This article was originally published in 2019 but was updated on July 5th, 2022.
Getting your website to Google’s first page takes persistence and an understanding of how search engine result pages, or SERPs, work. The higher your ranking, the better your visibility. This can lead to increased clicks as more people visit your page.
Effective search engine optimization can be vital for your page’s growth, especially if you own or manage a startup company. However, landing Google’s featured snippets may also be useful when it comes to getting eyes on your site. Before you dive in and start using this feature, learning a bit more about how it operates and how to use it may give you the confidence you need when it comes to creating a new digital marketing strategy.
What Is a Featured Snippet?
When Google users type in a query, the search engine tells them how many sites it found. Then it lists the highest-ranking pages first. Above those listings is a featured snippet that may be a photo, a numbered or bulleted list, or a block of text highly relevant to the query. A link to the featured website is also included. They are more likely used and seen when users type in “informational” type of searches.
Google users are likely to click or read these snippets before moving on to other links for a variety of reasons:
- Superior ranking
- Summarized and concise information
- Features the best answer possible to a user query
Google Snippets often pull focus from other links, making them a valuable marketing tool. They can be especially useful if you have only recently launched your website and are looking for marketing solutions that tie in with providing your customers useful information and answers, not pure sales.
Why Google’s Featured Snippets Are Important for SEO
Featured snippets can help your SEO strategy in a variety of different ways. Other than ranking at “position zero” (meaning above all other rankings), these snippets stand out above the other ranking websites. If optimized correctly, your site could land the coveted featured snippet spot, resulting in more visibility, clicks, and website traffic. If you have quality content on your website that can rank within the Google snippets, this means Google trusts your site. An increase in visibility, clicks, and traffic will provide huge benefits for your SEO strategy.
4 Different Types of Featured Snippets
Now that we understand what featured snippets are and why they are important to SEO, let’s go over the 4 most common types of Google featured snippets.
1. Paragraph / Definition Box
These types of featured snippets are very common, and they often appear when people search for definitions, or “how to” questions on Google. For example: “what is a featured snippet?” The paragraph box will likely bold the answer or definition – making it easy on the searcher to find quick information.
2. List Style
Instead of providing information in a paragraph form, the featured snippet could show a list instead. The information could display as either a numbered or bulleted list – depending on the type of search performed. For example, the term “how to get more followers on instagram” is a more complex type of search and requires a detailed answer. A list style snippet can provide condensed, accurate information within a matter of seconds.
3. Table / Matrix
A less common type of snippet, the table / matrix comes in handy when searchers look for numbers or data. They typically appear when you search for things like “tax rates” or other searches relating to a specific set of figures or percentages. To land within the featured snippet within this type of search, it’s best to include the table or matrix within the content directly.
The last common type of Google snippet is Video. Video is a bit different and continually evolves around the development of Youtube. Typically, all videos within the featured area come directly from Youtube. Being said, this makes it possible for your video to be viewed both on Youtube and Google search. For example, if you have a video about “how to edit a GoPro video on an iPhone”, post it on Youtube. If optimized properly, you have the chance for the video to appear on both platforms. Further, more and more people are prefering videos over reading when gathering information.
What Are the Steps To Landing a Featured Snippet?
If you want to land a spot within Google Snippets, the key is to rely on the questions you can clearly and simply answer. These 6 steps go over where to start, what in-depth information to provide users and search engines. Following these steps will help you rank at “position zero” (or the very top) of Google.
1. Perform Keyword Research
Keyword Research is the best first step in any effective SEO strategy. Understanding what individuals search for and how often a term is searched is crucial as you begin the process. Along with utilizing keyword research tools from SEMRush or Moz, don’t forget about your free resources as well. The “People Also Ask” section on Google is a great place to find additional relevant questions. As you perform your search for relevant, high volume keywords, focus on keywords that have “informational” intent.
