Think about the last time you used a search engine to get a quick answer to one of life’s many questions. Did you have to sort through several results to find your answer?
You may have been able to find what you were looking for at the top of the search engine results page without having to make a single click. If there was a box at the top of the results with your answer right there inside it, you saw a Snippet.
Snippets were created to help provide more convenience to Google’s users. They can also be a great marketing tool for any entrepreneur, business owner, or advertiser.
Learning how to show up in a featured snippet will help you drive traffic to your site, if you’re able to use this guide to make it into that coveted snippet box. It can also help you stay more in tune with your audience by thinking critically about what they want.
To Show Up in a Snippet, Think Like a Snippet
Snippets are known for being a quick, convenient way of displaying content without requiring the user to click any of the results.
The option is always there to follow the link to the site where the content was found when a snippet does pop up. When it does, what does it usually say? In most cases, snippets are brief but thorough answers to specific, honed-in questions.
Search engines are designed to help users find the answers to their questions and the solutions to their needs. Snippets could be looked at as an evolution in the field of search engines, as they represent what the algorithm has determined to be a high-quality, comprehensive, and engaging response to the inputted question or phrase.
This means that, when you’re thinking about how to show up in a featured snippet, you have to think about what would qualify as a succinct yet informative answer.
For starters, the key is to understand what your audience is looking for.
Think about what questions people are asking in your industry and try searching them. Are there snippets that come up? Can you improve upon the content in them? If a snippet doesn’t come up but it’s a great question, you’ve got an awesome opportunity to be the authority!
Try beginning to type a question into Google’s search box. Google will try to finish the question for you by providing search suggestions. It might even suggest relevant questions that you haven’t thought of! Take note of what it’s suggesting if it’s related to your industry or niche.
Provide Great Content and Anticipate the Question
Eloquent content and proper keyword usage can help any page improve its performance in Google’s search results. But for snippets, sometimes a little more is required.
Snippets still have to pass Google’s quality-control checks, but they must also provide an answer. Simply put, a snippet is a ‘snip’ of a longer piece of content that addresses a basic question. To make sure you’re giving the right answer, consider the type of questions users are asking:
- “How does a convection oven work?”
- “How do you tune a piano?”
- “How to tie a tie”
- “What is the age of the moon?”
Users will often start with ‘how’ or ‘what’ or ‘why’ when they input their questions into a search engine.
A person is less likely to look up ‘convection oven handbooks’ or ‘diagram of the inside of a piano’ and attempt to dig the answer out themselves. Instead, they’ll ask the question to the search engine the same way they would ask a human authority on the topic.
To be in a snippet, the content must be informative and tell the person what they’re looking for in a simple, straightforward answer. A lot of the content that Google chooses for snippets is organized into bullet points or numbered lists. So, try to provide a step-by-step answer if that makes sense with your content.
Optimize Page Content & Keywords for Common Searches
Your content should tell a person what they’re looking for – but that doesn’t mean there is only one correct way. Try to anticipate the way someone will ask their question, and write/optimize your answer very carefully for that. Once you know the type of question a person is asking, it becomes much easier to optimize your on-page content. Instead of simply ‘tuning pianos’ or ‘piano tuning,’ extending it to the full question ‘how do you tune a piano’ or ‘how to tune a piano’ will help increase the chances your content will pop up in a snippet.
One of the easier ways to implement these keywords naturally into your content is to use question-and-answer formats. This also makes it easier to give concise answers, using step-by-step formatting and numbered lists if necessary.
Concise answers that get to the point will have a better chance of landing in a snippet than a roundabout explanation buried in a long page. You can also add an image to help improve your chances – it will look better, and grab the user’s attention.
Make sure your page title and meta description are clear and to-the-point. Don’t try to over-optimize them. If you’re answer the question, “How is ice cream made?”, your page title should be “How Ice Cream is Made”.
Read More Guides
There are a couple resources out there we’ve found for writing great content that’ll appear in snippets. Make sure to check out:
- Content Marketing Institute’s Snippet Guide
- Moz’s “How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets to Build More Traffic”
- SEMRush’s “Advanced Techniques to Be the Featured Snippet”
Are you looking for high-quality and results-focused internet marketers to help you with your content strategy? Contact Thrive Internet Marketing today!