July 28, 2022
July 28, 2022
Featured snippets are those features located right at the top of search results pages that best answer the search query. They may be answering a specific question, providing a definition, a table of information, a list, a how-to video, or even the latest football fixtures – whatever best responds to the search query. But why are they so important for SEO? Find out with Wildcat Digital.
So, why are featured snippets so important? Snippets are important because they gain what is known as “Position 0”, above ads, local SEO and the site that ranks first organically. This steals traffic away from those other links, and increases visibility, brand awareness, and brand authority. It can also help a site to improve its rankings.
Read on to learn more about why featured snippets are so important for SEO.
Featured snippets are those snippets of text at the top of a search result page. They directly answer the search query, and may be presented as text, a list, a table, or even as a video.
Snippets are a great way to improve the visibility of a brand, as well as the click through rate to a given page. This is particularly important for websites with a lower domain authority that struggle to rank organically against high-competition websites.
Featured snippets are often regarded as “Position Zero”; they are featured right at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs), above ads, above local SEO features, and above the website that ranks first for that query.
A key benefit of gaining a featured snippet is the visibility that Position Zero gives to a website that may ordinarily struggle to rank well on SERPs. Of course, larger, more authoritative websites can easily gain a snippet, however it is particularly beneficial to smaller or newer websites with lower domain authorities.
This visibility naturally leads to an increase in traffic to the page featured in the snippet which, in turn, can help to organically increase the ranking of that page, and the website as a whole.
Even if a reader doesn’t click through to the website or convert in any way, it’s likely that the reader noticed the brand name and will subconsciously keep that information tucked away until the next time that they are interested in such a topic.
Simply being aware of the brand puts them into the chice set of that reader, creating an element of familiarity and trust amongst a sea of competitor brands and products.
Being at Position Zero, featured snippets drive traffic, but did you know that it can also steal traffic? It is reported that featured snippets gain 8.6% of clicks on a SERP, and significantly reduces the click through rate of the website that ranks in Position One. For reference, on pages without a featured snippet, the website at Position One gains around a 26% click through rate. On pages with a featured snippet, the result in Position One gets around a 19.6% click through rate.
This is highly beneficial to websites that compete in high-competition, Your Money Your Life (YMYL) niches, such as healthcare, law, finance, and education, and would never dream of ordinarily ranking above websites such as the NHS and .Gov sites. Gaining the snippet means that they don’t necessarily have to.
Gaining the featured snippet on a SERP can help to build authority, trust, and credibility. Searchers naturally trust higher-ranking websites as they usually contain the most relevant, useful information to their query.
The snippet of featured text highlighted in the SERP reassures searchers that they have found what they’re looking for, and that the website is an authority on the subject.
We now know why featured snippets are so important for SEO, but there’s more to explore before we learn how to go about optimising content to gain snippets. First, let’s look at the different types of featured snippets that can be gained.
The definition or answer box is probably the most common type of featured snippet, and is usually seen answering a specific question or to provide a definition. It’s also one of the easiest types of snippets to optimise for, but more on that later…
Tables are less commonly seen as featured snippets but are really great for visualising data for comparisons, such as advantages and disadvantages, or for numerical comparisons, such as financial statistics in 2020 vs revenue in 2021.
Ordered and unordered lists (numbered or bulleted lists) are another type of snippet that are easy to optimise content for (although that doesn’t guarantee success). They’re also great for user experience, breaking up walls of text, and making an article easier to read (which, in turn, could positively impact SEO).
Video’s most commonly appear on “How-To” search queries as they will often provide the best answer to the query in a visual, easy-to-understand way. Don’t assume that you or your client will need a regularly updated YouTube channel, however, as embedded videos on a webpage can also gain the snippet.
Tools and calculator snippers are sometimes that not all websites are going to be able to gain. They are usually derived from extremely high-authority websites, and often Google itself. This type of snippet may include actual calculators, conversions, time zone information, weather information, currencies, and even sports scores.
The People Also Ask feature on SERPs aren’t strictly a featured snippet, but they can be equally useful for gaining traffic and brand awareness. Sometimes, even if a webpage doesn’t gain the featured snippet, it might gain a People Also Ask slot. Like featured snippets, they can also be a definition or answer box, a table, a list, or a video.
First and foremost, gaining a featured snippet drives traffic to a website. But, often, this will only affect that one page and can skew analytics data across the site as whole, implying that the site is perming better than it actually is.
However, if that page is properly optimised with internal linking, horizontal linking, and effective calls to action, that can encourage users to hop across the website, telling Google that the initial page (and the site as a whole) is useful. In turn, this helps to improve the domain authority of the website, and its overall rankings.
Snippets can be naturally gained without any thought or special considerations made to optimisation. However, those that know what they’re doing optimise each and every page they work on with the aim of acquiring the feature snippet for their chosen keywords.
So, how do you gain a featured snippet?
At Wildcat Digital, we’re experts in Content SEO, with a large team of digital experts ready to help you optimise your website to gain those all-important featured snippets. From landing pages to blogs, our team will help to drive traffic to your site, improve your search engine rankings, and encourage conversions – whatever your end goal.