Getting on to the first page of Google is the aim of any website: after all, around 90% of people won’t go past the first page of results for answers to their search queries.
But what if we told you it’s no longer enough just to appear on the first page?
Enter Featured Snippets…
What are Featured Snippets?
Featured Snippets are small pieces of content that Google has pulled from various websites to place at the top of the search results for a particular query.
Google will display a snippet of the content with a link underneath it to the source. That’s why getting your content into a Featured Snippet is often referred to as achieving “position 0” in Google.
There are a few types of Featured Snippets: some are short paragraphs of text (around 50 words); some are lists and tables, and others are videos. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on text snippets.
These are the question and answer boxes that you’ve probably come across when running your own searches on Google. Usually, you’ll see a selection of questions that are related to the search you just ran with a brief answer underneath and a link to the site it came from.
For example, if you searched “What is a cat?”, Google might assume you have other related questions such as “Why do cats purr?” and “Do cats make good pets?”. It will try to help you answer all of these questions on the search results page itself. Handy, right?!
Getting your site to appear in Google’s Featured Snippets
Research from Ahrefs found that 99.58% of the sites with content quoted within Feature Snippets already ranked within the top 10 search results for that query. So if you’re still working on gaining visibility for your content, that should remain your top priority before fretting about Featured Snippets.
Where you appear in the top 10 seems to be much less important: according to Getstat, only 30% of the sites that appear in Google’s Featured Snippets ranked in first place for that query. So you need to be inside the top 10, but there’s still a really good chance of getting a Featured Snippet if you’re near the bottom of the page.
What sort of content is likely to appear in Google’s Featured Snippets?
The first thing to understand is that Featured Snippets only suit certain types of content. The purpose of the snippet is to provide a succinct answer to the user’s query. It’s not supposed to be a starting point for further discussion, but a quick Q&A.
Think about questions you can answer within a short paragraph – but make sure these are questions that people are actually asking! Tools such as AnswerthePublic can give you a good idea of authentic queries people have about your product or service.
Next, think about how to structure this information on your site. Google isn’t going to rank lots of pages of 50 words each as this is considered “thin” content, so create longer resource pages broken up into sections. Make it easy for Google to pull the relevant answer from your content to place it in a Featured Snippet and you’ll be onto a winner.
Always remember the golden rule of creating content for Google: think of the user! Focus on creating high quality, genuinely useful resources for your users, then tweak the format to suit Featured Snippets.
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