What Is A Featured Snippet?

When a user goes to Google and types in a search query there’s a good chance that a featured snippet might appear above the thousands of other search results. A featured snippet is a summarised and informative answer to the user’s search query.

The information featured in the snippet is text pulled from the main page source; the snippet will include the page title, extract of text, the URL and a clickable link through to the page. The snippet of information can be displayed as a paragraph, list or table.

Google decided to introduce featured snippets at the top of search results as it gives users the information they require faster. With the snippet giving information directly, some websites have seen a decline in click through rates and traffic.

The upside to this is your source page can appear both in the featured snippet, as well as the organic search results meaning you actually two search results on the front page. As featured snippets appear above organic results many people now refer to the position as position zero.

What Makes A Good Featured Snippet?

The first step to making a good featured snippet is to identify which, if any of your pages benefit from a featured snippet. If a page does benefit from position zero then you’ve got winning content that Google loves.

You’ll then be able to use this page to structure other pages across the site in a similar way. If none of your pages benefit from a featured snippet, then there is a way to see if any of your pages are candidates for one.

To see if any of your pages are candidates for a featured snippet, all you need to do is add the parameter “&num=1”, “&num=2”, “&num=3” and so on to the end of a search query that shows a featured snippet.

If you have a page that ranks organically on the first page for a search query then there’s a good chance that you could be a featured snippet candidate. Discovering this means you can compare the position zero page to your own, allowing you to change and adapt it in hope of claiming the top spot.

Tips for Claiming Position Zero

Having a featured snippet and claiming that all important position zero is something many business owners and marketers aim to achieve. Some tips to help you achieve the top spot include:

  • Ensure Content Is Relevant & Informative – Comparing what the featured snippet and other candidates are doing, means you can adapt your content to help you achieve position zero.
  • Information Displayed Can Vary – Find what Google likes, if position zero is a paragraph and yours is a bullet point list then change it to the format that’s working.
  • Informational Queries – Most featured snippets only appear for informational queries, then means you need to make your page informative for popular search long tail queries.
  • Formatting – Although there’s no specific requirements for featured snippet content, it’s important to ensure your website use schema markup, ordered/unordered lists and strong tags.
  • Readability – Even if content is informative it must be readable by the users.

Aim to Achieve the Featured Snippet

Whether you’re a business owner or a marketer you should be aiming for position zero. If you’re content is informative and a main or related search term has a featured snippet and you’re a candidate, then you need to be aiming for it.

For years, Google has helped users find the answer to their question and it’s usually through the first page organic results and those all-important 10 blue links. But with more people searching specific queries and with voice search continuing to grow, it’s time to aim for and achieve the featured snippet.

Google is now wanting to find the answer to their user’s questions in a single step. Featured snippets are guaranteed to make a much bigger impact in all search queries, whether it be desktop, mobile or voice search.

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