jeff hooton

How to Get Featured Snippets in Google Search Results

posted on feb 24, 2020



Featured snippets are that small block of information, highlighted by google, that lands at the top of the search results for different search queries. There are a few things you can do that will drastically increase your chances of landing the snippet for a particular term.

  1. Pick a search term related to your article that DOES NOT already have a featured snippet
  2. Answer the question, correctly, that the search query is asking in a TLDR(too long, didn't read) fashion
  3. Google loves lists, if it makes sense to answer the question with bullet points, you should do so
  4. Go into further detail on answering the question further down in the article

For relatively low-competition search queries, this has a great shot of landing you a featured snippet, which can increase your impressions.

The pros of getting a featured snippet

Having a featured snippet can increase your authority on a particular subject. If someone is making a large number of searchs in a specific topic, and see your articles as the featured snippets for a good amount of the searches - there is a good shot they are going to remember your name. Name recognition has the benefit of potentially turning a random search into someone who comes back to your regularly for information about this topic.

It pushes your result to the very first spot in the search results. The only downside to this is that it provides the answer to the question asked, so your click-through rate (CTR) will likely suffer as a result. If the topic is fairly complex, it should have less of an impact on your CTR, because people are more likely to click through to your result for the full answer.

The cons of getting a featured snippet

Like stated above, getting a featured snippet will increase your impressions, and probably decrease your click-through rate. Getting less people to click through to your website means you are forfeiting your opportunity to push someone to more and more content that they may relate to.

As of early 2020, if you have a previous organic first page ranking for that search term, Google will push your organic result off of the first page. This means that you're not going to double up on chances for converting people off of the search results page.

How to structure the rest of your article

The rest of your article is pretty straight-forward after your initial paragraph. There is a way of providing more value to the person that lands on your site, and the method for finding it is listed right on the same search results page that you're trying to land the snippet for. The answer to this is the People Also Ask section.

People Also Ask

If you lay your article out with the H2's directly corresponding with and answering the People Also Ask questions, your article is more likely to fit with the search intent for the original keyword.

Why are featured snippet's important?

Featured snippets are important for several reasons, in no particular order:

  1. Building your search impressions
  2. Answering the search intent
  3. Proving to Google that you are a go-to source of truthful information on a topic
  4. Providing the person searching with a fast way to get the information they are looking for

If you keep all of these in mind while writing your articles, you have a good chance of getting a featured snippet on long-tail keywords with lower competition because you are going to be writing your articles in such a way that they are the closest match to search intent.

What other kinds of featured snippets are there?

The strategy of landing featured snippets that I explained at the top of this article was the list type of featured snippet. There are some other types of featured snippets that Google has:

Table featured snippet

The table featured snippet displays a table of information for the searcher. This is a good featured snippet for search terms like prices, rates, gdp, and demographics.

This snippet can be attained by laying out a <table></table> element in your post's code, complete with information that answers the question that is being searched.

Paragraph featured snippet

Paragraph snippet

The paragraph featured snippet is one of the most common featured snippets. Most questions that are not best answered with a numbered list, bulleted list, table or video end up with a paragraph snippet. The paragraph snippet will show up with a paragraph grabbed from a specific article, with key terms from the search query bolded within the paragraph.

Youtube featured snippet

The Youtube featured snippet only really applies to you if you're utilizing video content that you create to augment your text content. The SEO for the Youtube snippet comes directly from Youtube, and the snippet itself links back to Youtube rather than your website.

According to a Hubspot research study, 72% of people prefer video content to text content. If you have the ability, time or desire to create video content, you definitely should.

In summary

Featured snippets can be a great opportunity to get more eyes on your website. Your search impressions will almost definitely rise. I would say that the pros of landing some featured snippets definitely outweight the cons of doing so. Even though your click-through rate will probably drop, you will more than make up for it with the value that you gain from building authority and trust.

If you have any thoughts or questions about featured snippets, feel free to drop me a mention or DM on Twitter.

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