There are many ways to tell if your current SEO plan is successful. One of clear success indications is when your content becomes a featured snippet. In this article, we discuss the concept of a featured snippet, what makes it important, and the strategies that assist you in turning your article into one.
What is a Featured Snippet?
A featured snippet is a piece of info collected by Google from all listings in the Google web search. Google’s automated search engine systems select a snippet. It is a piece of text at the top of the page that usually provides a laconic answer to a question typed by the person. To illustrate with an example, here is the featured snippet for “SEO strategy“
Image Source: google.com
Previously, a featured snippet was referred to as “the result zero,” as it appeared above the first result in the Google Search. However, Google has recently made changes to its first-page algorithm. Now, results can no longer appear more than once in the listing. So, previously, the article in the featured snippet could also show up in the results below it. Now that it’s no longer possible, as a featured snippet is effectively the first result in the Google search. A featured snippet is an essential element of your SEO strategy. Before implementing new business strategies, it makes sense to conduct a business impact analysis.
Why Does A Featured Snippet Matter for SEO?
1. It Helps You Draw Organic Traffic To Your Website
A featured snippet is the most noticeable thing on the first page of Google Search; therefore, it drives the biggest amount of traffic to the website. According to a recent study conducted by A Search Engine Watch, a featured snippet receives approximately 35% of all Google search clicks.
2. It Makes Your Website Recognizable
Since it is hard to miss featured snippets, the more you have, the more recognizable your website is. The snippet contains the address of your website. Once the searcher clicks on it, they will also see the name and the logo of your company. This helps achieve long-term brand recognition. While the potential customer might not notice your website the first time they see a snippet, they will surely have it in the back of their mind the next time they come across it. Snippets help your website to build a good reputation.
3. It Is Convenient For Both Mobile Search and Voice Search
Users who search for information using mobile phones find feature snippets more convenient than clicking all the results in Google Search. Therefore, if the traffic on your website comes from mobile search mostly, snippets are even more important for you.
The same goes for the voice search. The Google Search Assistant will read your snippet aloud, leading to increased recognition of your website and higher level of trust in your website’s content. As of early 2022, almost 50% of the Internet users regularly conduct a voice search, so this segment of Google Search is critical.
4. It May Lead To Increased Conversion
Featured snippets can actually help you sell your products. If the info in the snippet is trustworthy, the readers are likely to see your whole business as such and proceed with the order. Think of it: you are more likely to buy from the company that offers you great advice and smart solutions. If your sales grow significantly as a result of these conversions, consider using procurement software. It will help you take care of your inventory when the demand grows.
A Potential Problem With Featured Snippets and What To Do About It
One potential problem with a featured snippet is that it may generate the so-called “no-click” search. This happens when the searcher learns the answer to their question without clicking on the page. Unfortunately, this is a common case with featured snippets, as they tend to provide clear and concise answers to search engine questions. As of late 2020, approximately 65 % of Google searches do not result in any clicks.
While this issue cannot be entirely avoided, one thing you can do is focus on the keywords with a high click-through rate for your snippets. This will maximize the probability that the user will end up clicking the link and increase the overall website traffic. As for the keywords with a low click-through rate, the likelihood that the user will end up on the page is relatively low.
How To Achieve a Featured Snippet?
1. Look Into Hints on the First Page of Google Search
Analyzing other data found in Google Search will help you get the informational intent behind it. This will also help you access the relevance of the information. There are other snippets on the page that provide you with this information:
- “People Also Ask” is another Google snippet found on the first page of Google search. It features several most popular questions related to the subject of the search. The questions featured in the “People Also Ask” snippet help understand a bigger picture related to the intent behind. Understanding these points and adding answers to these questions into your text can help turn it into a featured snippet.
Image Source: google.com
- “Related Searches” is a useful tool at the bottom of the page. It will provide you with additional keywords relevant to your topic and help you understand the scope of the search.
Image Source: google.com
2. Keep Your Content Clear, Correct, and Concise
The quality and the formatting of your content is the most important part of your strategy. About 70% of snippets found in Google are short, precise paragraphs up to 50 words long that directly answer a question. While short paragraphs are a clear tendency, it is not necessary to stick to them at all times. The flow, formatting, and the information itself are more important for an excellent snippet, but the short length will help.
