What do we mean by next-level? We start by identifying specific, advanced tactics to use in order to gain an edge over your competitors. These are not required actions in some cases, but once you have built a great foundation of content and technical SEO implementation these should be on your to-do list. We’re going to start this series by discussing featured snippets.
What are featured snippets?
Featured snippets are a type of rich search result in the form of short snippets of text that appear in position 1 of search results. They are designed to answer a user’s question right away and can often be read by voice search assistants. Featured snippets are generally in the form of questions, steps, definitions, and lists.
What makes featured snippets a next-level tactic?
Say you run a fast-food restaurant and want to add chicken strip baskets to your menu because they’re delicious (and also, customers will want them) – you add them to the menu, make a landing page on your website to showcase the new offering and the headline of the page is “What Makes Chicken Strips Delicious?”. In the text below your headline you discuss ingredients used in your chicken strips breading and highlight just why your strips are so delicious, maybe even a little nugget about your special barbeque sauce. Obviously, people will become aware of your chicken strips organically and through other channels you use for promotion, but Google might start to showcase your chicken strip landing page as a featured snippet for every search of “what makes chicken strips delicious?”. That’s a nice little bonus – it’s a brand building move that positions you as the authority on a question.
Will you get an immediate bump in traffic? Not likely, what you are really doing when considering featured snippet opportunities when developing new site content is positioning yourself as the trusted answer for a specific query that might be important to your potential customers. Think branding opportunity vs. website traffic.
What do featured snippets look like?
You won’t break the internet by Googling what a featured snippet looks like, but we did it for you though just in case. A featured snippet is the block of text pulled from your site in answer to the user’s query. In this example, the answer to our query is being pulled directly from the SISTRIX website:
Here is how the original content appears on their site:
How does a page get selected for a featured snippet?
Your site can get selected for a featured snippet for multiple different reasons. However, featured snippets generally do the following: the question is in the header, the content directly answers a users search query within the first 50-60 words on the page, the page has many backlinks, and has a good use of keywords.
What are the SEO benefits of featured snippets?
1. Getting picked up for a featured snippet gives an opportunity for many more search impressions and clicks from SERPs (potentially increasing your organic click-through-rate).
2. Getting selected for a featured snippet proves that Google finds your page/site as authoritative and is more likely to rank the site higher in SERPs.
What are featured snippets good for?
Featured snippets are great for informational queries and branding but may need to be pulled back on for terms that have conversion possibilities. We say that conversion possible terms should not be targeted for featured snippet opportunities because we do not want to distract the searcher from taking action by providing quick information that may lead to a lack of a click/lead. Google has stated that a site getting a featured snippet will not be shown anywhere else on page 1 organically for that search, so be intentional in pursuing snippets!
Can you mark a page for a featured snippet?
At this moment there is no way to mark your page for a featured snippet. You can set yourself up for snippet opportunities by having a clear question in your header that the page is answering, with a concise and accurate answer to the question placed prominently. Like with ranking organically in Google, the best path forward is to create good, useful content.
Can you opt out of showing for a featured snippet?
Yes, you can opt out from featured snippets by using a no-snippet tag. More info found here.
Most businesses will not need to opt out of showing for featured snippets, if you’re posing and answering a question or providing how-to’s on your site it’s likely that you will only benefit from inclusion in snippets. However, we share it so you can think this through and decide if opting out is the best option for your business. Gruen is here to provide any insight into featured snippets or SEO services in general that your business needs. If you need help developing a strategy to pursue featured snippets, get in touch today!