Search has been changing over time, not only because of the changes on the algorithms that’s been coming out of Google like the eggs from Aliens, but because of these additional things like featured snippets.
If you’ve never seen one, it only means one thing, you’re from the past and you just got to 2018 in a time machine. What are featured snippets?
These are selected search results that are featured on top of Google’s very own organic results just below the ads. These search results aim to answer a searcher’s question instantly. This aspect gave it the nickname “answer boxes”.
While cool and all, does this help you in any way in SEO? Of course. Not mainly because you are instantly on top, but being included here and being featured with these search results gives you additional branding exposure.
If you don’t believe us, that’s fine. There are countless stories and reviews online right now that says their CTR improved and there were traffic increases that were up to 677%.
That being said, there are actually a few different types of Featured Snippets. Here are a few of them:
The first version looks like a box on the very top of the search results called a Paragraph Snippet.
It usually contains a paragraph that’s directly related to the current search query.
These types are usually seen on Wikipedia search results. These types of featured snippets are the best performing ones. The next version below it is call the List Snippets.
These are search results where the answer is given (you guessed it) in a form of a list and Table Snippets that have answers that are presented in a table.
Then there’s the very new Expandable Featured Snippets. This one of Google’s most recent updates on its search results that made it more comprehensive and provided more nuanced results for search queries. In essence, this is like a version of a featured snippet that gives you multiple results or answers for multiple-intent types of queries.
Google is becoming so smart now that it’s simultaneously scary and awesome at the same time.
How do you get this running for your site? Well, it turns out that you will once again come back to the most talked about element in SEO, content.
If for example you already are ranking on the first page and you have the relevant content going on, there is a very strong chance that you will get featured. That’s right, there really is no other manual way or cheat move to get featured. The only thing that you can do is make sure that all your onsite and technical SEO is in place, and is completely relevant and active.
The main reason why Wikipedia is almost always featured is because of traffic and the relevance of information. Sure, the contents still get edited and the information can be wrong at times, but that amount of activity, people clamoring to give out the correct content on each of the pages, makes it seen more by Google.
Another way that you can have a small chance of being featured (big things start small, remember that) is that you get to do a well-executed keyword research.
Why? This will determine which search terms you will be targeting and how you will be using them on your website’s contents later on. If you target search queries that people are currently using to search for products and services related to yours, you will have gotten a better chance at being featured in these snippets.
When picking keywords, make sure that you use long tailed versions of a search term. There have been numerous studies that has confirmed that these snippets are triggered by long tail keywords. Which, if you think about it in a more logical sort of way makes total sense. People searching for information online wouldn’t type in single words to search for a specific service or products.
Another clue here is that you utilize keywords that answer questions. What, Why, When, How etc. These are the types of keywords that gets to trigger the snippets the most.
Lastly is that you try and check what people are actually searching for. You can find this on search itself or in Google search console.
All in all, it still goes down to if you are actually willing and doing your very best to provide information. If you actually are doing that, and you’re already on top, it’s just a matter of time before you get featured in these snippets.