The introduction of featured snippets has altered the way users find and interact with information on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

Featured snippets give your website the opportunity to appear at the top of the organic results (above the coveted #1 position), but you don’t even need to be ranking in the top 5 to get featured.

So how do you take advantage of featured snippet opportunity? And should you? Here’s what you need to know about featured snippets and how to use them.

What is a featured snippet?

In a nutshell, a featured snippet is a summary of an answer to a user’s search query, which is displayed on top of Google search results. The information is extracted from a webpage, and includes the page’s title and URL. Here’s an example below:

featured snippet

The vast majority (82%) of featured snippets appear in the form of a paragraph, as above.  Roughly 11% appear in the form of a list and 7% in the form of a table.

What’s the difference between a rich snippet and a featured snippet?

A rich snippet is an enhanced organic search result. They present a richer and more detailed search result that enables users to more easily find the information they are looking for.

A featured snippet, as shown in the example above, is an answer or information relating to a search query that appears above the organic search results in “position zero”.

As of October 2017, featured snippets appear for 13% of all search queries.

What are the benefits of appearing as a featured snippet?

At first glance, a featured snippet is Google’s way of stealing your information so searchers don’t have to leave Google and visit your site.

In some instances this is true (such as when you Google a question that only requires a short answer). For example, in the search below I have my answer without needing to click through into the article.

featured snippet

Incidentally, in many cases I can get that answer before I even finished typing the search query!

search query

In most cases, however, being in a featured snippet increases the click-through-rate to that page dramatically, and so is an advantageous place to be.

Users will read the information in the featured snippet and want to know more (plus they trust you based on quality of the information in your snippet), and will then click through to your site to read the rest of the page.

Thus, appearing as a featured snippet will generally improve both trust and click through rate to your website.

In recent months there has been a big increase in the number of featured snippets appearing for a wide range of search queries, which means that the opportunity to be featured in them, no matter how niche your industry, is on the rise.

How does one appear as a featured snippet?

Google programmatically detects pages that answer users’ questions or queries best/most accurately, and then displays that information as a featured snippet in the search results.

Therefore, to feature in a snippet you first need to find out what your target audience is searching for. The best way to do this is through a thorough round of keyword research.

You then need to create (or adjust) content on your website to answer your users’ common search queries in a clear, relevant and concise manner. If one of your competitor’s is already appearing in a featured snippet relevant to your target market’s search terms, it’s a good idea to read what they’ve written and see if you can’t alter your text to do a better job.

When choosing information to feature in a snippet, Google will also take into account the quality of the writing, so you’ll need to ensure that the content is well written and well structured on the page.

If you have well-written information that ticks all the boxes, all you need to do is wait for Google to pick it up and feature you.

Hello CTR.

How to find snippet opportunities:

  1. Do a round of keyword research to find out what your customers are searching for.
  2. Do some google searches of your own and identify the industry-related searches that featured snippets appear for. If you don’t see any yet, don’t despair – Google are expanding their repertoire all the time.
  3. Identify the content you already have that could answer the query and rewrite it to be clear, well-written and, if applicable, to answer the query in a better way that the existing featured snippet.
  4. If you don’t have existing information on that topic – write some. Particularly if any of the queries are money-terms (high intent terms) for your industry.
  5. Ensure that you structure the information in a manner that’s easy to read, uses clear headings, and directly answers they search query with minimal fluff).

google search

Appearing in a featured snippet could be your ticket to beating that pesky competitor who’s been hogging position 1 for years! Follow the advice above and you’ll be on your way to position 0 in no time.

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About Steph Von der Heyde

Our resident wordsmith’s love of digital lured her over from advertising to the online space, where she fell in love with content marketing. Since coming to the online world Steph has made her mark on all outgoing CleverClicks copy and is passionate about using words to build brands. Her obsession with the writing is rivaled only by her love of trail running, yoga and green juice. When she’s not submerged in content strategy you’ll find Steph in Downward Dog.

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