How to get a featured snippet on Google

The ultimate top ranking, featured snippets of content are considered to be the ultimate goal of results from search engine optimisation, and marketers all over the world are scrambling to get their sites optimised to receive featured snippets! How do you get a featured snippet? What is the type of content that appears included in featured snippets and what is their effectiveness?

For any online business, an e-commerce store or website in general, you should have a large part of your website content-rich to create topical authority within your niche. So, let’s say you have no content or you have hundreds of pages with content – your next step will be wanting to earn featured snippets on Google’s search results. Why, how or what? We’ll cover the entire details and more below.

What are Google’s featured snippets?

The million-dollar question is – what are Google’s featured snippets? In the shortest of terms, featured snippets are the latest first-place results. They show up in search results under paid ads but are higher than the first result on SERPs. They take up the most prominent space in search results, which makes them extremely efficient in generating visitors and clicks to your website.

Instead of a simple title tag and meta description, the featured snippet usually contains an image and an ordered or number-coded list, table, or a response to a query. They’re particularly effective in providing answers to the five “W questions”, Who What, When, Where, What, Why and How.

For example, “why do cats hate dogs?”.

Tips to get a featured snippet on Google

The results will also contain the link to the page on which the data was found as well as the URL. Featured snippets of information are particularly beneficial for people who are using devices on mobiles to seek the answer, as mobile searches have outpaced desktop traffic.

Due to the structure, featured snippets offer more details than a standard result from a search. They also make it easy for users because they allow searchers to find answers before even clicking the result. They stop users from scrolling through the entire page to locate the information they’re seeking, instead, they present the results directly from the results of a search.

Yes, many marketers complained that this lower their CTR rate as the user may get the answer they need and move on. But, a featured snippet usually on average creates a higher CTR rate!

Many SEOs have observed that featured snippets tend to be rewarded to sites with higher quality scores. According to Jared Bauman with Weekend Growth, “sometimes sites with lower quality scores can actually experience a snippet ban, where none of their URLs qualify for featured snippets.

Google explains the algorithm recognizes the nature of an inquiry and then locates pages that can answer the question asked. They then show the top result as the most popular part.

However, if you aren’t able to “make” one of your pages a featured snippet it’s entirely up to Google’s discretion which highlighted snippets of content are displayed for every search.

The most effective way to improve your chances of getting a featured snippet of content is to make your site more efficient, we’ll cover ways to improve your page later.

The different types of Google featured snippets

While featured snippets have the same feature of being displayed above the normal results of search results there are a variety of types of featured snippets which accomplish different tasks. Let’s look at the various kinds of featured short snippets.

1. Short paragraphs

The most popular type of featured snippets is paragraph snippets comprise an astounding 82% of the total snippets.

They’re exactly as their names suggest These snippets of text offer a paragraph of text in response to a request. They’re usually between 40 and 50 words long and usually include an image in the search results.

These types of results are often the result of specific questions that need a clear clarification and an answer.

2. Snippets of list

The most frequent type of short snippet is the list of snippets. They are seen 10.8% often and are typical as a result of the step-by-step or multi-answer queries.

Bulleted list snippets are generally offered for queries that have multiple options. For instance, a question such as “what are the most popular movies on Netflix?” will give an enticing snippet of information that includes an answer in bullets to display the list of popular movies.

The lists with numbers are generally offered when a search query seeks out the best way to accomplish something. For instance, “how to cook a steak” will return a list of numbers with a snippet of text that illustrates the order in which the steps are performed.

3. Table small snippets

Another format that is self-explanatory for featured snippets is table snippets a format that features tables of numerical data. They are available when users have an inquiry that requires the use of numerical information.

For instance, searching for “2021 car sales by brand” will return a table that is an excerpt. The table outlines the business and the number of sales it has made every year.

There is only 7.28% of featured excerpts including table snippets which is due to the fact that not much web content is designed to achieve this outcome. It’s possible to conclude that there is no real table for your page, you will not have tables in the featured snippets as Google will not create it automatically.

