Google Featured Snippet Meaning and Its Optimization
It is no secret that everyone wants to get to the top of the Google search results. Everything is a real battle from a highly optimized website to attracting traffic to a website. The fierce competition and never-ending Google updates and features fuel the fire. SEO professionals leave no stone unturned to get to the top in the search results. And that’s where the featured snippets come into play. Google featured snippets have been there for many years now; everyone is trying to get featured in this snippet to boost traffic to their website. A snippet meaning a piece of information appears at the top of the Google search result.
And who doesn’t want to be in the featured snippet? Well, the answer is clear and understood; the only thing that’s not clear is how to reach there. Google’s featured snippets are becoming most popular with every passing year. The major reason behind the success of the snippets is the information given in the snippets is related, convenient, and easy to read. In this guide, I will walk you through the nitty-gritty of featured snippets, and you will also learn how to optimize for Google’s featured snippets. So, let us dive right in!
What are Featured Snippets?
It makes complete sense first to understand what are featured snippets are. We all have searched Google to find answers to our silly to serious questions. And the answer that we got right at the top of the box is nothing but snippets. When Google finds a relevant answer for the searched query, that answer is displayed in the featured snippet, sometimes called the answer box.
Featured snippets contain text that is displayed on the top of the Google search results, not more than two or three sentences. Simply put, it is like a box that appears at the top that includes the suitable answer to the searcher’s query. The information provided here in the snippet is fetched from Google’s top-ranking web pages. SEO experts know that the quickest and easiest way to bring eyes to your content is through snippets. Hence, they try and use every possible technique to optimize your website fully.
How Featured Snippets Affect SEO?
Featured snippets do impact your SEO. Imagine you have written unique content for your blog, say “What is an SEO pipeline?”. There are plenty of other websites that are giving the same information as you. But during the search, Google finds your content more relevant and accurate based on the user’s query. It will display the content in the featured snippet directly, irrespective of the Google ranking of your page.
That way, without even ranking higher in the Google search results, particular content from your web page is now featured in the snippet. The chances of getting organic clicks get higher this way. Thus, ultimately the SEO of your website improves. The relation between SEO and featured snippets is more important.
Types of Featured Snippets
There are different types of featured snippets that you must have noticed during the search. As a matter of fact, it is crucial to know and understand all the types of snippets so that you can optimize your content accordingly. Results shown in Google search have changed a lot, and they are taking a new shape altogether. Getting referral traffic from Google is becoming harder and harder day by day. So, a deep understanding of the approach you are planning to take will maximize the benefits.
The Definition Box
This snippet includes text to provide short and brief information to searchers. For instance, a definition box appears above the search results if you search for “What is a rich snippet.” The “What is” types of queries are mostly answered using these definition snippets. According to Semrush’s statistics, the definition featured snippets are limited to 40-60 words.
Listicle Featured Snippets
The search results come in the form of bulleted or numbered lists (typically shown for step-by-step results) are listicle featured snippets. Listicle Featured Snippet is the second most popularly used type of featured snippet. They look something like the ones shown below.
Table Featured Snippets
The Table Featured Snippet is the one that shows the data in the table format. Google pulls out the data from the web pages with more relevant information for the searched query in the form of a table.
Video Featured Snippets
As the name suggests, this type of video snippet includes videos as a result. If you are trying to target audiences that consume more video content, then video snippets are what you should aim for. YouTube is the world’s largest search engine, and if you wish your video content to rank higher, then YouTube is what you need.
There are other three forms of featured snippets that you should know so that there won’t be any confusion.
1. Knowledge Card
You will see a direct answer to your query like “When was Tesla founded”. Nothing but clearly the date when Tesla was founded i.e. 1 July 2003.
2. Knowledge Panel
This is the information displayed on the right-hand side.
3. Entity Carousel
All three will pull the information from different resources, not just one top-ranking website.
How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets
Now that you know the snippet meaning and how to define a snippet, what’s left is learning how to optimize for featured snippets. However, no fixed or proven method can ensure that Google will use your content in the featured snippets. Google changes algorithms and brings new updates every now and then. And the answers given best related to a user query are being picked up by Google.
