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Mastering 'Featured Snippets': Are You Securing 11% More Clicks for Your Website? Let's take a deeper look at one of the most powerful ways to gain more traction for your website using featured snippets.

By Dmytro Spilka Edited by Jason Fell

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Delmaine Donson | Getty Images

Even if you aren't totally sure what they are, chances are we've all interacted with Featured Snippets following a Google query. When you ask a question, more often than not a Featured Snippet will tell you exactly what you need to know without having to take any further action. It's for this reason that mastering Featured Snippets isn't simply about getting on the front page of Google, it's about becoming the headline.

According to data from SEMrush, 11.3% of all search results include some form of Featured Snippet, meaning that it's possible to amass 11.3% more clicks and engagement by catering your content to become utilized as Google's favorite answer for related queries.

Featured Snippets are particularly a key asset for online-based firms based here in Europe or elsewhere, due to the higher volume of queries that your leads will be asking Google concerning logistics and research. As a result, aiming to optimize your Featured Snippets can be an excellent way of becoming more discoverable for prospective clients ahead of your rivals.

But what actually are Featured Snippets? And how can you master the art of becoming a Featured Snippet to generate greater volumes of clicks back to your pages? Let's take a deeper look at one of the most powerful ways to gain more traction for your website or blog online:

What are Featured Snippets?

If you don't know what a Featured Snippet is, don't worry, you're likely to have come across them many times if you're one of the many of us who frequently consult Google for answers to everyday questions.

When a query is run through Google, sometimes a Featured Snippet will appear in an attempt to directly answer the question. Crucially, this means that Featured Snippets would be the very first content that becomes visible in response to a query.

Google will even attempt to highlight a section of text that its crawlers believe offers the most effective answer to a question to save more time for the user.

"Google's search results sometimes show listings where the snippet describing a page comes before a link to a page, not after as with our standard format," explains Google's Search Help page. "You might find featured snippets on their own within overall search results, within the "People also ask" section, or along with Knowledge Graph information."

"We display featured snippets when our systems determine this format will help people more easily discover what they're seeking, both from the description about the page and when they click on the link to read the page itself. They're especially helpful for those on mobile or searching by voice."

Why are Featured Snippets so valuable?

At a glance, you could be forgiven for wondering what the fuss is all about with Featured Snippets. After all, Google attempting to answer queries before a website link is even displayed could risk taking clicks away from your website.

However, appearing as the very first thing users see when asking a question is prime real estate for websites, and actually helps to drive more clicks as visitors search for more context surrounding their query.

There are plenty of key benefits for businesses seeking to make the most of Featured Snippets, including:

  • Stronger click-through tates (CTR): Despite appearing before a link, the higher your content ranks on Google's SERPs (search engine results pages), the more likely people are to click on it. Positioning yourself at the very top of the page as a Featured Snippet will drive far greater CTRs.
  • Position yourself as a voice of authority: Because Featured Snippets attempt to answer user queries, your brand can actively become a trustworthy source of information for leads that can build better credibility, recognition, and loyalty.
  • Greater visibility: For smaller smartphone screens, Featured Snippets can take up more than half of the screen space, making your content virtually unmissable while pushing your content further below the line.
  • Voice assistant optimization: Importantly, voice assistants like Google Assistant will use Featured Snippets to audibly answer questions, helping to improve your accessibility and reach a far greater audience.

Let's explore some simple measures you can take to build your SERP prominence and maximize your Snippet potential.

How to optimize your content for Featured Snippets.

So, how can you work on your content so that Google selects you as a Featured Snippet? According to Google itself, the selection process can be relatively straightforward.

"Featured snippets come from web search listings," claims Google Search Help. "Google's automated systems determine whether a page would make a good featured snippet to highlight for a specific search request. Your feedback helps us improve our search algorithms and the quality of your search results."

This means that it's imperative to create or adapt your content with Google's crawlers in mind. There are many factors to consider when preparing your content to become Featured Snippets through Google, so let's take a look at some essential rules to follow:

Keep things organic: It can be tempting to "borrow" content from elsewhere, but a lack of originality will make it far more difficult for your content to be picked up as a Featured Snippet.

Make sure that you have genuine helpful advice and an original perspective when answering questions. Furthermore, if Google determines that your content is a duplicate of any other existing copy on the web, you could be hit with harsh penalties that adversely affect your SERPs.

By creating a fresh and relevant blog post with genuine actionable advice, you can be interpreted as more effective as a Featured Snippet. With this in mind, websites should focus more on the 'how' and 'why' of their industry, rather than leaning heavily on their services alone.

Seek to answer questions: Most importantly of all, remember that Featured Snippets serve as answers to the questions of your target audience. This means that the content you create must actually anticipate and concisely answer the queries that your leads may have.

When creating a blog post or website content that's question-based, look to answer the question clearly at the top of your content to help search engine crawlers identify and interpret it correctly. This will make it easier to repurpose as a Featured Snippet.

This approach is also a great contextual cue for the traffic you receive from Google. Most click-throughs will be from users seeking more information surrounding the answer you provide, so the rest of your article can serve as a detailed explainer.

Platforms like Ahrefs act as excellent tools when anticipating the type of questions you can answer. By using the platform's Keywords Explorer, it's possible to see questions commonly asked on search engines by search volume and a given Keyword Difficulty, whereby the lower difficulty signifies that it's easier to rank for on Google's SERPs.

Make use of Schema Markup. While Schema Markup's reliance on technical HMTL coding can be off-putting for some content creators and website owners, it can be a great way of helping Google's crawlers to better understand your content.

Fortunately, Schema Markup is a relatively easy form of coding, and there are plenty of tutorials available to help beginners with how it can be applied to content.

Schema Markups can help crawlers to interpret exactly what your pages are saying and have the power to add valuable detail to content that may otherwise appear ambiguous.

Building content with Featured Snippets in mind.

The beauty of Featured Snippets is that they don't need significant overhauls of your content to adapt copy to be picked up by Google's crawlers.

For firms, building your exposure online can be an excellent tool in winning leads ahead of your rivals.

Furthermore, auditing old articles to contain an early paragraph that attempts to answer a key relevant question can be enough to turn it into an evergreen Snippet that Google can rely on long into the future. Helping you to leverage a steady stream of sales on an ongoing basis.

With this in mind, Featured Snippets should be at the forefront of any marketer's mind in an industry that's as competitive as ever and clients can be won and lost on fine margins.

Dmytro Spilka

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

CEO and Founder of Solvid

Dmytro is a CEO of Solvid, a creative content creation agency based in London. He's also the founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup. His work has been featured in various publications, including The Next Web, Entrepreneur.com, Huff Post, TechRadar, B2C and Business.com.
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