What is a Featured Snippet and Why are Featured Snippets Important?
A featured snippet is a dedicated and exclusive section that displays selected content at or near the top of a Google SERP just below the search bar. A featured snippet ideally features text content or video content from a website that has content that directly answers a search query and satiates the search intent of the user. Users can click on the featured snippet to learn more about the content. But for website owners, winning featured snippets can be a tough call if not backed with sufficient information.
Featured snippets give website owners the opportunity to get their website displayed at the top of the SERP, even above the website that has an organic #1 ranking on Google. Hence, the website that is displayed as a featured snippet receives higher click rates both on mobile and desktop devices. Earning a slot as a featured snippet indicates reliable brand authority and helps build trust among the target audience. If you cannot do it yourself, hiring Professional Digital Marketing services can be a great choice!
Recent statistics show that featured snippets alone take up to 50% of the screen on mobile devices. Also, featured snippets appear more commonly for search phrases or keywords that indicate a specific search intently at any specific point along with the sales funnel, most long-tail keywords. Hence, if websites want to win their position as a featured snippet on Google SERPs, it is important that they target long-tail keywords. A trusted Digital Marketing agency in India or the best SEO Company in India can help you optimise your content for the featured snippets.
What benefits do Featured Snippets bring to the Table?
• Featured snippets help website owners learn more about the objectives of the site visitors by tracking user behaviour from the time the user lands on the website landing page.
• A position as a featured snippet is considered to display higher brand authority by both Google and internet users, indicating that your brand is an expert in your niche.
• You get access to higher organic traffic, even more than the website that holds the #1 ranking. Your website gets more clicks and more visibility.
• The featured snippet still holds the first organic position 99% of the time on Google SERPs which is amazing!
Which are the most popular domains that have earned a position at the Featured Snippets?
The most popular domains that have earned the position to display content in the featured snippets would include Wikipedia, Quora, Pinterest, Healthline, Amazon, YouTube, Reddit, WebMD, NIH or The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Fandom. These giant domains are definitely dominating the landscape of featured snippets, but any domain can earn this position if they get their content right.
The subjects that have received maximum focus from featured snippets include sports, people & society, home & garden, reference, jobs & education, internet & telecom, finance, business & industrial, health, news, shopping, computers and electronics, art & entertainment, and online communities.
Let’s have a look at the different types of Featured Snippets.
The 4 main types of featured snippets comprise paragraphs, lists, tables, and videos. Paragraphs take up 70% of the search results, followed by videos taking up just 4.5% of the search results. Earning a position at the featured snippets depend on the consistency of your content strategy. You will have to format and edit your website content to win featured snippets.
What are the On-Page SEO Elements to Consider to win a place at the Featured Snippets?
- Select your keywords wisely-
Use longtail keywords and search phrases that use more than one word. The more words included in the search query placed, the higher the chance of being displayed as a featured snippet. Statistics show that search phrases containing just one word have displayed only 4.3% featured snippets, search phrases containing 5 words have displayed 17% featured snippets, and search phrases containing 10 words have displayed 55.5% featured snippets. Hence, it is advisable for websites to use long tail keywords.
The easiest way to find long tail keywords is to find and consider the questions asked by your target users when they place a query about your product, services, or domain of expertise. Longer search phrases are usually more specific and hence, helps you understand the search intent behind every search query placed.
- Leverage the Potential of Answering Real Questions-
Google has become a portal where users hurl all the questions they may have or that may arise, however minor or major the questions might be. Accordingly, Google displays featured snippets as per the question asked in the search query. Survey shows that 29% of keywords used in search queries that displayed a featured snippet began with a question-based word like what, how, why, or can. Once you have your list of question-based target keywords at hand, you have to plan out your content.
You can either chose to develop one single piece of content that answers multiple questions from your target users, or create a series on consecutive content answering questions around a specific topic.
- Format your Content-
As mentioned earlier, featured snippets come in 4 main types and formats that include paragraph, list, table, and video. Website owners that want to aim for the featured snippets need to include these four formats within the content naturally and organically. Include lists, tables, and videos within your content wherever you find legitimate room.
Tables and lists help you cater to speed-readers while paragraphs cater to the reader who prefer to read in depth about any given topic. Use relevant and original images in your content and make sure to add a date to your blogs and posts. Dated content has a higher and better track record of showing up in featured snippets as compared to undated content. When you add the date, it helps readers avoid confusion or risks of misinformation, helps build trust among audience, helps show whenever content is updated with recent information, and more.
- Follow Best Practices at all times-
Make sure to keep a secure domain and using HTTPS will be recommended because 98% of featured snippet hubs have URLs that contain HTTPs. Create long-form content that offer valuable information and leave no room for doubt. An average length of 1100+ words summed up in a proper format is preferable for websites that are aiming for featured snippets.
Use headline and H1, H2, and H3 tags to make your content discoverable and easily readable. Use structured data as much as possible because 66% percent of structured data show up on featured snippets. If you have long blocks and paragraphs of content, break up the block into smaller sections by adding visual elements. Follow all the latest best practices to keep your chances up!
Featured Snippets is just another feature from Google that helps website owners make the best of optimisation activities and earn the maximum possible visibility by sharing high-quality, well-formatted, structured, and user-friendly content. A few best practices and authentic content can go a long away in giving you that spot right on top! Featured snippet rankings can give your website the visibility you’ve been struggling to achieve for so long.