Featured Snippets: Appear in the Google’s Top Result and Boost Website Traffic

Written by Alifia Rahari
August 7, 2023

Have you ever encountered a brief summary on Google that answers your search query? They are called featured snippets. Securing a spot on Google’s featured snippets can be beneficial for your website.  

Most people turn to Google to find answers to almost every problem. Start from searching homemade recipes to finding out how to start a small business. In fact, Google captures almost 95% of mobile traffic. It makes Google an excellent option for mining organic or paid searches. Digital marketers are aware of this fact. Thus fighting for a spot in Google’s featured snippets is a common thing to do to improve site visibility.

What are Featured Snippets?

Featured snippets are two- to three-sentence summaries that quickly answer a query. For instance, when you search for “French” on Google, you will see a short paragraph taken from Wikipedia explaining the language. This information is automatically taken from top-ranking pages in Google’s index. 

There are several types of featured snippets. The most common is a paragraph, like what you’d find when searching French.

The other common type is a bulleted or numbered list. This list can be either ordered or unordered.

Sometimes it appears in an information table like this.

Lastly, it can also appear in a video format.

Featured Snippets and SEO Correlations

Featured snippets are changing the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy for experts since it was launched in 2014. For instance, Google made featured snippets as a “special listing” in January 2020. So if a website appears in the featured snippets for a particular search query, it will not appear again in the regular search results.

This change brought some concerns. Users can now see the site’s content through featured snippets only. Will this make the websites lose click count? Ahrefs said yes, and it doesn’t stop there. Featured snippets correlated with Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) and SEO in some other ways as well.

Fewer Clicks, But Not Always

The likelihood of a website getting a click from featured snippets depends on how satisfactory the provided answer is. Sometimes snippets offer an outright answer to a query, like this one.

In this case, your site will indeed lose a click because the answer is adequate for most users. Yet, in some cases, the results only show the partial answer to the query.

For instance, when users search “how to create a PayPal account”. Here, we can see that the information in the featured snippet is incomplete. This makes users have to click to open the website and find out more.

Getting the Top Rank on SERP

An Ahrefs’ 2017 study revealed that featured snippets are always on the first pages of SERP. This means it ranked in the top 10 of organic position. So if you are optimizing content to run on top of SERP, it is equal to optimizing content into featured snippets. 

Snippets aside, having a high rank in SERP can be a game-changer for your brand. Your website traffic can increase steadily without having to pay for ads. It is one of the cheapest way to increase brand awareness and grow your company. 

Increasing Credibility

Related to the previous point, getting on top of SERP means your content is relevant for the users. It shows credibility and authority, that your company is the leader in your field. Naturally, this will improve consumers’ trust and loyalty.

How to Appear in Featured Snippets

Google is the one who determines the content that is well-suited to be in the featured snippets. According to Semrush, Google has algorithms that evaluate featured snippets and search rankings. So, even though you think your content is well-suited to be put in the featured snippets, you will never know.

Yet, don’t let this fact prevent you from making well-defined content. Keep creating relatable content to increase the chance to get into featured snippets. Here are some ways to do it.

Write Concise and Objective Content

Featured snippets aim to answer people’s questions. So it will be easier for your content to rank if you use an “is” statement.

Defining your keyword should be like “[keyword] is…” and the sentence should be concise and to the point. They act as a trigger for Google to find relevant information for the featured snippet.

Stay Within the Optimal Word Count

A Semrush study showed that featured snippets have typical character and word counts. Stick to roughly 40-50 words or 250-300 characters for your snippet, but this rule can change at any time. This is why keeping your sentences concise is crucial.

Utilize Question Words

When researching something, people usually use question words such as why, how, or can. In this case, featured snippets often appear to answer these kinds of queries. Semrush database revealed that 77,6% of questions that start with ‘why’ will trigger featured snippets. Use this knowledge to find relevant keywords and create a content plan.

Use Headings and Subheadings

Organize and format your content with headings and subheadings. This will improve your chances of getting featured in snippets. Headings and subheadings are dividing your article to be more coherent. It will make it easier for people to find the answer to their questions in your content.

Essentially, the purpose of featured snippets is to answer people’s questions in the easiest way possible. However, getting featured in snippets requires more than good writing. It needs thorough keyword research and effective SEO practices. Appearing in featured snippets will bring a worthy reward for your brand and company.

Next Read: Easy Tips to find Low-Competition Keywords for SEM