Google seeks to provide its users with the best possible search experience on the Web. For this, the search engine continues its strategy to become “the engine of answers “. As such, we find more and more elements on the pages of results that provide a response to users: rich snippets, quick answers or featured snippets … In this article, we will specifically study the featured snippets by Reno Website SEO. What criteria are put forward? On which requests? How to bring them out with your site? Here are some answers.
What are featured snippets?
Since September 2014, Google displays blocks at the top of the results pages. He calls them “featured snippets” which could be translated as “highlighted snippets”.
The hyper visibility of the “featured snippets” poses the question of the impact on the traffic. With a preferred zero position, there is a good chance that the click through rate on these results will be significant. Especially since their frequency of appearance is becoming higher and higher.
The different forms of featured snippets
These excerpts appear in general in the form of a text. In some cases, this text is accompanied by pictures, videos, other links, consumer opinions, etc. The textual content is selected by Google on your site according to several criteria that we will see later.
But we can also find featured snippets in other forms: tables, charts, lists as in the example below, interactive forms, etc. The bottom line for Google is that these rich snippets answer users’ specific questions.
When queries are very precise and short, some rich snippets respond directly to the user without even having to click on a site. It saves a lot of time and sees Google as a motor at once very responsive to his request, fast and especially practical.
Featured snippets vs. Quick answers
On the current results pages, you can find several types of information. There are featured snippets featured in this article, but also “quick answers”. The differences between the two entities are subtle, but it’s two different features.
A featured snippet has the characteristic of having a link “feedback”, its absence indicates that it is not this type of enriched extract.
The importance of featured snippets
According to a study by Eric Enge , search results with featured snippets would have doubled in less than a year. The same study found that 55% of these snippets shown are new or are located on a new URL.
The featured snippets are part of a changing research environment. Internet users’ queries are no longer just simple keywords. It is now possible to “talk to Google” thanks to the voice recognition technique. The search engine is even able to distinguish between your usual searches and those you are doing for the very first time. And it is precisely on these new searches that he will offer you the most sites containing these famous featured snippets.
There is great potential for visibility on featured snippets. Using them today will make a difference to your competitors. Still must be perceived as the best answer to the request of the user …
How to appear on featured snippets?
You now know that featured snippets are not a fad but clearly fit into Google’s “response engine” strategy. So how do you put all the odds on your side to come out in featured snippets?
Know precisely the key queries on your field of activity
If you do not know exactly what information people are looking for, you will not know where to go. This is the basis of an effective SEO. In the case of featured snippets, you need to know the questions users have in your industry. What are the keywords used in these queries? Identifying your target’s key queries is the first and most important step.
This requires in-depth research on the behavior of your target audience. You can use SEM Rush to determine the ranking of your strategic keywords.
As said above, users are changing the way they search for Google. The questions are longer and more precise queries, possibly less competitive because they contain more words.
Once you have identified the questions of your target, you can make the necessary changes on your pages to better meet the expectations of users. The aim is to cover the subject as much as possible and to be relevant.
Have a site trusted by Google
When we look at the type of sites that Google puts forward with featured snippets, they have one thing in common: an important trust. That is, they are authoritative in their field.
SEO authority is measured by indicators like Majestic SEO’s Trust Flow or Moz’s Domain Authority. If you have a high score for your site calculated by these tools, you’re more likely to appear in featured snippets on Google.
Relevance and structure of the page
To appear in a featured snippet requires being a relevant answer to the request of the surfer. True, but there are sometimes dozens of similar answers to the same question. So what makes the difference?
In addition to the authority mentioned above, the content must be structured in a certain way. This is apparent from the comparison of several pages showing featured snippets.
Thus, in the content of the page must appear the exact request of the user. This is not necessarily an absolute rule, but it is what was observed by the observers on the subject.
A Question / Answer block is present with a well-distinguished HTML title (usually the question is in an H2) and the answer in a <p> tag.
An image is sometimes associated with the featured snippet. Note also that it is present in the same block as the question and the answer on the page.
What length for the answer?
Gary Illyes, one of Google’s spokespersons says it takes short content: 2 sentences maximum. The observations made show that Google selects short texts. However, featured snippets appear truncated on the SERP’s, which means Google may choose longer texts.
To maximize your chances of appearing on these extracts, it is better to work on short and relevant answers. Go straight to the point to provide a clear and concise answer to the user.
The featured snippets continue to grow through the SERP’s. This is part of Google’s “response engine” strategy. Some queries trigger featured snippets, knowledge graph, and quick answerers at the same time.
One of the first consequences is that web users have less access to sites because they get the information directly on the results pages. The other positive consequence for sites considered by Google as a source of information is the traffic gain generated by this zero position.
Before embarking on a possible editorial strategy to acquire featured snippets. You can check if your site has this enriched content thanks to SEM Rush. To do this, go under the heading “Position” under “Organic Research”. Click on your “Featured Snippet” button and observe.
If no results appear, start optimizing your pages with the techniques mentioned above. Keep in mind that Google seeks to provide clear and concise answers to visitors. And do not forget to update your editorial content to provide your visitors with relevant and up-to-date answers.
In short, be the best answer to the request of the user!