Find out what featured snippets are and how your brand can capture the spotlight by getting featured in Google’s answer box.
As featured snippets become more prominent in Google’s search engine results, many businesses are increasingly interested in finding out how to win the prized slot.
Are featured snippets worth the time and energy it takes to achieve them? We’ll answer that question with data, and also explain how Google chooses which URLs to feature.
As well, we will show you a handful of featured snippet tools that can help increase your chances of being featured.
What are Google Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets, also referred to as “answer boxes,” are the answers shown in boxes or lists at the top of some organic search results pages.
Feature snippets may be presented in one or more of the many formats Google offers:
For example, if you conduct a Google search on “how to tie a shoe,” Google publishes a featured snippet in an answer box format above all other results.
The snippet shown above is located in the highly-coveted “0 position” of the search engine results page, meaning it’s listed before everything else.
Sometimes snippets are located in 0 position, and other times they’re placed after a paid advertisement.
In the example below, we’ve asked Google “What is a topic cluster?” The results include a sponsored ad at the top followed by a featured snippet paragraph before the organic search results.
Featured snippets are informally referred to as “answer boxes,” and should not be confused with Google “quick answers.”
Quick answers are brief answers provided by Google that do not link to a website. Below is an example of a Google quick answer.
Answer boxes do not include a URL or featured website.
How often do Google searches result in featured snippets at the top?
According to a study by Ahrefs, about 12% of Google search queries result in featured snippets.Source: AHREFS.com
The snippet feature is growing, fueled by the popularity of voice searches.
According to Moz’s Whiteboard Friday presentation on featured snippet opportunities, most voice search results come from the featured snippet boxes.
Do Featured Snippets Have a Large Impact on a Website’s Traffic?
Featured snippets can have a significant impact on a website’s traffic and revenue. For some brands capturing the spotlight has resulted in a 20-30% increase in traffic and more than 650% increased revenue.
In addition, once an excerpt from your page becomes a featured snippet, it can appear in multiple queries. In fact, the top-performing page from one study appeared in over 4,500 featured snippets.
How Can Your Website Win a Spot in The Featured Snippet Box?
According to a study by Ahrefs, you need to rank in the top 10 results for a particular query in order to have a shot at being featured in a snippet.
More than 99% of featured snippets are drawn from the top 10 search results.
Rank Ranger reports that in ⅓ of all cases, the top search engine result is the URL chosen to be in the featured snippet. Nearly 70% of feature snippets go to the top 3 results, and search results lower than the top 10 are almost never highlighted.
To win a coveted spot in a featured snippet, you must try to rank in the top 3 (or at least the top 10) results for your keyword.
How Does Google Choose Featured Snippets?
According to Google, snippet summaries are “extracted programmatically.” You cannot mark your page to be considered for featured snippets, as they are machine-chosen.
There are, however, a handful of tools that can help you compete for featured snippets for your keyword phrases. Below are 3 tools that can assist you in pursuing a featured snippet.
3 Tools to Help Boost Your Chances of Appearing in a Featured Snippet
The following tools are designed to help boost your chances of appearing in a featured snippet.
1. SEM Rush Position Tracking Tool
SEM Rush’s Position Tracking Tool now offers a “Featured Snippets Report.”Source: SEM Rush
The position tracking tool helps by showing you which keywords you should focus on in order to get a featured snippet.
2. Ninja Tools Featured Snippet Optimization Tool
The Featured Snippet Optimization Tool by Ninja Tools helps you get featured snippets by compiling all the data you need into an actionable format. It offers information on competitor snippets that you can try to “steal,” and also uncovers promising keyword phrases from your site.Source: Ninja Tools
It shows you which format Google might favor for a particular keyword phrase and helps you create a plan to optimize for it.
Rank Ranger’s Featured Snippet Tool offers a bounty of data to help you determine how to vie for featured snippetsSource: Rank Ranger
Its Featured Snippets Analysis Table offers detailed information about keywords and landing pages that have already ranked for a featured snippet.
Rank Ranger also offers SERP Snapshots, along with plenty of detailed information on what featured snippets are and how they work.
Featured Snippets Are a Good Incentive for Reaching Google’s Top 10
Before you invest time and energy into competing for a featured snippets spot, work toward getting your top keyword pages ranked high in the SERPs.
Then, take time to understand what the data from sources like Rank Ranger, Neil Patel, and Moz Whiteboard Fridays can tell you about capturing featured snippets.
Once you have an understanding of the details involved, try using a featured snippet tool to help you view the data you need to capture position zero.
Featured snippets are a great incentive for brands to work their way up into the top ten Google results.