Google’s Featured Snippets – Demystifying Actionable Insights to Get Them
Over the last few years, SEO has gone through substantial changes. One of the biggest changes has been the introduction of Google’s Featured Snippets, which are quickly becoming a hot topic among SEO professionals.
For those unfamiliar, Featured Snippets are the bolded and highlighted answers featured at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Generally, these answers appear underneath the traditional listings and in a box of their own. They are designed to provide an answer to a specific query, displaying a very simple description and referencing a page where more information can be found.
While Featured Snippets are great for users, who are more likely to get their answer faster than ever before, they are also very important to webmasters who need to be familiar with this feature in order to rank higher in search results. The presence or absence of Featured Snippets on a SERP can make all the difference between success and failure in organic search results.
If your website has what it takes to be featured in a Featured Snippet, then you may be able to gain a considerable amount of organic traffic. In this article, we’ve set out to demystify the Featured Snippet program, and provide actionable insights on how to leverage this feature to your advantage.
Let’s dive right in!
What is a Featured Snippet?
A Featured Snippet is a type of organic search result that appears at the top of a Google SERP. It contains a short summary of an answer to a user’s query, which Google believes will best suit their intentions.
When someone searches for a query related to your business, Google will scour the web for relevant content, and display the most relevant piece of content in a Featured Snippet. It will also display a link to the original source.
To make the snippet stand out, Google has employed numerous design techniques; such as displaying the text in a larger font size, italicizing it for emphasis, and highlighting it in a contrasting color.
Types of Featured Snippet
Google’s Featured Snippets come in two varieties: paragraph snippets and list snippets.
Paragraph snippets are used when there is a single, concise answer to a query. The answer appears in a box at the top of the SERP, with a link to the original source.
List snippets, on the other hand, are used when there is more than one possible answer to a query. This is often the case when someone is asking for a list of something, such as a list of Famous Paintings or a list of types of birds. In this case, Google will display a list of up to eight items, with a link to the original source.
Benefits of Ranking at the Top of a SERP With a Featured Snippet
Appearing in a Featured Snippet can drastically increase the visibility and traffic to your website. According to the Ahrefs blog, Google Featured Snippet can drive up to 8.6% of total clicks.
That’s a substantial amount of additional traffic, especially when you consider the fact that Featured Snippets generally take up more than twice the amount of visible space than a standard result.
Another benefit of appearing in a Featured Snippet is increased trust from users. Since the answer has been deemed important enough to appear at the top of the SERP, users are more likely to click through and spend more time consuming content on your page.
In addition, Featured Snippets are a helpful signal for Google, who will often rank the page higher in search results, thus giving it even more visibility.
How to Optimize Your Content To Earn a Featured Snippet
Although there is no surefire method to guarantee a Featured Snippet, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Write content to answer common questions.
Google’s Featured Snippets are designed to provide an answer to specific questions, so it’s important to structure your content around common questions in your field.
Make sure your content is written to answer specific questions and include the full question in the copy, along with the answer.
2. Use headings and subheadings to structure your content.
Use headings to break up your content and make it easier for readers to understand. This will also make it easier for Google to pick out specific answers.
3. Address more complex queries.
Many people structure their content around short, one-word queries. However, for Featured Snippets, it’s best to target queries that are a bit more complex.
4. Use bullets and numbers lists, when appropriate.
Google’s list snippets are a great way of displaying multiple answers to one query. If you’re providing a list of items or a sequence of steps, it’s always best to structure your content with bullets or numbers.
5. Use HTML markup to optimize your content.
Make sure to use proper HTML markup on your pages. This will make it easier for Google to crawl and interpret your content, and thus increase your chances of getting a Featured Snippet.
Getting a Featured Snippet is a challenge and involves a lot of work, but can be very rewarding in terms of extra organic traffic.
It’s important to customize your content for Featured Snippets and create content that is specific to common queries. Make sure to include headings and subsections, target more complex queries, use lists and numbers when appropriate, and use proper HTML markup.
By optimizing your content for Featured Snippets, you’ll be able to rank higher on the SERP, increase visibility for your website, and drive more organic traffic to your website.