How to Get Featured Snippets on Google?

Imagine your content being the first thing prospects see when they ask a question on Google. It’s every content marketer’s dream.

And why not? After all, it’s a win-win for both you and the prospect. They get direct, concise answers to their queries, and you get to drive more traffic to your website.

But achieving this dream isn’t far-fetched. All you need is a few practical strategies to position your content even above the first position – at the coveted ‘Position zero,’ a.k.a. Google’s featured snippet.

These are the highlighted search results that appear at the top of Google’s search results page. Bagging this top spot not only boosts your credibility but also accounts for 35.1% of the total click share.

Before we get into how you can get your content featured on Google’s featured snippet, let’s get the basics out of the way.

Google introduced featured snippets in 2014 to simplify online searches and help users find information quickly. They are short summaries of answers to a user’s query shown at the top of Google’s search results page.

These snippets are extracted from web pages in Google’s index and provide users with quick, direct answers without clicking on the webpage.

The best part? You don’t need to run paid ads to rank for them.

There are four common formats of featured snippets:

1. Paragraphs

These are typically 40-60 words long and provide a brief answer or summary to the user’s query. They are the most common type of featured snippets, making up 70% of all featured snippets.

Paragraph featured snippet

2. Numbers/Bullets

These snippets present information in a list format and typically answer questions that require step-by-step instructions or a list of items.

Bullet featured snippet

3. Tables

These snippets provide information in a tabular form. They typically display values such as sizes, prices, and other numerical data.

Table featured snippet

4. Videos

Sometimes, Google might display a video snippet for tutorials. Although they make for only 4.6% of all featured snippets, a HubSpot study suggests they mostly show up for ‘how-to’ searches.

Video featured snippet

Now that you know the basics, the question arises…

Besides ranking at the top of Google’s SERP, featured snippets offer content marketers a ton of benefits like:

1. Better Ranking

Featured snippets appear even above the first organic search result. This premium position, known as ‘position zero,’ can significantly increase your website’s visibility. In fact, featured snippets take up 50% or more of the screen on mobile screens, helping you stand out from the competition.

2. Authority and Credibility

Google selects content for featured snippets based on its relevance and accuracy. 30% of users click on a featured snippet because they find it informative. When your content is highlighted, it shows users that your site is a reliable source of information, boosting your brand authority and credibility.

3. Higher Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The content displayed in featured snippets makes for over 35% of the total clicks. This is because users are more likely to click on it as it directly addresses their query. This leads to a higher click-through rate, driving more traffic to your website.

4. Voice Search Optimization

Voice-activated search assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa often receive answers from featured snippets. According to research, an impressive 40% of all voice search results came from featured snippets. Ranking in the featured snippet can increase your chances of reaching users via voice search and expand your reach.

A big part of getting a featured snippet is writing content that users like and engage with. However, it requires a strategic approach that goes beyond keyword placements and well-written content. Here are a few things to keep in mind to bag this coveted spot:

1. Dig Deep into Intel

Start by digging deep into your audience’s questions. Are they looking for quick facts, detailed explanations, or step-by-step guides? This will help you tailor your content to meet these specific needs and provide concise answers that can easily be picked up by Google’s algorithm for featured snippets.

Put yourself in the shoes of the reader. For example, if I search “What is click-through rate in digital marketing,” there’s a featured snippet in the form of a paragraph.

Featured snippet example

You can get ideas from the ‘People also ask’ section or use tools like Semrush or Ahfers.

2. Optimize Your Content

Once you’ve identified the key questions your audience is asking, the next step is to optimize your content to answer these questions directly. This involves providing direct answers to the questions within the first few sentences.

Use bullets or lists and H2 and H3 headers to organize your content into clear sections. This will help Google understand the content’s hierarchy and relevance, increasing its chances of being selected for a featured snippet.

Dr. Peter J. Meyers of Moz recommends following the inverted pyramid style of content writing to win a featured snippet. In this style, you start with the lead, followed by important details and other general information.

Inverted pyramid style of content writing

Source: Moz

3. Nail Down the SEO 

Optimizing your content for featured snippets goes beyond just the text on the page. You must ensure your entire website is optimized for SEO, is mobile-friendly, and loads faster than a cheetah in sprint. Make sure to:

  • Strategically place keywords throughout the content
  • Craft a compelling meta description
  • Use descriptive alt texts
  • Have a responsive web design
  • Test your site loading speed
  • Optimize images, and
  • Implement browser caching

These backend checks will help you create a solid foundation that supports your efforts to rank for featured snippets. Not only that, but an optimized site also enhances the overall user experience, appealing to both your audience and the search engine.

The End Note

Securing a spot in Google’s coveted featured snippet can significantly boost your visibility, credibility, and click-through rates. While nailing the technical aspects of SEO is important to secure this spot, don’t forget to focus on creating valuable content that resonates with your audience. 

With the right mix of optimized content and effective SEO, you can increase your chances of capturing featured snippets, driving more traffic to your website, and establishing brand authority.

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