What are the featured snippets? If you’re a regular Google user, you’ve probably noticed that the information displayed on SERPs constantly evolves to meet Google’s mission of “organizing the world’s information and making it widely accessible and useful.” As a result, features such as knowledge graphs, people also-ask boxes and featured snippets have changed the face of SEO strategy. In the article “An Ultimate Guide to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)” we introduce featured snippets. In this article on the smart strategy blog, we will dive deep into the featured snippets.
What are the featured snippets?
Google introduced the Featured snippet in 2014. This feature has been recognized as one of the most critical subjects in the field of SEO ever since. However, if you still haven’t optimized your content using the snippet, you may lose your website traffic significantly.
Featured snippets are selected search results that appear above organic results and below ads. They include descriptive text that Google believes helps users more easily discover what they want.
Snippets usually go directly to SERP without the user needing to click on the website. You may also have heard featured snippets referred to as “zero position” because they appear above the first organic position. They are sometimes called “answer boxes” because the information is displayed inside a box.
Where is the featured snippet taken from?
How to rank for a featured snippet? Applicable SEO principles still use. Therefore, you should create high-quality content, optimize your content for the right keywords, get backlinks from other websites with high domain authority, and provide a good user experience.
Research by Ahrefs shows that 99.58% of Google snippets are from pages already in the top 10 search results. But these pages don’t necessarily rank in the first position. According to STAT reports, seventy percent of snippets come from pages outside the first organic position. With a well-executed snippet strategy, you can outrank your competitors and rank your website higher in the SERPs.
How to appear in Google’s featured snippets?
By following the steps below, you can appear in Google’s prominent answer:
1. Start keyword research
Just like when you’re optimizing your content for organic search results, start with the right keywords to get featured snippets. Google Trends is an excellent tool for discovering the most popular search queries. Additionally, you can look at your business’s most crucial website queries in Google Search Console to get an idea of the type of information your audience wants.
2. Use long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords create the most featured snippets. The more words a search query has, the more likely it is to produce a snippet. For example, If you search for “SEO,” you’ll likely see Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO at the top of the page, followed by organic results from other highly reputable websites like Search Engine Land, Wikipedia, and Google.
But if you search for “how SEO works,” you’ll see a snippet from an article. This article has been so good at optimizing its content for these long-tail search queries that It has been able to appear higher than websites like Moz and Search Engine Journal.
3. Focus on question-based queries
When doing keyword research to get a featured snippet, focus on search queries with a question format. Many users type complete questions into search queries, and these queries are easy to identify and answer. Use keyword tools like Answer the Public to identify a list of questions related to your topic.
4. See the People Also Ask box
Another SERP result closely related to featured snippets is the People Also Ask (PAA) box.
PAA boxes first appeared in 2015 and now occur in 93.8% of SERPs via Google’s snippets. These boxes can provide great insight into the type of information people want.
PAA boxes may appear in different places on the results page. Sometimes they are below the first organic result, and sometimes they are lower. These boxes show other questions related to the initial queries.
5. Check out the competition.
Take the time to browse the results displayed for each featured snippet and PAA box. Then, see if you can do better with your content. For example, you may find that a featured Google answer doesn’t contain comprehensive content, and you can provide helpful content. So look for opportunities to capture Snippets where you can offer more industry insight or other added value with more detailed content and a more comprehensive list.
Answer the questions in your content
Finally, from the Google Trends, General Answer, and People Also Ask boxes, identify your list of questions about your topic and write content that answers those questions. However, if you already have relevant content on your website, with a few simple updates, you can have a chance to rank for a featured snippet or PAA box.
6. Create well-structured content
Google loves structured content. Even if the format and text of this content include a list, a comparison chart, or a series of numbered steps, Google’s snippets often show a list of items, ingredients for instruction, or the number of steps to perform a task. Content with a question-and-answer approach creates a well-structured post in an easy-to-read format that may also help increase reader retention. Be honest and reliable when answering questions in your content. Enter valid numbers if possible.
Types of featured snippets in Google
Paragraph snippets are one of the most common types of featured snippets we all know and love. It includes a brief description of the content as a paragraph. Paragraph snippets are usually shown when the user has searched for a question. The paragraph contains information that Google tries to answer these questions.
List: lists featured, like paragraph snippets, try to provide an answer to a question. The difference between these two is that; the featured snippet puts the list of search results in a summary list instead of a paragraph. In addition, this type often includes steps that explain how to do the task, such as recipes.
Table: A table-featured snippet shares information in a structured format, making it easy to read data directly from the SERP. Featured table snippets are surprisingly popular, accounting for 29% of all snippets. This is because Google likes to show off its capabilities with this snippet.
The importance and benefits of featured snippets
Now you’re familiar with Google’s featured snippets, but why do bloggers and marketers struggle to get them? Here are some reasons for its importance and benefits:
Increase website visits and traffic
One of the most apparent benefits of being in the featured snippet is the increased site traffic. After appearing in the snippet, check which page has the most views and ultimately brings more traffic to your website. For example, Check out the question-and-answer pages where users visit your website to find answers to their questions.
Increase brand awareness
Being in the organic search results has many benefits. But if Google decides to put your website in the spotlight as a snippet, not only the visits to your site will face a significant increase, but it will also significantly affect the general awareness of the audience about the brand.
Increases website credibility
One of the main factors of Google’s ranking is the credibility of the website or how much Google trusts the site. Creating links, the average time the audience spends on the website, and the total number of visits gain Google’s trust. In this way, you can benefit from this advantage by being in the featured snippet.
Increase in keyword rankings
In addition, the snippets can have a domino effect. In other words, progress in one area is tied to another area. Based on this, being in the featured snippet can:
- Increase the website’s credibility
- Improve the ranking of keywords and,
- Improve the prominence of the business.
Usually, brands will see a significant improvement in their keyword ranking reports after appearing in the featured snippet.
in this article on the smart strategy, we deep dive into different sides of the featured snippet.
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