As Google gets better and better at understanding search requirements, it wants to give searchers an immediate answer to their questions, so they won’t even have to browse through the search results to get it. That comes in the form of a featured snippet.
What is a featured snippet?
According to Google, it’s
“ a summary of an answer to a user’s query, which is displayed on top of Google search results. It’s extracted from a webpage and includes the page’s title and URL.”
Google pulls featured snippet answers from one of the pages that rank on page one of search results, but it’s not always the case.
This leaves the door wide open for content that isn’t in the #1 spot to actually appear ABOVE the #1 spot.
Your best chance at capturing the featured snippet is by optimizing blog posts of your website that already rank in the top five positions in search results. Google tends to pick content from those spots over other spots further down on the page.
7 steps on how to create a featured snippet
- Use Google Search Console to figure out whether any of your current blog posts rank in positions one for any significant keywords. Make a list of these high-ranking posts along with the keywords they rank for.
- Open up a new incognito window in your browser and search for that keyword to see if Google placed a featured snippet in search results.
But even if there isn’t a featured snippet showing up for that query, Google is adding new snippets all the time, so check back in the future.
- Optimize these posts for the featured snippet.
Google favors content that best answers the search query in a simple, concise format. In fact, the format is the most important factor here.
- Write a short answer to your target query and put it above the rest of your post.
Google tends to prefer featured snippets that are fewer than about 50 words.
If the keyword your post is ranking for is in a list-based format, make sure your content includes a list that is clearly labeled with headers. You might even add a shortlist version of your larger blog post at the top of the page to make it even easier for Google to identify it for a snippet.
The maximum that Google will show is a list of eight labels.
- As for what to write in it, take note of the content that’s already in the snippet right now to get an idea of what the search engine is looking for and try to improve it.
- Submit the URLs to Google to be re-evaluated once you’ve made these changes
- Measure the results by the number of clicks from the results page, the change in click-through rate, and the impact on the blog post’s organic traffic. Keep in mind that because snippets are an algorithmic feature by Google, results will vary from day to day.
Now you have everything you need to be a master of featured snippet.