Do you know those little pieces of content that show up on your search engine results page when you write a specific query? Those are named featured snippets, and they are one of the most influential digital marketing concepts you can think of.
Marketing can be challenging, especially in an area as competitive as digital marketing. You have to be several steps further from others if you want to make an impact with what you have.
Your content might be incredible, and you might be happy with your Google rankings. But do you know that it can be better with featured snippets?
Even though you rank first on the search engine results page, a featured snippet will be shown even before that. Google uses featured snippets to directly answer a query, which is in the form of a question in most cases.
Fair enough, those featured snippets help your website tremendously by attracting traffic and increasing engagement. Featured snippets not only signals that your content is informative, but it is reliable enough for Google to give a form of a preview of it as an answer to your query.
Here in this article, you can find details about featured snippets regarding what they are, how they are influencing your marketing strategy’s destiny, and the different types of featured snippets.
A featured snippet is an overview of a given content placed at the top of the search engine results page, where you can directly find the answer to your query. Featured snippets aim to give the consumers what they want to know without wasting time by offering them a relevant and informative source.
If you have the littlest information about search engine optimization, you should know that Google values offering the most informative and relevant source more than anything.
Given this purpose, featured snippets brought an opportunity to fulfill this mission as efficiently as possible.
Of course, not every search query could be answered in the same featured snippet format. So, there are different types of featured snippet formats, which will be discussed in the following headings.
When one hears about the featured snippets, typically, one major concern arose:
What will happen if I do not get any traffic?
See More: Content Optimization
This concern is understandable since you might think people will get what they need from the featured snippet and not bother to click on your website. However, there are some significant impacts of featured snippets regarding how they can be helpful for your website and some tricks that would help you to use featured snippets to your best use.
The fear of “what if no one clicks to my website?” would only go away if you comprehend how important featured snippets are and how they can actually help your website instead of decreasing its success.
As a concept, featured snippets are important because they save so much time for people looking for answers. Without digging into various websites and finding what they need, people can immediately get the answer to their query.
But, the importance of featured snippets does not end there.
They carry an essential value for digital marketers and website owners, too. If you get the chance to have a featured snippet on Google, your website will directly attract more attention than the rest of the SERP results.
At the end of the day, isn’t SEO partially about ranking higher on SERPs? Featured snippets offer a better way by giving people an overview of your website at the very top of SERPs, even if your website rank is lower.
To dig a little deeper into the significance of featured snippets, here are few things that you can expect from a featured snippet.
People trust Google. That is why it is the number one search engine among all others.
If Google trusts you enough to give your content a featured snippet, it will be only because it is informative and relevant.
From the logic of “my friend’s friend is my friend,” people who search specific queries will trust your website as they see Google gave your content a featured snippet. And, of course, people would want to click on websites they trust.
Whether you have a blog or a digital business where you produce content, featured snippets will help you increase the trust bond you have with your possible clients. You can easily look like a credible source to people, which should be your goal in any given digital marketing strategy.
The featured snippet will give people a direct answer to their query. However, not everyone would be looking for a simple answer.
People who are looking for deeper information will absolutely click onto your website; perhaps they would not do so if you didn’t have a featured snippet.
Additionally, the featured snippet will be a brief overview of what can be expected from your website. As people gain insight into what is going on, they can get the safety of knowing they are leading to where they should be.
You should know by now that people do not spend so much time finding what they need to find on search engines. By attracting their attention in the first place through featured snippets, you too can increase the traffic on your website.
Voice technology is becoming more prominent every day, and people prefer to search for something through Siri, Alexa, and other voice assistants.
One thing to note about voice technology is that they love to give answers through featured snippets.
It might not sound like a big deal but imagine everyone who uses voice assistants for search queries hearing your content.
Imagine this: someone searched what a featured snippet is, and the voice assistant will say, “here is what I found on the internet about what is a featured snippet,” and describing your content’s definition of a featured snippet. How cool is that?
As we mentioned earlier, there had to be different types of featured snippets given the wide range of possible search queries. This is not a bad thing; it is only a signal that you can have a featured snippet if you play it by the rules!
Understanding the nature of different types of featured snippets will give you an insight into how to create your content in a way that it would show as one. Once you mastered the art of featured snippets, you can decide on which one you should use and increase your chances of taking place as a featured snippet on Google.
The most used featured snippet, without a doubt, is a paragraph featured snippet. In fact, paragraph featured snippets consist of more than 80 percent of all featured snippets.
Since paragraph featured snippets are the most popular among them, the chances of you seeing one are very high.
Paragraph featured snippets are pieces of texts directly taken from a website to answer a search query. At this point, the worry of decreased click-through rates comes to us again.
