A featured snippet is a text box, set apart from other results, that directly answers a user’s question in Google. Located at the top of the SERPs above all organic search results, the featuredsnippet contains a concise answer to the question asked, the site URL from which the information was pulled, and an image (often from a different site).
The position of these snippets is referred to as position zero. For example, searching “frequency capping google best practices” returns:
a snippet of information
a link to the URL for users who want to find out more
This is Why You Want Your Pages Ranking in Position Zero:
Why are featured snippets important? Because they are an incredibly powerful space to occupy.
Featured snippets are the ultimate showcase for your search results. They display information from your website at the very top of the page and capture the attention of users before they can even think about scrolling down to your competitors. A well-written featured snippet can boost click-through rates to the page and potentially boost conversions for your site.
According to an Ahrefs featured snippets study, 8.6% of all clicks go to the featured snippet. By ranking for position zero, you will In fact, ‘steal’ clicks away from the #1 regular organic ranking result.
The goal of featured snippets is to provide the user with an instant answer and attract them to find out more by clicking through to the source – you.
Earning a featured snippet will give your website great exposure, especially if it is ranking for a high-volume, competitive keyword. Having the top result will also help to increase the credibility of your company, even if you aren’t yet number 1 in your industry.
From the perspective of readers, you will appear as an authoritative, reliable source of information in your niche.
How to Rank for Voice Search Using Featured Snippets
More and more people today are using voice search applications. By 2020, 50% of the global population is expected to use voice search daily.
In response to voice queries, Google believes there’s just ‘one true answer’ and uses featured snippets results to provide that answer.
The biggest difference between a standard search and a voice search is the use of language. Typically when we perform a Google search, we shorten our typed sentence. Voice searches are generally spoken in full sentences, known as a long-tail query.
Featured Snippet Best Practices
If your company’s focus is on finance, health or DIY, you have a higher chance of being featured, as do queries with the following words:
Versus / vs.
Using Keyword Planner
Including relevant, natural long-tail queries is essential in SEO. Questions or long-tail queries are likely to trigger Google snippets, as searchers like to ask specific questions. Brainstorm and research a list of target-based keywords that searchers may use.
A keyword planner will help you research what keywords are relevant and receiving the most action.
Providing Direct Answers to Questions
Once you’ve strategised your keywords, you need to write the answers to searchers’ questions. Include a direct response and expand further in your content to provide depth (which Google loves).
Ensure you cover the questions under “People also ask …”
and “Searches related to…”
Keep the word count below 50 and include headers to break up steps or lists.
Optimising Your Title Tags
The Title Tags of your web page should be an accurate description of your site’s content.
Ensure your Title Tags include keywords related to your content and are between 50 and 60 characters long. To check how your title appears on a SERP, click here.
Boosting Content Length
Short and sweet doesn’t always apply with Google. In fact, Google rewards users whose content is between 1,500 and 2,000 words. Stay ahead of the competition by aiming for 2000+ words.
Include relevant visuals to support your content – stock images, embedded video, infographics and screenshots. These not only attract attention, but they keep the reader on the page longer, boosting SEO.
Earning a featured snippet means you have obtained the highest-ranking spot possible – without resorting to advertising. By achieving position zero, you will dominate search queries.
Begin researching which featured snippets your competitors rank for or put Google to the task of searching for featured snippet opportunities.
Content is important, as is tagging and structuring in order to get to position zero. However, focus on providing the very best answer (the one true answer) to a searcher’s query. Not only will Google reward your efforts, but you’ll quickly notice customer acquisition and retention.
To find out more about optimising your site to rank for featured snippets, get in touch with our friendly, knowledgeable SEO team today.
We're a friendly team of digital marketing experts in Wynyard Quarter, Auckland - come visit us at Level 5, 12 Madden Street or give us a ring at +64 9 950 2633. For comprehensive answers to all your digital marketing questions, reach out to us anytime. We love talking search with anyone who’ll listen!
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