Would you like to boost your search engine optimization (SEO)? Then try to snag the much-coveted featured snippet.
This article spits out facts about featured snippets, from their definition to the best tips to get them.
What Are Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets are the answers that appear in the topmost part of the search results, usually below ads and definitely above the first organic search. But they also have different names:
- Answer box, because of their answer-like format
- Position zero, since technically most do not count them as part of the organic search results
These are not rich snippets. Although both can be found in the search results, they differ:
- While featured snippets provide an answer or conclusion from a trusted source in response to a user query, rich snippets are typically short summaries containing details about the page’s content relevant to the query. These can include ratings, prices, recipe times, or item availability.
- Featured snippets help users quickly find answers specific to their queries while rich snippets help draw attention to certain results to encourage users to click on them.
- Rich snippets are more visual than featured, which might contain a numbered list of texts or a few-sentence paragraph.
Why Are Featured Snippets Important?
According to Digital Authority Partners (DAP), featured snippets support your SEO efforts by increasing your click-through rate (CTR), which makes a very interesting point.
You see, search engines provide third-party information. You click the link to a website or webpage to learn more about the answer to your query.
When Google introduced featured snippets in 2014, it changed this dynamic. Instead:
- Users get the data they need immediately and in the most conspicuous spot.
- Because the answers are mostly spot-on, users do not need to visit the site or other web pages.
That is why others refer to featured snippets as “zero clicks,” which seem to indicate they have a lower CTR.
But they do.
Many studies show that at least 5% of all clicks on a search go to the featured snippet. It may not be much, but consider the millions of sites that have to fight for traffic. Further, snippets significantly reduce the CTRs of even the first link in organic search.
CTRs matter in SEO in this manner:
- Good CTRs mean higher traffic or visitors on the webpage. Now, you have the doorway for conversion.
- Once the audience reads your content, you are already engaging them. You can also show your expertise, experience, and authoritativeness on the subject.
- The more you engage, the more your visitors check other pages for more information, share the link with others, or talk about you.
- In the end, you have emphasized good content value, trustworthiness, and user experience. All these are the foundations of good SEO.
To Get Featured Snippets, Do These Strategies
To be clear, no tactic can guarantee that your article can be part of a featured snippet. Even Google says that it uses an automated system to pick the best.
The good news is that you can apply many strategies to optimize your page for featured snippets. Here are five of them.
Focus on User Intent
Think like a search engine user. Do you type “Apple” or “What are the least 2023 Apple products in the market today?” Most likely, the answer is the latter.
For this reason, pages optimized for long-tail keywords seem to do well. But how do you find these key terms and phrases? Here are a few suggestions:
- Use Google Keyword Planner. You are free to use any keyword suggestion tool you like, but Google dominates in this regard since the results also account for voice search.
- Check your competition. Some platforms can tell you if the keyword already has a featured snippet. You can see it for yourself and then observe how they structured the sentences or paragraphs, the keyword position, and the snippet type.
- Take advantage of the People Also Ask section. The questions are some of the most popular ones asked by your target audience. Plus, they are often long-tail keywords.
- Group keywords into clusters. Instead of targeting one single keyword, group related terms and verify their search volume and competition. More likely, these are words your competitors might have missed.
Answer the How, What, and Why
Since the goal is to get a featured snippet fast, let us focus on the most common ones. These are:
While these are different types, they also fall into two major categories:
- Informational, which means they answer the what or why questions
- How-tos, which are steps, guides, tips, etc.
You can best determine whether your content is informational or how-to based on the user’s intent and keywords. It can also be a combination of both (such as in this article).
The most important thing to remember is that everything, from the information to the media assets, should revolve around a central theme or concept.
Optimize Every Element of Your Content
This is a win-win strategy:
- It boosts your chances of getting featured in the organic search results.
- Even if you do not get featured, you can still appear on the first page or, even better, in the first spot below the featured snippet.
But how do you ensure that every content aspect is SEO-friendly? Consider these tips:
- Use keyword variations. Doing this avoids keyword stuffing and spamming and ensures your content is natural-sounding. Place them on your headings, subheadings, meta tags, alt tags, and URLs.
- Enrich the page with media assets. Embed social media posts, upload images (preferably yours), and include videos (preferably with transcripts). Add other interactive elements, such as infographics, memes, and GIFs.
- Include references and external links. Always link to authoritative pages when you mention facts or figures. If possible, create a bibliography page and include all sources there. Make use of HTML tags where applicable.
Earning the first spot on the search results page is a good goal, but it does not hurt to also aspire for a featured snippet. Getting it is not always easy, but the three ideas above can pave the way.
If you need more suggestions or help to strengthen your SEO strategies, talk to a professional SEO agency that can show test cases and provide expertise on the subject.