May 7, 2023 Mark Acornley

What Are Featured Snippets + How To Get Them

In the world of SEO, featured snippets have become a hot topic in recent years.

Featured snippets offer a concise answer to a user’s search query, often appearing at the top of Google’s search results page.

What are featured snippets?

Featured snippets are brief excerpts of content that appear at the top of Google’s search results page.

They provide a concise answer to a user’s query, displayed in a box-like format, making it easy for users to quickly find the information they are looking for.

The content displayed in featured snippets is extracted from relevant web pages, and it is displayed alongside a link to the source page.

These snippets are sometimes referred to as “position zero,” as they appear above the first organic search result.

Why Featured Snippets Matter

Featured snippets matter because they can significantly increase your website’s visibility in Google’s search results.

They are highly coveted by SEO professionals, as they often lead to increased traffic, clicks, and conversions.

Additionally, featured snippets enhance your website’s credibility and authority, as they demonstrate that Google considers your content to be a reliable source of information.

Types of Featured Snippets

There are several types of featured snippets, each with its unique format and content. The most common types of featured snippets include:

  1. Paragraph Snippets: These are the most common type of featured snippets and provide a brief answer to the user’s query in a paragraph format.
  2. List Snippets: These snippets provide a list of items related to the user’s query.
  3. Table Snippets: Table snippets present information in a tabular format, providing a quick and easy-to-read overview of the user’s query.
  4. Video Snippets: These snippets provide a video answer to the user’s query.
  5. How-To Snippets: These snippets provide a step-by-step guide on how to do something.

Featured snippets are a powerful tool that can help increase your website’s visibility, credibility, and authority.

By understanding what they are, why they matter, and the different types available, you can optimise your content to increase the likelihood of your website appearing as a featured snippet in Google’s search results.

Understanding How Featured Snippets Work

Now that we have a better understanding of what featured snippets are and why they matter, it’s time to dive deeper into how they work.

How Google Chooses Featured Snippets

Google uses a complex algorithm to choose which content to feature as a snippet in search results.

This algorithm analyses the content on web pages to determine which pages provide the most relevant and accurate information to answer a user’s query.

Google looks for pages that have concise and informative content, and it gives preference to pages that are well-structured and easy to read.

To optimise your chances of appearing as a featured snippet, it’s important to conduct thorough keyword research and create content that provides direct answers to users’ questions.

Additionally, incorporating structured data markup on your website can help Google better understand the content on your pages, increasing the likelihood of being chosen as a featured snippet.

The Anatomy of a Featured Snippet

Featured snippets are designed to provide users with a concise answer to their query.

As such, they have a specific format that makes it easy for users to quickly digest the information provided.

The anatomy of a featured snippet typically includes the following components:

  1. Title: The title of the web page where the content is sourced from appears in bold text at the top of the featured snippet.
  2. URL: The URL of the web page where the content is sourced from appears below the title in green text.
  3. Content: The content of the featured snippet appears below the title and URL. It provides a brief and concise answer to the user’s query.
  4. Image: In some cases, featured snippets may include an image to accompany the content. This image is typically sourced from the web page where the content is taken.

Benefits of Featured Snippets for Your Website

In the previous sections, we discussed what featured snippets are, how they work, and the different types of featured snippets.

Featured snippets can have a significant impact on your website’s visibility, credibility, traffic, and search engine rankings.

Increased Visibility

One of the primary benefits of featured snippets is increased visibility.

Featured snippets are displayed at the top of the search engine results page, above the regular search results. This means that even if your website doesn’t rank at the top of the search results page, you can still achieve a high level of visibility through a featured snippet.

By appearing as a featured snippet, you can increase your brand’s exposure and awareness among users who are searching for relevant information.

This can lead to increased traffic to your website, higher engagement, and ultimately, more conversions.

Enhanced Credibility

Featured snippets also provide a boost to your website’s credibility.

Google selects content for featured snippets based on its perceived relevance and accuracy.

This means that if your website is featured as a snippet, it can help establish your website as a credible source of information within your industry.

By appearing as a featured snippet, you can increase users’ trust in your brand, which can lead to more engagement and conversions.

Additionally, being featured as a snippet can also increase your website’s authority and influence within your industry.

More Clicks and Traffic

Another significant benefit of featured snippets is that they can drive more clicks and traffic to your website.

When your website is featured as a snippet, users are more likely to click through to your website to learn more.

This is because the featured snippet provides a concise and informative answer to their query, which makes them more likely to trust your brand and want to learn more.

Furthermore, because featured snippets are displayed above the regular search results, they often receive a higher click-through rate than regular search results.

This means that being featured as a snippet can significantly increase your website’s traffic and engagement.

Boosted SEO Ranking

Finally, featured snippets can also have a positive impact on your website’s search engine rankings.

By appearing as a featured snippet, your website is more likely to receive clicks and traffic, which can improve your website’s engagement metrics.

These engagement metrics, such as click-through rate and time on the page, are important factors that search engines use to determine website quality and relevance. By improving these metrics, your website can improve its search engine ranking, which can lead to even more traffic and engagement.

