Are you wondering about how to get featured snippets for your blog content in Google? If yes, this detailed guide is for you.
When you type “how to find keyword difficulty”, Google shows up a snippets box where you will quickly find the relevant information.
Are you curious to know about how to get those Google’s featured snippet box for your blog or website content? Well, you are in the right place then.
Google was built for users, not websites.
If you keep that ONE statement in mind while creating content, you will have more chances of getting Google’s featured snippet box for your site. If you create content by keeping your target audience in mind, you will get a lot of love from Google in terms of search traffic and sales.
So let’s get into the details without much ado.
Table of Contents
- The Beginners Guide to Getting Featured Snippets In 2020
- 3 Simple Steps That Will Help You With Google Featured Snippets
- How to find featured snippets of any site using SEMrush
- Final Thoughts
The Beginners Guide to Getting Featured Snippets In 2020
What are featured snippets?
These are “selected search results” which are featured on the very top of Google’s search results (shows up in a box) and that is why they are also called position zero.
Most of the time, they help searchers get the required answers to their questions right away. They are also known as answer boxes for the very same reason. They answer users’ questions (without spending more time on search).
Here’s how it looks like;
As you can see from the above example, how one of our search results look like when entered the keyword “how to do seo”. If you notice closely, Google is also showing a clickable link with “More items” and when people click on it, it will take them to the post by showing the rest of the contents.
Ahrefs published a study of 2 million featured snippets and according to Ahrefs –
- 12.29 percent of search queries have snippets in the search results.
- 99.58 percent of the snippets are already in the top 10 positions in Google.
- Only 30.9 percent of snippets rank at the very top placement in the organic results.
Quick Note: Now featured snippets are placed only on the very top of the organic results i.e. position zero.
Here’s another interesting finding from Ahrefs case study on them.
When there’s a snippet at the position zero, it only gets ~8.6% of clicks (on average), while the page that ranks right below it will get ~19.6% of clicks (on average). How does it compare to a regular #1 ranking page with no snippet above it? That page will get ~26% of all clicks.
That means, nearly 26% of all clicks will be generated to #1 ranking page without a featured snippet.
What Ahrefs’ study concluded –
- Featured snippets steals the clicks from page ranking on #1 position.
- Featured snippets reduce the overall number of clicks on the search results.
In a nutshell, they are a format that is supposed to provide users with a highly relevant and direct answer to the users’ questions on the search results.
Enough said about the featured snippets.
Now let’s talk about what are the benefits of getting them for your blog and how do you actually get them.
5 Great Benefits
1. Increased Traffic
They can increase your website search traffic. According to a recent case study done by Search Engine Land, they clearly can help a website’s rankings to go higher in search results.
2. Enhanced User Experience
Your target audience gets direct answers to their queries. Think about it for a second. How awesome it would be if they get a relevant, high quality and direct answer without going through a lot of links on the Internet?
3. Brand Awareness
If you are able to get your content in Google featured snippets, it will also help in your business branding indirectly.
4. Optimized for Voice Search
Featured snippets are also results of voice search and you must be aware that the trend of voice search is increasing day by day and that can be incredibly helpful to boost your sites’ organic traffic.
5. Require almost Zero Effort
You know how difficult it is to outrank sites those ranking at top positions let say 1, 2, 3. But getting into featured snippets is comparatively much easier even if you are ranking in the top 10 results of Google SERP.
Getting snippets for your site itself says you are ranking in the top 5 or top 10 search results. Because most of the time, top 10 search results get into snippets , so if you are trying to get them, make sure to rank higher in search results. Here’s a detailed easy to follow tutorial on how to get better search rankings for any keyword.
The Ultimate Hack to Get Featured Search Snippets Easily: Use SEMrush
One of the most effective ways to get featured search snippets is to use an SEO tool like SEMrush which gives you complete data of your website’s snippets.
It looks something like this;
SEMrush will also help you with;
- Total opportunities available (from the entered keywords, we are tracking 361 keywords)
- For which we are already showing
- New keywords for which we started showing up since last update (24 hours)
- Lost keywords
- New on SERP shows for which keywords Google now started showing them
So if you’re someone who’s concerned more about getting snippets on Google box, you must start using SEMrush.
How to Get Google Answer Box for Your Content?
Now comes the most important question: how can you get featured rich snippets for your blog posts in Google search results.
Here’s the quick tip: One of the fastest ways to get snippets for your contents is to get into top 10 search results and make sure to increase your CTR (Click Through Rates).
That being said, here are few PROVEN tips that worked well for us to get snippets and also helped in getting more clicks in Google organic results for many of the blog posts on Bloggers Passion.
