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What are Featured Snippets (Google Questions) and How do I Get my Website to Show?

What are featured snippets

Featured snippets give your pages a fighting chance of coming out top in SERP queries.

As predicted in our article here (https://www.opace.co.uk/blog/seo-predictions-and-trends), Featured Snippets, otherwise known as Google Questions or Google Quick Answers, have become a big thing in 2019.

Featured snippets are one of the latest developments in how search engines are trying to adapt to provide a slicker user experience. They outrank traditional search results and sites that are featured are proven to attract far more traffic than other websites.

In this feature, we take a look at exactly what featured snippets are and how you can get your website to appear in one of Google’s answer boxes.

What are Featured Snippets or Google Questions?

Featured snippets, commonly referred to by many as Google Questions or ‘answer boxes’, are selected search results that are returned by Google in an attempt to answer a user’s specific query…fast!

They are displayed above the organic search results returned by Google and, as a result, receive far more traffic than many other sites that may feature similar answers, just hidden inside the content of their pages.

Featured snippets were created by the search engine giants in an attempt to speed up the query process for users who search for a very specific question. More importantly, they were developed in response to the increase in voice searches using devices like Amazon’s Alexa, iPhone’s Siri and Google Home.

Featured snippets and voice search

Condensing the core of your content into easy ‘snippets’ is easily picked up for voice search technology.

Types of Featured Snippets

There are three forms which featured snippets take, namely:

  • Text, or paragraph, snippet displays where the answer is provided either in a box either with or without an image.
  • List snippet displays where the answer is presented in the form of a bullet point or numbered list.
  • Table snippet displays which are similar to the list displays but in a table format.

How do I Get My Website to Show Up in Featured Snippets/Google Questions?

As with any form of SEO, there are no guaranteed ways to get your website to show in a featured snippet just as you cannot guarantee a number 1 ranking.

However, you can boost your chances of achieving both of these by optimising your content and by utilising structured data.

Structured data (also known as Schema) is a format of coding in which the content of your website is marked up using a specific kind of vocabulary which is universally recognised by search engines.

You will probably be familiar with best practices when it comes to parsing the content of your pages to include key information such as h1, h2, h3 tags and metadata. Well, structured data goes one step further and allows web developers to clearly distinguish important information a page using a range of ‘tags’ that are given a recognised value. In this way, Schema is considered a kind of translation tool which speaks both ‘Human’ and ‘Search Engine’.

Example of feature snippets

This featured snippet shows how the information contained in a much larger article has been given ‘rich’ mark up to display a fast answer to a search query.

Top Tips for Securing Featured Snippets for Your Content

As well as harnessing the power of structured data, you cannot ignore the basics of SEO when it comes to the quality of your content and these tips should make it more likely that your pages achieve an answer box or featured snippet.

  • Research those snippets being achieved by your competitors. SEMrush is a great tool to get some analysis on this.
  • Use the ‘People Also Ask’ results to inform you of what your audience is searching for.
  • Optimise your content by performing keyword research.
  • Try to specifically answer questions with your content or even multiple questions.
  • Break up your content into sections using headers.
  • Exercise brevity when it comes to answering questions. It is far more likely that you will appear in featured snippets if you answer a question with just one sentence than if you go over an optimum word count.
  • Use relevant and high-quality images and other media to illustrate your content.

Of course, understanding what are Featured Snippets is important but there is a whole lot more to consider when it comes to SEO.  For those interested, here you can find a detailed guide providing our most essential SEO quick wins to boost your Google ranking, covering aspects ranging from SEO planning to engaging potential users.

Opace & SEO

Opace is a results-driven digital design agency specialising in producing responsive and smart websites. We offer a full range of content marketing, search engine optimisation and web design services all geared around increasing online visibility and producing tangible returns for your bottom line. We have the technical know-how to produce content that is capable of being picked up in featured snippets and can help you achieve higher SERP rankings.

To find out more about how we can help you develop your SEO strategy, contact one of our team today.


Image credits: Pixabay/kreatikar, Pixabay/Mohamed_Hassan and Google.

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