4. Video snippet

These short clips are extremely helpful when people are searching for a specific song or even a how-to video. By clicking on the video, it will take users directly to YouTube and they can save only a couple of steps.

For the featured snippets of content, the format is relatively new and isn’t utilized for a large percentage of results in search results.

After you’ve learned about the various kinds of featured snippets, you might be wondering if you can get to choose the kind of snippets you get featured.

The answer is not. Since you don’t know from Google the pages you’d like to have a featured snippet of content for. It’s impossible to find a method to choose what format you’ll receive in the event that you are able to take over the featured snippet position. Google’s algorithm will decide on your behalf, and since they are looking out for the best interests of users, this will be the best option for you as well – sometimes the snippet Google scrapes is likely not the one you would choose.

Why are featured snippets so important?

Now that we know the meaning behind featured snippets, let’s discuss the reasons why it’s crucial to get featured excerpts.

It’s not an initial position, but it is zero

Position one was the marketing awe of everyone. The name itself suggests that position one was the very first result on results pages for search. These results are popular for attracting the most clicks from people searching.

However, featured snippets are more than the previous position results and are called position zero.

Featured snippets appear as the first result to appear on the results page and are just behind paid advertisements.

They take up a significant amount of space

If you examine an ordinary search result is comprised of a title tag the URL, and the meta description. It’s also occasionally the date.

Normal results do not provide any information about the site, and they certainly don’t give users all the information they need to answer their queries immediately.

The featured snippets of text, however, give answers to queries without the need to visit the webpage. This is an enormous benefit since it spares users time and effort, and also gives them the information they’re seeking quickly.

However, featured snippets of text give users the chance to find out more about the topic by providing an URL. This is a comprehensive approach that assures that the searcher’s intention is completely covered.

They’re much more engaging than your typical search results

As we’ve mentioned earlier the typical result of a search is comprised of text.

A featured excerpt is much more engaging and exciting for users as it usually includes an image along with the answer to their query.

Moving it up a notch The featured snippets of content can contain bulleted tables, lists, as well as YouTube videos that make these even more interesting.

As a list splits into a text block and entices users to pages of website copy and also makes an impact when you search for it.

They’re fantastic for mobile search

When you search on Google on your smartphone, your screen is just sufficient to display the initial results in the event that you are lucky enough to see them.

If you’ve got featured snippets it occupies the majority of search results space on a smartphone’s screen, meaning that your featured snippet will be the first, and could be one of the few results that mobile users will see.

This is great for increasing clicks.

Paid ads that are above organic, you’ll want the first place

Paid ads occupy the majority of real estate in search results.

In some cases, ads or Google My Business listings take up nearly half of Google’s first results page. However, it’s more crucial than ever to get a prominent snippet of content.

When you do this, it guarantees that regardless of whether ads or Google My Business listings take up a significant portion of the search results page the snippet you choose to feature will be the next to appear.

Does my niche or competitors receive lots of highlighted snippets?

Are certain niches more likely to receive prominent snippets of content than other niches? If yes, what are the ones that are featured the most?

It may sound like a strange question however, the truth is that certain niches get higher position zero, or featured snippets than other niches.

Take a look at the niches that were the most popular in May of 2017:

If your company is in one of these areas there is a good chance of being featured in a short clipping. But simply because you’re in one of these areas does not mean you’re necessarily guaranteed to be featured. You must have the correct content in order to be included!

Then, take a look at the industries that have the lowest percent of the featured snippets:

However, just being in one of these categories doesn’t mean you’re unlikely to get a shot to be featured in a snippet.

Optimise the content of your website effectively and it’s far more simple to do than you may think.

8 simple strategies to get more featured snippets

If you’re hoping to get featured snippets of content on your website and you’re not the only one. Marketers across the globe are constantly seeking new ways to get prominent snippets of content in the results of searches.

While there’s no 100% sure method of winning them but let’s discuss some strategies that appear to work.

1. Do your keyword research

Like you would conduct search engine optimization for your web content, you should perform the same keyword research when it comes to featured snippets of content.