Start using power words in your headlines
Did you know that you can increase your chances of getting more clicks for your content by using the “power words”? Yes, that’s true.
Power words (aka compelling words) help make your headlines more compelling and click-worthy). Here’s a list of some of the most powerful emotional words you can use in your headlines to increase your click-through rates.
- How to
Quick tip: Here’s an excellent resource on the power words which you can use within your contents such as your post titles and meta description to get better CTR in Google search results.
Include numbers within your headlines
Here are few more quick hacks you can use within your headlines to get more click-through rates and increase your chances of getting them.
Use numbers within your headlines.
Pro tip: Include odd numbers to get more clicks in Google results. For instance, use “top 11 ways to run faster” instead of “top 10 ways to run” as odd numbers are tend to get more clicks. Weird fact!
Here’s an example of one such headline sample;
Another tip is to use brackets and special symbols to grab users attention. Here’s an example of such headline;
- How to Get Better Search Rankings (Even If You’re A Beginner)
As you can see the above example includes some of the words within the brackets at the end.
Implement star ratings for your posts
One of the easiest ways to increase your website click-through rates is to get star ratings for your content as they stand unique and helps you distinguish your results when compared to your competitors.
Here’s how star ratings for contents look like on Google;
As you can see from the above, although we’re ranking at #2 for the keyword “WPX hosting” but you can see that our search result clearly gets more attention after implementing star ratings (which ultimately leads to more click-through rates).
There’s no thumb rule that your contents get snippets on Google with star ratings but it entices people to click on your results which ultimately leads to more clicks (which are definitely helpful for getting into the top 10 search results and you’ll have higher chances of getting them too!).
So are you convinced now that you can increase your chances of getting featured images by implementing star ratings? Good!
But how do you implement star ratings for your content?
Here’s what we do here at Bloggers Passion to get such star ratings for our content. You can implement the same to achieve the same results.
Start using Author hReview
Author hReview is a simple to use and highly effective WordPress plugin which adds “Rich Snippets markups” for reviews and ratings.
To put it simply, Author hReview adds hReview and AggregateRating support based on schema.org which helps you easily increase your website’s search traffic by making SERP results more enticing. This plugin supports only the editorial rating submission (author rating) which is enough for you to get star ratings for your content.
Side note: We’re currently using Author hReview premium version (which is $69 for one site and it’s a one-time payment) and we also highly recommend you to invest that money as it is worth every single penny!
Header tags play a KEY role
Whether you know it or not, header tags play a vital role in improving your keyword rankings. The key here is to use and optimize your primary and secondary keywords using header tags in most important places.
Use h1, h2, h3, and other heading tags in a logical way (which is extremely important).
The h1 tag should contain your primary keyword which should be highly relevant to the page title. The h2 tag is a subheading which should contain similar keywords to your h1 tag. Your h3 is then a subheading for your h2 and so on.
Here’s an interesting article about meta tags in SEO which gives you a better understanding about what they are all about and how to use them within your content to get better rankings.
The KEY here is to use h1, h2, h3, and other header tags in a logical way (it’s extremely important).
Have a look at how we’re using these header tags for our content here at Bloggers Passion.
As you can see from the above image, we are using header tags like h2 and h3 in a logical way. H2 tag should come after the h1 tag and h3 tags after h2 tags. Implement the similar usage of header tags if you really want to improve the organic rankings of your keywords.
Featured Snippets Types explained with examples
There are four types of snippets usually show up in Google search results which are listed below.
Quick note: Among the above 4 snippets types, paragraphs and list are being the most common.
Based on a study done by Moz, here are some of the interesting findings;
- Paragraph snippets were most common, showing up in 50% snippets
- List snippets appeared in 37%
- Table snippets in 9%
- Videos snippets in 2%
There’s one more interesting finding from their study which says, there is one another kind of snippet named accordions which are a lot like “People also ask” (PAA) boxes. And when you try to expand these boxes you may see an additional snippet which is quite fascinating.
So let’s briefly talk about these 4 types of featured snippets.
1. Paragraph snippets
These snippets in paragraphs and here’s how an example paragraph snippet looks like;
Pro tip: To increase your chances of getting snippets for paragraphs, you can use “question-based subheadings” and write its corresponding reply in the immediate paragraph. Try to keep the paragraph length between 40 to 50 words (Approx 300 characters).
2. List snippets
The list snippets as the name suggests are shown in list types (bullet list or number list) on Google search snippet box which looks like;
Pro tip: When creating a list post, add more than 8 items to it. As in that case, Google will add more items link which is a direct link to your post. It’s a good practice to use at least “10 listicles” in a list post to properly show up on list snippets.
