Your potential customer has a leaky faucet. And, like any modern human being with an internet connection, they type "How to fix a leaky faucet" into Google's search bar. Six-tenths of a second later, in a highly visible block at the top of the Search Engine Results Page, they read a section of your blog post on quick DIY home maintenance hacks. Attached, is a hyperlink to your website. And as quick as that, you've got their attention. This is what we call a featured snippet. You didn't have to pay anything for Google to recommend your website. You earned it by crafting the most concise, cogent answer to a commonly asked question. Google rewards writers that create concise content — wordsmiths that get straight to the point. When you can get on Google's featured snippet in your business category, it tells the world that YOU are the expert of experts, which is the goal of every business that has a digital marketing strategy. So, how can your business get on Google's featured snippet? In this article, we'll show you how to do a snippet, the four types of Google snippet tools available, and why it matters for your business.
Featured Snippet Definition
A featured snippet, meaning a search result that features a snippet of information directly from a website, is one way Google surface results from webpages they consider to be most relevant to a user's search. When a featured snippet appears, it is typically accompanied by an image and the page title. These snippets are generated by algorithms that analyze a variety of factors, including the quality and relevance of the content, to determine which results are most likely to be clicked on by users. Featured snippets may be drawn from the content of the page itself, or they may be pulled from an external source, such as a Knowledge Graph or an answer box. It is meant to give users a quick answer to their query without having to click through to a website. They are often accompanied by images and other rich media, which can help them stand out on the SERP. They can also be used to drive traffic to websites by enticing users to click on the snippet to learn more. At Wizard of Ads®, we believe that featured snippets play an important role in showcasing your brand to your target audience. Book a call with us today to see how we can help you create clear, concise, and persuasive content that'll help you win featured snippet real estate.
4 Main Types of Featured Snippets
Four main types of featured snippets can appear in search results: lists, tables, paragraphs, and videos. All are very beneficial in their own way and can help you earn a higher click-through rate (CTR).
The first type of featured snippet is the definition box. This appears when someone searches for the definition of a word or phrase. The box includes the definition from a reputable source, along with a link to the full definition on the source's website. To get your content in the definition box, make sure to include definitions of relevant terms on your website. You can also try to be the source for common questions about your topic area. For example, if you run an HVAC blog, you could aim to be the source for definitions of terms like "air conditioner," "furnace," and "heat pump." Doing so could help you earn a featured snippet for those terms.
Featured snippets can also be in the form of a table. This type of snippet occurs when someone asks a question that can be answered using data from a table, such as "What are the highest-rated plumbing companies in my area?" or "What are the most reliable A/C unit brands". The answer to these questions would be displayed in a table format, with the relevant data pulled from your website. These types of snippets are becoming increasingly popular, as they provide searchers with a quick and easy way to find the information they need. If you have a website that contains data in the form of a table, you may want to consider optimizing your site for this type of snippet. Here are some things you can do to increase the chances of your site being featured in a table snippet:
- Make sure that your tables are well-organized and easy to understand.
- Use clear and concise headers that accurately describe the data contained within each column.
- Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions to help Google understand what your table is about.
By following these tips, you can help your site be featured more prominently in table snippet results, making it easier for users to find the information they need.
Similar to a table snippet, an ordered list featured snippet displays a numbered list of information in response to a user's search query. However, while table snippets feature tabular data, ordered lists feature snippet results from a ranked list. An ordered list of featured snippets can be generated from a variety of content types, including articles, SEO, and even website content. In some cases, an ordered list snippet may be generated from a query that simply asks for a list of items. For example, a user searching for "What are the top 5 most common HVAC problems" may be presented with an ordered list snippet that ranks the most common to the least common HVAC problems:
- Thermostat problems
- Refrigerant leaks
- Dirty coils
- Clogged drains
- Fan issues
You have the best chance to appear on an ordered list snippet when your content includes lists that are clear, concise, and provide useful information to your target audience. Lists that are too long, ramble, and don't answer common customer questions are much less likely to be featured. Remember to focus on delivering value to the user first and foremost — if your content is helpful and well-written, you're more likely to be featured in a snippet.
Unlike an ordered list featured snippet, an unordered list is, as the name suggests, not presented in any particular order. This type of featured snippet is more suitable for presenting a list of items that are not related to each other, or where the order is not important. For example, a list of remodeling ideas for a home or a list of creative DIY design projects that can be completed over the weekend is both examples of unordered list featured snippets. Some tips for creating an effective unordered list featured snippet include:
- Start with a catchy title that clearly states what the list is about.
- Make sure each item on the list is clear and concise.
- Use bullet points to make the list easy to read.
- Use images, if possible, to get Google features photos.
- Use keyword-rich titles for each item on the list.
When you follow these guidelines, you have a much greater chance of your list becoming a featured snippet on Google. This in turn can lead to more website traffic and potential customers for your business.
Google is Rewarding Writers of Concise Content, Wordsmiths Who Get to the Point
As we've mentioned earlier. Google rewards featured snippets to those who get to the point. So, if you have a wordsmith who can express themselves concisely, you're in luck! Google will now be giving you a little something extra for your efforts. However, not every company has attained a talented wordsmith. Here are some essential guidelines you can follow to make your content more concise:
- Keep your sentences short and sweet: A good rule of thumb is to keep your sentences under 20 words. You want to make sure your message is clear and concise, without being too wordy.
- Get to the point quickly: In the age of information overload, your readers don’t have time to wade through a lot of fluff to get to the meat of your article. Get to the point quickly so they can decide if your content is worth their time.
- Use everyday language that everyone can understand: You don’t need to use big words or fancy language to get your point across. Keep it simple so your readers can easily follow along.
- Be clear and concise: This goes hand-in-hand with keeping your sentences short. Make sure your message is clear and to the point so your readers don’t get lost in the weeds.
- Edit, edit, edit: Once you’ve written your piece, go back through and edit it for conciseness. Cut out any unnecessary words or sentences that don’t add to the overall message.
Following these guidelines will help you create content that is more likely to be rewarded by Google. So whether you’re writing for your blog, website, or social media, keep these tips in mind to produce high-quality, rewarding content.
Does Your Business Interest You? Can You Summarize Big Ideas in a Few Words?
With all this talk about featured snippets, it can make you wonder if you can even summarize your big ideas in a few words. The answer is, of course! The best way to get here is by first making your brand content into something that is interesting to YOU. When it's interesting to you, it's authentic to your voice as a business. And when your brand's messaging is authentic, your target audience will be able to tell, and they'll be all the more likely to engage. At Wizard of Ads®, we help businesses in the residential home service industry build their brands — from crafting a remarkable brand image, to teaching them how to show up on Google searches. Our focus is on helping these businesses create interesting content that authentically speaks to their target audiences. We do this by working with you to get to the heart of what YOU are passionate about, and then we craft persuasive messaging around that. Ready to get started? Book a call with us today!