What is a Featured Snippet and how do you get one?

You probably already figured this out, but Google is the first place people go for every single question they have. In fact, the term ‘to google’ was one of the first internet-based verbs to make it into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006.

Today, Google has moved into a new era of convenience with Featured Snippets. This is the special block of text you see above the organic search results that Google sometimes shows for certain queries. Usually, these snippets will answer questions starting with who, what, where, when, why, and how.

This is one of the newer Google SERP features and is becoming a great way to grow traffic to your website.

Quick Answers and Featured Snippets

Google started offering this feature around 2013 with something called Quick Answers. It took a few years before people started understanding why they were useful. Basically, Google was lifting the answers to questions directly out of web pages and posting them into Google results. This meant that for the users, there was less need to visit the actual website. But of course, it still grew organic traffic dramatically because people clicked on the Quick Answer to learn more.

 

The term Featured Snippet became official in 2016, and the rules became a little more clear: only results that were featured in the first 10 SERPs were used as Featured Snippets. Meaning that if you weren’t featured on the first page results, you couldn’t have a chance at getting a featured snippet.

In 2017, Google began giving users the option to give feedback on the featured snippets so users could vote on the value of each one.

Today, around 12% of all search results currently have a Featured Snippet. This means there is a huge opportunity for your business to capitalize on this trend and to grab some snippet real estate.

Here are three tips to increase the chances that your website will get a featured snippet on Google.

1) Choose your questions

First, you have to think about what questions your customers and website visitors will ask. How can you be helpful by answering those questions for them? Take a look over your FAQ page and see which of the questions are most common, and most important to your audience. Stick to the format of using questions that start with who, what, where, when, why, and how.

Then, compare them against the current search results. Is there already another snippet answer the question? Can you improve upon it? If so, it might be a worthwhile exercise to write about, and answer this question.

2) Go granular

The next step is to be more specific. Remember that people think with detailed answers in mind, not general responses. This the same thing as choosing keywords for your website. You have to consider the specific details of the questions people ask, and how they are phrased.

The more granular you go, the better chance you have of finding a new snippet opportunity.

3) Format correctly

The final step once you know the question and have started creating a specific answer is to format the answers so they have more chance of becoming featured snippets.

Make sure you answer the question with an introductory sentence or two. From there, you can dive into deeper supporting content. Remember that the featured snippet text is going to be between 54-58 words, so make your answer fit this format.

Also, review your H1 and H2headings and alt-tagged images to support your answer so that Google can read the metadata and knows what you are looking at.

The better you can show Google that you have valuable information that answers the question, the more likely it can grab the featured snippet spot.


If you take the time to actually be useful with your featured snippets, you will find that they are more likely to start appearing at the top of the search results. As voice search becomes more prevalent, having immediate answers for your customers and prospects is becoming a vital part of how to succeed in the digital marketing space.


Brandastic is an SEO agency based in Orange County California. We help businesses to grow their SERP rankings and increase the amount of organic traffic to their website. Contact us today to see how we can help your business grow attention and engagement through SEO.

 

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