By keeping your content clear and up to a point, you maximize the chances of your content being featured in a snippet. The automated search engine recognizes such answers as relevant. If you wish to delegate planning, organizing, and strategizing content, it makes sense to use a content creation platform.
Think of what you would like to find if you searched for this information on Google, and write accordingly. Do not make the sentence structure too complex, but keep the facts in check. You need to present the reader with valuable and correct information of high quality.
If you are developing your website in several languages at once and duplicating information in Spanish, German, or Chinese without a fluent marketer or copywriter, you may want to use translation software to automate some processes and reduce its overall costs.
3. Choose Long-Tail Keywords Instead of Short-Tail Ones
Long-tail keywords are specific longer phrases that the searches are more likely to use if they are looking for something particular, like “the model of Tesla car best for families.” In contrast, short-tail keywords are not specific, such as “Tesla car.”
According to the studies, the majority of featured snippets are the result of long-tail keyword research. Making sure that short-tail keywords are also included into your text is still a good step, but accommodating for long-tail keywords is key.
4. Optimize Your Data To Answer Question-Type Search Queries
The easiest way to achieve a snippet is to organize your content around question-type search queries, such as what, why, how, and when. Google algorithms easily pick up the results that directly answer questions like this. Some of the most popular search questions are “why”, “how”, and “can.”
Instead of just telling a certain story or descriptively presenting a piece of information, keep dozens of questions in mind as bullet points and organize your text around them. For instance, if we take a team building topic, you can create the content around such questions as: How to organize team building? Why choose virtual games for remote team building? Can team building be destructive for work relationships?
In fact, having a straightforward QA section may also help with getting a featured snippet.
5. Analyze The Texts Of Your Competitors and Improve Yours Accordingly
If your goal is a featured snippet on a certain topic, it makes sense to analyze the content of your competitors in a precise way. If there is a featured snippet for a certain Google search, you can always make yours better.
Look into results that appear on the first page of the Google Search and the current feature snippet. Is there a way you could improve this information and make it more valuable to the reader? Are there some details that need to be added? Can you offer something unique within the scope of the Google search inquiry? Does the current feature snippet lack clarity? If you have the answers to one or more of these questions, you pretty much have a plan of creating a snippet.
Sometimes the information on your website can be really similar to what the current feature snippet proposes. To make Search Engine replace the current excerpt of text with yours, think about adapting the content you have. Make it more clear and concise. Some paraphrasing tools can come in handy (e.g. Jasper, Quillbot, or Paraphrase Online).
Once your pages is updated, the chances of replacing the current featured snippet with yours are really high, and that’s because you’re giving Google exactly what they want to see in the number #0 position, but written in a better, more user friendly way.
6. Use SEO Strategies To Get to The First Page of Google Search
In more than 99% of cases, a new feature snippet is a search result that is already featured on the first page of the Google search. Therefore, all standard SEO strategies that get the result to the first page will work for snippets as well . Focus on improving your overall ranking, and the snippet may follow. If your content is already featured on the first page of Google search results, but it is not yet a featured snippet, analyze the current snippet and think about what your entry lacks. Improve it according to your findings.
All in all, feature snippets have to be a part of your coherent content marketing strategy. Their impact on SEO is crucial, as these excerpts of text significantly attract the attention of organic searchers, increase page and website traffic, and make your domain recognizable.
So, if your website is among the top 5 results in Google Search for some keywords, don’t hesitate to adapt related pages for feature snippets. Help Search Engine recognize your text and other components as reliable via creating high-quality content and optimizing it to answer-the-question type. In addition, consider choosing long-tail keywords and the analysis of main competitors’ websites and Google hints.
And the main advice: consistently work on your SEO strategy improvement to reach one of the top positions in search. Without it, feature snippets will not work. If you are thinking of improving SEO with UX research, read this blog post to learn a few tips on how to achieve this.
Iryna Hvozdetska is an active Content Writer. She has over 2 years of experience in creative copywriting and project management. Iryna is fond of reading and loves to create content, which people would enjoy. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
Hazel Raoult is the Marketing Manager at PRmention, a digital PR agency for SaaS and Tech Businesses.