How to Make it into Google’s Prized Featured Snippet Position Jessica Lunk Whether you call it the featured snippet, the answer box, or position zero, nailing that top spot on the search page is pure SEO gold. Getting a post in the featured snippet position allows you to steal clicks away from the coveted first organic position on a results page. And if you’re able to snag both position zero and position one, you’ll gain 31% more traffic than you would if you just had the first position alone. In addition to increases in traffic, you’ll also receive more brand awareness, conversions, and authority. Not a bad situation, if you ask me. How do you get there, though? It’s going to take some work, but fortunately, there are tried and true methods for making it into position zero — and getting all of the SEO benefits that come along with it. Understand the Types of Featured Snippets Let’s first touch base on the various types of featured snippets, which will help you understand how your content can win that prized position. There are three main types to be aware of when creating and optimizing your content: Paragraphs These kinds of snippets are just what the name describes – details and information in the form of a paragraph. This makes the most sense for a search that results in more detailed information. Tables Instead of sourcing a table and including it for the snippet, Google actually puts the tables together based on the information it finds. This works well for when you’re looking to compare numbers or percentages over a specific period of time. Lists Numbered Pretty self-explanatory, but numbered lists make the most sense when you’re looking for a list of “the best of,” “the worst of,” or a set of steps needed to complete a certain task, etc. Bulleted For bulleted lists snippets, Google pulls the main points from listicles so you can see a more condensed version, which helps you quickly review what you’re looking for. While their formats differ, the purpose of each is the same: serve as the definitive answer for a search query. The type of snippet you try to create then comes down to the keyphrase you’re aiming for. A query like “how does a flu shot work?” for example, would warrant a paragraph snippet, whereas “health benefits of almonds” would probably warrant a list. Keep structure in mind when formatting your content for the featured snippet position. The goal is to provide a concise response to a query in a way that can be translated into a short and easily digestible blurb. So if you write a post on the health benefits of almonds, but you do it in paragraph form, that’s not going to be as quick and accessible for search as a post that separates the various benefits into bullet points. Voice Search and Featured Snippets Since voice assistants always pull their results from the content in the featured snippet position, earning this spot will make your content the go-to resource for voice searches. And with an estimated 50% of all searches being done through voice, it makes landing this position even more beneficial. It’s important also to note how voice searches differ from online searches. With voice search, obviously, searches are being phrased. This means search phrases are more complete questions rather than an amalgamation of terms. Let’s say you’re a consumer interested in buying new running shoes. If you’re talking to Alexa, you’re going to say “what are the best running shoes,” and not just “best running shoes.” This change in syntax might not seem like much, but it’s important when it comes to keywords. To get the featured snippet, you have to be responding to exactly what a searcher wants to know. And since more searches are happening in complete and direct questions, it pays to create content that answers those questions. Increase your chances even more by answering the question right away — ideally in the very first sentence or paragraph of your content. This is a good indicator to Google that your post is about the exact phrase being searched. Focus on the Right Opportunities If there’s already a highly-authoritative site ranking in position zero for a certain search query, then you’re going to have a tough time nudging them out of the spot. There’s a lot of featured snippet real estate to be had though, so instead of trying to out-compete your strongest competitors look for opportunities that will be easier to achieve. The best conditions for getting in Google’s featured snippet position are those that feature low-competition keywords that are also highly relevant to your brand. As an example, let’s say that you want to write a post about saving energy. Search “how to save energy,” and you’ll see an authoritative site already occupies that position zero and thus might not be worth competing against. So instead, scroll down to “People also ask” and look at the related questions. You might have better luck with “how can you save energy outside?” or “how can we use less electricity?”. Remember: you’ll get the most value out of featured snippets where you also have position one on the page. Look through your analytics to see which post you’re at position one for, and then compete directly for those featured snippets — you’ve already got a big leg up. Good luck on your race to the top!