We’re aware that featured snippets typically provide answers to a specific question, so you must do your keyword research based on searching for long-tail keywords that could be used to answer an inquiry. It’s also a good idea if there aren’t many websites with the exact term. This means that you’ll have a much easier time finding it!

2. Use SEO best practices

If you are able to answer unambiguously on a web page, Google doesn’t have to pick your page to be featured excerpt.

One of the most effective methods to obtain a prominent snippet is to be ranked on search results. In actual fact, 31% of featured excerpts come from a search first results, 23.5% from a second result, and 16% from a 3rd result, etc.

However you view it, the less you appear on a search result page, the smaller your chances of having a highlighted excerpt.

When you look at it from a logical perspective, it makes sense as to why this occurs.

Google is determined to deliver the best results for its users. The top-ranked results are characterized by amazing on-page and off-page optimization and that’s the reason they are so popular. They offer useful and interesting information, provide a fantastic customer experience and are extremely responsive.

In the event that a used snippet of content appears above a search result’s position, it makes sense to have an excellent SEO strategy in place.

Here are a few SEO guidelines that your site must adhere to:

  • Make sure you are targeting the keyword or the question you wish to be featured for.
  • Inform readers with useful information
  • Give users a fantastic experience by providing images, videos and an easy-to-use navigation
  • A large number of backlinks
  • Have a great speed on your page

It’s not the complete list, however, it will give you an idea of what characteristics your website should have prior to being highly ranked in search results or as an ad-hoc short snippet.

3. Use images to support your content

Most position zero pages or featured snippets include an image.

It’s crucial to have plenty of photos on the website not just to give your visitors a wonderful experience, but also to offer images for the keywords you’re trying to target.

If, for instance, you wish to be eligible for an exclusive snippet of text for an inquiry about the most effective taco recipe, then you must include a photo of your recipe’s card or at the minimum one image of tacos.

This will connect everything in the snippet you’ve chosen to highlight.

4. Lists and tables

As we all know, the most popular snippets of content often include lists (bulleted and numbers) and tables. To increase the chance of your content being the attention of others, make sure you include these elements on your website.

It was mentioned that your website won’t appear in a table format if your website doesn’t have tables to highlight. Therefore, help Google out and provide them with the data they’re searching for!

5. Use questions in subheadings

Since featured snippets are designed to solve questions that are asked, having them subheadings makes it simpler for Google to find.

Use the subheadings below to answer the question you’d like to be featured on and use the information below to answer the question.

6. Find low-hanging fruits

If we say that you should identify what you consider to be your “low-hanging fruit,” we simply mean to identify pages you rank highly for.

It’s likely that your site won’t be featured in a featured snippet even if it’s already in the top tier on search results pages. The easiest step is to find your pages that rank well in search results and then optimize them to be an ad-hoc snippet of content.

You can accomplish this by adding a table including more bulleted lists, or by making your headings questionable to provide answers to a Who, What Why, When, Where Why or How question.

When you do you’ll stand a greater chance of getting a feature cut since that page is highly ranked.

7. You can answer more than one of the questions

The paragraph snippets are typically used to answer a particular query, so to boost your chances of earning the chance to be featured on the page you are on, be sure to be prepared to answer more than one question!

Research has shown that once you’ve earned a snippet that is featured, you’re more likely to be followed by other excerpts from queries that have similar.

To earn more featured snippets of content, ask more than one question on your website in order to be ranked for all versions of the question.

8. Create a structure for your pages by putting them under headings

When you use titles on the pages this makes it easier for Google to read the content. The more simple to Google to comprehend what you are writing, the easier it is for them to give you the featured snippet.

Alongside using headings, ensure that you keep the responses to the question you’re trying to answer short and simple. When you do that you’ll make sure that Google knows precisely what the answer is and will not be too long to warrant the featured short snippet.

Gareth Boyd

Gareth Boyd

Gareth has been in SEO since 2003 and has been instrumental in establishing and growing businesses online, leveraging the power of SEO, strategic content development, affiliate marketing, and e-commerce.

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