Google search has changed a lot since September 1998. Alphabet Inc. is always constantly testing, adding, and updating features to Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in order to make them more useful to users.
One thing that hasn’t changed though, is everyone still wants their website to be at the top of search results. But while top ranking for target keywords is a priority for many brands, actually achieving and retaining that position isn’t exactly easy. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to climb those rankings.
And these days, just getting to that position may not be enough to significantly drive traffic. That’s why instead of gunning for position 1 on SERPs, many are aiming higher and going after the Featured Snippets at the top. What are Featured Snippets? Well, read on to learn everything about Featured Snippets so you can start taking advantage of these common new search features.
What Is A Featured Snippet?
Google can now provide answers to search queries without clicking through to the webpage. Called Featured Snippets, these brief excerpts of useful information appear at the top of search results to provide users with quick answers.
The content that appears inside Featured Snippets is automatically retrieved from web pages already indexed by Google. As Featured Snippets appear between the top link at Position 1 and Google’s prepaid ads, the ranking position is commonly referred to as Position 0.
The reason Google shows what it considers to be accurate and high-quality content in Featured Snippets at Position 0 is because they are focusing on user experience. So, it’s certainly no secret just how massively powerful and important these features are right now.
Types Of Featured Snippets
There are many different Featured Snippets currently on Google, and the four most common types are below.
The paragraph snippet is the most common, accounting for around half of all Featured Snippets. These provide snippets of text to answer the question-based queries of users. Paragraph snippets are sometimes shown with a relevant image or an accordion of images selected from other sources. Searches that start with the following questions often return paragraph snippets:
- How to [keyword/s]?
- Who is [keyword/s]?
- What is [keyword/s]?
- Where is[keyword/s]?
- Why is [keyword/s]?
- When is [keyword/s]?
Around a third of Featured Snippets on Google are list snippets. These are either shown as bulleted list snippets or numbered list snippets for steps to complete a task. The content for these types of listicles is pulled from a page’s heading tags by Google and then compressed into a more digestible format. List snippets may appear for search queries such as:
- Best of… [keyword/s]
- Most popular…[keyword/s]
- Benefits of…[keyword/s]
- Features of… [keyword/s]
- Unranked items… [keyword/s]
- Ranked items… [keyword/s]
- DIY tasks… [keyword/s]
- Recipes… [keyword/s]
- How to… [keyword/s]
- How do I…[keyword/s]
Making up around 10% of Featured Snippets on Google, table snippets are used to make structured data more understandable. When compilations of data resolve a search query, Google will decipher page content and display the relevant information as a table snippet with rows and columns. A table snippet may appear for queries involving:
Why You Should Include Featured Snippets In Your Strategy
Ranking at position 0 for a popular search term is excellent for your SEO as it will obviously mean increased organic traffic to your website. But there are also several other reasons why earning a Featured Snippet is so important.
The Stats Don’t Lie – Featured Snippets Are Worth The Effort
For starters, only around 1 in every 10 search queries currently have Featured Snippets. And only 1 out of 3 Featured Snippets get content from top-ranked pages in organic searches. So not only are there 15 million opportunities to get that position, but your page doesn’t even need to be top-ranking to get a search query’s Featured Snippet.
Create Quality Content To Take Advantage of Google Home
Featured Snippets are also used to answer most voice-related searches with Google Home. And the number of Google search results that display Featured Snippets is more than doubling each year, and that exponential growth is unlikely to start slowing down anytime soon.
Increase CTR with Amazing Content
Even though the number of zero-click searches has surpassed half of all Google searches, most users are still enticed to click through. Especially when the content in the Featured Snippet is visually engaging, well-written, and accurate.
The data clearly shows that if you want to remain competitive in SERPs, you need to optimise your content for any Featured Snippet opportunities in Google. Here’s how:
Content Design Considerations To Keep Google Happy
Amid the ever-increasing interest and competition with Featured Snippets, many ultimately decide to use a digital marketing agency. Otherwise, there are still some smart optimising techniques for content marketing that may help. So, while there isn’t a super-secret formula or featured snippet code to guarantee ranking at the coveted position 0, the information below can increase your website’s chances.
As they want to provide users with the best and most accurate answers possible, Google has applied some unique policies regarding what can and can’t appear as a Featured Snippet. So, because Featured Snippets are typically instructive and authoritative, your content must answer questions in order to be chosen. Below are some ad agency suggestions:
- Always provide the best possible answer
- Include headings with “Who/What/Where/Why/When… [keyword/s]”
- Structure sentences with “[keyword/s] is/are…”
- Define topics concisely & accurately
- Copy Featured Snippet formats
- No brand name content
- No 1st person content
- No grammar mistakes
Easy Optimisations For Featured Snippet Success
Firstly, you need to understand how existing content on your website stands regarding Featured Snippets. Your current performance can easily be determined utilising different SEO and Featured Snippet tools.
Keyword research is another important consideration when you want to optimise for Featured Snippets. That’s because performing long-tail keyword searches will allow you to learn exactly what potential visitors to your website are searching for. You should also do some Featured Snippet research into how they answer questions and address the needs of users.
Getting a Featured Snippet is all but impossible without creating the best subject matter which provides the best answers to search queries. So whenever you’re writing new content, always keep this top-of-mind to ensure your website continues delivering value for many years ahead.
As you can see, earning yourself a Featured Snippet on Google isn’t easy. It takes a lot of research, planning, and patience, especially considering you can’t be sure when or if you’ll start seeing results. But because it’s such a great incentive to work harder on creating better content, you’ll still end up reducing bounce rates, engaging more readers, and making more sales.