What is a Featured Snippet?
Featured Snippets is a short informational text that appears on the top of the Google Search engine result pages (SERP). It’s above the #1 result also known as position zero. It’s a short and direct answer to the searcher’s query. It’s commonly known as the answer box.
Google search pulls the text from any of the webpage that is ranking on the first page. If you are not ranking on the first page, you will not have a chance in getting the featured snippets for your post.
Featured snippets consist of
- An Image
- Page Title
- URL of the page
Here is an example of a featured snippet.
You should not confuse it with the rich snippets. To remove the confusion between these two types of snippets. Let’s briefly discuss the differences between them.
Featured Snippets vs Rich Snippets
The rich snippets are an enhanced form of regular search engine results, whereas the featured snippets are answers pulled directly from the web pages.
The featured snippets always appear at the top of the search results i.e position #0. In contrast, the rich snippets appear within the search results but they stand out due to the enhancements added to them.
The rich snippets pull different types of structured data like price and review, ratings etc.
Why Are Featured Snippets Important?
Featured snippets are important as they appear on the top of Google’s organic search results. You get free traffic even when your site appears at the bottom of the first page.
In nutshell, the snippets help you beat the competition. enhances your authority and boosts traffic to your site.
Ahrefs.com study reported that a featured snippet increases the click-through rate of a page by ~8.6%. You’ll agree that these search engine features are a shortcut to the top of Google search result page. It takes a lot of effort to rank on the first page. And it’s tougher to be ranking at position #1. The featured snippets help you jump through the results and rank at position #0.
What Are Different Types Of Featured Snippets?
There are 3 different types of featured snippets.
1. The Paragraph snippet or Definition Box.
2. The List Snippet
- The Ordered List.
- The Unordered List.
3. Table Snippet.
Now, let’s learn about the different types of snippets. We start with paragraph snippet.
The Paragraph Snippet
Paragraph snippet is a direct answer to a search query in a paragraph format. They are the most common form of snippets in SERPs accounting for 50% of all the snippets. They can have a minimum of 50 words or 300 characters.
The List Snippet
The List Snippet shows up in response to a query that requires an answer in many steps.
Based upon the query the list snippet can be:
- Ordered List Snippets
- Unordered List Snippets
These are the most common type of snippets after paragraph snippets (approx 37% of total results).
The Table snippets show up when the query response is tabulated data. These are the least common type of snippets.
How to Find Keywords That Trigger Featured Snippets?
Most of the studies had confirmed that the featured snippets are triggered by long-tail keywords. Increase in the number of words in your search query increases the chance of triggering a featured snippet.
Next you should have a properly structured content. Google loves structured content. So use subheadings, list and tables while creating the content.
Here are the steps to optimise your content for featured snippets.
You must start with our good old keyword research. Choose the keywords that are already ranking on the first page of Google. As per the research done by Ahrefs, 99.58% of the featured snippets are selected from the top 10 Google results.
If you are writing a new article you should select the keywords that can help you rank on the first page. Your next step should be optimising for the featured snippets.
Start looking for keywords that ask a question. The long-tail keywords that contain questions normally start with words like what, when, why, where or how. You should also include the keywords which have a short definition, summary or that results in a short answer. This answer can be in the form of a short paragraph, list or a table
You can uncover more question and answer type of content using these tools:-
- Google’s People Also Ask
- Answer The Public
- Q&A sites
- Social Media
- Know your Audience
Google’s People Also Ask
Google’s people also ask sections to help you find out the questions or topics related to your search query. You can expand the question to check out the answers. As you expand the question more related ones will be added to the bottom of this section.
Answer The Public
Answer the public helps you in uncovering the questions that people ask about a specific topic. It gives you a lot of questions that are related to your keyword or topic
After you have done your keyword research. Plug your keywords into this tool and pick the question that you can answer in your article.
You can search the related question on Q&A sites like Quora or Reddit. Use the site search bar to find the question related to your topic. When you plugin your keyword you will get a list of related questions.
Social Media sites like Twitter or Facebook are a gold mine of questions. Monitor the questions that are being regularly asked on these social media sites. This will provide you with a long list of questions.
Once you find out all the keywords to optimise for snippets, then the next step is to optimise them for generating the snippets.
Know your Audience
You should research your target segment or niche. Ask people, this will help you find out their questions, concerns and pain points. These queries can be converted into a short answer that suffices the search intent. The answer can be in the form of a short paragraph, list or table etc.
How to Optimize For featured snippets?
You might be asking but how to get featured snippets? Hold on, now we will discuss the steps to optimise your site for the featured snippets.
Answer Similar Questions
Ensure one article covers a single topic in depth. A comprehensive article will generate a lot of similar questions. More answers mean more options for Google to generate snippets.
Add flow to Questions
The questions should be organised into a flow. The questions should follow a logical and meaningful sequence. First answer the basic question, followed by the next question in the logical flow.
The answer should be concise and to the point. The answer boxes are that google select are small paragraphs of text. The tone of the answer should be neutral as you must have seen in the academic definitions.
The answer should be organised into a proper structure like the use of subheadings, lists or tables. You should make use of h1 to h3 heading, and related HTML element for lists and tables
For some topics, it becomes difficult for us to generate any questions. In that case, you can add a how-to section or FAQ section to the end of your article. Answer these questions keeping in mind all the points that we have discussed so far.
Use beautiful and eye-grabbing images.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Whenever you are targeting a question for appearing as an answer box. The picture that you add to the section should be eye-grabbing. As this picture will appear along with your question. It can act as a clickbait for the user.
In this article, we have discussed what are featured snippets. How these snippets are different from rich snippets. We also know that there are three different types of featured snippets:-
- Paragraph Snippets – The most common type of snippets.
- List Snippets – These can further be divided into
- ordered lists
- unordered lists.
- Table Snippets – Least common type of snippets.
We have covered how to optimise for featured snippets. Then we discussed how to write the content that helps trigger featured snippets for your site.
If you have any questions, I would love to hear from you. You can get in touch with or put it down in the comments.