Featured Snippets: 10 Steps to Better Search Results

featured snippets

What Are Featured Snippets?

Featured snippets are short selections of text that appear at the top of Google’s search results in order to quickly answer a user’s query. The content that appears in a featured snippet is automatically pulled from web pages in Google’s index. These snippets are designed to provide users with a concise answer or summary to their question right on the search results page, without the need to click through to a website. This can include definitions, tables, steps in a process, or lists, depending on the nature of the query.

Examples of Featured Snippets

Featured snippets can take various forms, including paragraphs, lists, tables, and even videos. Here are a few examples:

Paragraph Snippets: For questions like “Who won the best actor Oscar in 2023?” Google might display a brief excerpt from a web page that succinctly answers the question.

featured snippets

List Snippets: In response to queries such as “What steps to take to bake a biscuit?” a list snippet might show a step-by-step guide extracted from a recipe blog.

featured snippets

Table Snippets: For searches asking for “What is the best smartphone?” a table snippet could display a comparison chart from a tech review site.

featured snippets

The Value of Featured Snippets for a Company

Featured snippets offer tremendous value for businesses by enhancing online visibility, driving more organic traffic, and establishing authority in their industry. Being featured in that coveted “position zero” spot can:

Increase Click-Through Rates (CTR): Snippets attract attention and can significantly increase the CTR to your website.

Boost Brand Visibility: Appearing at the top of search results enhances brand recognition and trust.

Provide Competitive Advantage: Earning a featured snippet can place you above competitors in search results, even if they rank first for the keyword.

For website owners, appearing in a featured snippet can significantly increase visibility and drive more traffic to their site, as the snippet is prominently displayed above the first organic search results. However, there is also debate about whether they reduce the likelihood of users clicking through to the website since some information is already provided directly in the search results.

How to Get Featured Snippets

Getting your content to appear in featured snippets involves optimizing your website and content for search engines, or search engine optimization (SEO). While there’s no guaranteed method to secure a spot in these coveted positions, here are strategies that can increase your chances:

1. Identify Common Questions

Use tools like Google’s “People also ask,” forums, social media, and keyword research tools to find common questions in your niche. These questions can guide your content creation.

2. Structure Your Content Appropriately

Organize your content in a clear, logical manner. Use headings (H1, H2, H3) to structure your article, making it easier for search engines to understand the hierarchy and relevance of your content.

3. Answer Questions Directly and Concisely

Aim to provide direct answers to questions within your content. A concise paragraph (around 40-50 words) at the beginning of an article or a section can increase your chances of being featured.

4. Use Schema Markup

Implementing schema markup (structured data) helps search engines understand the context of your content. This can improve how your content is represented in search results, though it’s not a direct factor for featured snippets.

5. Optimize for Relevant Keywords

Include keywords that people are likely to use when searching for the information you’re providing. However, ensure your content remains natural and user-friendly.

6. Create High-Quality Content

Your content should be authoritative, trustworthy, and offer comprehensive coverage of the topic. Google tends to feature content that provides the best answer to users’ questions.

7. Include Lists, Tables, and Bullet Points

For queries that lend themselves to lists, steps, or comparisons, format your information in bullet points, numbered lists, or tables. This format is often easier for search engines to extract and display as snippets.

8. Improve Your Website’s Authority

A website with a strong domain authority is more likely to have its content featured. Improve your site’s authority by earning backlinks from reputable sites in your industry, enhancing your social media presence, and ensuring your site is secure and fast.

9. Monitor Your Competitors

Look at the current featured snippets in your target queries. Analyze the content and structure of these snippets to understand what Google is prioritizing. Adjust your content strategy accordingly.

10. Use Images and Videos

Including relevant images and videos can complement your written content. Although images directly associated with featured snippets are sometimes pulled from different sources, having high-quality, relevant images can still be beneficial.

The goal of featured snippets is to provide the best answer to users’ questions. Focus on creating content that serves the needs of your audience and use these optimization strategies as a guide to improve your chances of being featured. Keep in mind that Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay updated with the latest SEO practices and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Search Engine Optimization is as much an art as a science. And the target is always moving. If you need help navigating voice search SEO, Ecommerce SEO, or SEO strategies for 2024, the New Target team has had great success in helping nonprofits, businesses, and associations navigate these rocky waters.

A global team of digerati with offices in Washington, D.C. and Southern California, we provide digital marketing, web design, and creative for brands you know and nonprofits you love.

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