Getting a Featured Snippet Block is like a reward for content that does a really good job of answering a specific question that several users are asking in Google. It’s not always an answer to a question either, sometimes it’s just a very relevant presentation of information that’s optimized in just such a way where Google decides to convert the results into a Featured Snippet Block.
The advantage to the user is they get a quick answer or information without having to click through to the article to know whether that page is relevant to them or not.
The perceived disadvantage is that users may not click through if they get the answer right in the results pages.
I don’t think this is a problem though, because when your content is displayed in a Featured Snippet Block, you are seen as an authority, which increases your chances of the users clicking through to your page to learn more.
When I performed a search for how to make sweet and sour sauce, you can see that the first result is a Featured Snippet:
If your content gets summarized in a featured snippet, that content is going to stand out above the rest of the results on that page. Not just because it’s high up in the SERPS, but also because it’s formatted in a way that grabs the users attention and tells them “this result is most relevant to you”.
This is why you need to try and optimize your content in a way that will make Google display your page result in a featured snippet. Optimization is a must because Google does not provide a way for you to request this. You have to essentially “earn” it.
So what you can do to increase your chances of earning a Featured Snippet Block?
Tailor Your Content to Answer a Specific Question
If you’re writing a blog post that shows the reader how to do something, make the header text let the reader know what you’re showing them. Try to use phrases in your title like How to, Learn How, When to, and so on.
Even better, try to use the actual question users are typing into Google as the URI or Permalink. Do the same with the page title and post name. If the information isn’t a question, then just use whatever long-tail keyword that would be used to find your page.
Be Specific and Succinct
Whatever information you’re providing, make sure you’re specific. Don’t provide generalities, say exactly what needs to be done or what they need to know. It’s best to use a few short sentences for each point or instruction you provide. If you can, present your point in a numbered list format. More specifically, use the HTML markup for an ordered list which looks like this:
<li>Do the first step first.</li>
<li>Do the second step next.</li>
<li>Do the third step last.</li>
If you’re using WordPress, or some other Content Management System, this is very easy. The text editors in these systems should always have a numbered list icon that will create this for you.
Now even though you need to be succinct in each point, make sure you go in depth with enough points that you are very thorough. The more informative and accurate you are, the more relevant Google will perceive your content to be, which increases your chance of getting a Snippet.
Get to the First Page
In order to earn a Featured Snippet, you actually have to be on the first page for the keyword being used to find those results. In fact, you should be at or near the top of the first page in the results. How to do this is a topic for another post, or book for that matter, so I won’t get into that right here.
However, I can tell you this; be relevant! While Google does not publish the detailed specifics of their algorithm, all the information they do provide points to one thing, and that’s relevance. The more relevant your content is to the users searching for it, the quicker you will climb in the results pages for the keywords they’re using to find you. Then, the better optimized you are for a Featured Snippet, the better chances your search result will have one.
So take a look at your content where you may be answering questions or teaching a method for something. Does it meet the optimization guidelines above? Are you on the first page of the results for the keyword being used to find your content? Make sure your content is optimized, and if you can get to the first page in the SERPS, you have a strong chance of earning the coveted Featured Snippet.