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Featured Snippets: What, Why and How?

If you haven’t optimised your content to ensure you’re appearing in featured snippets, it’s time to get started. When your content is presented to users in the form of a featured snippet, it boosts the authority and reputation of your site by a significant amount.

In addition to this, it ensures your webpages are facilitating new types of searching, such as voice-activated searches. As more people embrace smart technology, you’ll find that snippets become even more important to your search engine optimisation.

Before you can begin to optimise your site, however, it’s essential to know what featured snippets are and why they matter so much…

What are Featured Snippets?

Featured snippets are portions of a webpage which are shown directly on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). When users input a search term, Google aims to give them an answer right away by providing the content they are looking for straight away.

To achieve accurate results and useful answers, Google uses snippets in response to queries which can be answered in a fairly straightforward way. If you search for ‘temperature in London’, for example, Google returns with a snippet telling you the current temperature and the predicted temperature over the next few hours.

Crucially, featured snippets appear above organic search results on SERPs. Sitting directly below AdWords ads and above organic search results, they get prime placement on SERPs.

What do Featured Snippets Look Like?

Featured snippets come in various forms but the most common are:

  • Text snippets
  • Image snippets
  • Video snippets
  • List and table snippets

These are fairly self-explanatory, but they give you an idea of how information is presented as a snippet. Below the snippet, is a link to the webpage the content comes from. With a good SEO strategy and flawless execution, it’s yours link that will be appearing as featured snippets in the near future!

Why do Featured Snippets Matter?

When users search for information, they click a link and visit a webpage with the information they want. By optimising your webpages for relevant search terms, or keywords, you could increase the number of users clicking your links and visiting your site.

Now that snippets give users this info on SERPs, however, there is less incentive for users to click on any links at all. While in-depth searches still require users to visit external webpages, simple searches don’t. Instead, Google is satisfying user’s queries by giving the information straight to them on their first results page.

When the information sought by the user is given to them on Google’s search results pages, they have no reason to visit any other webpages. This is why queries which can be satisfied via snippets are often called, ‘no click searches’.

For businesses and site owners who are eager to get users on to their webpages, this change in search behaviour is clearly going to have an impact. The number of users who will be clicking through to websites from SERPs will drop as the accuracy and number of snippets increases.

The users who do click on a search result will be most likely to click on the featured snippet itself. This is why you want your content to appear as the featured snippet.

Furthermore, it is snippet content which is commonly given to users who are searching by voice, rather than text. The number of voice-activated searches is already increasing, and it is expected to rise even more. By optimising your content for snippets and voice searches now, you can get ahead of the trend and establish your site’s authenticity, accuracy and dominance now.

How to Secure Featured Snippets

For any search query, Google only shows one featured snippet. Of course, Google wants to ensure the user’s question is fully satisfied via the featured snippet, so it selects the content which it rates very highly. Essentially, you need to ensure that your content is valued most highly by Google.

This is no easy feat. With only one featured snippet being shown per search, there is a lot of competition to contend with. However, there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of Google selecting your webpages for its featured snippets…

Improve your rankings

The vast majority of snippets come from webpages that are already in the top 10 of organic search results. By improving your organic rankings, you can greatly improve your chances of being selected to be a snippet. To do this, you’ll need strategic SEO campaigns and consistent SEO activity.

Modify your content

Featured snippets don’t appear on every search. To date, the most common terms to prompt a snippet to appear are; recipe, best, vs, make, definition, windows, can, get, number, cost, meaning, price and chicken. Not all of these will be relevant to your business, but you can certainly modify your content to include some of them.

Alter content formats

We already know what formats featured snippets take, so ensure your content layout fits the relevant structures. By answering common search queries via an easy-to-read paragraph or list, you increase the likelihood of it being displayed as a featured snippet.

Secure Featured Snippets with Expert SEO Help

The fastest and most effective way of improving your rankings and securing featured snippets is to seek expert help. You will need a strategic SEO campaign if you want to beat the competition. Fortunately, our experienced team have the skills it takes to get your site to the top.

If you want to find out more about securing featured snippets, contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.