One of the best ways to get attention and all eyes on your content? Reach position 0 (zero) or, in other words, take over the featured snippet. Google’s Featured snippets aim at answering the user’s search intent right away and being featured means getting additional traffic and exposure in search results.
Here’s everything you need to know about snippet-featuring your way to the top of SERPs.
What Are Google Snippets?
You’ve probably seen a Google featured snippet before. Featured Snippets are short, highlighted snippets of text that appear at the top of Google’s search results to quickly answer a search query. Introduced in 2014, they quickly became a signal of new hope for many SEO pros looking to dominate “position zero.”
The information, which is pulled automatically from a top-ranking web page in Google’s index, shows the following:
- Information quoted from a third-party website
- A link to the page
- The page title
- The URL of the page
It’s important to note that a featured snippet is not a rich snippet (or a rich answer). While they also use the word snippet, that’s where the similarities end.
What is Rank / Position Zero (0)?
Rank 0, sometimes also referred to as Position 0, is the highest organic ranking result on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This places your website above the fold and all other organic search results, although still below related paid advertisements.
Different Types of Featured Snippets
The Google featured snippet was designed when Google realized users were typing questions directly into their search bar. The result was the featured snippet, which puts the most pertinent information in a box neatly organized for the users to see before they click on a web page.
But, they aren’t “one size fits all”. There are a few types of featured snippets that Google and other major search engines use, depending on the type of information a user is searching for. Snippets can appear in a few different formats, each having a different impact:
This is the quintessential featured snippet we all know and love. It provides users with a brief, practical definition or a brief bit of information on a topic. Certain queries revolve around questions or seeking additional information. The best practice for this kind of featured snippet is by answering the question immediately, and then including additional information that sparks the searcher’s interest and encourages them to click through.
This type of snippet helps users visualize data for different types of comparisons. Table snippets are surprisingly very popular, making up 29% of all Google’s featured snippets. Google doesn’t just pull the information and spit it out the way it’s originally formatted – it can pull the specific information the user is looking for, and recreate its own table.
A bulleted or numbered list is used to rank things, show a step-by-step process, or identify different products/services. The list featured snippets can be ordered or unordered, and you’ll see bulleted lists for both ranked and unranked items, features, and “best of” types of lists.
When you think of featured snippets – think beyond your website. If a video provides the best answer for a user’s query, Google will include the video in a featured snippet. The video featured snippets can be useful for “how-to” queries, for example. YouTube is one of the largest search engines in the world, so it’s no wonder that video featured snippets are something else you’d want to try and rank for.
The Carousel Snippets
With carousel featured snippets, Google suggests related keywords a user may be searching for in little bubbles at the bottom (or top) of the snippet. That means your website has multiple chances to snag this featured snippet spot, even if you didn’t get it the first time around.
The Double Featured Snippets
The double featured snippet is just what it sounds like – Google displays two featured snippets, instead of just one. In case their pick doesn’t satisfy the user intent for a particular query, they’re hoping the second one will. The good news? You have double the chance of being featured. The bad news? If you’re in spots 3 – 10, your click-through rate decreases significantly.
The Importance and Benefits of Google Featured Snippets in SEO
Just when we truly believed that it couldn’t get better than achieving the number one organic ranking position for search queries, along came the snippet feature. You might be wondering how answering search results without the need to go to a specific page makes sense as a method for increasing traffic but featured snippets have been proven to do just that.
If a user’s search query requires more detail to get a fulfilling answer, then they will be much more likely to click through to the site providing the snippet. From a Google searcher’s perspective, featured snippets make life easier by providing quick, easily accessible answers to queries without the need to dig through a bunch of websites.
From a marketer’s perspective, they do far more:
1. Increases Conversion and Organic Traffic
Probably the most obvious benefit of getting a featured snippet is getting more traffic to the website. The number one position gets 33% of search traffic so getting featured puts you right at the very top. A snippet is more eye-catching and offers a direct answer, so people are more tempted to click on that rather than scroll down.
While the snippet gives users a simple answer for their query, they also might be looking for more in-depth information. They can easily find what they’re looking for by clicking your featured link, which increases organic conversions.
2. Increases Credibility
Featured snippets help you evaluate your material. If Google chooses your website to be part of a snippet, it’s a good sign that content is valuable to readers. Featured snippets present your business as an authority on a subject. They make users much more likely to accept you as a thought leader in your field, which builds your website credibility and trustworthiness.
3. Leverages Voice Technology
So far, featured snippets have been a standout in the new arena of voice-based searches. In-depth studies show that over 40% of internet users perform voice searches every day. Why should you care? Well, virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant typically use featured snippets to answer their users’ vocal search queries.
4. Helps Filter and Target Buyers
Featured snippets increase “no-click searches” because users already find what they’re looking for. This means that if a user clicks on your link (for something like product information), there’s a higher chance they’re looking to make a purchase.
Google’s snippets have leveled the playing field for many. While larger corporations have easily dominated the SERPs in the past, Google’s featured snippets give smaller guys a boost and reward for properly formatted content that easily answers the query at hand.
Google’s Featured Snippets: Untapped SEO Opportunities
In the virtual world, as in life, there’s always room to grow. This means turning some of your attention away from the coveted position one ranking we have single-mindedly sought for so long and setting your sights and efforts even higher: to position zero.
Featured snippets are the first thing that users see in the search results. The more visible your brand is in SERPs for relevant topics and queries – the more you will be associated as a market leader. Google’s Featured Snippets can spice up your SEO efforts, take you to the top of SERPs, and help you brand yourself as the industry go-to.
Take advantage of Google snippets – make sure you get featured!