Last Updated on August 18, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
Looking to boost the number of people who visit your website? If you can get on Google’s Featured Snippets section, you could do just that. However, it’s not the easiest thing to get into. It all comes down to structure and quality content.
Not to mention how you need to beat out the competition. It all comes down to understanding search intent and being able to provided specific answers and information.
Today, I’ll show you some of the easiest methods to get into those coveted positions.
What Are Featured Snippets in Google?
Featured Snippets are those pieces of information that are most relevant to a search term. They are often in the form of definitions, lists and tables. Google pulls this information directly from how your posts are structured.
This data is collected from headers, bullet lists, and content that best matches the searcher’s intent. And if you provide better information, your post can surpass even the biggest of competitors.
In other words, it’s something you want to get as many of your articles into as possible.
Getting Added to Featured Snippets
Like I said a moment ago, getting into the featured snippets section is no easy feat. You have to provide better information than what’s currently available.
However, it does appear that snippets can create themselves out of necessity. This means that you could provide the first snippet based on the information you provide to searchers.
In reality, there are three major types of featured snippets and the upcoming addition of Google Web Stories. And I’ll go more into that in a moment.
First, let’s take a look at what you need to do to get into the top three.
Identify Your Best Content
The first step to getting added to featured snippets is using your best-performing articles first. This is because the content already has traction and may need the slightest push to get added as a snippet.
You can find out what your visitors find most appealing using Google Analytics or other tracking add-on.
Once you identify the best article, take to Google. Search for terms or phrases relevant to that article and see what snippets are showing up. This will give you an idea of where to start.
Now, can you provide better information that is posted in that particular snippet?
Using List Types
Lists are a common element in the featured snippets. Part of this is because how effective “listicles” are in terms of generating traffic. Think about it; how often have you read a top list of products, services or brands?
A list snippet can show in one of two ways. It’s either an unordered or ordered list. This is the difference between the little bullet points and actual numbers.
From what I’ve experienced for myself and clients is Google will use headers as well as actual lists within the content. As long as you structure the headers correctly and have content relevant to the search term, you have a chance of appearing at the top.
An unordered list is when you show things that really don’t have a specific order. For instance, writing an article about “10 Plugins for WordPress” can show in an unordered list because there’s no top position.
It’s just a list regarding the topic.
You can also use unordered lists for:
- Giving specific details focusing on the topic.
- Highlighting features of a product or service.
- Providing reasons to support your claim.
- Bringing attention to short bits of information.
- Listing points without using commas within a single sentence.
See what I did, there? The above is an unordered list. Now, I doubt that it would show in Google Featured Snippets as a way to use unordered lists, but it gives you an idea of what I’m talking about.
The ordered list is one that has a specific structure or flow. For example, steps to do something should be in an ordered list. References to the “top” of anything are also commonly placed in this type.
In many instances, tutorials can appear easily in featured snippets using the ordered list format. This is because of the steps I mentioned just a second ago.
When you number tips, tricks, or hacks, those may also get picked up as an ordered list depending on the context of the material.
And if you’re making YouTube videos, pay attention to your transcript file and video description. If you speak clearly and the algorithms know what you’re delivering, videos can appear in the featured snippets as well…
What’s freaky is that I didn’t add any of those jump points in the video or its description. Google and YouTube found where each “tip” landed in terms of time within the video on its own.
Defining a Term
Another incredibly common snippet you’ve probably seen recently is the definition block. This is a snippet that provides concise, detailed, and straight-forward answers regarding a question in search.
Out of all the articles I’ve created for myself and clients, this is perhaps the most common for my content.
To appear in this section, you need to avoid any kind of filler or fluff and break down the answer as best as you can. It’s often difficult, especially if you’re up against experts who are really good at their niche.
Try to keep the answer within two or three sentences. And try to avoid including stories of yourself or anything else that will detract from the definition.
Usually, I try to write these brief answers using 3rd-Person styling and providing as much information in the layout as possible.
Tables are another element that has potential to show as a featured snippet. Though, they’re not very common.
This is when you create a table of data on your website specific to a query in Google. Like the others, it needs to have specifics regarding the search and focus on detailed information.
My content has never been included as a table snippet, but then again, I rarely use tables. Most of the content I create for clients revolves around tutorials or informative blog posts.
Still, tables are something you might consider depending on the type of content you create.
Google Web Stories
And lastly, we have the newer Google Web Stories. Now, these are exceptionally new and are not commonly added to search yet. However, Google has promoted these elements and mentioned how they could be added to search results soon.
A Web Story is kind of like those you would see in Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook. The biggest difference is how Google Web Stories focus more on blogging content rather than social media.
The structure is nearly identical, and Google is pushing out a WordPress plugin to make creating these much easier.
Given the nature of Web Stories and how it is such a new aspect, you might find a lot of your content appearing as a featured snippet of sorts. This is because there is currently less competition.
I’m not sure where these will show up in results, as I have yet to see one. But I do plan on making a few myself to test the waters and see how well they perform.
Why is the Featured Snippet So Important?
The Featured Snippet appears before most content during any given search result. If there is corresponding information, the snippet is displayed at the top.
In fact, it’s quite possible to have more than one snippet display to searchers. For instance, searching for “best business ideas” displays two separate articles from different websites.
The reason why this position is so coveted is because of much of an impact it can make on your click-through rates. This is the average of how many times someone clicks your article after a search impression.
Obviously, you want higher numbers. The higher your CTR, the more traffic you’re generating. And being seen before any other webpage will impact those results.
What Featured Snippet Are You Aiming for First?
There are a lot of different ways to get your content added as a featured snippet. The trick is to make sure you’re providing the exact information someone is searching. It all comes down to quality and delivery.
Take a few moments each day and see if you can provide better answers with your top-performing content. In a few months, you might see a significant jump in visitation to those pages.