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What are Google’s Featured Snippets?

11 April 2018
A person using a mobile phone | What are Google's Featured Snippets? | Neon

Featured snippets are a great way to get your content to stand out in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

In our free downloadable guide to Google’s new Mobile-First Index approach, we discuss some of the ways you can go about adapting to the change and ensuring that your rankings don’t suffer.

One of the methods we discuss is Google’s featured snippets, but what are featured snippets and why are they so important? In this post, Neon investigates…

What are Featured Snippets?

Featured snippets are special search results that appear at the very top of SERPs. They are sometimes referred to as Position Zero because they appear above the result in position #1.

Featured snippets are separated from the rest of the results in their own specific box and offer a snippet of information from the page they are linking to (hence the name). This snippet has been specifically chosen to answer the query being asked.

There are three kinds of Featured Snippets – paragraph snippets, list snippets and table snippets – and each term describes the way the information is displayed. The majority of total snippets (81.95%) are paragraph snippets, such as the one below.

A screenshot of a featured snippet for "difference between plasma and led tv" | What are Google's Featured Snippets? | Neon| Neon

Why are featured snippets important?

A high number of searches result in featured snippets, and that number is growing all the time. They’re a critical part of the search landscape, so it’s important to understand them and how they can be used to benefit your business.

The core benefit is something all businesses are looking for: awareness. As featured snippets appear at the very top of the SERPs, getting a web page ranking in that position means you’re winning more eyeballs than other sites and pages.

Organic traffic can be boosted through featured snippets, and even if it isn’t, the functionality helps users get a strong impression of your business. People want the information they’re looking for delivered quickly and easily, and if they’re getting it through a featured snippet from your site, that proves your site’s authority and reliability.

A screenshot of a featured snippet for the query "how do i adjust the brightness on my tv" | What are Google's Featured Snippets? | Neon

How do I feature in a featured snippet?

Featured snippets are meant to answer questions, so it’s important to craft content designed around an answer. For example, if you’re a fashion retailer, you might create content explaining the difference between various types of dresses.

When doing this, it’s important to take care of the wording and headline. If you’re writing a piece based explaining what an A-Line dress is, the title may be ‘What is an A-Line dress’ and the piece may open with the words: “An A-Line dress is…”

Of course, all content begins with keyword research and content aimed at ranking as a featured snippet is no different. Identify the keyword opportunities that are out there, and understand them in conjunction with the current featured snippet landscape.

If a keyword has a high search volume but no featured snippet, that could represent a great opportunity, so get writing!

Beyond that, it’s all about clarity and optimisation. Make sure your content is laid out in such a way that it can be read and understood easily, and ensure that it uses H Tags and meta data correctly.

In a nutshell

Featured snippets are a vital part of the search landscape and it’s important to make sure you’re giving yourself the best possible opportunity of ranking for them. Doing so isn’t easy, but by understanding what your audience is looking for and tailoring content around that interest, you can give yourself a great chance of taking position zero.

Get in touch to find out how we can help your search engine optimisation, or download our free guide to learn more about Google’s Mobile-First Index.

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