What are Featured Snippets and how do we get them?

January 16, 2019by arc_admin

Marketers are increasingly chasing featured snippets to rank even higher than number one. In this blog post we will address what featured snippets are, their benefits, and how can you identify your featured snippet opportunities. Tilley is a recent case study of how we have identified their opportunities to target featured snippets.

What are Featured Snippets?

Featured snippets are highlighted boxes on a results page that answers the question a user searched for in the search bar. They are designed to provide users with direct, concise answers to their questions without having to click through to pages on the results page.

The below screenshot is an example of a featured snippet for the keyword “nail cream”. For this particular nail cream, the snippet briefly outlines the ingredients, benefits and how it works, seeking to answer any question a user would have for “nail cream”.

Types of Featured Snippets

Text Snippets

Also called ‘Paragraph featured snippets’, Google extracts text from a page to answer the user’s question. Paragraph snippets will appear for questions like “who is…”, “why is…”, “what is…”.

Numbered List Snippets

These snippets often explain how to do something step-by-step. Numbered list snippets can be used for recipes, DIY tasks, and “how to…” and “how do I…” questions.

Bulleted List Snippets

Bulleted list snippets appear for ‘best of’ lists, ranked and unranked items, and feature lists.

Table Snippets

Google likes table snippets and doesn’t just pull the information off pages and display it as the page formats it – it can pull the information and recreate a table. Table featured snippets can be used for lists, pricing, rates, and data.

Video Snippets

Google pulls video snippets from YouTube and shows a suggested clip from the video that answers a search query. A snippet can also use text from a video’s description to answer a user’s question. Video snippets can be used for ‘how to…’ queries with a visual component.

Benefits of Featured Snippets

Ranking

Featured snippets are often referred to as ‘Position Zero’ given that they are prioritised ahead of organic search results on the results page. This position makes them a rank-one result.

Visibility

The featured snippet box is usually large and takes up more space on the results page than a normal search result. This makes them more likely to attract the attention of users.

Organic Traffic

The links provided in a featured snippet tend to attract more organic traffic than other results on the results page, providing a significant traffic advantage to the website that provided the link.

Voice Search

Featured snippets provide easy-to-read, authoritative answers for digital assistants, like Siri and Google Home, to read aloud when asked questions.

Identifying Featured Snippet Opportunities

Existing Featured Snippet Opportunities

Existing featured snippets present an opportunity for you to ‘steal’ valuable real estate on results pages that you’re already appearing in. Using SEMrush, you can identify your keywords that already have a snippet. You don’t need to be ranking number one to be the link in a featured snippet – research shows that less than a third of featured snippets rank number one, so if you are already on page one for the keyword you have an opportunity to ‘steal’ the snippet.

The below screenshot shows that for four of Tilley’s keywords (“oatmeal soap”, “olive oil soap”, “olive soap” and “nail cream”) a featured snippet currently exists. These are a key opportunity for Tilley, as Tilley already ranks higher organically than the website currently used in the snippet.

The existing link for the “oatmeal soap” snippet is for a “how to make oatmeal soap” page, but the snippet uses a description of oatmeal soap from the page. Tilley can target this snippet with an improved description of oatmeal soap on the landing page that is already ranking.

The current snippet for “olive oil soap” uses a specific description of the olive oil soap products sold on the website linked to in the snippet. Tilley can target this snippet with a more general description of olive oil soap on its own landing page.

New Featured Snippet Opportunities

Keywords that you are already ranking for present an opportunity to target new featured snippets. Using SEMrush, you can identify the keywords that you’re already ranking well for – Google almost always features pages ranking in the top 10 for snippets. If the average monthly search traffic for that keyword warrants targeting it, you can look to create or edit the content on the landing page to answer a question a user may have that includes the keyword.

For example, looking at Tilley’s keywords that are ranking in the top 10, that don’t have a snippet, and that have a good volume of traffic to target, we identified three opportunities – “bath bombs”, “goats milk soap” and “soy melts”. Tilley could look to add more descriptive content to the landing pages that are ranking well to answer “what is/are” questions on the keywords.

Want to learn more? Contact us today and we can explore your featured snippet opportunities.

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