||Type of Searches||
What you can do to optimize it?
|Paragraph Featured Snippet||Lines from the source page that intend to answer the user’s question/ query.||Searches/ queries beginning with – who, what, why, when.||1. Reiterate the question in an H2 subheading.
2. Give a logical answer directly below that question.
|List Featured Snippets||A bulleted list or a numbered list of items, topics or steps.||How-to searches and stepwise tutorials.||1. Repeat the targeted search query as an H2 heading.
2. Put the information in a table.
|Table Featured Snippets||Collections of data in a well-structured table format.||Searches related to comparisons and stat-based/ data-based searches.||1. Format your information as a table in HTML.
2. Keep it well-structured with an impressive and relevant heading, immediately preceding it.
|Video Featured Snippets||Video content in the coveted featured snippets section.||How-searches and tutorials.||1. Use a transcription tool.
2. Optimize the description box with relevant long-tail keywords.
3. Organize the content in a step-by-step format.
Why are featured snippets important?
Featured snippets are important for the following reasons:
- Winning featured snippets gives you high-visibility.
- Most importantly, you do not have to have rank 1 on the search results page of any search engine for gaining visibility in a snippet.
- Winning featured snippets helps you appear above your competitors, even surpass those who rank on the first place.
- Featured snippets help with brand recognition via voice search, because Google reads featured snippets out loud as a response to voice search queries.
- 93.2 % website owners believe that featured snippets drive more traffic to their websites.
- When your content appears in Google’s featured snippet, you become a reliable source of information as Google’s recommendation, in the eyes of the users. Hence, you get a chance to become the go-to website for the users interested in your niche.
- Snippet Optimization helps you steal a part of the traffic that your competitors get.
How to optimize your featured snippet rankings?
- Optimize your content to rank on page 1 of search results-
Before getting on with your optimization process to win a featured snippet for your website, you will first have to focus on earning a place on the first search results page for your target keywords. Research says, featured snippets are mostly drawn from among the top ten search results.
2. Publish Content Centered around a Specific Question-
Make sure to create content answering questions that users are likely to ask, relevant to your niche. If you have a page that answers users’ questions appropriately, your chances of showing up in a snippet increases. Keep the intent of your audience in mind while you create content for them. Keep a core question that your page answers.
3. Focus on the Question throughout Your Content-
When you are focusing on a keyword, think of it as a question rather than a statement. Not only do you have to answer the question, but you will also have to create an in-depth content that offers elaborate information on that same topic, all through your content. You must maintain a constant reference to the core question you are addressing.
4. Answer Related Questions as well-
Besides answering the core question, you have to make sure to answer several other related and relevant questions within one page. While you publish your content, your main aim is to provide information that is valuable to your user and also, make sure that your readers come back to you and become your customers. It is all about trust-building!
When you make sure to thoroughly answer each related question within your core articles, you win an opportunity to get featured in more than ten to twenty different queries. Keep a specific paragraph only for people to ask questions, keep the question in a header, answer the questions right below the header, and make sure to write answers within 50-60 words.
Also, when you add a question & answer section to your page, it helps Google understand your content better
5. Put in Question Headings-
Try formatting the topic of your content exactly the way a searcher is likely to be thinking. Often you will see that a question & answer box appears as a snippet. You can use that question as an H2 and begin the paragraph with a concise answer to that question. Generally, Google picks up the H2 tag. Hence, setting the question as your H2 tag will be beneficial for you.
6. Keep Your Answers Short and Succinct-
Google tends to prefer concise and simple answers. The simpler your answer is, the faster Google understands your answer and decides on whether your answer satisfies the user’s query. Make sure to also include relevant keywords.
Maintain a direct approach while answering questions. Remember: Google’s algorithms look for short and meaningful sentences. It can extract a 40-50 word definition from your content to display in a featured snippet. Hence, focus on concise, yet meaningful answers.
7. Use FAQ Schema-
Adding the FAQ questions and answering them in your content actually doubles the size of your result. You get access to a higher CTR. When you answer the exact question that users ask, you escalate your chances to be featured in position zero.
If you are using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin will help you with adding an FAQ section. If you are not using WordPress, you can add an FAQ schema via Google Tool Manager.
8. Format Content for Featured Snippets-
The best ways to format your content to fit into featured snippets are paragraphs, lists, or tables. You need to check Google to track and observe what kind of content is getting featured in the snippet section, for specific keywords. If you see Google is pulling a table, then, add a table to your content. If you see that Google is pulling a list, then include a list in your content.
9. Accurate Formatting of List Posts-
Lists are more likely to be pulled in as a featured snippet. Keep numbered H2 or H3 tags in your content, to increase the chances of Google featuring your content as a snippet. Each item must be given its own heading, while following a logical structure.
Listing the major points relating to a specific search query shows the search engines that you have a well-packaged answer relevant to the user’s search query. You could answer a question with 5 steps. You could divide your content into six sections or bullet points.
Also, if your answer has a comparison table, it increases the chances of your content getting a place in the featured snippets. Even best SEO companies use this tip.
10. Use Tables-
Using tables gives you better chances for becoming a featured snippet as well. With tables, you can organize data across multiple factors. Google quickly understands your content if you have data organized in a structured table. Tables have considerable effect on winning featured snippets.
Also, comparison tables are most likely to be pulled in for branded queries
11. Keep a Table of Contents with Anchor Links-
You need to list the content of your article in a way such that it resembles snippets in your niche. Link from those to the specific relevant sections.
Google approves it. Readers are given a better user experience. What else could a website owner ask for?
12. Put in Structured Data-
One of the best ways to win a position zero result is to add schema markup to your content. When you do so, Google understands your content better and faster. This simple coding technique helps search engines to easily understand your content.
For Google, JSON-LD markup is the best method of schema markup. Google picks up what content it wants to display, accordingly.
13. Keep Making Modifications to Improve Existing Snippet-
Try to find out the pages that are ranking in the top 10 results for queries that have featured snippets. Have a look at your own page and think what more modifications you can still make to your content. Ask yourself – Is my content better than the one in the featured snippet concerning your niche.
When you look at a current snippet, try to identify the tone of the content: whether it is casual, scholarly, formal, or professional. Ask yourself questions like:
- How does the tone of my content differ from the tone of the featured snippet?
- Is my data presented in a bulleted or numbered list?
- What is the ideal word count for becoming a featured snippet?
- Is this site related to my niche?
- Is this site ranking more than my content does?
You can use the free SEMRush dashboard to check your top keywords with performance data so that you can understand how your efforts and activities are affecting overall traffic and visibility.
14. Target the Featured Snippet image-
Alongside snippet texts, you will often get to see an image as well. The interesting part is that the image may come from a wholly different website from the one where the text comes from. Pick up a page from page 1 of the search results page, and have a look at the current featured image. Add an image that is way better than the current featured image.
Your snippet image must have an alt text and a title that is more relevant to the search query. Use an image that answers the user’s query in a better way, and place the image closer to the top section of your page. Make it a point to use an original image.
15. Consistent Optimization-
Once you have achieved a page-one listing for yourself, keep optimizing your content so that you can get displayed in the snippet.
Keep trying with all of the above-mentioned tips and see what works best for you. You can also opt to go for professional digital marketing services to do this for you. You can just look for a Digital Marketing agency in India and get your work done.