Indeed, paragraph featured snippets might decrease your click-through rates if you are not wise about it. You would still want to directly answer a question; that is the whole point about featured snippets.
However, you do not have to give the information and stop there. Nothing is stopping you from continuing with one sentence that would attract even more attention and make people want to click on your content to read the rest.
With this method, you can attract even more visitors than you would have if you did not have a featured snippet. If you are writing a paragraph that aims to get a featured snippet, you should have known by then the search intent.
Knowing the search intent will change the way you look at paragraph featured snippets. What could visitors seek more than the simple answer you put out there?
You should keep in mind that if you have the type of a frequently asked question of a webpage, it would be better to aim to answer multiple questions simultaneously, whereas if you have a blog type of webpage, you should work on more complex and informative answers.
Paragraph featured snippets typically answer questions such as “what is, who is, why, how to do, which one…” As you can infer by now, paragraph featured snippets will answer questions where there is one specific answer to a certain question.
Not all search queries would be best answered with a text. At this point, Google would offer video featured snippets, or as known as YouTube snippets, for specific search queries.
The logic is the same with paragraph featured snippets. Google will offer you a YouTube video where it thinks would answer your question in the best way possible.
For example, your search query might be based on how to do something. In some cases, paragraph featured snippets would work just as fine. But in some other cases, you have to see what is going on to be successful.
But, how can Google decide on whether if it should offer the video snippet or any other snippet, especially when there is a video on the equation?
It decides based on the description of the YouTube video. If the description fits more to the given search query, the featured snippet will be in the form of the video featured snippets.
In fact, this is a wise method since you would learn about something more efficiently in the video format in comparison to other formats. For example, let’s say that you searched for a query where you asked to learn how to use a specific washing machine brand.
Washing machines might be complicated if you do not know how to use them. There are different buttons and different sections in similar sizes. With a video illustration, you will be able to see what to put in which part. A paragraph featured snippet would be most likely to be less efficient than a video illustration of how-to.
Another type of featured snippets is bulleted featured snippets. As you can infer from the name, these are the ones where you got a bulleted list.
In bulleted lists, the order of items is not important. For example, you can search for gluten-free food options and get a bulleted featured snippet.
Knowing the use of bulleted featured snippets will help you to optimize your content if you want to get a featured snippet. So, in this case, you might want to use bullets while you are talking about more than one variable in a given content.
Indeed, talking about multiple variables in bulleted forms is better than listing them all in paragraph form. Bullets decrease the chances of confusing two variables, and they are easier to read.
Besides bulleted featured snippets, Google offers numbered featured snippets, especially when a timeline or order is present.
For example, you can search for the chronological list of books written by a specific author. In this case, you will most likely find a featured snippet. Another example can be given from recipes, where you need to follow an order to successfully make the recipe.
The logic of numbered featured snippets tells us this one simple logic: if there is chronological order, or people need to follow a specific order of things, you should use numbers instead of paragraphs or bullets to get a featured snippet.
Additionally, numbered featured snippets are used in “top lists,” too. There are top 5 lists, top 3 lists, top 10 lists, or any number you can think of. Of course, since they are top lists, being on number one will tell something different than being in number 7.
For example, someone can search for the “top 5 most popular social media channels.” In this case, your content might be completely dedicated to the top 5 social media channels. However, you should include a numbered list at the beginning of the content where you talk about nothing but include this list.
With this method, you can have a place in the featured snippets and attract more attention to your content.
When paragraphs, videos, bullets, and even-numbered ones are not enough, Google offers table featured snippets.
We have said that bulleted and numbered featured snippets are used when there are multiple variables. But how about when those multiple variables are in the form of comparison or percentages?
Of course, bullets and numbers will not be the optimal representation in this case. The best illustration would be possible through tables when there are comparisons, timelines, and many different variables.
The nice part about table featured snippets is that you do not have to create tables on your content. Google will create it itself with the information you have on your content. Just make sure that you have all the relevant information for Google to create a table for you, and you are good to go!
For example, you might want to search for “homelessness rates by country” on Google, and you will get a list where countries, homeless population, and homeless per 10.000 are shown.
The carousel featured snippet offers the featured snippets we mentioned up to now, but with a twist. In the carousel featured snippet, you still get a form of featured snippet depending on your search query.
However, you will also get some keywords at the top of the featured snippet, which will help you to specify your query even more. You might search for “best universities,” and the carousel featured snippet will offer you keywords like “world, USA, nationwide, abroad, etc.”
The aim of the carousel featured snippet is to offer more informative content to your search query. Once you click one of those keywords, Google will offer another featured snippet regarding your new and more specified query.
