Getting your domain to appear at the top of Google search results can be a difficult process, but one that offers a lot of benefits when done well.
There are various ways that you can work on increasing your ranking position in search results, ensuring more people see your website so you can bring in more revenue for your business.
However, you may have noticed that the top results are no longer just links to the highest-ranking websites. Many features on the Google Search Console are designed to make it easier for users to find what they want, and this influences the way results appear.
One such feature on Google is the featured snippets, which are a highly valuable tool for users and marketers alike.
If you want to appear at the top of Google search results and attract more traffic to your website, then you need to understand what featured snippets are and how to utilize featured snippet optimization.
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What Are Featured Snippets?
Google’s featured snippets are a form of extended search result that is designed to provide more information to the user.
Featured snippets appear at the top of the results page, appearing before all the relevant websites and domains, and can appear in many forms.
As they intend to provide additional information to a user’s search query, they usually appear in informational or long-form requests.
Unlike the traditional meta description you can expect to see in search results for all websites, a featured snippet offers more information to the user and, therefore, has more opportunities for marketers to optimize.
The search engine results pages (SERPs) are now dominated by featured snippets, making this a great tool for marketers and website owners who want to increase their ranking.
Obtaining regular snippets on SERPs can increase your exposure, as well as your reliability, which in turn will bring more people to your site.
Types Of Featured Snippets
Google chooses snippets of content from the top-ranking pages of search queries to provide their featured snippets to users.
Four main types of featured snippets will be present on Google, which are:
1) Paragraph Snippet
Paragraphs are the most common type of featured snippet that will appear in search results, and it seems as though Google prefers this to any other.
In most cases, a paragraph from a blog post that offers a direct answer to the search query will be given for the top-ranking pages.
The vast majority of paragraph featured snippets offer direct answers to the questions:
- How To
Google will usually offer a brief answer to users based on their search. While there is no exact minimum length required for paragraph-featured snippets outlined by Google, most paragraph-featured snippets are between 40 to 60 words on average.
The particular keyword that answers the question, such as how to fix something, will be highlighted in the answer box given on Google to make it easier for users to identify what they need.
2) Bullet Points
Bullet points or numbered lists are another form of featured snippet that Google’s SERP features.
Much like paragraphs, it is common for list featured snippets to be given based on answers to specific questions.
It is common for lists like this to be used in how-to queries, as Google shows the user that is required from SERPs alone for faster results.
This kind of featured snippet takes several forms based on the search intent, such as:
These types of featured snippets offer structured data in the form of steps, such as in a tutorial for how to do repairs or how to cook something, as well as for information listed in order of importance.
While this kind of featured snippet is closely related to the first one, the content offered in this snipper does not need to be presented in a particular order.
For example, the types of dog breeds can be offered in a list featured snippet but will not be organized based on importance but rather in the order of the original blog post or article answers.
3) Table Featured Snippet
Google displays table snippets in a comprehensive spreadsheet or table, using information from a certain page that ranks highly for this search.
To ensure table-featured snippets are easy to understand, the structured data is usually presented in columns and rows with values such as prices, measurements, years, or other numerical data.
For example, the size of trousers may be the target keyword to get a table-featured snippet on the results page, where each size is listed alongside the country that uses that particular system.
4) Video Snippet
Video-featured snippets are becoming increasingly popular on search engines, as they can pass on a quick answer to all users.
Videos from YouTube are the display featured snippets shown on Google and other search engines, commonly with the most relevant part of the video highlighted based on related search queries.
This will be a ready-to-play time frame within the video-featured snippet, making it easy for users to find the information they need from SERP features alone.
Keyword research has shown that the term ‘how to’ is more likely to trigger featured snippets of this kind for users of Google, so using this within your content can lead to featured snippet opportunities.
What Do Featured Snippets Look Like?
Google is continuously improving the user experience and, therefore, changing the way organic search results are displayed.
When it comes to the types of featured snippets shown in search results, it is common for Google to pull information from several of the top-ranking pages and have a couple of featured snippets present containing this information.
For example, a table-featured snippet may be paired with a paragraph-featured snippet from another website, with a video tutorial snippet present underneath.
This is shown through search queries such as ‘other people also searched for.’
Why Are Featured Snippets Important For SEO?
When we talk about search results, we are usually referring to the process of search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is the process of improving the ranking of your website in search results, ensuring you get more exposure and traffic from searches.
Why You Need SEO
Developing an SEO strategy is vital for the success of your website and business, but you may have never considered featured snippets before now.
Featured snippets can be a great tool for SEO and should become part of your SEO strategy if you want to see greater success online. Winning featured snippets can increase organic traffic to your website as well as draw in more potential customers for your brand.
As SEO is an ongoing process, getting the top featured snippet spots will increase the number of people who see your content in the first place, which is only going to encourage a higher ranking.
Featured Snippets and SEO
The whole purpose of SEO is to get your domain on the first page of SERPs so you can reach a wide audience and draw in more potential customers to your site.
Featured snippets are a great tool for website owners because of the fact they are the first thing you will see on SERPs these days.
Perform a search and see just how much space featured snippets take up on SERPs to see the benefits this can provide for your website.
Many SEO experts refer to featured snippets as position #0 because they appear before anything else on the first results page in a bid to help Google provide the best information to users as quickly as possible.
Featured snippets that are commonly used by virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa are also used to answer search queries.
With this in mind, there is great potential for increased search volume if you manage to win featured snippets and appear in the featured results section of SERPs.
This is why you need to consider creating featured snippet opportunities within your content and work to ensure you can optimize for featured snippets across your website.
Benefits Of Featured Snippets
Now that you understand that getting your website and content into the featured snippet box in SERPs can be a great tool for SEO, it is time to dive deeper into the benefits this process can provide.
