When it comes to creating written site content that attracts visitors, search engine optimisation (SEO) is key. In simple terms, this means weaving terms that people are searching for into your written site content to improve your site’s position on Google. A site’s position refers to where it appears in search engine results pages (SERPs). Ideally, you want your site to sit on page one, and the higher up, the better.
Consider how you behave when you’re searching online yourself – how often do you move onto the second page of search results? It’s for this reason that businesses strive to obtain a page-one position, and a featured snippet is the best spot to be in.
‘Featured snippets’ consist of a small section of text that sits above Google’s search results to answer a user’s question quickly. This content is lifted from a webpage in Google’s index and usually comes in the form of lists, steps, tables, and definitions.
Featured snippets affect SEO in a couple of ways. For instance, they provide sites with the opportunity to obtain more clicks from organic search results without having to up their rankings. To that avail, featured snippets are sometimes described as “position #0” because they sit above what’s regarded as the #1 spot. This results in featured snippets receiving around eight per cent of all clicks, meaning they bolster a site’s click-through rate.
In addition to improving click-through rates, featured snippets boost the number of “no-click searches”; this is when the user gets the answer they’re looking for from the search, removing the need to click on a page. These no-click searches allow you to establish a consumer brand and boost credibility.
As previously mentioned, there are four key types of featured snippets.
Unfortunately, knowing how to get a featured snippet isn’t straightforward, and it isn’t a decision that gets made by individual sites. Instead, Google selects the page that it feels best responds to the search query. Therefore, as a site, all you can do is follow all the recommended practices to make this happen.
To begin with, you should find SERPs with featured snippets, as you can be confident in the fact that Google wants a featured snippet for that term. It’s not just about discovering which SERPs have a featured snippet, but it’s also about assessing what type of feature is being displayed for select terms. Fortunately, there are various software tools available that inform you whether certain terms currently have featured snippets.
If your goal is to rank as a featured snippet, you should write your site’s content in a way that’s featured snippet friendly. For instance, you might include a list or a set of specific steps that Google can easily understand. If the steps are required to go in a certain order, make sure this is formatted in a way that conveys this to Google. Additionally, every step in the process should be wrapped in H2 or H3 text.
Perhaps the featured snippet you’re trying to crack is best presented in a table format. If that’s the case, you should ensure your site’s content contains a table itself. Typically speaking, Google won’t scour your page for information to create a table itself; it will simply search for a table on the page to lift. The coding of tables depends on a site’s setup.
As previously mentioned, Google lifts 40–60-word sections for definition featured snippets. This is also aided by placing “What is…” directly above the definition. For definition featured snippets, content is important, but the formatting is essential, too. Quite simply, the more your content resembles a featured snippet, the more likely Google will be to lift it. Just make sure all definitions are objective – Google will not select your content as a featured snippet if it contains opinions.
Of course, this blog only scratches the surface of how a site can go about ranking as a featured snippet. Here at i3MEDIA, we’ve worked extensively on online marketing campaigns to get a number of clients ranking as a featured snippet.
Get in touch today to learn what we can do for your site.