Why you should optimize your website for featured snippets
By incorporating featured snippets into your content strategy, you can increase the chances of ranking at the very top of Google’s search results.
Search engine optimization (SEO) primarily focuses on organic search results. However, featured snippets have become an important part of SEO. In this article, we will clarify what they are, why they matter, and how they can enhance your company’s online visibility.
What are featured snippets?
Featured snippets are pieces of content that appear at the top of Google’s SERP (search results page) and answer a direct question from one of the pages that rank at the top. Google selects these snippets from web pages with high ranking and uses content that addresses the user’s specific question.
Why optimize content for featured snippets?
The simple answer is that featured snippets increases the chances of the content ranking high in Google’s search results, but there are several reasons why it’s beneficial:
1. Better rankings
A featured snippet can help you rank higher than your competitors in the search results, and even give you the #1 spot. This is especially important for pages that rank in the top 10 but not high enough to bring in a lot of traffic to your website.
Getting your content shown as a featured snippet might be a faster way to reach the top, as you don’t have to compete directly with the other top 10 results.
2. Increased number of clicks (sometimes)
While pages displayed as featured snippets often get more traffic than regular search results, it’s not always the case. If the user finds the answer they were looking for in the featured snippet, there may be no need to click further.
This mostly depends on the searcher’s intention.
* In early 2020, Google introduced an update called “SERP deduplication”. This meant that websites displayed in the featured snippet space were not displayed again in the top 10, but only as part of the first page.
This caused some turmoil, as a featured snippet doesn’t always lead to an increased number of clicks on your website.
When your website is displayed as a featured snippet, it appears at the top of Google’s search results, which is a positive thing for your brand. It gives searchers a sense of confirmation that the content on your website can be trusted.
Which snippets can you optimize for?
There are primarily four types of snippets that appear in organic search results:
- Text paragraphs
- Lists (numbered and un-numbered)
Google can extract relevant parts of the content on your website and display it as a featured snippet in one of these formats, depending on the intention of the user’s query.
This is the most common featured snippet that appears in the search result. It typically contains a short text that answers questions that start with “How”, “Who”, “Why”, “When”, and “What”. Featured snippets in this format tend to be 40–60 words.
Featured snippets in list format are answers that are presented in numbered or un-numbered lists. These are displayed when the answer to the questions asked fits into the list format.
Numbered lists – shows ranked lists when searching, for example, “what are the best songs on Spotify in 2022” or “what were the best movies in 2021”.
Unnumbered lists – shows lists of things that don’t need ranking, as shown under the question “What are the most popular dog breeds?”.
Tables often appear if you search for clothing and shoe sizes. Most online stores have an overview or guide to which size fits.
The same will appear if you search for a table in a sports league.
In some cases, Google will show the user a video clip, often from YouTube. These usually appear when searching for how to do something, like in the example below.
How do you get a featured snippet?
The following steps can help you and your website attain a featured snippet and get the top position in the organic search results in Google.
- Add a heading that starts with “what is” or “how to….”.
- Use an explanatory sentence structure.
- Cover the topic completely.
- Make sure it fits into one of the snippet formats.
- Don’t use your brand name.
- Think about your priorities if you already rank in the top five.
- Do not write in the first person.
- Make regular optimizations.
Journey Agency are specialized in SEO
Our team of content advisors at Journey Agency work with SEO and featured snippets on a daily basis. If you’re looking to enhance your company’s online visibility, feel free to get in touch below.