What Is a Featured Snippet?

Jake Sheridan
Nov 24
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If you properly manage a company’s content marketing, you are aware that improving your content to attract visitors to your website may be a challenge.

Even the finest content might struggle to rank at the top of a SERP without a plan. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of being noticed.

Featured snippets are one of the most effective methods to draw attention to your content. Google shows highlighted snippets to swiftly and directly answer user inquiries. On a SERP, they appear before the top organic search results for a term. These snippets can help you generate traffic and increase your reach if you can earn them.

Paragraphs, tables, lists, and videos are the four forms of featured snippets. Each can be beneficial in increasing search volume for your website.

We’ll go over what featured snippets are, why they’re important, how to win featured snippets, and how featured snippets function in this simple guide.

Let’s get started.

What Is a Featured Snippet?

A featured snippet is a brief excerpt of content that displays at the top of Google’s organic SERP, providing a fast resource for visitors and appearing before the first result for a user’s query — also known as “Position #0.”

It is intended to provide a brief and concise response to a user’s question. For featured snippets, Google does not produce new content. Rather, it retrieves content from a webpage in its index.

Look for related keywords that rank for featured snippets while producing new content for your website.

Here’s an example of a highlighted snippet that appears when you search Google for “How to Improve Digital Marketing for Your Business”:

Google evaluates the query, tries to match its results to the user’s intent, and selects the best snippet it can scrape from existing content to improve the user experience.

This indicates that “Position #0” is available.. But why would you want your content to rank first on Google?

Featured snippets include a link to the source website and, in general (depending on the content and a number of other criteria), boost traffic to your website.

Why are featured snippets Important?

A snippet box simplifies the lives of a searcher in a Google search by giving a brief response to their question. The idea is that users would be able to skim the snippet to obtain a simple response to their inquiry without having to sift through a number of pages on the SERPs.

As a marketer, featured snippet spots are crucial since they capture a reader’s attention and enhance the likelihood that they will visit your website. They are the first item a user sees when conducting a search. Here are some benefits that highlighted snippets may provide for your website:

Increases your credibility: Featured snippets position your company as an authority on a subject. They greatly increase the likelihood of users accepting you as a thought leader in your industry. According to Ahrefs research, featured snippets appear in about 12.29 % of all search queries.

Increases the click-through rate (CTR): While the excerpt provides a quick answer to the user’s inquiry, they may be searching for more detailed information. By visiting your highlighted link, people may quickly locate what they’re looking for. According to HubSpot research, content with a featured snippet has a 2X increased click-through rate.

Indicates that your content is effective, valuable, and well-organized: Featured snippets assist you in evaluating your content. If Google selects your website to be part of a snippet, it is a solid indication that your content is useful to visitors.

Assists you in capitalizing on voice technology: Virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana generally respond to vocal search requests with highlighted snippets. Every day, more than 40% of internet users conduct voice searches on PCs and mobile devices.

It assists you in weeding out users who are not looking to buy: Because consumers already discover what they’re searching for, featured snippets boost “no-click searches” (searches in which a user does not click any results). This implies that if a person clicks on your link (for example, for product information), there’s a good probability they’re seeking to buy something.

Featured Snippet FAQ

How do you win featured snippets?

The featured snippet is all about strategy. To rank for featured snippets, you must structure your website content to win them. Even if you create content for a query that already has a featured snippet in its SERP, you have the opportunity to change the existing snippet with a new one: yours. For example, you may utilize Site Explorer filters in Keyword Explorer to identify possible featured snippet opportunities.

Here’s a summary of the major on-page SEO factors you should consider in order to compete for (and win) a featured snippet:

Make use of the power of questions

Gone are the days when Google users would type in every possible keyword and hope for the best. Google and other search engines have evolved into portals for any query under the sun and featured snippets appear often depending on the type of query or related questions.

According to the Semrush dataset, 29% of keywords that triggered a featured snippet began with a question-based word, such as “why,” “can.” or “do.”  Here are the top queries that result in featured snippets: 77.6% of questions that begin with “why,” and 72.4% of queries that begin with “can.”

Select your keywords

The greatest approach for long-tail keywords is to think about the queries your audience has about your products and/or services. Longer inquiries, which tend to be considerably more precise than shorter ones, can frequently show purpose as well.

This is when featured snippets come in handy. According to Semrush data, the more words in the query, the more likely the SERP will return a featured snippet: only 4.3% of keywords with a single word had a featured snippet; 17% of keywords with 5 words had a featured snippet, and 55.5% of keywords with 10 words had a featured snippet.

Date your content

While many websites avoid placing dates on their postings in order to look relevant for as long as possible, this isn’t always user-friendly, especially if the reader wants to know for research purposes.

Dated information appears frequently in featured snippets. Here are the percentages of featured snippets that included a date among the various types:

List: 47%, Paragraph: 44%, Video: 20% and Table: 19%

After optimizing your page’s content, you can utilize tracking tools such as Accuranker or Google Search Console to check how well you’ve optimized the featured snippet.

Snippet format for a featured snippet

The sort of featured snippet you might win will most likely be obvious. If you recall, your four featured snippet forms are as follows: paragraph, list, table, and video.
Consider the facts provided above for each kind while you write and apply these forms organically within your content.

Make good use of subfolders

Subfolders are listed in the URL following forward slashes, as seen below:

domain.com is the root domain. It has no subfolders; domain.com/subfolder has one, and

domain.com/subfolder1/subfolder2 has two.

