Featured Snippets allow you to jump to the first position in Google without acquiring backlinks or significantly updating your content.
The structuring of your content to match what the algorithm is key to the optimization methods.
Many wonder whether featured snippets are good because searchers see your content in the SERP and that might mean losing clicks to your website, right?
Ahrefs conducted a survey to check the clicks for featured snippets vs page one rankings here – ahrefs featured snippet survey.
What Are Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets are special boxes where the format of regular listings is reversed, showing the descriptive snippet first.
Featured snippets appear at the top of Google’s search results and also known as position zero answer boxes.
They provide answers to the search query by pulling relevant content from top-ranking webpages.
Google is actively rolling out featured snippets for a wide variety of search queries because they want to serve quicker answers to people
The Featured Snippets are to provide users with a concise, direct answer to their questions – right there on the search results page, without the users having to click through to a specific result, in order to enhance the search experience.
Types of Featured Snippets
There are several types of featured snippets you need to understand depending on your page search intent.
Which different kinds of Featured Snippets are there? Let us break them down into categories.
Answer Box Snippet
The answer boxes are where Google has extracted a concise selection of content to precisely answer the search query.
Answer box snippets can also include pictures with the text summary (which can be from a different domain).
The most common answer box snippets are ‘what is’ related terms and concise answers with no slang is important for grabbing those position zero results.
It is very important for the paragraph style featured snippet for you to create the content to be less than 300 characters.
You need to be very direct and concise to win those answer summary snippets. Check out this video on spit it out direct answers.
A video snippet is where Google believe showing a video is the best result for the query searched.
Nearly all video featured snippets are from Youtube.
Most common phrases for video snippets are ‘how to’ related terms.
Ordered List Snippet
Ordered list snippets are usually the top-rated lists or how to answers with step by step guides.
The ordered list is a numbered format so rates them 1,2,3 or step by step guide was follows a sequence on how to complete a task.
A little trick we have is directly above the <ol> add a sentence and start it with “Here’s here too….”.
If you are not using the <ol> code for the numbered list then make sure your list is 1. 2. 3. and do not use 1) 2) 3) because the latter does not work anywhere near as well from in-depth testing on this.
Add an image with the image filename and alt attributes to match the query. The image needs to be in close proximity to the content being scraped for the answer box (just like the title text). Adding the image attributes add to your optimization of grabbing the snippets.
Unordered list Snippet
The unordered list snippets are bullet points listicles.
They can also be top-rated lists compiled but not ranked in order 1-10 for example.
Structuring information into tables sometimes is the best format for summarising data.
Where this is multiple data points needed to be shown or price lists the html table snippets are commonly used.
An advanced more detail approach to the list snippet format is paragraph hierarchy.
Creating headings and subheadings to structure the information into easy to read digestible chunks.
Featured Snippets Queries
Here are the top 30 most frequently met words among the search queries that trigger featured snippets:
A.J. Ghergich has done some great research, studying the relations between types of search queries (questions, prepositions, comparisons) and formats of featured snippets (paragraph, table, list).
The research showed when looking to optimising for featured snippets you need to adapt every search query into a question-based intent and answer this to grab the snippet.
Remove Featured Snippets to See Real Organic Ranking Positions?
If you add &num=9 in your SERP URL, you’ll see your real organic rank.
We know featured snippets are not always the most traffic-bringing spot.
If you de-optimize your snippet you might go in position 1 organically, #2 or to a way lower rank like 5 or 6 in the SERP. So the &num=9 hack is a great technique to check your organic ranking if there was no snippet for that specific search.
There is talk in the SEO communities that featured snippets do not get as many clicks as the position one ranking result.
Google offers an easy solution to opt-out of a featured snippet, as you can use the data-nosnippet tag to get rid of the featured snippet. The data-nosnippet tag will prevent certain parts of the page from appearing in the snippet.
Want To More On Position Zero Answer Boxes
If you want to know more on the position #0 answer boxes check out these sources for information:
Understanding how to optimise for featured snippets is very important for your SEO campaigns.
Eric Lancheres has been stealing featured snippets for a long time and this video is a great foundation course to the core fundamentals.
When looking to carry out snippet optimization techniques then reverse-engineering the existing rankings on the featured snippets will give you all the answers.
Expanding on what they have already answered with more entities and creating the answer to be more concise can steal your the position zero rich answer boxes.
The format of answer targets needs to be conducted in a way that Google can understand the best answer they want to show. The income school lads explain it well here:
Become A Snippet Sniper
Sniping featured snippets from your competitors is one of the most rewarding tasks in SEO.
Any page that ranks on page one of Google search results can be “featured” so get looking for opportunities available.
You can use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to quickly find the keywords with featured snippets where your website is ranking on page one:
The key to winning these snippets from your competitors is just following the snippet optimization techniques.
You just have to “feed” Google a better snippet than what’s already listed.
Add Bolded Keywords To Improve Chances of Winning Featured Snippets
Adding bolded keywords Google show in the SERPs is them telling you which words or phrases are important to that search query.
By adding these bold keywords into your articles it gives you better chances of winning featured snippets.
Here is a video showing the best SEO techniques to capture these bold keywords to add into your content:
Tracking and optimising your sites for the answer boxes, the position zero one box or rich answers can hugely grow your organic traffic.
Position #0 snippets are certainly here to stay and learning the snippet optimization methods to stay ahead of the competition is important.
Expanding your content with answers that directly answer the questions in a concise manner is a great Information Gain SEO technique used by many content marketing strategists.
- Look at the way the second paragraph is tee’d up before stating a standalone, clear, concise answer (dirtbikeplanet.com/dirt-bike-reliability-is-a-2-stroke-more-reliable-than-a-4-stroke/#:~:text=With%20differences%20in%20speed%2C%20maintenance,and%20is%20also%20incredibly%20light)
- Another answer target tee’d up nicely for the concise answer which is bolded (dirtbikeplanet.com/average-max-speed-of-a-250cc-dirt-bike/#:~:text=While%20max%20speed%20will%20vary,5%2D10%20miles%20per%20hour)
- Answer target set up stacking the entities within the sentence with no fluff and important no links to other sources in the answer target (dirtbikeplanet.com/average-max-speed-of-a-125cc-dirt-bike/#:~:text=125cc%20dirt%20bikes%20have%20an,the%20limits%20to%20over%2060mph)
- Answer target paragraph set up with no header before it and standalone answer to perfectly and precisely cover the information (dirtbikeplanet.com/titles-for-dirt-bikes-what-you-need-to-know-when-buying-or-selling/#:~:text=Titles%20for%20dirt%20bikes%20are,to%20include%20them%20in%20transactions)
- Close proximity sentence title to tee up the numbered jump to links that are extended with content / images further down the page (mangomattermedia.com/web-hosting-singapore/)
- HTML table nicely presenting data (nerdwallet.com/article/investing/how-to-invest-dividend-stocks)
- The title nicely teeing up an ordered list which jump to further content to expand on the knowledge (cryptohead.io/canada/best-exchanges/)
- Sentence with “Let’s take a look at” and then providing a paragraph hierarchy (wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-email-marketing-services/)
- Unordered list of brands with no links in them and hierarchy paragraphs under expanding on the top list (bingoviews.com/best-online-bingo-sites)
- Nice paragraph hierarchy style featured snippets (johnslots.com/en/slots/best-rtp-slots/)
I’m a full-blown Search Engine Optimization specialist earning the majority of my income from SEO-focused endeavours, including affiliate marketing, lead generation, as well as SEO services. Love travelling the world networking while working on my laptop. Life is a perception of your own reality. You have no excuses and should be making memories every single day.