We’ve all encountered a Google featured snippet result at least once in our search engine usage. These are the results that quickly answer the search intent based on the keywords used. It’s really helpful for users, especially if they are in a hurry.
However, featured snippet links are hard to get. You have to craft a perfect snippet that answers the searcher’s question immediately.
In this article, we will look into the mechanics of getting a featured snippet and how important it is for SEO. We will also tackle the different ways you can prime your content to be a featured snippet. This way, either established or newly-founded websites have a chance to rank their outstanding content.
What Are Google Featured Snippets?
A featured snippet is a chunk of your content (also called a snippet) that Google interprets as a quick solution to the search query. In other words, a featured snippet is the quickest answer that Google can give you, based on your search input.
Featured snippet links have high click-through rates (CTR) compared to other results on the same SERP page. By providing clear and direct answers that satisfy search intent, it gathers more audience that is looking for answers. Users are also happy about this because your featured snippet answers their questions without having to read the entire article.
Different Types of Featured Snippets
Google featured snippets are different for different forms of content structures. Understanding the type of featured snippets that will suit your content structure is essential for writing a featured snippet-worthy article or blog. The different types of featured snippets are:
Paragraph featured snippets
This is the most common type of featured snippets occurring in SERPs. Usually, Google picks a particular portion from your content that answers the search queries most appropriately. The usual length of paragraph snippets is between 40 to 60 words. This type of featured snippet usually answers the “How”, “why”, and “when” of the user search queries.
Table featured snippets
Another larger section of Google featured snippets are the table featured snippet. The table featured snippets are usually common for depicting comparison between data. The table featured snippets don’t work by picking a table from your content and putting it on the featured snippet box. Instead of search queries, Google chooses its data and formulates and presents it independently.
List featured snippets
The featured snippets can present your content’s ranking or numbered or bulleted lists. The listed featured snippets can be ordered or non-ordered. An excellent example of a list snippet is a step-by-step explanation of any process. It answers the user’s search query and presents the data in listed firms.
Video featured snippets
Like text featured snippets, the video featured snippets come when users want answers to “How to” in a step answer. The difference between a regular video and a featured clip is that the featured clip will auto-start answering the exact search results.
The above example answers the search query “How to do french braids” from the duration of 5:44.
What Benefits Can You Get From These Featured Snippets?
There are three major SEO benefits you can get from having Google featured snippets. These are:
- More traffic from organic search results
- Higher “no-click searches”
- Outrank competitors
There are other marketing benefits from having featured snippet links. One of these is that it improves website branding. It makes your website look more trustworthy.
We will discuss these SEO benefits one by one. Let’s get to it!
More Traffic From Organic Search Results
By providing direct answers, it’s easier to get clicks from SERP results. This will result in more traffic. As a bonus, this traffic will come from organic searches – which are more favored by search engines.
Having more traffic will improve certain SEO metrics. It will also increase your domain ranking and authority. You can get so many SEO benefits from having sustainable organic traffic.
Higher “No-Click Searches”
“No-click searches” are like how they sound – they don’t need to get clicked to satisfy user intent. Since the users see a snippet of the content they’re looking for, they don’t need to click the link anymore.
Here’s an example of a featured snippet that has every answer for the search query:
It directly answers the question from my search input “SEO keywords for photographers”. Now, I don’t have to read the whole article about the top keywords that are important for photographers. This is how helpful a featured snippet can be for the users.
This gets recognized by Google and gets rewarded. Even if the users don’t click on your link, your domain is still regarded as a credible source of information.
Having a Google featured snippet is a definite way to outrank your competitors. No matter how many or few your backlinks are, you can overtake their position in SERP. SEO professionals often call this “position zero”.
The featured snippet appears on the very top of the page – outranking every other competitor website. It’s also Google’s most recommended answer to the user’s question. Thus, you gain more trust from your audience.