3. Table snippets
Google also displays table type of featured snippets which includes tables which look like this;
Pro tip: Google shows a maximum of 3 columns and 9 rows in a table snippet. So try to add maximum of three columns and more than 9 rows to your table as in that case Google will add more rows link which will point back to your original post.
4. Video Snippet
This type of snippet typically features YouTube videos and that’s why also known as YouTube featured snippets.
3 Important Takeaways We Learned On Getting Featured Snippets
Here are few important learnings we’ve learned so far while researching about getting snippets and we thought to share them with you so you can also learn more about how to easily get them for your site.
1. Spy on your competitors’ snippets
One of the most effective ways to get snippets for your content is to find keywords for which your competitors are already showing up in the snippet box.
But how can you do that?
You can find the list of those terms easily with SEMrush. Here’s how it looks like;
Quick tip: You just need to create a project in position tracking on SEMrush (where you can also enter your competitors to compare) to find snippets.
As you can see above, SEMrush is showing a list of all the links that our site is getting snippets for. It also shows your position changes so you can work on your traffic generating blog posts accordingly.
As said above, SEMrush also shows you the snippets of your competitors.
Here’s how the competitor’s snippet looks like;
As you can see above, SEMrush is showing all the position changes also along with the snippets of the competitors. SEMrush position tracking data shows you the following information.
- Reviews on SERP
- Videos on SERP
- Images on SERP
- People also ask
- AdWords information
Once you have the list, you need to create better content that could outrank your competitors in snippets.
You can also use tools like Ahrefs to find your competitors’ snippets. Here’s how all queries for which ShoutMeLoud.com is showing in the snippet box. It also shows your competitor keywords in that section which can be used for new and for improving the existing keywords. Here’s how it looks like;
2. Ranking on the first page results
Did you know that you don’t actually require to rank in the 1st position to be able to get snippets? Yes, that’s true.
Ahrefs claims that 99.58% of snippets came from sites which rank on the first page of the Google. So it’s required that the page is ranked in the top 10, but it’s not required to be #1 to be featured.
That being said, you can increase your chances of ranking for snippets or in other words, ranking at position zero on Google search if you’re already ranking in the top 10 organic results for your targeted keywords.
3. Stop using special symbols
Don’t use 1) or #1 etc at the headline level. Since Google bots use an algorithm to understand your content type, so we should instead use 1. 2. 3. etc while creating list posts.
Please look at the image below (Hubspot Research):
We often use #1 at our subheadings like h2 and h3 (also in the bullet points where we use list type of contents), so we now have stopped using them.
According to Getstat whitepaper on snippets, Schema.org markup is actually less common on snippet URLs than it is on regular search results. They found out that the code snippet of itemtype=”http://schema.org/ appeared on 15.7% of snippet URLs, but saw the same markup on 19.6% of regular search result URLs.
3 Simple Steps That Will Help You With Google Featured Snippets
Step 1: Find out all the basic questions your target audience might have
First things first. Google mostly shows snippets box for basic questions. Questions like “how to start a blog”, “how to cook”, “reduce belly fat” often gets direct answers from Google which are fetched from a web page (URL included for detailed information).
So if you want to get Google snippets for your blog’s content, make sure to find a list of all the “basic questions” your audience might have in their mind.
Find out what they might type on Google to get answers. The more you dig into the basics of your field the better chances you have to get a snippet box on search results.
Take away: Focus on the most basic questions in your field. For instance, if you are running a fitness blog, “how to get flat stomach”, “reduce belly fat” can be the most basic questions.
Step 2: Write “How to” posts
What I’ve observed after reading a lot of tutorials around Google’s snippets box and seeing the actual results is that Google often shows up snippets for “how to” queries.
Provide clear, direct and simple answers through your content.
If you can do that, you will have better chances of getting a snippet box in Google search results for your blog’s content.
And make sure to format your posts nicely for your audience. Formatting your blog’s content is the surefire way to get more readers attention. Remember, writing content is not enough. People who read online really have less attention span.
They always love to skim through any website’s content. So it’s your job to make your post formatting compelling and easy to consume. That way you will not only get a better readership but you will get better search rankings and possibly snippets from Google.
Don’t write long and boring paragraphs. Always keep short paragraphs and use a lot of bullet points.
Take away: If you write detailed and useful how-to posts with lots of bullet points, you will have better chances of getting a featured box in the Google search results. Include a summary if you want, while answering the most basic questions in your industry.
Step 3: You don’t always have to rank #1 for the keywords
Sometimes, you get Google’s featured snippets box if you rank in the top 5 results or even on the first page of Google SERP.
