Nothing makes us content marketing and PR folk happier than seeing our work reach the dizzy heights of a featured snippet. Ranking on Google for a page we’ve carefully crafted is one thing, but seeing your name in lights as the featured snippet really is something else. But what exactly is a Google featured snippet? How do you ensure that the content you’re producing stands a chance of being featured there? And why does it even matter? Read everything you need to know in our helpful guide to featured snippets.
Featured snippets are short segments of information that appear at the top of a Google search results page, above any organic results. Also known as ‘position 0’, Google’s featured snippets provide users with a short and snappy answer to their search query, usually no longer than a sentence or two. Basically, if you want a quick answer to your query, Google’s featured snippet is where you’re going to find it. Featured snippets often also contain an image, or sometimes even a video, although the multimedia will have often been sourced from a different website to the snippet’s content. Featured snippets aren’t returned with every search query. In fact, research suggests that featured snippets are more likely to appear when the search intent of the query is informational, rather than transactional.
The five types of content that dominate featured snippets
With the aim of serving users the information they need fast, the most favoured forms of content for a featured snippet include:
Numbered or bullet point lists
Tables / charts
What is the average click through rate of a featured snippet?
When Google first launched featured snippets in 2014, it was possible for some sites to achieve position 1 and the featured snippet, which increased brand visibility, and credibility, and drove huge volumes of traffic to those lucky sites. Alas, all good things come to an end, and an algorithm update since has ruled out a site dominating both the snippet and position one. Boo. A recent study conducted by Ahrefs analysed two million featured snippets for click through rate. The results showed that without a featured snippet, position one gets a 26% click through rate, compared to 19.6% with a featured snippet, with the featured snippet getting an 8.6% click-through rate.
Google featured snippets: SEO and PR case studies
Here at NORTH, we pride ourselves on targeting relevant search queries for the brands we work with, and placing them at the heart of conversations their customer cares about, which is why landing a featured snippet always warrants extra celebration! The content we’ve produced has ranked position 0 for many of our clients in our time, through using content marketing and PR strategies, but here are some of our all-time favourites.
ATG – Prima Facie – SEO
One of our clients, ATG, benefited from increased traffic and brand awareness when we landed the featured snippet for the search query ‘Jodie Comer play’.
We optimised the Prima Facie page for ‘Jodie Comer play’ when it had a monthly search volume of 10. When the volume increased to 800, we were already ranking.
Being reactive to changes in search climate and keeping our finger on the pulse of industry trends meant we could preempt this spike in search, and write content for ATG that was already ranking in preparation for increased search volumes. Becoming the featured snippet for this search term was the cherry on top of a successful reactive content campaign.
Cashmere In Summer – N.Peal – SEO
Sure, cashmere isn’t necessarily the first material you think of when stocking your summer wardrobe, so we had to think outside the box a little on this occasion, for our fashion client, N.Peal. After undertaking a huge keyword analysis, we used reactive and seasonal content to boost sessions, improve click through rate and increase on-page revenue by 100%. You can read the full N.Peal case study here, but today, we’re focusing on how it gained us that golden ticket – the featured snippet.
When searching ‘can you wear cashmere in the summer’, users are served a sentence from N.Peal’s ‘Why Cashmere Is Perfect To Wear In The Summer’ blog post. This did wonders for the brand, as not only did it boost the blog’s click through rate, but it raised brand awareness and even led to conversions from this page.
fourfive – Most Influential Sports Women – PR Campaign
The main aims of our PR campaigns are to build brand awareness and gain relevant links in high DA sites to our clients. It’s the pièce de résistance when the landing pages we create for campaigns begin to rank for specific keywords, and even more exciting when they end up as a featured snippet. We ran a successful PR campaign for our client, fourfive, about the most influential sports women. The campaign itself gained backlinks in the likes of MSN and Give Me Sport, and as if that wasn’t enough, it also landed the brand the featured snippet for this search term.
If you have a website or brand that you think could benefit from stealing the spotlight in a featured snippet, or you’d simply like to pick our brains on how we write the most compelling content for our clients, book a FREE 30-minute consultation with one of our experts.