Google continues to refine the way it presents search engine results to users; featured snippets are one of the latest forms of results designed to help users swiftly find what they need. Learning more about how featured snippets work, what you can do to improve your chances of landing one of these coveted spots and how they can benefit your business can help you optimize your site.
What is a Featured Snippet?
A Featured Snippet, sometimes called an answer box, is a preview of a result shown directly on some SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), often in response to a search query that is phrased as a question. “How do I…” “How does…”, What is…” and similar queries often trigger a Featured Snippet in the results page. This little bit of information comes directly from one of the results page and can be viewed without clicking through to the page.
Why do Featured Snippets Matter?
It’s tempting to think that a Featured Snippet would have a negative impact on your SEO – and the number of people that clicked the link. After all, the information being searched for is being freely displayed without requiring a click. According to Search Engine Land, though, the Click Through Rates (CTRs) actually go up for those pages that have a Featured Snippet on the results page. The high click through rate coupled with the increased brand awareness that comes from being featured make it worth taking the time to optimize your site.
How Do You Get into the Featured Snippet Section?
It’s a bit of a mystery, but as always, providing useful information that answers the question concisely and correctly it the ideal start. According to HubSpot, some other ways to boost your chances of appearing in the coveted box include:
- Ranking on page one for the question being asked; the more your site is optimized for the specific query or keyword, the more likely you are to be selected as a featured result.
- Having the actual question you are answering in a header (h2 or h3) tag on your page; answer the question directly below it in paragraph or list form.
- The content you hope to have featured as the best answer to the question should be in a single paragraph directly below the question and should ideally be about 60 words long.
- Alternatively, outlining the steps by number could trigger the inclusion of this portion of the answer, particularly for queries with multiple steps.
- For queries that are less “how to” and more “What is”, a short, concise paragraph and description is more likely to be featured.
Including frequently asked questions in your blog or content pages (along with their answers) can help you optimize your content for Featured Snippets. Reviewing your targeted keywords to see if any of them are already in question form can also help you identify which bits of information to start with.
Snagging a coveted Featured Snippet spot can help boost your click through rate and raise your brand awareness. These snippet sections are basically identifying you and your brand as the best possible answer to the question being asked and positioning you as an expert in your field.
To learn more about optimizing your site and making the most of Featured Snippets and other desirable results, contact us. We’re here to help you position your brand for success and ensure you are able to be found.