When you search on Google, you get directed to the Search Engine Results Page often referred to as SERP. This page displays the information Google thinks you want based on what you searched for.
Google keeps adjusting its interface to show you more information on the first page. For example, when you type in Google “What does snippet mean?” a definition of a snippet in a box on the top of the page will appear.
What do featured snippets look like?
Featured snippets look like this:
It is a short summary that Google believes answers the searched question. This is helpful because the information displays at the very top of the Google search page.
Types of featured snippets
There are three major types of featured snippets:
Paragraph: An answer given in text. It can be a box with text inside or a box with both text and an image inside.
List: An answer given in the form of a list.
Table: An answer given in a table format.
How do you get your content featured as a snippet?
Format your content into a Who, What, Where, When, Why and How Question
Who is …?
What is …?
Where can …?
When does …?
Why does …?
How do …?
Answer a Specific Question
Make sure you answer a specific question, so it will get picked up as a featured snippet.
Google’s algorithms search through countless sites to find content that will best answer a question. When it hits the right content, it displays as a featured snippet.
Create Quality Content
Create quality content and give your users a reason to click from the snippet to read through your page.
It is important for the people who find your page to read it and stay on your website. The longer someone stays on your website, the higher quality Google deems your website to be. You want a person who searches for “marketing advice” to land on your page and read it for a few minutes. Then Google will know this was helpful and will show it to other people searching for a similar answer.
Also choose content that your site already ranks for. Look at what key phrases your website already ranks for. Then write a blog that answers a specific question about that topic.
Let’s review a specific example. Instead of targeting a general keyword “marketing” consider answering a question instead like “How to launch a marketing campaign?”. This query is longer but, it is more likely your page will display as a Featured Snippet. And answering the question will showcase your company as an expert on that topic.
If you aren’t sure what questions to answer, try visiting Answer the Public. This is a great resource to figure out what your prospects are searching for. Also try searching in Google’s search bar. It is another way to see what general questions are, and who else is looking to answer those questions. If it is a competitor, then you are on the right track.
How Long Should your Featured Snippet Answer Be?
The most popular featured snippet is "paragraph" type of answer. Follow this recommended format and answer the main question concisely in 45-90 words. The rest of your page should support or elaborate on the answer to that question.
Ask the question in your article’s content
Follow with a one-paragraph answer
Support or elaborate your answer in the rest of the article
Google likes content that is more then 300 words. Aim for around 500 words or more.
A few other tips:
Google loves numbers, steps and lists.
Google is very good at determining related questions. Don’t create separate pages to answer related questions. Instead, answer similar questions that on the same web page or blog.
Google prefers an eye-catching image to display alongside the answer.