Carousel featured snippets are especially used when those keywords will change the results. Of course, the best universities in California will be different from the best universities in San Francisco, right?
The statistics show that more than half of the keywords offer web pages that ranked in between 2-10 in SERPs, whereas the rest of it comes from the web pages that do not rank in the original search query that the user made.
Carousal featured snippets are great, especially when the user does not use the keywords that would show your webpage.
Of course, to get a place on a carousel featured snippets, you need to optimize your webpage in the regularly featured snippet manner. One tip to have a place in a carousel featured snippet is to have content is to cover a topic with its all-possible details.
Double featured snippets are exactly what you are thinking of: two featured snippets at once.
The logic is double featured snippet is simple: Google offers two featured snippets just in case one of them fails to answer the questions. This makes sense because there can be two different explanations of one search query.
For example, a word we use in daily life can be a medical term at the same time. In this case, Google might want to inform both people who are looking for the medical term and the daily use definition of that word.
Additionally, double featured snippets are good for your webpage, too.
You are doubling your chances of getting a featured snippet.
Google is ready to put the extra effort into giving people what they need.
In some cases, people’s queries might be answered through a combination of the information on different web pages.
Combined featured snippets will provide exactly this.
For example, a search query might get a paragraph featured snippet from a webpage, and there can be an image next to it that is taken from another webpage. Combined featured snippets will help you to increase your chances of having a featured snippet.
Besides, if you ever take place in a combined featured snippet, it is a great way to illustrate your content as richer and more valuable.
Now that you know the significance and different types of featured snippets, it would be good to talk about how to have featured snippets that will help you attract more visitors and increase visibility.
The following are some tips that will help you win at featured snippets.
We all know that keyword research is everything when it comes to search engine optimization.
But if you know that featured snippets will focus on questions, you too can focus on them to increase your chances. If you know the questions, you can work on giving the answers in the proper featured snippet form.
While giving place to featured snippets, the authority figure of deciding will be Google itself. So, you would want to optimize it for Google to read it easily, and of course, make sense of it.
The best tip to give regarding optimizing it for Google would be to use basic HTML tags. As you use basic HTML tags, you will make it easier for Google to scan them.
To describe it better, you would want to use h2 and h3 tags for the specific questions. Or, you might want to use bullet points if they are needed. Using <p> for paragraph tags, and <ol> , <ul>, and <li> for list items will help you a lot while making it easier for google to read it.
Featured snippets typically have 54 to 58 words. If you are aiming for a featured snippet, you might want to stay in that range.
As we mentioned many times earlier, a featured snippet aims to directly answer a search query. You could give the same answer with detailed descriptions, but it will not take place in the featured snippet.
For this reason, you might want to first give a brief and informative description of the query and then detail it in the following paragraphs. Besides, you might want to include something that would attract people to your web page to increase traffic and not let people go as soon as they receive their answer.
Did you know that if you get one featured snippet with your content, the chances of you getting another one for different queries increase?
You would not want to waste this opportunity. Why not have three featured snippets instead of just one?
So, how can you do that?
By answering multiple questions on your content. Without trying too hard to do so, you can answer multiple questions on your content that might get you featured snippets.
For example, let’s say that you got a featured snippet for “how to feed a kitten.” If your content includes the answer to the question “most nourishing foods for kittens,” the chances of you getting another featured snippet will increase.
So, this brings us to the one tip we mentioned earlier: be as detailed as possible in your content. The more questions you answered in one content, the more chance you will get while getting featured snippets.
Definitions and direct answers are great for featured snippets, but so does the tutorials.
You might want to create a whole webpage on written tutorials, but what is holding you back from including a how-to section in your regular content? If you include how-to sections, you are increasing the chances of solving the pain points of a given subject.
Featured snippets are an important aspect of your website’s and webpage’s success. Even though there are some controversial issues regarding featured snippets, you can use them for your benefit if you know what you are doing.
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about featured snippets that might help you to understand the subject better.
Even though this is a common worry regarding featured snippets, they tend to increase click-through rates if they are done correctly. One thing to keep in mind is to keep the reader’s attention alive as you directly answer a question.
The five general types of featured snippets are the paragraph, table, bulleted, numbered, and video snippets.
Featured snippets look like a text that takes place before all the organic results on SERPs.
Featured snippets are important because they bring an additional and invincible SERP ranking. Regardless of what is your rank on the SERPs, you will be at the top of the search engine results page.
The video featured snippets are one type of featured snippets where a video is offered instead of texts. If the video format is more suitable for answering the question, then Google will offer videos instead of texts.