What Are Featured Snippets? Everything That You Need to Know

This page was last updated on August 21, 2023.

When you search on Google, you sometimes will see a box highlighting an answer to your question with the exact answer you were looking for. This is thanks to Google’s featured snippets.

Want to know more about the ins and outs of featured snippets and how to get your business listed? If so, learn more from our quick guide today!

So, What Exactly Are Featured Snippets?

Featured snippets are “answer boxes” of sorts that display a short bit of content from a webpage that includes information directly associated with your search. This can come in the form of a list, table, or paragraph.

As you see in the example of one of the types of featured snippets below, Google is displaying a step-by-step process for changing a tire to the user without them needing to go to the webpage itself.

featured snippet

You can see in the highlighted section that Google notes that this is a featured snippet, and clicking this area allows you to learn more about the feature. You can check out that featured snippet article in this link.

Why Are Featured Snippets Important to SEO?

Like a lot of the updates recently that help make Google search a more user-friendly experience, featured snippets are incredibly important in making your search queries easier to find and more digestible.

Additional reasons that featured snippets are important to SEO include the following:

  • Helps further utilize search technology – With the rise of more advanced search features being utilized, featured snippets are known to be compatible with voice search capabilities. And with 41% of individuals in the U.S. utilizing voice search daily, it is important to accommodate people’s spoken queries as well.
  • Increases overall credibility – Having your business showcased in the featured snippets can help you build brand awareness, as well as build credibility for your organization or company as a reputable business.
  • Improves click-through rate (CTR) – Did you know that featured snippets receive approximately an 8% CTR? When a user is given a summary of what they are looking for, they might be curious to find out more. That is why featured snippets make you more inclined to dig deep and learn more.
  • Helps eliminate users not looking to purchase – for businesses that have a high bounce rate on their pages, you can see a decrease when featured snippets come into play. This is because users will get the answers to their questions without clicking on your page altogether.

The 4 Types of Featured Snippets

Depending on the content and query, featured snippets can also come in a variety of forms. The 4 most common types of featured snippets (with photos!) include the following:

Paragraphs

This feature snippet provides searchers with a brief synopsis of the topic that you are searching for. For queries that are more straightforward, such as definitions or general questions, a singular definition or answer box can appear at the top of your search result. In most cases, you will see Google highlight text that they matched to answer the query as well.

paragraph snippet

Lists

The list feature is best known for showing the steps of a given process, identifying an array of products or services, and ranking things in general. These lists can also be ordered or unordered based on the topic.

list snippet

Tables

Tables are typically used to compare and contrast two separate entities or ideas. This can include things such as revenue, numbers, percent change, best and worst ranked, and more.

table snippet

Videos

For queries that require more visual examples, YouTube videos can be recommended as the feature snippet. Videos can essentially answer an individual’s “how to” questions in ways words sometimes can’t.

video snippet

4 Ways to Get Featured in Snippets

The bad news is that there is nothing instant you can really do to make Google use your page content in a snippet. Per their help page mentioned earlier:

“How can I mark my page as a featured snippet? You can’t. Google systems determine whether a page would make a good featured snippet for a user’s search request, and if so, elevates it.”

However, there are various ways to optimize your website to encourage Google to choose your content to be highlighted above the top SERPs.

1. Have a Good Organic Presence

It makes sense that Google would likely already notice and appreciate your pages’ SEO before they would choose to use your content in a featured snippet.

And Ahrefs even says that most pages that are used in featured snippets rank in the top 10 for relevant keywords. So get to work boosting your site and you’ll have a much better chance at a featured snippet!

2. Have Content Google Likes to Feature

There is certain content that is used in featured snippets according to Moz. The type of queries that Google prioritizes include:

  • Do-it-yourself lists (ex: how to change a tire)
  • Health questions (ex: what is the flu)
  • Financial (ex: how to save for retirement)
  • Mathematical (ex: how to divide)
  • Requirements (ex: what is required for a passport)
  • Status (ex: when is the new iPhone coming out)
  • Transitional (ex: what events happened in 2019)

Additionally, Ahrefs recently created this handy guide on key phrases that brought up featured snippets. Give it a look for some ideas:

snippet types

3. Use Schema If Applicable

If you generate content such as recipes, blog posts, reviews, and more, investing in a schema plugin or adding schema markup to your site can help Google better read the content of your site.

4. Do Your Keyword Research

By doing keyword research to find search engine results that have gotten featured snippets, you can have your keywords reflect the ones that appear at the tops of the SERP. Some tools we recommend for further keyword research include the following:

  • Spyfu
  • Answer the Public
  • Google Keyword Planner

Once you find the appropriate keywords to use after conducting competitor research, it is time to start crafting or optimizing clear and concise copy. This copy should include information that is easy for your viewers (and search engines) to follow, as well as include keywords that are naturally placed in the copy.

For content that involved lists reviews, and more, adding further structure to your page can help search engines retain the information easier, making it more likely to become a featured snippet.

For more tips and tricks on how to get your content into featured snippets, please contact our SEO experts directly!

How to Check Progress of Featured Snippets

There are a few tools you can use to see if you currently have any featured snippets or to track your future success in trying to appear in featured snippets. Here are some websites that offer software you can utilize:

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Sarah Blocksidge

About the Author

Sarah Blocksidge

Sarah is the Marketing Director at Sixth City Marketing and has been with the company since 2016. Her main role is to attract more B2B clients for the company. Over the years, she has been mentioned on HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute, Fast Company, Mashable, and many other notable sites.

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