What are Featured Snippets and Why do they Matter?

What are Featured Snippets and Why do they Matter?

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Have you been hearing about featured snippets lately? Featured snippets are quick summary responses to a user’s query. They are generated by Google from the content available in specific search results. If Google finds content on one of your pages that is “rich in data” and can answer the user’s question efficiently, it will show it as a featured snippet. This way, the user has their query answered immediately without having to visit a website.

Because the snippet is featured at the top of the search results, your page’s title and URL is included. This gives your brand more visibility and prevents users from visiting your competitors’ sites. The most common type of snippet is in paragraph form, though lists and tables may also be featured.

Featured snippets are important for a number of reasons, so it’s worth creating optimized content that can help you land in this prime spot. Let’s discuss the benefits of snippets and how to earn a snippet of your own.

Why are Featured Snippets Important?

Being in the number one position has been important for a long time – and for good reason. Studies show that more than half of clicks happen in the first three positions. If your site is further down the page (or on the next page), the chances of it getting clicked are slim.

Users choose one of the first three results because they trust Google to deliver the best results first. Also, these three listings tend to be the only ones seen because of advertising in the upper part of the results that cuts off the rest of the listings. Plus, more people use mobile devices to search the internet, and the smaller screen size only shows a few results.

With featured snippets, your brand is placed in the “zero” position. Nothing is better than this! Here are a few reasons why featured snippets are so important:

  • Ensure maximum visibility. Featured snippets are positioned above the organic results, so your brand can’t be missed. Plus, this space is considerably larger than the organic results.
  • Include multimedia. Many snippets are in paragraph, list or table form, but there is room for multimedia to be added as well. This allows you to add highly valuable content that captures a user’s attention.
  • Establish yourself as an authority. If Google chooses your page over others, this means it’s the most relevant for users. People trust Google, which means they will trust your website.
  • Beat the competition. The best way to remain competitive is by keeping your brand front and center. When Google chooses to feature your content, it beats out the competition, even among a site that ranks number one in the SERPs.
  • Increase qualified traffic. If users like what they read in the snippet, they may choose to click on your site and continue their research. Traffic to your site can increase by as much as 30% with a featured snippet.

How to Earn a Featured Snippet

Now that you know why featured snippets are important and how they can help bring visibility, authority and traffic to your website, let’s talk more about how to earn a snippet. Below are the steps that will bring you closer to having your own snippet.

Be on the first page

Even though you don’t need to be in the number one position to have a featured snippet, the snippets are always pulled from the first ten positions. Before you can have content extracted from your page, your site must rank within the first ten positions of a search.

Analyze keyword opportunities

Use keyword research tools to identify the right keywords. Use these keywords naturally in your content, as well as variations. Google uses an algorithm to crawl through websites, so these keywords tell the bots what your content is about.

Use a question-answer structure

Write content in a simple structure and conversational tone. When Google crawls your site, it can find it difficult to sort through humor or sarcasm. You can still add these elements to your writing, but when answering certain questions, use a simple Q&A structure.

Include subheadings, lists, tables, etc.

The purpose of optimizing content is to make it easier for Google to feature your content. When writing content, organize your pages using subheadings, bullet lists and tables to break up the information. Avoid keyword stuffing, excessive links or annoying ads. This can be seen as spammy by the bots.  

Add images

Roughly 28% of snippets have an image. Include support visuals throughout your content to hold readers’ attention, reinforce your main points and break up large blocks of text. Images can be seamlessly added to paragraph snippets, list snippets or table snippets.

Conclusion

You don’t have to be in the top three positions to have a featured snippet. What you do need is well-structured content that is rich in data and easy for Google to understand. As Google crawls through the search results for a given search, it may extract content from one of your pages to answer the user’s query. If this happens, you instantly get more traffic, more visibility and more credibility.

Need help creating content for your website that may be used for a featured snippet? Contact WSI Net Advantage today for a site review and to discuss your content needs.

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