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What Are Featured Snippets & Why They Matter

What Are Featured Snippets

In the ever-evolving digital marketing and SEO landscape, featured snippets are essential to boost your website’s presence significantly. 

With years of experience in the field, we have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you understand featured snippets and how to leverage them to your advantage. 

By following our insights, you’ll learn how to optimize your content and enhance your website’s visibility. 

Quick Summary

  • A featured snippet is a specially formatted search result that appears above Google’s search results, providing an accurate and quick answer to users’ queries. 
  • A featured snippet comes in various formats, such as paragraphs, bulleted or numbered lists, tables, and videos.
  • A featured snippet can positively and negatively impact your website’s click-through rate (CTR).

What Are Featured Snippets?

Featured snippets are specially formatted search results that appear above the organic search results on Google. 

Google Featured Snippet

These snippets aim to provide quick and accurate answers to users’ queries, making it easier for them to find needed information.

Featured snippets include paragraphs, bulleted or numbered lists, tables, and videos. 

What Types Of Featured Snippets Are There?

There are four main types of featured snippets: paragraphs, lists, tables, and videos. Here is a brief for each of them.

  • Paragraph Featured Snippet – A paragraph-featured snippet gives a concise explanation, usually around 40-60 words long. This is what appears when you are looking for a definition or explanation on Google.
  • Numbered List Featured Snippet – Ever searched for a recipe or a guide on fixing something? Chances are, you’ve come across a numbered list featured snippet. They present a set of steps or rank things in a specific order, making it easy for users to follow a particular process. 
  • Bullet List Featured Snippet – Bullet lists offer items without any particular order. This is perfect when you want a quick overview without any specific order. 
  • Table Featured Snippet – When you need to compare or analyze information, a table featured snippet comes to the rescue. They showcase data in a structured format, letting you quickly grasp the relationship between different data points. 
  • Video Featured Snippet – A video-featured snippet provides a more engaging and dynamic answer throughout a video. Sometimes, a visual explanation works best, especially for “how-to” queries.

Why Are Featured Snippets Important In SEO?

Although claiming a featured snippet spot can improve your Google rankings and provide you with a big boost, this isn’t always the case. 


1. Skyrocket Your Ranking

A featured snippet is a secret weapon for boosting your website’s ranking. They pop up right above the regular search results, meaning your site becomes more visible and easier for people to find. This will lead to more traffic to your website.

In the past, trying to rank on Google’s first page was your main goal; however, this is insufficient today.  

It’s no longer enough to rank for 10 blue links.
– Brian Harnish, Lead SEO at iLoveSEO

Brian explains that because a featured snippet appears above the top result, this potentially draws more traffic.

As evidence, Search Engine Land discovered that the featured snippet box steals a lot of traffic from the top organic result. 

The featured snippet gets around 8% of all clicks. They are essential for getting noticed and drawing more visitors to your site.

2. Gives Your CTR a Boost 

When you get a featured snippet on Google, your click-through will increase. People are more likely to click on your website since it stands out and answers their questions immediately.


However, there is a flip side! Why bother visiting your site if someone sees the whole answer in the snippet? Featured snippets also increase the no-clicks searches, which could hurt your CTR. 

Here’s a tip: try targeting keywords with a high CTR rate. How do you know them? You can use Google Search Console to display a keyword’s CTR.

By choosing keywords with a high CTR, you can ensure that even if someone gets a bit of the answer from the snippet, they’ll still want to check out your site for the whole story.

3. Raise Brand Awareness

Getting featured in a snippet is like Google giving you a high-five! It shows that your brand knows its stuff, and users can trust you.

Brand Awareness

The extra exposure can help people recognize your brand and think more highly of your website.

4. Stay Ahead With Voice Search Optimization

Many people use voice-activated assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, so ensuring your content is ready for voice search is super important.

The Backlinko study shows that over 40% of voice search results are from featured snippets. That means if you’re optimizing for a featured snippet, you’re also making your content voice search-friendly.

It’s like killing two birds with one stone, ensuring your website stays fresh and easy to find no matter how people search. 

How To Optimize For Featured Snippets?

To optimize your content for featured snippets, you can employ a few strategies. Here are some featured snippet optimization tactics to consider: 

1. Find SERPs With A Featured Snippet

The first step in optimizing for a featured snippet is to find SERPs that feature a snippet. This approach will give you an idea of the featured snippet opportunities available, the type of content Google is looking for, and its preferred format. 

To find SERPs with a featured snippet, search for your target keyword and see if a snippet appears at the top of the page. 

Also, you can use tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to discover search queries with featured snippets in your niche.


These tools will also help you analyze your competitors’ snippets to find gaps or opportunities to outrank them. 

2. Optimize For That Specific Featured Snippet

When you find a SERP with a featured snippet, study its format, content, and keywords. Is it a list, a table, or a paragraph? Which keywords does it focus on? Use this information to tailor your content accordingly. 

For example, if the snippet is a list, structure your content as a list with clear headings and use similar keywords to make it more snippet-worthy. 

3. Optimize Your Page Around Several Different Long Tail Keywords

A featured snippet often appears for long-tail or question-based queries. Based on our experience, we found that optimizing your content with different long tail keywords increases the chances of appearing in multiple featured snippets.

Targeting Long-Tail Keywords

Therefore, we recommend using keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or AnswerThePublic to find relevant long-tail terms and naturally weave them into your content. 

4. Improve Your Rankings

There is a 0% possibility that you will trigger featured snippets if your page does not appear on Google’s first page. So, if you’re not there yet, work on improving your on-page and off-page SEO. 

For on-page SEO, focus on keyword optimization in title tags, header tags, meta descriptions, and internal linking. Build high-quality backlinks, social media engagement, and influencer outreach for off-page SEO.

5. Find “Low-Hanging” Opportunities

Look for keywords where you’re already ranking on the first page. These are your “low-hanging” featured snippet opportunities. 


Optimize your content further for these keywords by improving readability, adding value, and ensuring it’s up-to-date. This way, you can increase your chances of being featured in a snippet.  

6. Use the Inverted Pyramid Style

The inverted pyramid writing style involves presenting the most crucial information first, followed by supporting details.  This approach is excellent for winning a featured snippet because Google values concise, straightforward answers.

To apply this style, start your content with a summary or a basic answer to the query, then provide additional details or explanations. 

7. Use “Trigger” Words

Some words and phrases can increase your chances of winning featured snippets. Try to use these trigger words in your headings or questions within your content. If you managed to do that, you would increase your chances of triggering featured snippets.


What Are Video Featured Snippets?

Video featured snippets are results that display a video at the top of the search page. These snippets offer engaging, helpful information best demonstrated through video content. 

Video Featured Snippets

What’s The Difference Between A Rich Snippet And A Featured Snippet?

The difference between a rich snippet and a featured snippet is that the rich snippet is an enhanced search result with additional information. On the other hand, the featured snippet directly answers a user’s query, usually in 40-60 words. 

Do I Have to Pay for Featured Snippets? 

No, you do not have to pay for featured snippets. Search engines like Google automatically select and display a featured snippet based on the content’s relevance, quality, and usefulness. 

Maximize Your SEO Potential With Google’s Featured Snippets

Feature snippets are a powerful SEO tool that can significantly boost your website’s visibility, enhance your brand’s reputation, and ensure your content is voice search-friendly. 

To maximize the benefits of a featured snippet, it’s essential to approach them correctly. Don’t forget to check out our guide on how to steal a featured snippet for even more valuable tips and tricks. Additionally, you can join The Affiliate Lab, where you can gain access to expert insights and verified strategies.


Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.

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