Tips on Ranking for Featured Snippets

Michael Bergbauer - November 2, 2020

What are Featured Snippets?

Featured Snippets, or Answer Boxes, are formatted “card style” results from Google that provide users with succinct answers to search queries. The goal of Featured Snippets is to direct users to useful information quickly – reducing the need to skim content to pinpoint what they need. To create this type of result, Google pulls a short excerpt (snippet) from the ranking webpage’s content that it determines is relevant to the user’s query – no structured markup required.

Featured Snippets appear at the top of search engine results pages and stand out from other results – which can increase the visibility of the websites that rank for them. Ranking for Answer Box results requires you to structure your content in way that provides concise and straight-forward information, followed-up with additional details, all using a format that prioritizes clarity and easy readability.

How to Rank for Featured Snippets

To improve your chances of ranking for Featured Snippets, ensure your content does the following:

  1. Provide a direct and concise answer to the query you want to rank for near the beginning of the content.
  2. Include H2 and H3 sub-headings throughout the content to separate different aspects of information or shifts in subject-matter. When writing these headings, be descriptive instead of using utilitarian language that needs more context to make sense. For example, use “The Risks of Inaccurate Financial Reporting” instead of “Why take a risk?” Question-style phrasing may also increase the chance of ranking for a Featured Snippet: “What are the Risks of Inaccurate Financial Reporting?”
  3. Convey information clearly by using brief paragraphs, ordered lists, and images
  4. Make sure are applicable to the page’s subject-matter and are easily understood without the context of the content on the page. Don’t forget to include alt. attribute tags that are descriptive of the image, and if possible, includes the target keyphrase for the page.

Featured Snippets are a great example of Google’s goal of showing users the best, most useful information. So when it comes to writing for Featured Snippets, it’s really helpful to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask yourself: What typical questions do users about your chosen subject-matter? Does your content answer those questions clearly? Is there more information your content should provide? By keeping that perspective in mind and using the above tips, you’ll be ranking for Featured Snippets in no time!

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