But all you can do is try to produce more high-quality and query-specific content that Google will likely pick. Below are some ways to optimize your content to feature in the snippets.
Target Question-based Queries
While creating content, focus more on answering the questions, whether you have a small business or a large enterprise. If you target more question-based queries, the chance of appearing in the featured snippets increases. When crafting content, focus on adding content that starts with “What is” and put that in the heading tag. Google will check your content from a question perspective.
This way of optimization works even better when you add your heading to the start of your content. Try adding in the first paragraph of your content. When Google crawlers crawl your content, the chances are that it will choose your content for featured snippets.
Do Thorough Keyword Research
Yes, keyword research is the key. Give a good amount of time to good old keyword research and analyze every aspect completely. I am sure you must already be doing it. But the point is to do the keyword research keeping featured snippets in mind. Multiple studies prove that long-tail keywords bring more productive results. In order to find more targeted keywords, it is better to use keyword finder tools. Ahrefs is one of the most widely used keyword research and analysis tools.
Using a tool is helpful because there is no way that you can go and check hundreds of keywords manually. It is just not possible. Thus, tools can help you in this regard. Use them to figure out the keywords related to your niche and optimize your content accordingly by adding tags.
Organize Your Content Structure
Content organization is crucial, not only for Google but also for users. If the structure of your content is fully managed and optimized, nothing can stop your content to rank higher. But here, our focus is to make the content so powerful and impressive that it comes in the featured snippet. And well-structured content with headers (H1, H2, H3, H4,…) images, maybe a video too has more chance of being placed in the featured snippets.
Use the <p> tag (it defines the paragraph) right below the header, if you want that particular piece of content to appear in the snippet.
Obtain Optimum Word Count
It is quite normal to become overly enthused when producing content. The proper approach, however, is to adhere to the recommended word limit. It won’t help you if you over- or under-describe an idea. As a result, ensure that whatever you write or the information you provide for snippets stays within the defined word limit.
You can go for bullets, lists, tables, or small paragraphs that define the idea completely. The word count for the snippets is commonly near about 40 to 50 words. So, try summing up your answer in the mentioned word limit only. You should use a header to make your content appear more engaging and appealing.
Add a Dedicated “How-to” Section to Your Website
You will surely come across search queries that start with “how to” like ‘how to start a blog’, ‘how to cook pasta’, ‘how to reach London’, ‘how to optimise a website for search engines’ etc. Thus, if you have a dedicated how-to section on your website, there is a possibility of appearing in the featured snippets.
When you directly answer such questions on your website, it conveys to Google that you are providing relevant information. Your answer may also appear in the featured snippet.
Use High-Quality Images and Videos
Certainly, the information available on your website is not limited to any specific type of people. Anybody from different backgrounds can come and consume the information or services you are offering. And using high-quality images and videos on your website is the best way to attract more users. You should aim to produce content that includes appropriate and high-quality images and videos describing the topic fully.
Google like eye-catching content for featured snippets rather than choosing plain text that does not have any videos or images. If you have an in-house graphic designer who can create images for you, you can quickly create images for your website. And if you don’t, you can use the online tools.
Creating a website is one thing, but creating space on the top search results is different altogether. And trying to keep up with Google can be highly intimidating, especially for beginners. You must make all the efforts and try all the techniques (the right ones, of course) to take your website higher above your competitors. Featured snippets meaning is to help you gain more organic users without ranking on the first page of search results.
So, Whether you are trying to achieve a better SEO ranking or aiming to reach featured snippets, constant effort and using the correct strategies will help you. And if you are too involved with your content creation, leave the SEO management to Outreach Monks. With top-notch SEO techniques and highly experienced SEO professionals, Outreach Monks will scale organic traffic and boost natural links to your website. As far as featured snippets are concerned, using the discussed practices can help you reach the snippets. So, which method did you choose? Do share that with me in the comments below. Your feedback will be highly appreciated.