What is a featured snippet?
When someone enters a question in Google Search, Google may return the answer and more detail right within search results–this is a featured snippet. Google realizes that the searcher is looking for an answer to a specific search query and they extract a “snippet” from a webpage on the Internet that provides a clear and concise answer to that question. These featured snippets display at the top of Google search results and can lead to a lot more traffic and exposure for your website.
Here is an example of a featured snippet that BARQAR Marketing has earned:
As you can see, when a user searches for “How to Get More Catering Orders,” a rich snippet appears. Google has indexed our website programmatically and realized that a blog article we wrote with marketing tips and tactics for catering companies answers that question. Because our article is concise, hyperfocused on one topic, is search optimized and provides value (not a sales pitch), it has earned this coveted position as the featured snippet.
How do you get a featured snippet?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific formula you can follow that guarantees you are displayed as a featured snippet in search results. But, here are some key things you can do to increase the likelihood of earning a featured snippet:
Write good content.
You need to start by writing great content on your site–and make sure it’s consistent. If you have a blog or resources section of your site make sure you’re always adding good, valuable content there. The key is “valuable” content. Don’t make it a big sales pitch. Google isn’t going to promote your company, they are going to promote valuable content.
Answer specific questions.
Most rich snippets are answers to very specific questions. Like the example above, we are answering the question: “How to get more catering orders?”. This is a very specific topic and we have crafted content that is hyperfocused on that one topic. Think about the questions your target audience(s) asks, and then craft a content strategy around answering those questions.
Write “how to” articles.
Create articles that walk people through, step-by-step, how to do things. And be sure to structure that content very matter of factly with numbered lists (like the five tips here).
Get to the point. Don’t beat around the bush and add long intros to the articles. Take this article for example, we answer the question “What is a featured snippet” within the first paragraph, we show an example and then we get right into a list of how to earn a featured snippet.
Use Heading tags.
Your website should be properly programmed with heading tags. Think of each webpage as an outline. Google reviews this outline to determine what your content is really about. Your main topic should be featured as an H1 tag (in this case the blog post title: “What is a Google Featured Snippet and How Do You Get One?” is our H1). There should only be one H1 tag on each page of your site, again this tells Google what your page is about. Then your subtopics should be H2 tags (in this case “What is a featured snippet” and “How do you get a featured snippet?”). Finally, if you have supporting points like the five tips here, you can highlight those as H3 tags.
When programmed properly this allows the search engine spiders to easily index your content, understand the search queries it relates to, and increase the chances you rank well and earn a featured snippet. When styled/programmed the right way, it also makes the post visually appealing for the reader and allows them to extract the key takeaways quickly.
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