What Are Featured Snippets & How To Get Them?

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Gone are the days when Google search results produced hundreds of links and you had to sift through the relevant search result. Now, a search result begins with a featured snippet. So if you have an online presence, you must understand how to get a featured snippet. But before we discuss that, let's understand what featured snippets are.       

What are featured snippets?

Featured snippets are short snippets of text appearing at the top of search results that are likely to be clicked on by the readers. These are small bits of information that quickly answer the search query. This could make you wonder about how featured snippets work.

Well, as a smart search engine, Google automatically pulls text from web pages in its index. Since the featured snippets are intended to provide small bits of information, they don't contain in-depth information. Typically, they consist of definitions, steps, how to do things, and lists. They effectively provide a sneak peek into the blog. If the searcher is interested in the information presented in the snippet but still feels unsatisfied, they can click on the link and read the rest of the content. 

Featured snippets appear above the standard results and outrank them. Thus, they are termed “position zero.”

Types of featured snippets

Featured snippets are broadly divided into four categories.

The definition box

As the name suggests, this kind of snippet gives the users a direct and accurate description of what they are looking for. Suppose, you search ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ you would find a snippet with a concise description of what it means.

You would also find it with the ‘what is something’ kind of search queries. Since the featured snippets are supposed to provide only a preview, you may get to see an answer of only 50 words approximately.

The table

Google pulls in data from a page and displays it as a table in the featured snippet. 

The ordered list

When you search "how to do something" or when the query requires a chronologic answer, you will get an ordered list in the featured snippet providing information in sequence or as steps following one after another. 

The unordered list

When the search query doesn't look for a chronological answer or for steps that follow one after another, the snippet may display several items but in no particular order.

Why are featured snippets important for SEO?

You just got to know what featured snippets are. But here is the next big question- why do you need to know how to get a featured snippet? After all, a good SEO strategy is what you need. So, are featured snippets important for SEO? If yes, why is that so? 

The short answer is, yes, featured snippets are important for your SEO rankings as they help improve your SEO strategy. And why are the featured snippets important for SEO? Well, there are two main reasons. 

First of all, featured snippets are what SEO experts refer to as Google position zero. They will help you pull in more organic traffic without having to deal with the stress of beating your competitors and taking on industry giants in terms of Google rankings.

Once you get a featured snippet, you automatically feature above the standard search results, irrespective of your Google rankings. A user is naturally attracted to a snippet appearing on top with information highly relevant to the search query. This is the very purpose of featured snippets on Google. At the same time, they do account for a good number of clicks made on the search results page. So, you don't have to do all the SEO-related hard work if you get your content right there as that will get your organic click-through rate bolstered. 

Secondly, featured snippets are important for SEO because they produce what experts call ‘no-click searches.’ In other words, they increase the chances of users making a Google search for a particular keyword with a featured snippet and not clicking on any of the search results. Why? Well, suppose the users wanted an answer to a particular query and the snippet satisfied their curiosity. So, why will anyone waste time clicking on a link without any productivity?

With that being said, you must have an idea of the keywords. If your content contains such keywords, it is likely to fall victim to ‘no-click searches.’ So, what should you do? Avoid these words altogether? If your content loses its meaning and purpose, you shouldn't do that. But as a part of your SEO strategy, you must always keep featured snippets in mind and be aware of the possibility of ‘no-click searches’ so that you frame and pursue your SEO goals accordingly.

How to get a featured snippet?

Now, you know everything about featured snippets. You also know that they are important for SEO. So, let’s get to the next important question, which is how to get a featured snippet.

There are two things that you need to keep in mind.

  1. The page should rank high in search and should carry all important features that improve the search engine optimization of your content.
  2. The content should be in a snippable format to ensure that Google snips what you are providing on your page. 

Assuming that your SEO strategy is in the right place, let us learn and find answers to how do you get a featured snippet.

Tip 1- Research the SERPs 

As we discussed, there are different kinds of featured snippets. Now, it is for you to decide which kind of featured snippet you want to get in. It should depend upon the nature of the content you are curating and also a broad idea of the kind of snippets produced on searching for relevant keywords.

Tip 2 - Write snippable paragraphs 

Most commonly, it is the short paragraphs that appear on Google as featured snippets. So, writing short and crisp paragraphs will help create the kind of content that actually appears on top.

But your competitors may also be publishing similar content. This is where optimization can help. You need a highly optimized title that goes as close as possible to the likely search queries and allows your page to get a featured snippet on the search engine.

Tip 3 - Arrange snippable lists 

When you are searching for ‘how to do something’ or the ‘top 10 something’ kind of queries, you will see numbered snippets that would either be ordered or unordered. When your content contains such a potential list, it would be a good idea to number it properly and arrange it as a list for increasing the possibility of getting a featured snippet.

Tip 4 - Create snippable videos 

Google is increasingly using video snippets, especially in the case of ‘how to’ queries as many users find it easy to follow instructions through a short video. It will feature a portion of the video that directly answers the query. So, if your content has a short video directly answering the potential query, then there is a good possibility of getting a featured snippet. 

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