7 Easy Ways to Get Google Featured Snippets
1. Choose the Right Keywords
Since the snippet will come from your unique content, it can include the main keyword you are targeting. The addition of LSI (Latent Semantic Index) keywords and questionable keywords can help to include user intent content. According to a study by Aherfs, articles containing more questionable keywords and direct questions are more likely to get featured.
Crafting the best answer and adding keywords to it will help you land a featured snippet. Having the right keywords will make you appear on queries with exact match keywords. Keyword search tools like Ahrefs, Google keyword planner, and Moz keyword planner can help you to get the right keywords for your content.
2. Make Your Content Specific
High-quality content that answers specific questions must be specific as well. Having specific content will help answer questions that are thrown by users. The structure of the content is also important to make your content snippet worthy. Some of the key features to be used in your piece of content to make it featured snippet worthy are:
- Use of descriptive headers
- Using tables to present data
- Use of bulletins and numbering
- Addition of relevant images with proper Alt tags
- Proper HTML code in the backend, etc.
3. Find the Low Hanging Opportunities
You can always write new content keeping in mind the different features featured in snippets. But do you know how to leverage your existing content to make featured snippet worthy?
To find the “low-hanging opportunities” you need to find the list of keywords that are ranking between 2-10 positions. You can check them in the Ahrefs. Select your URL in the Ahrefs site explorer and go to organic keywords. Find the list of KWs ranking positions between 2-10. Select them and optimize your content for those keywords in terms of short descriptions or answers.
In Ahrefs organic keywords you can also select the SERP features and can select the featured snippet options to get the KWs that have a high chance of getting a snippet. Utilize these KWs and optimize your content accordingly.
4. Know the Question
If you know the question, it’s easy to create a detailed answer. You can use a social listening tool to get insights into what your niche audience is talking about. An example of a social listening tool is AnswerThePublic.
Aim to answer these types of questions:
- How to
- How does
- What is
5. Know What Content to Provide
There are different types of featured snippets you can provide depending on the type of search query. It can be in the form of:
- Video tutorials
Featured snippets that are definitions can be “what is” queries. Videos are normally for “how to” questions. The list and table featured snippets are flexible and can be used for different search queries. These are good ways to summarize chunks of texts, making them worthy of a featured snippet.
6. Optimize <H> Headings
Optimizing your H1 headings is a great way to get noticed by search engines. Making your H1 heading similar to that of the search query gives you more chances to be in a featured snippet. Just make sure that your content complements the optimized heading.
7. Maintain an Optimal Word Count
The length of any content is important. We all say content is the king. But for any content to rank in the SERP, it is important for the content to be in an optimal word count. For writing content, you can use tools like Surfer SEO, INK, etc. These tools use AI technology to analyze the competitors ranking for your targeted KW and give you an optimal word count range.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are snippets in SEO?
A snippet is a single search result in a set of search results for a particular search query. A snippet usually contains the URL, the title of the content, and a short description of the search results. A snippet usually contains the keyword from your search query highlighted in the description.
Do rich snippets help SEO?
Rich snippets are enhanced search results. Rich snippets usually contain more data than a usual Google search. Google extracts the extra data from the HTML structured data of the content. Rich snippets help SEO by increasing the rate of CTR (click-through rates) and higher user search utility.
Are Google featured snippets paid?
No, Google featured snippets are not paid. Google chooses the most relevant content to be featured in the featured answer box for targeted keywords. Google featured snippets appear in “position zero” in the SERP rankings and only a few applicable paid ads are displayed above the featured snippet.
Featured snippet links are hard to achieve because you need to satisfy the search intent immediately. It requires you to write your content as directly and concisely as possible. You can also leverage articles that already rank in SERPs.
Now that you know how to crack the SERP through featured snippets, you can rank your articles and aim for that “position zero”. This is the highest position you can reach without using advertisements. Ranking for a featured snippet also has a lot of SEO benefits – just like getting position 1 articles.
We hope this article will help you rank your articles for a featured snippet and improve your content marketing strategy. If you have any questions related to featured snippets, leave us a comment below. We will answer them as soon as we can.