Featured Snippets: How To Reach The 1 Position on Google?
In 2019, the battle to reach the top of the first page of Google results continues to rage: Adwords advertising, natural referencing, local referencing … all means are good. But one Google results format is particularly popular: the featured snippet or optimized extract. Today, we are going to explain to you what it is, what it is for, and how to appear as a featured snippet.
Ready? Let’s go!
A featured snippet is a method of presenting a Google result optimized to attract the attention of the Internet user. The information offered in a featured snippet comes from a website chosen by Google algorithms.
Featured snippets are commonly referred to as “Position 0” for their ability to rank even ahead of paid and natural results. Today, however, we observe that advertising begins to reappear regularly in front of optimized extracts. Case to be continued.
Featured snippets are largely generated by questions from Internet users: almost half of the questions asked to Google now have an associated optimized snippet. The other types of queries that generate a lot of optimized snippets are definitions or comparisons.
There are 3 types of Featured Snippets
1. The Paragraph Type Featured Snippet
This type of featured snippet is the most common, accounting for almost 82% of all featured snippets on Google. You have surely already seen an optimized paragraph-type extract!
The optimized paragraph snippet is also the most used by Google to answer questions (like “how to survive the Canadian winter?”) Or to suggest a definition. For example, Wikipedia has a large number of featured snippets for “[one word] definition” searches.
2. List type Featured Snippet
This type of optimized snippet represents around 12% of featured snippets. It is particularly evident for research related to recipes (as shown in the example above of a dish chosen at random) or procedures to follow such as for research “how to change a car wheel”. Almost half of the featured snippets answering questions beginning with “how” have this form listed.
3. The optimized extract in tabular form
This type of featured snippet is the least common, it represents about 7% of Google featured snippets. We often find the optimized extract table for queries related to figures or price ranges (like this example from Tesla).
Do not confuse featured snippets and rich snippets!
Yes, we know, all of these English terms can be confusing. Rich snippets, or enriched snippets, do not have much in common with featured snippets other than their objective: to provide useful information to the Internet user in the results pages of Google.
What is a rich snippet?
Rich snippets are additional data that the author adds manually to their code to allow Google to precisely understand the content of the page. This allows Google to provide the Internet user with more details within the result.
Examples of rich snippets are information related to ratings (stars), cooking time, and calories:
Unlike featured snippets which are generated from the readable content of a web page, this enriched data is not visible to the naked eye anywhere on the pages in question. They are stored in their HTML code and are only read by Google robots. If you want to know how to add them, check out our web writing guide!
OK, now you know what a featured snippet looks like and where it comes from, but why bother?
3 reasons to want to appear as a featured snippet on Google
1. Increase the volume of qualified traffic to your website
Today, appearing as a featured snippet at position 0 (before the 10 natural results) would give you more than 10% of the clicks on the associated query. And since the optimized snippet does not replace your search result, but complements it, you add that 10% of clicks to the traffic already generated by your Google result!
Consider the following example: in total, this site would attract nearly 15% of clicks against 4.3% without a featured snippet.
– But if I give the Internet user the answer from the results page, why would he click on my site?
Good remark! Explanation: Internet users who simply need a quick response do not necessarily interest you (they do not represent a concrete sales opportunity). On the other hand, a user who has got their question answered, but still clicks on your site is probably genuinely interested in your content and wants to know more. Appearing as a featured snippet therefore gives you additional qualified visibility. See it as a bonus in your SEO strategy.
2. Go immediately to the top of the Google page
As the last example showed, the chances of appearing as a featured snippet do not depend on your position on the Google results page.
This means that even if your website is last on the first page, you are as likely to appear as a featured snippet as the first result!
3. Position yourself in the face of voice requests
Ask Google a question and watch its voice response. This answer is none other than the optimized snippet associated with a web page. At a time when over a billion voice searches are performed each month, consider featured snippets as one of the best ways to position your website on this form of queries. In this way, you are preparing for the future of Google, and more generally for that of mobile search.
So, now you know what featured snippets are and why they are important. But how do you go about positioning your website in position 0?
How to appear as a featured snippet? 8 conditions
Appearing as a featured snippet is much less complicated than it looks. Make sure you meet the following conditions and steps:
1. Identify your opportunities
Many questions and queries do not yet have an associated optimized snippet! It’s up to you to identify them.
Our tips: When doing your keyword research, filter the queries into questions. You can also ask your question in Google, and consult the “related searches” section:
2. Be already positioned on the first Google page
Unfortunately, this is a sine qua non. You are not on the first page of Google? No featured snippet. But don’t panic either: prepare them anyway for the day you reach it!
3. Have a perfectly responsive site
Another imperative condition of Google (definitely!). On average, the mobile adaptability of websites generating the most featured snippets is rated 96/100 by Google. So be sure to optimize your site for cellphones and tablets!
4. Simplify the information
Respect the main objective of a Google featured snippet: be concise and get straight to the point.
5. Write relevant and verified information
Google does not want to offer unreliable or unreliable information to its Internet users. The best way to show him that you aren’t talking nonsense is to quote credible external sources on your page.
6. Use landscape images with a 4: 3 ratio
Images that stand out best in an optimized clip have a ratio of four thirds. If this is not the case, Google could modify your image itself and therefore alter its quality.
7. Respect the specific formatting criteria (paragraph)
As we explained at the beginning of this article, the text of a featured snippet paragraph is copied and pasted by Google from the content of your page. Simple layout criteria will allow you to optimize your chances of appearing as a featured snippet paragraph.
- Choose a maximum length of 45 words (beyond that, the content will be cut)
- Copy the question you are targeting in the title or subtitle of your page (H1, H2)
- Place your paragraph directly below the question or title
- Write a clear, informative paragraph
8. Respect the specific formatting criteria (list & table)
- Use the predefined list and table formats of your text editor
- For tables, include a maximum of 7 rows and 4 columns
- For lists, use title tags to structure your page information
Indeed, Google can very well create a list-type featured snippet from your title and your subtitles, even if they are separated by text, as our example shows:
Here, the element that allowed Google to create the featured snippet type list for this AdWords SEO blog post is the consistent headline structure. The 5 points listed are none other than the 5 subtitles (or H2) associated with the main title (the H1).
If we can do it, then why can’t you?
Now the hero of the zero position is you!
That’s it, appearing as a featured snippet is now within your reach! Incorporate the technical elements of this article into your web writing, and time will tell if Google wants to use your website as a reference for one (or more!) Of its featured snippets!