In Today’s world with powerful search engines such as Google capturing and ruling the web search engine market. User’s too have resorted to asking all their queries from Google’s Search Engine itself. People today, don’t want to spend too much time looking through web pages to find the answer to the queries and questions they have. This is when back in 2014, Google introduced a new and simplified way to provide users with the actual information they are looking for when they type in a question, called ‘Featured Snippet’.
For example, if you type in the question, ‘How to bake a cake?’ Google will come up with thousands of search results but will also come up with a collection of steps you can go through, without having to click on the entire web link.
A featured snippet in search results is only essentially shown when you search for a question-based query. The search engine will then search through a plethora of highly ranked web pages to bring you content from one of those pages that directly answer your query in the most precise manner without you having to visit one of those sites.
If you have a featured snippet in search, you are the top ranked website or article in SERP.
A misconception that people had when Google rolled out featured snippets in search was that users would not necessarily click on the link, and web pages would lose traffic.
However, this was not the case as featured snippets in search increased the performance of web pages to a woopping 516% in case of desktop usage and 505% increase in mobile sessions.
If you rank #1 on SERP, chances are your material will also be published in the form of a featured snippet. A featured snippet in search is capable of increasing your traffic and website clicks to a great extent.
How exactly does the Google snippet work and how do you get yourself featured?
Before getting into the section. Google does not have any such secret sauce that puts your website into the featured snippet section nor does it let you set the snippet according to your will. So there is no exact guaranteed way to get your website in the featured snippet section.
So do you just cross your luck and hope for the best? Certainly not.
While Google does have an official checklist procedure that spells out which websites should get the featured snippet in search results. There is a lot of optimization you can do, to push yourself to that level.
When Google first created the featured snippet in search results, it created it to help people find the most precise answers to their queries without having to skim through unnecessary information in an article. If your mission is to provide precise answers to questions users or your targeted audience may be having. You are one step away from getting yourself a featured snippet in search results.
So, how do you get featured in google snippet?
The answer lies in how efficiently you can answer a question the user may have. It’s a common observation, Google’s algorithm will only find and display those web pages that can answer the user’s query most relevantly.
Google featured snippet is meant to make work easier for you, by providing relevant bite sized information. But if your content does not provide that, you have to optimise your content accordingly to make it to the featured snippets. Take this as an example:
If you search the terms ‘average blog revenue’, this is what Google’s search engine will come up with:
There will be no featured snippets as the search terms ‘Average blog revenue’ is not exactly a query. But if we quirk the terms a little we get:
The featured snippet showed up in the second case because a question was asked.
Keeping the small case study in mind, there are broadly two things you need to keep in mind to get featured in google snippet:
#1. Understand your target audience and the type of questions they may be asking:
You should understand that, when users are typing in a query into Google, they are looking for instantaneous results. The same that featured snippets provide them. The questions a potential user may ask will start with the words:
- How to
- How does?
You need to understand potential search phrases based on the query words and apply it to your content. A good practice is to utilise search phrases to optimise your keyword research. For example: If you are writing content based on ‘ average blog revenue’ as in the case above, you need to focus more on optimizing your content to answer ‘How to increase blog revenue?’ in doing so, every time a user types the query into the search engine, your content may have a chance to get featured in Google snippet. It has been observed in most of the cases that the pages that get featured in google snippet are the ones having an already high page ranking in the search engine. The good idea is to use your Webmaster tools to check your site’s pages with the highest ranks and optimise content on that page to get featured in Google snippet.
#2. Make it a point to have a Q and A section on your website:
Top websites all over the web space have at least one Q and A section on their webpage answering common queries the user may have about certain product or services that you may be selling. Here are some sure ways you can use your Q and A section to rank in the featured snippet:
- Mention the question on your page.
- Give a proper and precise answer to the query on the page.
- Be elaborate about the topic.
It has been said, that the more variety your content has, the higher the chances are for it to rank in the featured snippet.
Landing a spot on the featured snippet is now possible. The main objective of Google’s featured snippet was to provide crisp answers to the queries users may have. Optimizing your pages accordingly will help you bag a position in the featured snippets. However, this is not a sure method as the chances of you ranking in featured snippets entirely depends on you overall website rank. But it doesn’t hurt to try, right? Who knows over time your content may be featured on Google’s featured snippet as well.
Photo credits: Google