Whether you realize it or not, you have seen countless featured snippets from Google when searching for information or answers to your questions. Often referred to as “position zero”, featured snippets are usually at the very top of the search results page and gives a quick answer to your question. The answer comes in the form of a snippet containing information that has been pulled right from the content that is already ranking on page one, but it can also pull from lower ranking SERPs. Featured snippets are a searcher’s dream because they make finding answers quick and easy.
Here is an example of what a featured snippet looks like:
You will notice that the information in this featured snippet is pulled directly from the Regenesis.com website. As a brand, you want to be the source of answers for customers who are searching for information. Ranking for a featured snippet is so much more helpful and effective for driving visitors to your site than ranking for first organic position.
Just look at how much space a featured snippet takes up! They dominate the SERPs, give you plenty of exposure, designate your website as a source of information, boost your company’s credibility quicker than any other method and keep your website far above the fold.
Google has never issued a comprehensive guide to exactly how its featured snippets are sourced and there does not seem to be an exact formula for earning a featured snippet. Even if you earn a position zero spot, it might not last forever if Google decides that another page is better suited to rank for it.
Types of Featured Snippets
There are three major types of featured snippets:
The Paragraph Featured Snippet
This is the quintessential featured snippet we all know and love. Google extracts text from a web page that hopefully answers the searcher’s question. To use this kind of snippet help your click-through rate, you want to be sure to answer the question immediately. Any additional information you want to add to spark the searcher’s interest and encourage click through should be added after the
FAQ pages are perfect for answering multiple short questions at once, while dedicated blog pages are better for more complicated questions.
You will see PARAGRAPH snippets for questions like:
- Who is…
- What is…
- When was…
- Where is…
- Why is…
- How to do…
The List Featured Snippet
These featured snippets often list out steps that explain how to do something, such as recipes. These types of snippets will take you through the process step by step, but searchers are likely to click through to see accompanying photos or read the extra details.
You will see LIST snippets for:
- How to
- Best of lists
- Ranked items
- Unranked items
- Feature lists
The Table Featured Snippet
Table snippet is surprisingly popular as it can pull the specific information the user is looking for, and recreate its own easy-to-understand table or graph. Featured snippet tables can be more than two columns, so you are not limited by the amount of information you show. In fact, when aiming to rank for a table featured snippet, remember that size can work in your favor: make sure your table
has more than four rows to increase the chance of people clicking through to your site.
You will see TABLE featured snippets for:
Tips for Ranking in Google’s Featured Snippets
If you want to get better traffic and improve your site’s SEO, you should know that occupying the first position of Google search results is no longer the only solution. Ranking in featured snippets gives you a second chance. The easiest way to earn and keep a featured snippet spot is to produce quality content and format it in a way that Google will love.
Add an FAQ Page to Your Website
FAQ pages are beneficial to site owners who offer products or services. These pages demonstrate your expertise by addressing concerns. Most importantly, they offer more opportunities for showing up in a snippet. When creating an FAQ page, show the facts that your target demographic wants/needs to know. Provide complete answers in short paragraphs and keep them straightforward.
Optimize Your Content for Featured Snippets
Google is quite clever at extracting data from a web page and turning it into a featured snippet. It can make a paragraph type snippet from a bullet point instruction page. Conversely, it can create list type snippets from the standard paragraph text on a page. However, you really should consider optimizing your content to increase your chances of gaining the coveted position zero.
Look at the ‘People Also Search’ Box
Looking at the results in this box can not only help you to answer relevant questions but also spark ideas for other content you can write to help your SEO efforts. These searches are almost always directly related and can really help to get insight into other related keywords.
Be the Authority on Your Brand
You do not want Wikipedia to have the most comprehensive and clear information about your brand since search engines will likely pull from that source. Instead, ensure that your brand information is listed correctly across all sites that Google’s algorithm might crawl (including Wikipedia) to ensure the most consistent experience possible. If your website is clear, comprehensive and answers complex questions, it is more likely that the search engine algorithm will pull content from your website to populate its rich results.
Pay Attention to Formatting
Featured snippets can come in different formats. Structure your content depending on the snippet format you want to show up for. So if you are looking at a table snippet, put your answers in a table format. If you are targeting a list snippet, make sure your answer is found in a bulleted or numbered list.
A featured snippet is the first thing people will see on many search engine results pages. Getting your site into this highly valuable space as part of your SEO efforts can really help to improve your visibility. These featured snippets are different than standard results placement. You can achieve Position 0 if you make an effort to create valuable, keyword rich and information heavy content on your site, especially when it comes to answering questions and paying close attention to the questions users are asking via search.
As time goes on, there are likely to be even more types of featured snippets on the Google SERPs, and there will be even more opportunities to be visible in this space. The featured snippet route to the top gives everyone a chance to shine by creating and formatting high-quality, engaging content.