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What is a Featured Snippet? Definition, Types & Optimization

Last updated: Oct 17, 2022

Featured Snippet
Cover image: An illustration of the featured snippet, which is a snippet of the top content in the SERP. Check out the brief discussion in this article.

Featured Snippet is a preview of a sentence that appears on the top rank of the Google search engine to answer a user's query. The content preview is automatically taken from a web page on Google index.

The Reason Why Featured Snippets are Important for SEO

A Featured Snippet impacts SEO in two ways, which are :

  1. To get more clicks from the organic search results. According to Search Engine Land, a featured snippet gets 8% of all clicks on a search engine.
  2. To increase the number of searches without clicks. When a user does not click one of the search results, the snippet will show the answer that the user is looking for.

Types of Featured Snippets

There are four main types of featured snippets that often appear on Google search results, they are :

1. Definition Box

definition featured snippet
Figure 1: Display of the featured snippet in the form of a definition box

A Definition Box is a featured snippet that is designed to give direct and brief information on the top of a search engine. A definition box is used to answer a user's question.

2. Table

table featured snippet
Figure 2: Display of the featured snippet in the form of a table

A featured snippet will display the data gathered from several websites in a table. For example when we search for "table of revenue of the biggest companies", it will show us the rank, the company names, and each of their revenues.

3. List

list featured snippet
Figure 3: Display of the featured snippet in the form of a list

A list on Google is a list of things or activities done in a specific order. A list is also used to rank some things, e.g. the movie rankings, SEO checklist, how to make fried rice, cake recipes, etc.

4. Unordered List

unordered list featured snippet
Figure 4: Display of the featured snippet in the form of an unordered list

Unordered List on Google is a way to present a list of stuff that does not need to be done in order, e.g. keyword research tools.

5. Videos

video featured snippet
Figure 5: Display of the featured snippet in the form of a video

Video Featured Snippets usually display a thumbnail of the video. With this feature, users can get more relevant results and drive more CTR.

How to Optimize for Featured Snippets

1. Find SERP through Featured Snippets

The first step is to look for a page on the search results that already has a snippet. For instance, when users search for "best laptop gaming 2020" they will see a list of a snippet.

There are two ways to look for SERP that has a snippet :

  • Search for many keywords one by one
  • Use tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs

2. Custom Optimization for Featured Snippets

There are four ways of content optimization for the four types of snippets, they are :

  • Definition

There must be 40-60 words in a snippet

  • Table

Google is likely get the content for snippet table from table

  • Make a List

By making a list on the web page, it eases Google and the user to understand the content on the web.

  • Utilize Long Tail Search on the Website Page

How to Rank for Featured Snippets

1. Use SEM-rush to Find the Competitor's Snippet

Users can use this tool or Google to find their competitor's featured snippets. Users can optimize their content for the same word and topic if they know their competitor's featured snippet. Remember to pay attention to the other keyword variations to boost the website rank.

2. Use Google to Reveal Featured Snippets

The best way to find the optimized snippet for content is by analyzing what actually the users look for to answer. Through this, the users will instantly identify the competitors and their content ideas in minimal time and effort.

3. Find the Content Idea to Answer Public Questions

Featured snippets appear because of questions, therefore users should be able to answer the how, what, when, where, why, and who. After that, users must focus on high-frequency questions.

4. Do Keyword Research

 Users can optimize keyword research to help them to use the tool to get snippets to find out whether or not the search query brings up the results.

5. Answer Some Questions

 Focus to add an article that answers a lot of questions to get the featured snippets.

6. Keep the Number of Words Optimal

The ideal number of words for content is 40-50.

7. Use a Header

One of the fast ways to manage snippet format is to break the parts such as title and subtitle using paragraph style that is provided by Google documents or Wordpress.

8. Use High Resolution Photos and Videos

 The majority of users prefer to learn through visuals than text (verbal), which is the reason why photos and videos can boost rank.

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