Much like with any other SEO tool, it can take a lot of work to be successful in triggering featured snippets with your content creation, so you may be wondering whether it is worth the effort.
Winning a featured snippet can provide many benefits for your website that you should consider, such as the following:
Featured Snippets Increase Rankings
As we have mentioned, featured snippets appear at the top of the first page of results on all search engines, so this is a highly valuable spot for website owners.
While the purpose of SEO is to optimize your content so it ranks on the first pages, getting a featured snippet for search queries will put you ahead of the game.
A featured snippet puts you ahead of all other results on SERPs because this is the first thing displayed by Google. This is in a bid to offer a quick answer to users, meaning Google will rank featured snippets the highest and get you in a better position than working on the SEO of your website alone.
This is valuable for all kinds of websites, but especially those that are already ranking on the first page of results but are struggling to either rank higher or get as much organic traffic as they desire.
Being the featured snippet on Google’s landing page can draw in more traffic from searches and help you reach better results than you have previously experienced from this kind of marketing.
Can Increase Clicks
In some cases, the websites that appear on the featured snippets can get more clicks than other results.
While this varies based on the search query and the content used within the featured snippet, appearing in this spot can be beneficial for your website.
It is more likely for people to click your link when you appear as the featured snippet. This is not only because you are the highest ranking result but because the featured snippet has caught their attention and should give the impression that your site is a valuable resource.
Rich snippets may not get as many clicks as a basic answer snippet because all of the information the user requires is provided in the featured snippet box.
This means they can get their answers from no-click searches, which saves time for them but does not always offer the best results for website owners.
Nonetheless, appearing in the featured snippet can increase clicks in some circumstances because of your high ranking as well as the fact your website is useful.
If the user requires more information about the specific query, then they are more likely to use your website because you have already been established as a reliable resource by being the featured snippet.
Increased Brand Awareness
The higher you rank in results, the more people will see your domain.
This is why SEO can be a great tool for brand awareness, and featured snippets take this a step further by helping you rank even higher.
If you want to get your name out there and establish your brand within a specific niche or industry, winning the featured snippet spot can be a great opportunity.
All featured snippets contain the domain of the website where the content has come from in the first place, which is what can lead to more clicks and traffic.
By consistently appearing in featured snippets, you are making it easy for users to get familiar with your brand and associate your business with the specific niche being searched.
Even greater is the fact that featured snippets are a free marketing tool when used for this purpose.
If your content is optimized for the featured snippet spot, then you can rank highly and increase brand awareness without paying for advertising.
How To Optimize for Featured Snippets
With the benefits in mind, it is time to start optimizing for featured snippets so you can improve your website’s performance.
As with SEO, there are various ways that you can optimize your content to rank highly on search results.
When it comes to featured snippets, there are several ways you can begin improving your content to ensure it is noticed by search engines and offered as a featured snippet for relevant search terms.
Optimize For Long Tail Keywords
According to various studies in keyword research, the best way to trigger featured snippets is through long-tail queries and keywords, so you need to make sure your content is optimized for this if you want to be considered.
You can optimize your content around the relevant long-tail keywords that your intended audience is most likely to search for, making you more visible in circumstances where featured snippets are present.
To find the long-tail keywords you need to use in your content, you will have to perform keyword research, much like when working on your SEO strategy.
If you want to continually improve your chances of appearing as the featured snippet, this needs to become part of standard research practice. You need to consider featured snippets in your ongoing keyword research, along with your competitors and search volume, to ensure you are always optimizing content for this purpose.
Including snippet requirements in your standard research will make it easier to identify the keywords you need to be using in your content, as well as highlight featured snippet opportunities whenever they appear so you do not have to miss out.
There are tools out there that you can use to aid this process, but you can also do the research yourself by sending queries to Google using related keywords and seeing what appears.
The keywords you need to build your content structure around will be present in the most commonly asked questions within your niche.
You want to focus on those with the highest search volume to get the very best results.
Continue To Improve SEO
To be used for a featured snippet, your website needs to be one of the top ten ranking pages on Google SERPs.
This means in order to be shown as the featured snippet for relevant searches, you already need to rank highly, and there is no point working on keyword research or optimizing for featured snippets if you are not already here.
SEO is an ongoing process for most websites anyway, but this is especially the case for those wanting better results and to appear in the featured snippet spot.
There are many tools that you can use to improve the ranking of your website, from using keywords in your content to the structure of your website. A good place to start is by performing an organic keywords report to see which terms you use across your website that are already ranking well and use these whenever you create content.
Content is not the only area that you need to work on when it comes to SEO, as the functionality of your website also comes into play.
It is important that your website is optimized for desktop and mobile devices if you want to get within the top ten spots on SERPs because people use Google on all devices, and this is a ranking factor in most cases.
You will not be able to work on appearing as the featured snippet in SERPs unless you already rank highly, so you must continue with your SEO efforts.
For better results, hire SEO experts to get you into the top ten ranking spots, which will then put you as a contender for the featured snippet.
The featured snippet on Google is incredibly useful to both users and website owners.
Not only does it provide a quick answer to long-tail search queries, helping people find what they need easier than ever before, but it can also be a great marketing tool for websites.
Most website owners are already aware of how valuable it is to rank highly on SERPs because this can attract more traffic, which means more potential customers for your business.
While this can be done through SEO, appearing as the featured snippet can also offer the same benefits.
The featured snippet is the best position to be in on SERPs because it is the top position. By appearing as the featured snippet, your website is shown before any other, which can lead to more clicks and traffic.
Like with SEO, working towards winning the featured snippet spot is an ongoing process and requires a lot of attention, but it can offer a lot of benefits when done well.
If you want to see better results from searches and reach more people online, consider optimizing for featured snippets.
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