According to our observations, a long URL is far less likely to occur in a featured snippet, thus 1 to 3 subfolders are ideal.

What are the types of featured snippets?

Featured snippets do not come in a one-size-fits-all package. Depending on the sort of information a user is looking for, Google and other major search engines utilize a few different categories.

Understanding which sort of snippet best matches your topic can assist you in organizing your material and increasing its chances of being included in a featured snippet.

We’ll go through a few different types of featured snippets and how Google utilizes them to convey information in the following sections.

Paragraph snippets – definitions, answers, and more

This snippet offers readers a quick, practical definition or a little amount of information about a topic.

Certain inquiries center around asking questions or looking for further information. Here’s an example of a paragraph featured snippet that functions as an answer box:

In addition, there are definition boxes. These are for simple searches in which people are looking for the fundamental definition of a term or concept:

List snippets or Step-by-step

Lists and steps can be used to rank items, highlight the phases of a process, or distinguish between distinct goods. The list featured snippets can be ordered or unordered, and bulleted lists are available for both ranked and unranked items, features, and “best of” lists.

These are retrieved from a web page’s ordered or unordered lists, anchor links put at the top of a page in a table of contents, or header tags. This is why it is critical to use appropriate semantic HTML (which content management systems make simple).

When a query indicates that step-by-step instructions are required, numbered list snippets are often shown.

Here’s an example of a featured snippet with an unordered list displaying a variety of healthy foods:

Table snippets

This style of snippet assists users in visualizing data for various types of comparisons. Tables make up a major portion of Google’s featured snippets.

Here’s an example of a table featured snippet for the query “earnings of YouTubers:”

Videos

YouTube is one of the world’s largest search engines, so it’s no surprise that video featured snippets are something else you’d want to strive to rank for.

If a video offers the best response to a user’s inquiry, it will be highlighted in a snippet. For “how-to” inquiries, the video highlighted snippets might be beneficial.

Here’s a video snippet for the user search “how to install an antivirus on a laptop:”

How do featured snippets work?

Google’s search results page occasionally includes listings in which the snippet summarizing a page appears before, rather than after, a link to a page, as is the usual process. Featured snippets are results that are shown in this manner and may be seen on their own inside overall search results, under the “People also ask” section, or alongside Knowledge Graph content.

Google displays featured snippets while its systems conclude that this format will help visitors find what they’re looking for more easily, both from the page description and when they click on the link to read the page itself. They are especially useful for individuals who are searching by voice or on mobile.

Featured snippets typically feature one listing, although more may appear.

How are featured snippets chosen? Featured snippets are derived from online search results. Google’s automatic systems assess if a website would be an appropriately featured snippet to highlight for a certain search query. Your input contributes to the improvement of Google’s search engines and the quality of your search results.

How do you rank a featured snippet?

Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that your content will be used as a featured snippet by Google. Google has algorithms that analyze snippets (and search rankings) on a regular basis to determine which offers the best answers to specific user queries. Depending on any algorithmic changes that affect the SERP, what was previously replied to in a list may be replaced with a video.

What you can do, though, is generate high-quality, targeted content that has a high likelihood of getting selected. Here are several strategies for gaining an advantage over your competitors.

Write concise, clear, and objective content 

While there are several sorts of featured snippets, they all have one thing in common: they are fact-based. There are several places for you to express your thoughts online, but Google prefers content that is totally impartial when it comes to highlighted snippets.

In addition, your information should be brief and to the point. An excellent snippet should be simple to read and understand. Keep your information as concise as possible if you want to achieve highlighted snippets. Big words and muddled speech will only hurt your prospects.

Find SERPs with featured snippets using keyword research

Keyword research is essential for any SEO plan. It can assist you in determining what sort of material you should create in order to be recognized. In the case of featured snippets, it can also assist you in identifying certain searches that already rank for “Position #0” so that you can target them.

Make good use of headers and subheadings

Formatting and structuring your content properly is one method to increase your chances of getting highlighted snippets. All of your headers and subheaders should make sense in relation to one another, and your content should be structured up in such a way that it can offer straight responses.

Include structured data on your page

Structured data helps large search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, recognize your content and create rich snippets about it. When you add structured data to your content, it enhances the look of your SERPs and can even increase your chances of landing a featured snippet. Some examples of rich snippets include: recipes, reviews, events and movies. Adding schema markup to your content is one of the most effective ways to achieve a position zero result.

Summary

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of a featured snippet.

Featured snippets are one of the most recognizable SERP features, and they are always evolving. It may be both interesting and gratifying to explore and discover new methods to use them in order to enhance SERPs for everyone.

Featured snippets may significantly increase your website’s CTR, but they might be tough to obtain if you don’t use the appropriate SEO tools. It doesn’t harm to attempt for featured snippets because the same tactics that help you acquire them, such as keyword research and structuring your content, also help you stay on Google’s first page.

Loganix will assist you in learning a few techniques and skills for increasing your reach that will substantially aid your organization to thrive. Remember that boosting organic traffic takes time, but we are here to help you design and execute plans to continuously extend your influence, giving your business the best chance of success.

Get me started now!

Written by Jake Sheridan on November 24, 2021

Founder of Sheets for Marketers, I nerd out on automating parts of my work using Google Sheets. At Loganix I build products, and content marketing. There’s nothing like a well deserved drink after a busy day spreadsheeting.