We trust Google to give us the right answers to our queries, given that an average person performs 3-4 searches per day.
So it’s natural for searchers to click on the first few links to answer their queries, believing these sites to be the most authentic sources of information.
That is no coincidence. Google does rank websites higher by their propensity to provide relevant info, answer queries, and provide value to their visitors. This is made possible by powerful algorithms that filter out information and only present timely, relevant, and correct information to the searcher.
To enhance the user experience for the search function, Google has now also added Featured Snippets to the search results. This 0 position text offers a quick answer to the question being searched while also providing a quick link to the corresponding page. This way, the user doesn’t have to click-through to the site if they have already seen the answer in the search results.
SEO experts are fast adapting their content to be used as feature snippets. It is an excellent opportunity to present your content at the top of the search results page, even if the rest of your site is positioned lower in the results.
Read ahead to find out what featured snippets are and how you can get the most out of them.
The short text snippets that Google displays as a drop-down menu featuring pertinent questions at the top of its search results are the featured snippets. Google attempts to answer queries more quickly through this method, as the content displayed in this snippet is pulled directly from Google index’s web pages.
With an optimal placement and presentation of the featured snippet box, the showcased websites have a higher probability of a better CTR (click-through rate) and more traffic.
There are two ways in which featured snippets are important for SEO:
One of the most essential aspects of featured snippets is the opportunity for a website to get more clicks than it could through organic search results. According to research, it gets around 8% of all clicks.
Interestingly, it has been named by many SEO experts as “Position #0” as it is displayed above the conventional #1 spot. Consequently, you don’t need high Google rankings for more clicks yet; give your organic CTR a good boost if you can get your content through to the featured snippet.
Another reason why featured snippets are important for SEO is that they increase the no-click search number. The number of times they get the results without clicking on them as featured snippets usually give users the answer they’re searching for.
There are four main categories of featured snippets:
When there is a list of things presented in a particular order, Google generally uses Ordered Lists. It is a helpful technique to answer queries that require some steps.
Additionally, ordered lists are also used to present things that are ranked.
Google uses an unordered list to present a list of things that don’t require a specific order. For instance, to present a list of data analysis research tools, Google can list them out without ranking them from best to worst.
Google usually uses a table to present data that it has pulled out from a website.
A definition box gives a concise and direct description or definition to searchers in the form of a text snippet. These are usually used to answer the “what is or are” queries with an average of 40-60 word–long definitions.
Here’s how you can optimize your page for featured snippets:
Start by looking for a search results page with an existing featured snippet, so you are sure that Google shows one for that specific keyword.
You can also make the entire process of page optimization a lot easier if you also figure out the category that Google wants to display for that keyword.
You can determine the SERPs with featured snippets in two ways:
Once you have chosen your keywords, optimize your page’s content so Google can display it as a featured snippet the next time a user searches for it.
For the four commonly featured snippets’ categories, this is how you can optimize your page’s content:
One of the best ways to optimize your page content for an ordered list featured snippet is to format it using bulleted lists or numbered steps. It is best to present every step or item using H2 and H3 text as a subheader.
You can also label every step or item in the subheading as “1” or Step #1″ so Google knows for sure that your page’s content has an ordered list. It is essential to maintain consistency in your formatting. That is if you write “Step 1: Do __,” then ensure your second step isn’t written as “Step 2 – Do __”.
Instead, it would help if you wrote it like this: 1), 2), 3), and so on.
Google usually takes content from actual tables to display in its table featured snippets. It doesn’t collect data from different sections of your website and display it in a table form, but uses an already existing table.
The optimization of your content for table featured snippets depends on presenting your data in tables and how they are coded. However, the coding depends on your site’s setup and if you use WordPress. Generally, if there is a <tr> tag in your HTML that presents the content as a table, it’ll be easy for Google to read it.
Since Google uses 40-60 words in a definition box, you have to provide it a ready-to-use text snippet on your page to increase your chances of being selected. Additionally, you can use a “What is ___?” as your heading before you write the definition.
When you give Google an exact definition of something that it can easily pick and use, you improve your chances of being in the featured snippet. You can also make little boxes on your website to resemble a featured snippet because the formatting is highly essential to get your content selected. The closer it looks to a featured snippet, the higher its chances of being used by Google.
Another essential aspect to consider is to have an objective definition by refraining from including your opinion in it because Google doesn’t prefer to show opinions in its definitions. Try to write the definition as a dictionary one rather than influenced by your emotions, even if you feel strongly about it.
If your website and page are authoritative, it is possible to rank a single page for multiple featured snippets. One of the most important moves to play here is to add many ordered lists, definitions, and other types of formats that Google typically puts in the featured snippets.
Long-tail keywords are those terms that are highly specific and long, which searchers use to search for something. Generally, when people search for long-tail keywords, that’s when most Featured snippets are displayed.
One of the best examples of such a search is using voice search for specific queries.
For instance, a traditional search is: “make Turkish tea.”
But its long-tail version voice search is: “Hey Google, how can I make Turkish tea at home?”
It is essential to note that while you have to optimize content for commonly searched featured snippet keywords; it is also important to have optimizations for those Featured Snippets that are displayed when people look for their long-tail versions. For example, you can make something similar to a small FAQ page.
Now the question is, how do you determine what long-tail keywords you should target?
One of the best places to start is the SERPs’ “People also search for” boxes as these are relevant questions that Google matches with the keyword you have searched for. Once you have an understanding of that, you can optimize your page content accordingly.
Of course, you have to optimize your page’s content to match up to the featured snippet’s criteria. However, these optimization efforts aren’t going to get you anywhere if your page doesn’t have rank on Google’s first search page.
According to research, 99.58% of featured snippets are taken from pages that already rank on Google’s first page. The other 0.42% outlier pages come from other SERP features, such as the Answer Box.
It makes perfect sense as Google’s first page shows its best content related to the topic you have searched for. Naturally, it will not prefer featuring some content ranked on page 9 just because it is perfectly formatted.
Consequently, you have to rank on the first Google page while also having your content formatted the right way.
There’s a good chance that your webpage already ranks for some featured snippets. You can use a Site Explorer tool such as Ahrefs to confirm the keywords you rank for.
It is essential to get your hands on this information to not lose your position and optimize your featured snippets to match the search queries perfectly. There are three easy ways to do so:
In this highly competitive world of Google rankings, you have to make sure you use the right tools and optimization techniques to secure a good rank.
Google’s Featured Snippets text is one of the best ways to have your page highlighted and give your users a sneak peek into its content so they can follow the URL to your website. However, to achieve this, it is essential to match your content’s format to that of the featured snippets’ one and ensure that it ranks on Google’s first page.
Follow our guidelines to have your content selected for Google’s featured snippet and increase your website’s chances of getting more traffic.