2. Conduct Competitor Analysis
If you have local, national, or e-commerce competitors, find out what keywords they rank for. Chances are, those competitors have gone through the process of keyword research and vetting out the correct keywords to match up with the target audience. Keep an eye out for ways you can make your content more relevant and informative.
3. Create Relevant Content
Content is critical for any effective SEO strategy. Focus your content creation efforts around providing useful and reliable content to answer individuals’ search queries. As you create relevant content, it shows Google you hold authority and thought-leadership within an industry. It’s best not to fill your website with a bunch of fluff, focus on providing real-world solutions for everyday problems.
4. Focus on the Questions
As you attempt to land these snippets, it is important to remember different types of questions. “How”, “why” and “what” are common queries that search engine users employ. Try to use each within the content in your blogs or on your landing pages. Craft the title and information in a way that answers a direct query. The more specific you can be about the information you offer, the better chance you have of getting featured.
5. Add Pictures and Video
Adding relevant pictures and videos creates more reasons for Google to feature your web page. Creating informative, engaging videos that are crafted around a question could give you a chance to rank on Youtube and the “Video” snippet section. Pictures also can play a role in how Google snippets are displayed. Because pictures drive engagement, Google can use those pictures when displaying the search results. Overall, photos and videos will provide an engaging user experience to pair with your quality, relevant content.
6. Focus On Your SEO Strategy
Along with the strategies outlined in the earlier steps, don’t forget to focus on your SEO strategy as a whole. On-page SEO, technical SEO, and Link-Building will play a crucial role in your overall online rankings. The more ways you can improve in these areas, the higher the chance of seeing your website within Google’s featured snippet.
More About Google Featured Snippets
How Does Google Create Snippets?
Because Google is concerned with customer satisfaction and providing the best answers to user queries, the search engine pulls snippets from pages that contain highly relevant information or that can answer direct questions. For example, if you want to set an alarm on your new phone and searched “How do I set an alarm on a Galaxy 8,” the resulting featured snippet might include a how-to guide or numbered step-by-step instructions.
By now, you might be realizing the potential value of being featured in a Google Snippet. The search engine pulls them from pages that contain the most relevant information for responding to a query. So, it is important that you mold your page’s content in a way that lands you at Position Zero, or above the highest-ranking sites on a SERP.
Who Can Utilize a Google Snippet?
While one study showed that over 80% of people who use a search engine tend to choose familiar brands when presented with results, featured snippets may inspire them to view the website they include. Shoppers new to the niche may be especially adventurous. This can mean increased hits and conversions when people visit your site. Google chooses which sites are highlighted in these snippets. The good news is that anyone can create content in a way that provides the best possible answer to a search engine query. And unlike ads or other types of marketing strategies, it does not include a financial risk.
If you want to shoot for that coveted spot at the top of Google’s first search results page, you can improve your chances in several ways. One effective strategy is to review your site’s content and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the content answer their questions?
- Is much of your content sales oriented?
- Is any information you offer detailed enough to be featured in a Google Snippet?
Answering these questions honestly can help you modify your page in a way that responds to search engine users’ specific questions.
How Long Does It Take To Be Featured?
Google doesn’t provide any shortcuts if you want your business featured in the snippets. However, working smart instead of hard when it comes to your website’s content can increase your chances of being featured sooner. Perform research in your business niche to discover the kinds of questions clients might be asking. Then provide them with updated information that gives them the simplest solution or answer. Use numbered and bulleted lists to keep answers organized and uncomplicated.
If you find that one strategy is not working, do not be afraid to change it up. Create lists, short and informative blog posts, and infographics that illustrate answers to user queries. Give your ideas time to work and be available to individual readers who may have further questions.
Google Snippets can be an effective tool for increasing web traffic to your site. They can establish your business as a reliable and trusted source of information within your industry niche.
Boost Your Website Traffic with SEO and Featured Snippets
Contact Boostability today for assistance with landing featured snippets, SEO and other digital marketing solutions. If you are looking for an SEO partner company, look no further than to our team of experts. Our white-label SEO content writing services can provide ways for your clients to reach the top of search engines.