What is a Featured Snippet?
Google’s featured snippet is a unique type of search result you’re likely to see when searching for something on Google. It’s the first result that shows up on the search engine results pages (SERPs), positioned above the organic pages and also all paid Google Ads.
The text the snippet displays is programmatically extracted from a webpage, and usually answers a question, such as the example above. Not only does the snippet show a summary of the answer, it also contains the page’s title and URL, and sometimes a picture too.
Counterintuitively, Google doesn’t always use the highest ranked search result for the featured snippet, the answer can be taken from any page ranked in the top 10. Ultimately, Google will display what it thinks is the most relevant and trustworthy result for that specific query.
The majority of SERPs display 10 organic results in position 1 to 10. However, a featured snippet jumps right to the top and ranks in ‘position 0’ as it doesn’t affect the other organic results.
Types of Snippets
Google’s featured snippets can be grouped into 3 different types…
Text/Paragraph Snippets – These are by far the most common types of snippet, featuring just a sentence or paragraph (and possibly an image).
Video Snippets – Google sometimes decides that a video is the best answer to your question. It will show you a preview with an option to click, taking you to the appropriate page where you’ll then be able to watch the video. Nearly all video snippets are from YouTube.
List and Table Snippets – For some searches, content might be formatted in a list or table rather than a paragraph or chunk of text. List snippets are particularly favourable for instruction-type searches whereas table snippets are more suited to summarising data and information.
Direct Answer – It’s worth noting that there is also something called a ‘direct answer’ which is different to a featured snippet. Although direct answers provide an answer to a query and are positioned at the very top of the SERPs (like featured snippets) they don’t include a link to a source and can even be interactive.
The Benefits of Appearing in Google’s Featured Snippet
Get Ahead of Your Competitors – If your page is chosen to be the featured snippet for a particular phrase, your site’s visibility will increase as it’ll be displayed above all other results, including that of your competition.
Increase Website Traffic – In the fast paced and hectic world we live in nowadays, users want what they’re looking for and they want it fast – they haven’t got the time nor effort to search through page after page for the result they’re looking for. If you’re the first result they see, there will inevitably be an increase in traffic to your site.
Trust and Authority – Google only choses websites that it trusts to feature in the snippet, so if you manage to achieve this it shows that your website is a valued resource of information in the search engine’s eyes, which is likely to help your rankings for other keywords.
How to Get Featured in the Snippet
So, how do you get your website featured in Google’s snippet? It’s the million-dollar question that we get asked on a fairly frequent basis.
The truth is that it’s completely out of our hands. Google is in complete control over who and what gets displayed in the featured snippet. Google’s algorithm is extremely complex and takes into account a wide range of factors before determining which domain is the best and most suitable to be shown in the snippet bx.
However, there are a few tricks you can try to increase your chances of becoming featured in Google’s snippet. There are no guarantees, but here are some of our top tips –
Analyse Keyword Opportunities – Keyword research is a fundamental part of an effective SEO strategy. Utilising the correct resources enables you to discover the most commonly searched phrases and longtail keywords, allowing you to find the right opportunities for your site.
Create Content Strategy– After conducting in-depth keyword research you’ll be able to create a content strategy document structured to help your site rank for a wider range of keywords and thus increase traffic.
Optimise Your Content – It’s all well and good having the content ideas ready, but if you’re not creating the content and tailoring it to appease the search engine’s criteria and requirements, then it’s unlikely to become featured in Google’s snippet.
Get Started with Squarebird, an SEO Agency in Bristol
Here at Squarebird, we specialise in helping businesses of all sizes to improve their online presence. Our bespoke SEO methods are based on in-depth research into your specific industry and competitors, allowing us to truly understand which opportunities available to you are likely to bring the biggest benefits. We’re experienced in implementing a variety of proven strategies – take a look at our case studies and testimonials to learn how we’ve helped our clients in the past.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch today if you’d like to discuss how we can help optimise the performance of your website.