What is a featured snippet, and how can you position your content to rank for one? Columnist Stephan Spencer explains this search feature and provides tips for optimizing your pages for it.
For many site owners, ranking in position 1 is the holy grail of SEO. However, if you are in a competitive market, achieving that coveted first position in the Google SERPs (search engine results pages) may take a lot of effort and investment.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t make the investment, but don’t overlook the opportunity to rank in position 0 with a featured snippet. For one thing, getting a featured snippet may be less about the link metrics and more about the actual content on your page. So if you are outgunned in terms of backlinks, then featured snippets could be just the thing for your business.
Surprisingly, it is not unheard of for URLs ranking on page 2 of the Google SERPs to get a “position 0” result with a featured snippet. Of course, most featured snippets are for URLs that are in the top 10 results. As you can imagine, if you are in position 5, getting that position 0 “answer box” result can be a big boost to that page’s visibility and organic traffic.
What’s a featured snippet?
At this writing, featured snippets appear in 9.1968 percent of search queries, according to RankRanger. They appear at the top of the search results page, above the normal search results (hence the reason we call these “position 0” rankings). The snippet contains the URL and page title, along with a “snippet” of the page’s content in an attempt to answer the searcher’s query.
The way it works is that Google will “programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.” These featured snippets are designed to draw the user’s attention, and many site owners find that their CTR (click-through rate) significantly increases for the web pages that have featured snippets in the SERPs.