How to Optimise for Google's Featured Snippets

What Are Google's Featured Snippets?

In short, they are a spotlight on specific information within a website page that directly answers the question they asked Google.

Google selects the best possible snippet from a website which directly answers the question of the user's search query. Often this includes a long-tailed keyword phrase. It always comes from a website page which already ranks within the top ten results.

It is displayed at the very top of the page above  the organic search results, directly below the paid advertisements. It is therefore called being at position zero.

What Information Does a Featured Snippet Include?

The text, videos, lists, tables and images (if appropriate) within one of Google's featured snippets is directly taken from the content within a website's page. The snippet itself is found at the top of the Google results page, directly underneath the paid advertisements. There is a single line bordered box around the content of the snippet too, along with bold text containing keywords and phrases within the search, plus a link to the page from which the snippet's information came from. Sometimes you will find that the image and the text are from different web pages or websites, and in this case, Google will link to both sources.

The best way to explain things further, is to show you an example of one of the featured snippets we have achieved:

What Are the Benefits of Having a Featured Snippet?

As the featured snippet is appears at the top of the page in position zero, it gives you three major benefits:

  1. Plenty of free traffic - a featured snippet simply by the position it is on the search results page is clicked upon more times than another other organic link on the page. This even includes the number one result, which traditionally is what website owners want to achieve. 
  2. Improved brand awareness - more people see your brand in search results, which results in more people knowing about it and building relationships with it.
  3. Increased trust - people who see you are ranked highly by Google are more likely to trust your brand, especially after visiting your website and seeing the high quality content you have within it.

We believe that the goal of every website should be to rank for as many featured snippets on Google as they can. We'll walk you through how to do this next.

How to Optimise Your Website for Each Type of Featured Snippet

As featured snippets answer a question asked in a search query in either a paragraph, list or table format, your website page will need to do the same. Here are the basics of what you'll need to include for each:

Optimise for List Featured Snippets

  • You will need to use either bullet points or numbers in your list
  • Put the question as the heading
  • Answer the question using 40-50 words

Optimise for Paragraph Featured Snippets

  • Use wording in your heading which contains:
    • Who is ...
    • What is ...
    • Comparisons ...
    • Why is ...
    • How is ...
  • Answer the question using 40-50 words
  • Put the heading as a question

Optimise for Table Featured Snippets

  • Include the question in your heading
  • Put your data into a table

Optimise for Video Featured Snippets

  • Include the question within the heading
  • Optimise the video's description using the question and other long-tailed keywords
  • Include a script of the video for closed captions

Next, we'll move on to some more general tips on optimising for featured snippets.

Tips On Achieving More Featured Snippets

To increase the possibility that Google will choose your web page to display as a featured snippet, consider:

  • Using specific keyword/search intent which provides answers for one of these things: 1. going somewhere, 2. knowing something, 3. doing something, 4. buying something
  • Being concise in your wording, as the average snippet length is 45 words.
  • Use question based headings
  • Follow on-page SEO guidelines to rank the page on page 1 of Google
  • Put the most important information at the top of the page

In conclusion, a featured snippet will only come from a page which is already ranking in the top ten results. To have one of your pages ranking there too, great content and SEO practices are needed. Check out our article 8 Easy SEO Tips You Can Do Today to get things started.

Tags: SEO  

Posted: Monday 9 December 2019