Featured snippets – everything you have to know about them!

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Everybody knows how important is it to optimize text for SEO, as evidenced by the constant race for first positions in the Google search engine ranking for a given phrase. However, the first Google page also contains – for specifically formulated queries – an element the use of which can bring benefits to your website. We are talking here about the so-called featured snippets.

What are featured snippets?

Featured snippets are short pieces of the text which Google select only from one of the search results – the one that contains a concisely structured answer to the given question.

They can take the form of a definition, table or ordered list. Their position is quite an important feature – they are always displayed at the very top of the Google page, which automatically makes them the first thing that catches recipient’s eye. In addition, featured snippets always contain a link to the website from which they were taken, which can increase the number of visits and website traffic.

Featured Snippets generate about 8% of all clicks. Moreover, it is estimated that more than 11% of all search results contain such a form. So, this would be a great choice if you want to “steal” some popularity from the competitors and increase the organic number of visits to your website.

What are their types?

As mentioned, depending on the type of question recipient ask, featured snippets can appear in one of four forms:

  • Definition – a fragment of the text, the purpose of which is to provide a definition or explanation for a specific concept. Their average length is from 40 to 60 words.
  • Table – used to present numeric values. It can take the form of list that give include specific parameters, e.g. specific parameters of standard sizes of T-shirts.
  • Ordered list – a collection of information that is presented in a specific order. These are, for example, regulations, as well as lists and rankings.
  • Unordered list – that is a set of information or phrases, which internal order is not such important, for instance a list of the best tools for verifying key phrases.

How do you use featured snippets to your advantage?

You already know what are featured snippets and why is it worth paying attention to them. Now, let’s move on to their particular attributes – how to get such an element on your website. You are aware that featured snippets are pre-existing pieces of the text that Google saves from websites. Thus, there are specific rules that it uses to find and extract such elements. You will find simple steps on how to adapt the content of your website to it below.

Find the featured snippets content

A key element without which we can not move on. It is estimated that 99.58% of all featured snippets come from websites that are displayed on the first page of the search engine for a given phrase. Therefore, our first step is as simple as it seems – find the key phrases for which you will be ranked high.

The next step, after we identify the relevant phrases, is to observe which of them already have a snippet. Thanks to this we will know whether Google actually displays such item for a given query. Additionally, you will see what type is it (definition, list, etc.), which will allow you more precise content optimization later.

Match the text on your website to a specific type of snippet

The specific structure of the content on the website is a good “bait” for Google. We can use it to signal that our content is quite good candidate to one type of featured snippets. Here are some tips on website optimization (depending on the type of snippet):

Definition

Place a short (40-60 words), unbiased definition for the specific query or concept. Think of it as a dictionary entry. It is worth adding a heading that contains a word which meaning you explain, for example “What is X”?

Table

When presenting snippets in the form of a table, Google often uses ready-made databases that have been already presented this way on the website. Keep track of the information you already have – perhaps some of it can be formatted as tables.

Ordered list

In this case, focus on the text structure and headings. If the information is given in the form of an instruction (or any other form that requires sequential execution), then it makes sense to include these steps in the H2 or H3 headings. You can start each of them with expression that suggest order (for instance “Step 1” – this way Google will find words while carrying out its researches through the content published on your website – it may come across words that come along with the ordered list, as the algorithms will perceive it as a good material for this type of snippet).

Bet on long tail keywords

It has been observed that most of the featured snippets pop up when recipient deal with long tail keywords (long key phrases in other words). They resemble sentences of everyday language rather than a set of unconnected tags for a given topic.

Example

„burger New York” – an example of a common key phrase;
„where to eat the best burger in New York” – a long tail phrase.

Make sure that your content is optimize for these long phrases, mostly because such search results are more likely to create a snippet.

Do not limit yourself to just one phrase

Your website can serve as a potential source not only for several types of snippets, but also for various topic. If you present your readers with a valuable and comprehensive articles on a given topic, you can answer most of the questions people ask. Make the most of what you already have.

Summary

We hope that you found our guide helpful in case of improving website content and generating additional traffic. We have proven that is it not quite a big deal. Creating new content is not always the answer. Sometimes it is enough to adjust the one that already exist.

Jan Susmaga

By education - philologist / linguist, by current profession - proofreader and copywriter, by interest - a bit of everything. He enjoys writing, reading both prose and non-fiction (mainly scientific), watching horror movies, training martial arts, trying new things.

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