Featured Snippets: How to Appear In It?
Want a quick answer to a question? Google has this relatively new feature of featured snippets whereby snippets of the text answer the question in a few words.
Hence, it is a convenient way to get the information you require quickly.
This article discusses what it is and how you can optimize your content to rank in it. Keep reading below to know more!
What Are Featured Snippets?
Technically these are extended search results that are Position 0, appearing at the top of Google.
The content it shows is taken from web pages that are in Google’s index.
Usually, they will appear in search results when the query is informational or long-form.
The snippet of text can be in various forms.
It could either be a list, a chart, tables, definitions, video or steps.
A featured snippet has more text than a meta description.
It can include bullet points and a longer explanation.
These show up even before the traditional search results and links.
This is why it gets the name Position 0.
In fact, they occupy so much space that the reader may sometimes be satisfied with this result alone.
This feature is important for the SEO of sites moreover, it allows the not-so-top ranking websites to also appear on top in Google search results.
Let’s find out how!
Importance of Featured Snippets for SEO
One advantage of a featured snippet for a website is how it can get your site more clicks without appearing in Google rankings.
It can get about 35.1 percent of all clicks.
Therefore, you need to optimize them in order to get more traffic.
The best part is that your website does not need to be a high-ranking one for its snippet to show up in the organic search results.
Therefore, there can be a lot of traffic driving toward your website giving the organic click-through rate a boost.
Plus, it also increases the no-click searches.
As the reader is satisfied with the answer they get from the search, they do not click on the links for more information.
Hence, when deciding on keywords for your content, you should look into whether it appears as a featured snippet on the search results.
There will be fewer clicks on SERPs that do not have a featured snippet compared to those that which does.
Hence, combining all of these, featured snippets allows for boosting conversions and outranking your competitors besides driving traffic to your site.
Alongside that, it helps to boost your website’s credibility as you may appear on top of the search results.
That gives you more exposure as well as visibility.
All of that organically with you not having to pay for advertising.
So even a small website can make it to a top ranking position without having to spend money.
Though, there are ways in which you can earn the spot.
Not every website makes it to position 0.
We will discuss this later on, below.
First, let’s tap into the types of featured snippets that can show up in the organic search results.
Types of Featured Snippets
A featured snippet can be a table, a list with bullet points, even a video with the answer you are looking for, a chart or a definition.
If you asked for a query that requires a set of steps, an ordered list may appear in the snippet.
The list is presented in order such as going from one step to another or numbers.
It also comes in use for lists that are ranked in a specific order.
So this can appear in queries related to the highest-rated television series, or how to make a sandwich.
The other type of list snippet is the unordered list.
Unlike the ordered list that follows a pattern, this does not need to be in any order of best to worst but is simply a list.
It can appear for queries such as Christmas gifts to buy.
If the gift items are not ranked by the writer and are simply in a list form, it will appear in bullet points without any order of steps or best to worst.
Ever searched the meaning of the word or asking a what is query?
That is when the definition box will appear in the featured snippet.
The definitions that Google will show are mostly short.
Hence, it will be around only 40 to 60 words.
If you have defined a term in your article, it may show up when someone asks what is it.
Google will extract data from your webpage and it appears as a table in the snippet.
If you are looking for figures or data, that is when it will be displayed.
For instance, a query for mattress sizes may display its size, and dimensions in inches as well as in centimeters.
Optimizing Content Accordingly
Now that you know that there a featured snippet of your website appearing on SERPs can be beneficial for your website’s traffic and credibility, let’s find out how to achieve that.
Firstly, you need to write on content that is likely to appear on the SERPs, do adequate topic and keyword research.
Looking For Opportunities in Google Search and Keyword Research
Think about what questions will your audience like to ask.
Next, you should go and search for that term so that you know that Google will show a featured snippet for it.
While you are at it, also look into what types of featured snippets show for that particular query.
This will help in optimizing the content the same way.
Moreover, look into the “People also ask” section.
These are questions related to the content that you can expand and see the answers to.
Here you can look into what questions you need to answer in your content.
Next, look into the keywords you intend to target.
You can use a keyword research tool to analyze if the SERP for the particular keyword shows a snippet.
Or you can simply search those keywords to see if the snippet appears.
This way, you will be able to gather what keywords you should be targeting and the content it needs to display as a featured snippet.
Optimizing Your Content For Specific Featured Snippets
Firstly, identify what type of featured snippet you want to optimize your content for.
- Ordered List
- Unordered List
For an ordered list, you need to lay out the steps and numbers in a way that Google crawlers quickly decipher.
You should present each item in a subheader and give it H2 and H3 tags.
H1 will be your page or title heading, H2 can be for the main point and H3 highlights the supporting points.
To make things more clear to Google, you can also add Step 1 or Rule 1, 2, 3 and so on to the listicle points so that it surely appears chronologically.
Remain consistent in the order and that will be Google’s clue to show it in the snippet in the same order.
An unordered list will not have specific steps laid out.
It can contain simple bullet points or headings without describing them in chronological order.
Give the definition a title similar to a google query.
For instance, you can write “What is SEO?” right above the definition which should stay within the word limit of 40 to 60 words.
Formatting is important for appearing in the featured spot.
The closer it looks to a featured snippet, the more chances it has of showing up.
However, your definition should be objective.
Don’t show any opinions or emotions. It should be as objective as a dictionary entry.
Representing data in a table for,m is the best way to appear on the featured snippets as a table.
It isn’t confirmed whether Google collects data from parts of your page and then presents it as a table, rather it is more likely that they are picking up a table of data from your content and showing it as is.
Practices for Appearing in SERPs
Answer Different Questions
Do not stop at one main question rather raise your chances of appearing in the snippet by answering several questions.
When one page ranks for a snippet, it has a higher chance of ranking again.
Thus refine a few articles by answering multiple related questions in it.
Explore the lists and steps, further refine the definition and answer the “people also ask” queries in the set word count.
This brings us to…
Don’t Exceed Word Count
The snippets answer questions in a short and concise manner.
Hence, the answer should not be greater than 40 to 60 words, rather try to make it 40 to 50 words.
Longer text may not appear in the snippet to begin with so keep the answers to specific queries that you want to be featured less than optimally 50 words.
Optimize Using Long Tail Terms
More snippets appear when the search is for long-tail keywords.
This is especially true for voice search.
Hence, the optimization should also include the broader variations of the terms people search for in the form of long tail keywords.
Add sections in the form of FAQ or separate headings that can appear in the snippets.
This can include a how-to section to specifically cater to the informational queries that usually show up in the snippets.
Adding Images and Videos
Images and videos are also part of the snippets.
Therefore, include them in your content after all sites that use videos have a 53 percent higher chance of appearing in Google SERPs.
Here you have all the ways you can appear in featured snippets.
Keep making and refining your content with all of these components so that you are up to date with Google ranking trends.