Featured snippets are an important part of SEO.
They can increase your website’s visibility and help you attract more traffic.
In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about featured snippets: what they are, why they are important, how to get them, and the best practices to optimize your content for them.
- What Are Featured Snippets?
- Why Featured Snippets Are Important for SEO?
- Different Types of Featured Snippets
- Featured Snippets Statistics
- How to Optimize Your Content For Featured Snippets
What Are Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets are special boxes of text that are displayed on top of search results to give a quick answer to a user’s query:
They were first introduced in 2014, and they have been growing in popularity ever since.
The featured snippet contains a summary of the answer, and it is pulled from the content on your website.
It is displayed above the organic search results, and it can be a great way to increase your website’s visibility.
It is often called position zero because it appears before the first position on the search engine results page (SERP).
Why Featured Snippets Are Important for SEO?
They are also a great way to improve your click-through rate (CTR), which is a key metric that is used to measure the success of your SEO efforts.
They can also help you rank higher in the search results, which can lead to more traffic and higher CTRs. And, they can help you build brand awareness and credibility.
When your website is featured in a featured snippet, it helps you build trust with potential customers and shows that your content is relevant and trustworthy. This can lead to more sales and conversions for your business.
A study by Ahrefs shows that featured snippets steal a good portion of traffic from the top position in the organic results and get approximately 8% of all clicks:
Different Types of Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are not always displayed the same way. They are different, depending on the kind of information the user is searching for.
If you can understand what kind of snippet best matches your topic, you can optimize your content around it to get the best chance of being displayed on Google position zero.
There are four types of featured snippets:
This is the most common type of featured snippet, and it contains a summary of the answer in a paragraph format.
Google often uses this kind of snippet to answer “what” questions.
For example, “what is Google position zero“?
This type of featured snippet contains a list of items, such as a list of steps or a list of ingredients.
For example, see what it looks like the result for the query “top blogging sites“:
This type of featured snippet contains a table with information, such as data or prices.
For example, see the result for the query “revenue of largest companies in the world“:
YouTube is one of the biggest search engines, so you might want to optimize your content for video featured snippets.
This type of snippet contains a video that is relevant to the user’s query.
Google will often use it to answer “how-to” questions.
For example, “how to knot a tie“:
Featured Snippets Statistics
Here are the key takeaways of the study:
- 19% of SERPs have featured snippets
- 7,3% of SERPs have double-featured snippets
- 50%+ of a mobile screen is covered with a featured snippet
The four featured snippet types are present in the organic results, based on these numbers:
- Paragraph 70% (with an average of 49 words and 249 characters)
- List 19,1% (with an average of 6 items and 44 words)
- Table 6,3% (with an average of 5 rows and 2 columns)
- Video 4,6% (with an average of 6 minutes and 25 seconds)
The industries that have the biggest number of featured snippets are:
- Travel (in 62% of cases)
- Computer and electronics (in 62% of cases)
- Art and entertainment (in 59% of cases)
- Science (in 54% of cases)
Some additional, interesting patterns in the data analyzed by Semrush:
- Question words: 77,6% of questions starting with “why” have a featured snippet
- Date: 70% of articles in featured snippets were published no later than 2-3 years ago
- URLs: in 80,4% of cases featured snippets contain URLs with 1-3 subfolders
The best-performing content that earned a featured snippet has these characteristics:
- 98% HTTPS
- 1100+ words (5 minutes read)
- 66% of articles use structured data
- 14.5 average number of headlines
- 8 images with alt tags
How to Optimize Your Content For Featured Snippets
There’s no guarantee of getting your website featured in a featured snippet.
Google is constantly evaluating content on the web to deliver the best result to users’ queries.
For example, a list snippet can be replaced by a video snippet, if Google finds a video that better answers that query.
However, what you can do is optimize your content for SEO, and focus on delivering quality, relevance, and added value.
You can do this by including the right keywords and making sure that it is relevant to the user’s query.
Here are some tips focused on creating content optimized for featured snippets:
- Target long-tail keywords in form of questions
- Answer questions in your content
- Use a table structure
- Work on your EAT
Target Long-Tail Keywords in Form of Questions
One of the best ways to optimize your content for featured snippets is to target long-tail keywords in the form of questions.
This is because featured snippets are often used to answer questions that users have.
Aim to create evergreen content that answers questions such as:
- What is …?
- Why is …?
- How to …?
Answer Questions in Your Content
Another way to optimize your content for featured snippets is to answer questions directly in your content.
This can be done by including a section in your article that is specifically dedicated to answering questions.
You can also use headings and subheadings to structure your content in a way that makes it easy for users to find the answers they are looking for.
Here is an example of how you can answer questions:
Use a Table Structure
One additional tip is to use a table structure for your content. This can be helpful if you are trying to target a featured snippet that contains a list or table.
By using a table structure (<table>), you can make it easier for Google to find and understand the information in your content.
You can also use this format to highlight key information and make it easy for users to scan your content.
Work on Your EAT
In addition to optimizing your content for featured snippets, you should also focus on working on your EAT.
EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
It is a ranking factor that Google takes into account when determining which results to display for a user’s query.
Backlinks are a good way to signal to Google that your content is authoritative and trustworthy. Here are 100 link-building strategies you can use to improve your organic rankings.
You can also improve your EAT by:
- Creating high-quality resources (avoiding duplicate content)
- Including citations and references
- Focusing on semantic SEO and LSI keywords
- Ensuring your website is safe and secure (verify HTTP status code)
- Making sure your content is accurate and up-to-date (if not, be sure to update it)
Optimize Your Content for Users
Here are some suggestions to optimize your content to improve the user experience (other than working on your core web vitals).
Some of these tips are also great to help you increase the time on your site and improve your bounce rate:
- Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions
- Optimize your website for mobile
- Use short, simple sentences and paragraphs
- Use bullet points and lists
- Highlight important information with bold or italic text
- Use images and videos
Use Keyword-Rich Titles and Descriptions
Your title and meta description are important elements of your content that can help you rank higher in the search results.
Make sure to include relevant keywords in these elements to improve your chances of being featured in a featured snippet.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Google is now using mobile-first indexing, which means that it is using the mobile version of your website to index and rank your content.
Make sure that your website is loading fast and optimized for mobile devices to improve your chances of being featured in a featured snippet.
You can use the tool by Google to check if your pages are mobile-friendly, or verify in Search Console:
Use Short, Simple Sentences and Paragraphs
When creating your content, write short, simple sentences and paragraphs.
Leverage the bucket brigade technique by using a short sentence followed by a longer one.
This will keep your readers engaged and make your pages easier to read.
Plus, you will help Google understand your content to match it with user queries.
Use Bullet Points and Lists
Bullet points and lists are easy to read and understand, so they are a great way to organize your content.
Google is more likely to feature content that is organized in this way.
Highlight Important Information with Bold Or Italic Text
If you want to highlight important information in your content, use bold or italic text.
This will help users to identify the most important parts of your content and match them with user queries.
Use Images and Videos
SEO-friendly images and videos can help to break up your text and make your content more visually appealing.
They can also help Google to understand your content better.
You can also check the organic results for certain queries and see if there’s already one of the four types of snippets, so you know that Google already wants to display a featured snippet for those keywords.
If there is, then you can try to optimize your content for that featured snippet.
For example, if you see that Google is already displaying a list featured snippet for a certain query, then you can try to create a list in your content that better answers that query.
Featured snippets are a great way to attract more traffic and improve your SEO.
By understanding the different types of featured snippets and how to optimize your content for them, you can increase your chances of being featured in one.
Do you have any questions about featured snippets?
Let me know in the comments below!