A snippet is a condensed section of a website’s source code. It is what you see when you Google something and is shown in the search engine results pages (SERPs). So it is a brief preview of what to expect on a page. It functions as a synopsis and teaser and should motivate the user to read more of the content. Google automatically pulls the snippet’s content from a page’s metadata. As a result, various snippets are produced based on the search query.
Table of contents
To quickly respond to a user’s search query, Google includes “Featured Snippets,” which are text boxes, at the top of the search results page. The information displayed in these boxes is taken from websites already indexed by Google. Definitions, tables, instructions, and checklists are all frequently Featured Snippets.
The SEO benefits of Featured Snippets in a couple of ways:
First, they present a chance to increase organic clickthrough rates without improving page rank in Google’s index. Indeed, many search engine optimization (SEO) specialists call the Featured Snippet box “Position #0” due to its prominence above the conventional #1 spot.
Suppose you can get your content into the Featured Snippet. In that case, you can significantly increase your organic clickthrough rate, as reported by Search Engine Land.
Second, Featured Snippets lead to more “no-click searches” when a Google user does not interact with any returned results. This is because they frequently contain the information that the user is seeking. Checking to see if a Featured Snippet appears in search results should be done before settling on a keyword. If that’s the case, a recent study by Ahrefs found that you’d receive fewer clicks than you would have, on SERPs without a Featured Snippet.
However, this does not mean a keyword should be disregarded because it appears in a Featured Snippet. Because, as Semrush notes, 6.36 percent of all queries return at least one.
As a result, it won’t be easy to create a Featured Snippet free of any mention of keywords. Featured Snippets should be considered alongside competition and monthly search volume when selecting keywords.
The most common featured snippets in Google’s search results fall into four categories:
This short text passage is intended to provide searchers with a clear, direct definition or description. Google frequently uses definition boxes to respond to “what is” inquiries.
The definitions Google frequently uses are succinct and to the point. The average length of a definition in a featured snippet, according to SEMrush, is between 40 and 60 words.
This is where Google displays data as a table after pulling it from a page.
The ordered list is a list of things in a particular order. Google frequently uses ordered lists for queries requiring a series of steps.
For lists that order items in a particular order, such as “the best movies of the year,” they also use ordered lists.
Google uses the “Unordered List” to display items that aren’t required to be in any particular order. For instance, the list of tools for keyword research; Not “the best tools.”
Optimizing Featured Snippets
Having Result #0 is great but no SEO company can guarantee you will show up there. Therefore there are no digital marketing services for it. Still, there are some optimizations you can do to increase the chances.
Finding a search results page with a featured snippet is your first step. (Or opportunities). So, you can be sure that Google wants to display a featured snippet for that query. They already do!
You can also see the featured snippet type that Google wants to display for that term. This makes it very easy to optimize your page for that particular format.
There are two methods for finding SERPs with featured snippets:
To start, you can look up several keywords one at a time. As a result, if you have a list of possible keywords to target, you can search for each one and note whether or not the results for that term include a Featured Snippet.
Second, you can focus on keywords with a Featured Snippet using a tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs.
You can exclude any keywords that don’t already have one, for instance, when you run an Organic Keywords report on Backlinko digital marketing agency using Ahrefs.
The content on your page needs to be optimized next for Google to select it as Result #0.
The Requirement: You must give Google a brief (40–60 words) text they can use in the Featured Snippet. Having “What is X” directly above your definition also helps.
HubSpot, for example, goes one step further. They create tiny boxes in their content that resemble Featured Snippets. You don’t need to go that far.
However, it does demonstrate the importance of formatting for getting your content into the featured snippet. The more closely your content resembles a Featured Snippet, the more likely Google will use it. The only other consideration is that your definition should be impartial. In other words, avoid expressing an opinion on the subject.
- Keep in mind that Google doesn’t want arbitrary definitions to appear. Therefore, try to write the definition without emotion, even if you have strong feelings about the subject. You should format the definition like an entry in a dictionary.
For instance, our explanation of “no follow links” sounds like it was taken straight from Webster’s Dictionary.
Based on my analysis, I’ve discovered that Google frequently uses tables to provide content for Table Featured Snippets. To put it another way, they need to gather information from various areas of your page and present it in a table. They are essentially scraping existing tables instead.
It’s important to structure your page so that Google can easily understand the specific instructions or lists of items. You should use H2 or H3 text to surround each action or step. Likewise, make each item a subheader. If you’re interested, we explained it more in “writing better content” article.