Google has been operating for over 20 years and has become the dominant search engine in the US.
Do you know those small pieces of content that appear on your Google search results page? They’re called featured snippets, and they are one of the most influential digital marketing concepts you can think of.
Featured snippets are a relatively new feature on search engines. Launched by Google first and then followed by Bing, these special search results appear when someone searches for a specific question and the answer to that question is provided in the form of an article or webpage.
Marketing can be challenging, but it’s even harder in a competitive digital world. If you want to make an impact with what you have, you need to be several steps ahead of the competition.
Your content might be amazing and your website might be ranking well on Google, but do you know that it could perform even 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.
Google’s featured snippets, which only started in late 2015, is a great way for your website to rank higher in search results. The featured snippet is a box that appears at the top of the SERPs that gives a preview of your answer for the query typed into Google’s search bar. This helps your website because it attracts more traffic to your site and increases engagement
Here in this article, you can find details about featured snippets, what they are, how they are influencing your marketing strategy’s destiny, and the different types of featured snippets.
What is a Featured Snippet?
A featured snippet is an overview of a given content placed at the top of the search engine results page. Users can directly find the answer to their query on this page.
Content featured snippets show up in search results and aim to give consumers what they want to know. They offer a relevant source of information.
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.
For the above-mentioned purpose, feature snippets brought an opportunity to fulfil this purpose in an efficient manner.
Why are Featured Snippets Important?
A lot of people are afraid to lose website traffic once they’ve gained it. They worry that if their site isn’t at the top of the first page of Google, no one will click on it. But there is a secret weapon that can help your website be found without spending any money on advertising: featured snippets.
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.
Featured snippets are highly valued by digital marketers and website owners, as well. If you can get your site to feature in a snippet on Google, it will stand out more than the rest of the search engine results page (SERP)
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.
Importance of Feature Snippets
- Build Trust with People:
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 that produces content, featured snippets will help increase the trust bond you have with clients. You can easily look like a credible source to people, which should be your goal in any given digital marketing strategy.
- Increase Traffic:
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.
In addition, the featured snippet will be a brief overview of what users can expect from your website. As users gain insight into what is going on, they can get the reassurance of knowing they are leading to where they should be.
People no longer spend so much time on search engines looking for what they need. By using featured snippets to attract people’s attention, you too can increase the traffic on your website.
Types of Feature Snippets
Understanding the nature 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 master this art, you can decide on which type of featured snippet to use and increase your chances of taking place as a featured snippet on Google.
- Paragraph Type:
The most used featured snippet is a paragraph featured snippet. In fact, paragraph featured snippets make up more than 80 percent of all featured snippets. Paragraph featured snippets are pieces of texts directly taken from a website to answer a search query. However, there is still some worry that these featured snippets may decrease click-through rates for both the SERPs and the websites themselves.
Indeed, featured snippets might decrease your click-through rates if you are not wise about it. You still want to answer a question directly when featuring snippets; that is the whole point of them.
If you have a frequently asked question page on your website, you can aim to answer multiple questions at the same time. If you do not have one, but rather a blog format for your website, you can work on more detailed and complex answers.
- Video Type:
Not all search queries will be best answered with a text snippet. Google sometimes offers video featured snippets, also 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. As the examples above have shown, this can be an incredibly effective way to rank for competitive keywords.
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.
In fact, this is a wise method since you would learn more efficiently via video format as opposed 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.
- Bulleted Type:
One of the newest types of featured snippets is the bulleted list. As you may guess from the name, these are lists that are simply listed out in bullet points.
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.
Know 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.
- Number Type:
Besides bulleted featured snippets, Google offers numbered featured snippets, especially when a timeline or order is present.
For example, if you were to search for the books of a specific author, you may find a featured snippet at the top of your results. Another example comes from recipes: if you’re searching for a recipe and need to follow an order to make it successfully, you can use a featured snippet.
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.
How to have featured snippets?
Now, that you know the significance and different types of featured snippets, it would be a good idea 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.
- Focus on Questions:
We all know that keyword research is crucial to search engine optimization success. But if you know what questions your customers will ask, you can work on providing the answers for them in featured snippet forms.
- Optimize for Google:
While featured snippets give place to your content, Google will be the authority figure of deciding what is featured. You would want to optimize it for Google so it can read and understand your content easily.
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.
- Answer Multiple Questions:
Did you know that if one of your site’s pages gets a featured snippet, then the likelihood of another page getting a featured snippet 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.
To conclude, we’ve discussed some of the benefits of featured snippets and how they can be helpful in improving your site’s visibility. We hope this guide has been a knowledge upgrade for you!
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Digital Marketer by Profession with over 4 years of experience | Google Certified in SEO, SEM & SMO | Strive for greatness | On the path of learning