Ranking number one in Google is great, but ranking position 0 as a featured snippet is a goal that you should not miss. In this article, we are going to cover the Featured Snippets in detail and how you can win this position and outrank your competition.
What is a featured snippet?
A featured snippet is a block of text that appears on top of google search results (Position zero). It is typically triggered when the search keyword is a question.
“How do you cook spaghetti ?”
“What are the seasons of Game of Thrones ?”
It aims to answer a question of the user right away without the need for the user to browse through different pages in the search results.
It is excellent from a user experience but not great news from an SEO perspective. When Google released Featured Snippets Wikipedia lost 21% of their traffic.
Given that the user received the answer to his question, there is less chance that the user will click on the snippet for more information or go to the rest of the search result for more information.
So, should I bother to be featured in a featured snippet ?
The answer is absolutely YES.
Featured snippets are at position zero above the google search results.
A study of ahrefs on more than 2 million featured snippets have shown that if there is an Answer Box in the search results show that 8.6% of the clicks go to the Featured Snippet.
Before diving into how to win Featured Snippets. Lets first go through the different types of features snippets in google.
Different types of featured snippets?
There are three main types of featured snippets
- Table Snippets
- List Snippets
- Paragraph Snippets
The structure of the text defines the type of Featured Snippet
Table Snippets are the least popular with google when compared to other Feature Snippets. In a Table Snippet the user is presented with an answer in a tabular format that google will build using data present in your site.
Google AI can filter rows in a table and present the user with the specific information that was requested. If you have a table with car sales from multiple years and the user requested information for a specific year. Google will present the user the rows with the years requested by the user.
Represent the answer in a list of items either in a numbered format or in bullet format.
The numbered format is typically used by google to represent steps of tasks that you must accomplish to fulfill your question. A typical example is to describe Recipes and “How to” or “How do I” guides.
Represent a collection of items bound by a category. They are typically used to represent “Best of lists” and Ranked / Unranked items.
Paragraph Snippets are the most common type of Features snippet provided by Google. Google will extract a paragraph or sentence to use as an answer to the question requested by the user.
They typically represent answers to questions like, Who is, When is, Why is, How to do.
How do you win a Featured Snippet?
The following is the best approach that you should use to win a Featured snippet.
- Check the competition. The first rule of SEO is to see how the competition is doing it and do it better. Check how the competition has answered the question and make sure that your answer is better than the competition.
- Html Markup. How the page is structured will help google to extract the content to build the Featured Snippet. Make sure that the ordered <li> and unordered <lu> lists are valid, and you use proper h-tags for essential sections.
- Formatting used. It is crucial to match the formatting that the user asking the question is expecting to see. The easiest approach is to check the competition. If the competition has a table snippet, the chances are that you will not be featured unless you use the same format.
- When it comes to Paragraph snippets, is it important that you give a clear and direct answer to your question? If you are writing an article Titled “Is chocolate harmful to dogs ?” The first sentence should answer the question with a direct answer. A very important trick with Paragraph snippets is that the text following the answer should offer value-added information beyond the direct answer so the user will click on your page to access the additional information
Position one on google is a good place to be, but position zero is even better. A Featured snippet is a prime estate that you should own at all costs.
Get in touch if you want more information about services provided by Gainchanger, or you wish you benefit from a consultation.
Simon Bonello is Co-founder of Gain Changer. His main area of focus is Business Process Automation, Software Technical Architecture and Technical SEO