What are featured snippets?

Featured snippets are an additional section which displays at the top of Google’s search engine results, sometimes referred to as ‘position 0’. Featured snippets won’t display for every phrase searched for – in the UK featured snippets show for approximately 6% of search results – when they do display it’s more likely for questions and queries.

You don’t need to be position 1 in the search engine results for your page to be used as a featured snippet. In fact in some cases websites listed on the second page of the Google search results have seen their content used within a featured snippet.

What types of featured snippets are there?

There are three common types of featured snippet; paragraph, list and table.

  • Paragraph – The most prevalent of the three types. These simply take a snippet of the copy on your page which they believe answers the question or query the user is searching for.
  • List – These are more often seen when the content featured is a step-by-step guide for ‘How to’ questions.
  • Table – The final of the three is the table which displays data for financial, size, date comparisons. These are becoming less frequent as the featured snippets are evolving.

How do I optimise my website for Featured Snippets?

Google’s official stance on this is that you can’t – and that it is their algorithm who determines whether or not a page should be used as a featured snippet. However that’s the very definition of SEO. Optimising a website so that it is more accessible to search engines and contains relevant content. Therefore there are some steps you can take:

  1. Review the Competition
    If there is already a featured snippet showing for your targeted phrase then be sure to review the webpage which the content currently sits. There may be a way to make your content more relevant with updated statistics, greater detail.
  2. Structure Your Content
    Use descriptive sub-headings featuring the question or query you’re trying to rank for. Ensure the copy associated to the heading is straight to the point, clear and concise. Use alt tags on your images – a large number of featured snippets take an image from a separate source due to lack of relevancy.
  3. Use Schema Markup
    There are plenty of featured snippets that aren’t using schema markup. Although we’re of the opinion that implementing it can help you achieve the results more quickly. Using schema markup on your FAQs is an opportunity often overlooked.

If you’d like assistance with SEO on your website then talk to our search engine marketing experts today!