What is a featured snippet?

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For many online marketers the holy mission is to achieve a first ranking on the focus keyword within Google. Nevertheless, if you’re in a highly competitive market, achieving that aspired number one position can be difficult. The featured snippet, is a very interesting new SEO opportunity!

So, what is a featured snippet exactly?

A featured snippet is a handy info block positioned above the search results that Google (often) shows for certain queries, normally in case of questions. It generally contains an overview (e.g. via a paragraph, list, table, photo or video) including the page title, the URL, and the link to the webpage where the question was answered. By showing the featured snippets, Google is trying to make our life a lot easier by answering questions within the search results page whil avoiding additional research and needing to click through to a website.

Three Types of Featured Snippets

Featured snippets come into three formats: the paragraph, list, and table snippet.

1. The Paragraph Featured Snippet

This is the featured snippet we all love. Google extracts text from a page with the intention to instantly answer the searcher’s question. The way to make this sort of snippets and help your click-through rate is, by answering the query immediately and then including additional information that grasps the searcher’s interest and motivates them to click through. If you’re lucky enough to be featured, you’ll get yourself a new load of attention. Generally you’ll see paragraph snippets for How, Who, Why, and What-type of questions.

2. The List Featured Snippet

Like lists in document formats, the list featured snippet comes in two formats:

  • The Numbered List Featured Snippet: this featured snippet often shows an explanation of how to do or make something, for instance a cake recipe. What’s great about this is that it’s immediately clear that it’ll answer your question and makes it very likely to click through to know more about the specifics. You’ll most often see numbered list snippets for recipes, DIY tasks, medication, and How to-questions.
  • The Bulleted List Featured Snippet: this is the type of list that makes both content managers and SEO professionals jump up and down. Whether you’re ranking information or just listing it, marketing minded people think in bullet points and there’s no way denying that. Bulleted list snippets are used for best of-lists, feature lists, ranked items, and unranked items.

3. The Table Featured Snippet

Being very straightforward, table snippets are gaining more and more popularity, making up 30% of all snippets. Google really likes to show off what it’s capable of and we’re loving it. It doesn’t just spit out the information, it can also pull specific information the user’s looking for, recreating the data into its own table. As a website owner, you can also do your part as some simple tricks can work in your favor. For instance, ensuring your table has more than four rows, significantly increases the chance of people clicking through to your website. You’ll mostly see table featured snippets for pricing, rates, data and other sort of lists.

How To Stand Out?

Now that’s exactly know what featured snippets you could aim for, but how do you get this position 0? You are relaying on Google and of course, your competition, as it is not proven all the questions in Google have a featured snippet. We’ll leave you with a few best practices:

  1. Perform thorough keyword research with a strong focus on questions.
  2. Create valuable content and imagery that specifically address these questions.
  3. Make Google’s life easier by ensuring your info is readable via proper formatting.

It is very likely featured snippets will continue to show up for an increasing number of queries. As user devices and Google are getting smarter by the day, featured snippets will also evolve. Make sure you’ll have everything set and prepared. Would you like advice from a SEO specialist? Contact us and we are happy to help you improve your rankings!