In conclusion, featured snippets offer a variety of benefits for your website, including increased visibility, enhanced credibility, more clicks and traffic, and a boosted SEO ranking.

By optimising your website’s content for featured snippets, you can increase your chances of being selected as a snippet and reap the benefits that come with it.

To optimise your content, make sure to focus on providing concise and informative answers to user queries, using structured data markup, and following best practices for SEO.

Strategies for Optimising for Featured Snippets

Now that we have discussed the benefits of featured snippets, let’s dive into some strategies for optimising your website’s content to increase your chances of being selected as a featured snippet.

Conducting Keyword Research

One of the first steps in optimising your content for featured snippets is conducting keyword research. Look for keywords and phrases that are frequently searched for and have a high volume of traffic. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to identify these keywords.

Once you have identified the keywords, focus on creating content that provides concise and informative answers to user queries related to those keywords.

By providing valuable information, you increase your chances of being selected as a featured snippet.

Creating Content that Answers Questions

To optimise your content for featured snippets, you need to create content that answers specific questions that users might have. Make sure that your content is structured in a way that provides a clear and concise answer to the question.

Use headings and bullet points to make the information easy to scan and read.

You can also create “how-to” guides, tutorials, and other types of instructional content that provide step-by-step instructions for completing a task.

This type of content is highly valued by users and is often selected as a featured snippet.

Formatting Content for Featured Snippets

To increase your chances of being selected as a featured snippet, you need to format your content in a way that is easily digestible by both users and search engines.

Use H2 and H3 tags to create headings and subheadings, and use bullet points and numbered lists to break up long blocks of text.

You should also use structured data markup to provide search engines with additional information about your content.

This markup can help search engines understand the context and structure of your content, which can increase your chances of being selected as a featured snippet.

Incorporating Visuals

Visuals, such as images and videos, can also be used to optimise your content for featured snippets.

Visuals can help break up text and make your content more engaging and informative. For example, if you are creating a tutorial, you can include images or videos that demonstrate the steps.

When incorporating visuals, make sure that they are relevant to the content and provide additional value to the user.

Additionally, make sure that the visuals are optimised for search engines by including alt tags and optimising their file size.

 

Tips for Winning Featured Snippets

Winning a featured snippet can greatly increase your website’s visibility and attract more traffic.

Here are some tips for optimising your content to increase your chances of winning a featured snippet.

Target Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases that users might search for.

By targeting long-tail keywords, you can create content that addresses specific user queries and increase your chances of being selected as a featured snippet.

Long-tail keywords also tend to have less competition, making it easier to rank for them.

For example, instead of targeting a broad keyword like “digital marketing,” target a more specific long-tail keyword like “how to create a digital marketing strategy for small businesses.”

Create Comprehensive Content

Featured snippets often display comprehensive and in-depth content that addresses multiple aspects of a topic.

Therefore, when creating content, make sure it is comprehensive and covers all angles of the topic.

For example, if you are creating content about digital marketing, cover all aspects such as social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising.

Address Multiple Questions

To increase your chances of winning a featured snippet, create content that addresses multiple questions related to a topic.

Use headings and subheadings to break down your content into specific sections, each addressing a different question.

For example, if you are creating content about digital marketing, create sections for each aspect of digital marketing, such as “What is social media marketing?” “How to create a content marketing strategy?” and “What is email marketing?”

Leverage Structured Data

Structured data provides additional information to search engines about your content, which can increase your chances of winning a featured snippet.

Use structured data markup to provide additional context and information about your content.

For example, use schema markup to identify the type of content you are creating, such as a recipe, a how-to guide, or a review.

This can help search engines understand the format of your content and increase your chances of being selected as a featured snippet.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Optimising for Featured Snippets

Optimising for featured snippets can greatly increase your website’s visibility and attract more traffic.

However, there are some common mistakes to avoid to ensure your optimisation efforts are effective and successful.

Here are some mistakes to avoid when optimising for featured snippets.

Neglecting to Research Your Target Audience

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when optimising for featured snippets is neglecting to research your target audience.

It’s essential to understand the needs and preferences of your target audience to create content that addresses their queries and needs.

Conduct thorough keyword research to identify the search queries your target audience is using, and create content that addresses those queries.

Focusing Only on Featured Snippets

While winning a featured snippet is a great accomplishment, it should not be your sole focus.

Focusing only on featured snippets can lead to neglecting other important aspects of SEO, such as on-page optimisation, link building, and technical SEO.

Remember that featured snippets are just one aspect of SEO, and it’s essential to maintain a balanced approach to all aspects of SEO.

Overstuffing Content with Keywords

Overstuffing your content with keywords can harm your optimisation efforts and damage the credibility of your website.

While it’s essential to include relevant keywords in your content, overusing them can make your content seem spammy and unprofessional.

Use keywords in a natural and meaningful way and avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.

Ignoring the Importance of High-Quality Content

Winning a featured snippet is not just about optimising your content for search engines; it’s also about providing value to your audience.

Ignoring the importance of high-quality content can lead to winning a featured snippet but failing to engage your audience. Create content that is informative, engaging, and valuable to your audience.

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