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What is a Featured Snippet

Ever seen a question answered at the top of a Google search? That’s featured snippet! Learn what featured snippets are and How to be featured

Have you ever typed a question into Google and noticed a box at the top of the search results that shows a quick summary or answer? That box is called a “featured snippet” and it’s like a magic shortcut that can save you tons of time when searching for things online.

Featured snippets are designed to quickly give you the most important information or answer right away, before you even have to click on any websites. Pretty cool, right? In this post, we’ll dive deep into everything you need to know about featured snippets and how websites can try to get them.

Web page designs aren't just about looks! They should be easy to use and helpful to visitors. This can also help them do well in search engines. If your site is well-organized and answers questions clearly, it might even earn a featured snippet - that's the special answer box at the top of search results that gets lots of clicks!

What is a Featured Snippet

A featured snippet is a special box that Google shows at the very top of the search results page. Its goal is to provide you with a useful summary or overview that directly answers your question or query. 

Instead of you having to click around and read through different websites to find the core information you want, featured snippets aim to just hand you the most important answer upfront and in a neat, skimmable way.

Google pulls a small chunk of content like a paragraph, list, table, or video from one of the top web pages and displays it prominently in this featured snippet box above all the regular results. It’s meant to give you an instant high-level answer so you can decide if you need more details or not.

What is a featured snippet

For example, if you search "How tall is the Empire State Building?", the featured snippet might simply show something like "The Empire State Building is 1,454 feet tall" in a little box before the typical website listings.

Why Featured Snippets are So Useful

Featured snippets are extremely helpful for searches because they allow you to quickly get quality information or answers without having to dig through lots of web pages. They cut right to the chase and save you valuable time and energy.  

When you look something up, the featured snippet tries to address your main question immediately in a clean, easy-to-scan format right at the very top. If the snippet has the high-level details you need, awesome – you got your answer in seconds! If not, you can simply scan the normal search results below it.

For websites and content creators, getting featured in those coveted top snippet boxes is a huge win. It allows your page and content to be featured in the most visible and prominent spot on Google searches related to the topics. This increases the visibility tremendously, increase website traffic, and helps establish yourself as top authorities.

Different Formats for Featured Snippets

Featured snippets can show up in a variety of formats depending on what type of content works best for answering that particular query. Here are the main types: 

Paragraph Snippets

One of the most common formats is a short paragraph or text blurb that directly answers a simple question like “What is X?” or “Why does X happen?“. These are great for straightforward informational queries.

For example, if you search “What is a hurricane?“, Google may display a featured paragraph snippet that states something like: 

A hurricane is a large rotating storm with high-speed winds that forms over warm waters in areas like the Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico.

List Snippets

List snippets or numbered lists are very useful for searches looking for step-by-step instructions, procedures, rankings, or sets of items. They allow Google to concisely show the key steps, items, or order in a clean, skimmable way using bullets or numbers.

If you search “Steps for changing a car tire“, the featured snippet may show:

  1. Park on a flat, solid surface and engage parking brake
  2. Get lug wrench, jack, and spare tire
  3. Loosen lug nuts on flat tire
  4. Position jack and raise vehicle
  5. Remove lug nuts and flat tire
  6. Put on spare tire and tighten lug nuts
  7. Lower vehicle and store flat tire
Table Snippets

For searches asking for comparisons, data sets, specifications, or statistics, Google may showcase the information in a nice table snippet. This lays out the key details and figures in an easy-to-read rows and columns format.

For the query “Laptop specs comparison“, it could show a table column for things like:

Brand – Processor – RAM – Storage – Price

Video Snippets 

Some searches are best answered with a quick video tutorial or step-by-step demonstration. In these cases, Google will actually display a short video clip right in the featured snippet box.

A search for “How to tie a tie” may surface a 60-second video right in the snippet showing the hand movements and steps to properly knot a tie.

How Websites Can Try to Get Featured Snippets

While Google’s system for determining featured snippets is quite complex, there are some tactics and best practices websites can follow to increase their chances of getting featured for relevant queries: 

  • Identify common questions people ask related to your topics and create detailed content specifically answering those questions clearly and directly
  • Structure your pages and content in a logical, skimmable way using proper formatting like headings, subheadings, bullet points, numbered lists, and easy-to-navigate sections
  • Use good on page SEO practices like integrating relevant keywords naturally throughout your content 
  • Implement schema markup on your pages to help search engines better understand the context and organization of your information
  • Focus on creating high-quality, comprehensive, and highly valuable content that covers topics in-depth and cites expert sources
  • Keep your content fresh and updated by regularly revisiting it to add new stats, examples, or information over time
  • Build authority and credibility for your site by acquiring quality backlinks and brand mentions from other reputable sites

The key is making it as easy and obvious as possible for Google to identify your content as the single best resource for answering a particular search query. Directly addressing the core question, using plenty of examples, visual aids, and breaking things down into step-by-step sections can really help.

How UTDS Optimal Choice Can Help You Get Featured Snippets

At UTDS Optimal Choice, a leading website design and advertising agency, we understand the immense value of having your content featured in the coveted snippet boxes on Google. As search engine optimization (SEO) experts, we can devise a comprehensive strategy to increase your chances of earning those prime snippet spots. 

Whether you need a new website built from the ground up with a snippet-optimized content strategy, or you simply want to enhance an existing site, we have the expertise to put your business at the top of Google’s featured snippets.

With our holistic SEO solutions spanning technical, on-page, off-page and content marketing tactics, we can give you a true competitive advantage in getting your brand featured as the go-to resource for your most important topics. Our team is ready to help you harness the power of featured snippets to drive more visibility, traffic and authority online. Contact us today to learn more.

At the end of the day, featured snippets exist to improve the search experience by instantly surfacing the most helpful, credible, and succinct information to users. Websites that truly master creating ultra clear, logical, and organized content tailored to the most common questions have the best shot at winning those prime snippet spots.

So don’t just create content for creating’s sake – do keyword research to understand what your audience needs, then build detailed pages structured to provide those bite-sized yet valuable answers in a format suited for featured snippets.

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