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January 25, 2021

What are featured snippets and how to optimise for it

A vibrant display of social media marketing success by Upward Consulting.

What are Featured Snippets?

Featured snippets are highlighted information at the top of the search results that Google thinks will answer your search. Featured snippets are likely to come up when your search is asking a question, such as a tables, steps, list and definitions. Snippet’s not only show highlighted information but also link you to the website that provides the information.

How are feature snippets chosen? Google’s algorithms determine whether a page would answer a particular search and by the feedback received from these searches. How can feature snippets help your website? The most obvious way it can help you is by giving you more traffic and exposure in search results.

Why featured snippets are important to SEO?

These snippets have the potential to significantly increase your traffic! Snippets are a part of the organic search, meaning that anyone can get featured if Google deems the content worthy. It is completely free and statistically gets around 8.6% of clicks in searches with it. 8.6% might not sound like a lot, but it’s significant when you think that this is traffic that would otherwise not come to your website. Snippets come in a few different formats, which you can optimise for to help increase your chances of getting picked.

Types of featured snippets

The four types of snippets are:

  • Paragraph answers
  • Lists
  • Tables
  • Videos

Paragraphs

Paragraph snippets usually come up when your search results include “why”, “what”, “who” or “should I” etc. These snippets are usually kept sweet and short, with the most important information included.

Lists

These types of snippets can be in order or unordered, this depends on the search query. These types of results can be steps on how to do something or listing “The best brand laptops” or “Things to do “. These results will show just the main points or bullet points rather than all the other information.

Tables

Tables are a bit different, as Google will pull the information from a specific page and create a table with the most relevant information.

Videos

Video snippets is another great way to get featured. These types of snippets not only come from websites but from YouTube also. Primarily these videos will be a tutorial style video that shows users how to do something, from beauty and hair to setting up a website.

 

What is not a featured snippet?

There is some snippet like features that Google has implemented that are not featured snippets. Some examples of these are rich answers, knowledge graphs, weather snippets and word definitions. These types of snippets may have been too general for Google to opt to use third-party websites.

How to optimise for featured snippets

To start off, there is no guarantee or correct way to get your information in Google’s featured snippets. Google’s focus on giving users the best information has involved not revealing how their algorithms rank websites.

  1. Question research.

Just like keyword research, question research is determining is very important. There may be some questions around your keyword, answering these questions make the perfect featured snippets. You can use paid tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs but you can also find your question keywords for free. Google search often offers you a “people also searched” section and Answer the Public is also a popular free option. Answering a question will give you a better chance of becoming featured.

  1. Format your content.

Correct formatting makes Google understand what you are writing about. This means including the correct heading tags such as <h2> and <h3> and <p> style for your paragraphs. Another important part is having the correct list item formats such as <li> <ul> and <ol>.

  1. Create images that connect with your keyword.

This is important as feature snippets will sometimes include images together with your text. “Pictures are worth a thousand words” comes to mind, pictures should connect with your audience. So this means not to include a picture of a kitten when discussing SEO tactics.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, featured snippets give your website extra traffic for FREE, and it can boost your SEO rankings. Making sure your content is optimised for featured snippets will give you a better chance of getting featured. This means answering a question related to your keyword (or long-tail keywords), formatting your content’s HTML correctly, and creating unique imagery that relates to your topic. As a rule of thumb, create your content for users rather than repeating a phrase or keywords. Featured snippets will continue to show up on more search results as the Google algorithm gets smarter.

Dorin Blaga Upward Consulting