Take away: Ranking #1 for any keyword is REALLY hard. And ranking #1 for a keyword doesn’t mean you will rank for snippets on Google search results. It’s all about better formatting, giving direct and valuable answers to your readers’ queries. That’s how you get Google snippet box even if you don’t rank for #1 result. But remember the fact that, Google shows that snippet box mostly for top 5 results. So it’s important to get into the top 5 search results for the keywords you want to get snippets.
Bonus tip: consider creating in-depth articles
The key thing I observed after analyzing hundreds of articles that got an answer box on Google is most of them are really detailed articles.
I don’t say you can easily get Google’s snippets box by creating 2000 words articles regularly but you will have better chances of ranking higher in Google search results.
And Google shows a snippet box for your blog content if it ranks in the top 3 or 5 search results for any keyword you are trying to rank for.
If you are wondering how to create in-depth articles that rank well in search results, make sure to head over to this page and you will find lots of golden nuggets to create great content.
If you are looking for quick ways to get better rankings and Google snippets box, try implementing the following things on your blog.
- Always focus on giving your readers the best experience with your design, content, and overall user experience. If you focus on users, Google will take care of you.
- Learn to write long form content with over 2,000 words and try to add as much value as you can to your readers. If they start liking your content, they will come back for more which results in getting more traffic and sales.
Helpful Checklist for Getting Google Answer Box
Here are the steps of getting snippets box on Google for your content.
- Make a list of all the basic questions your target audience might type on Google.
- Create How to posts around them.
- Give direct answers to the question.
- Long form of content always ranks well in Google.
- Use common language. Don’t use jargon while creating content.
So there you go!
How to find featured snippets of any site using SEMrush
Whether you know it or not, SEMrush is the widely used and expert recommended SEO tool. It not only helps you boost your organic traffic but also helps you do a lot more things like backlink analysis as well as finding Google snippet box of any site.
If you are not using SEMrush yet, I highly recommended you to give a try to it.
I’ve an exclusive deal for BloggersPassion readers where you can get 30 days free trial of SEMrush worth $99.95.
Step 1: Log in to the SEMrush dashboard and enter the domain name of the site for which you want to find featured snippets. In this example, I’m going to use Problogger.net which is a widely popular marketing blog.
Step 2: Click on the “Positions” under the Organic Research section to get a list of all the keywords that your entered domain ranks.
Step 3: As I said earlier in the article, Google often shows up “How to” queries as their snippets in Google search results, so let’s filter out the results using “how to”. Also, make sure to use keyword positions less than 6 so you will get faster results from SEMrush.
Step 4: Now click on the SERP result to know whether the particular keyword is getting snippets box on Google search result or not. Remember that, if a keyword is ranking #1 doesn’t guarantee that it will get a snippet box.
Getting rid of Google’s Snippets Box
If in any case, you don’t like to get Google featured snippets box for your website or blog content, you can opt-out that feature too.
Here’s how to prevent snippets on your page. Use <meta name=”googlebot” content=”nosnippet”> tag on your page and Google stops showing snippets box. It’s as simple as that.
Here are a few interesting questions you might want to know on how to get Google snippets for your websites in 2020.
1. I have a new website. Can I still get featured snippets on Google for my contents?
Yes, you can get snippets for your content even if you have a brand new website. The ONLY thing you need to remember is you need to get into at least top 10 search results for your desired keywords.
According to Ahrefs data, it is 99.58% positive that Google only features pages that already rank in the top 10 organic results. That being said, a single page can also “be featured” for thousands of search queries.
2. How to get into top 10 search results to get snippets for my content?
You should be ranking in the top 10 search results on Google to be able to get snippets for your blog posts or content. That said, here are few quick tips to get into the top 10 search results for your content.
- Focus on finding a primary keyword and target at least ONE primary keyword with each and every post you publish on your site
- You need to optimize your content well around your primary keyword. It’s also better to find several long tail keywords around your primary keyword and sprinkle them throughout your contents to be able to rank for multiple related keywords.
- Attract as many links as possible as getting quality links is the surefire way to get into top 10 search results for most of the keywords
3. How much time does it take to get featured snippets on Google?
There’s no specific time on how much time it will take Google to start showing your content in Google search snippets box. Firstly, your content needs to rank on the first page of Google search results, then you need to provide correct, highly useful, and concise answers to the users’ queries.
That being said, as far as our understanding, it will take anywhere around 2 to 3 months for you to get snippets for low to medium competitive keywords. We also have written a detailed SEO case study where you can find out how long does it take to get into top 10 results for a keyword.
4. What are the BEST tools I can use to get Google featured snippets easily?
Here are few of the best SEO tools we often use to get Google snippets for Bloggers Passion contents.
- SEMrush (it’s an essential SEO tool which helps you with everything from keyword research to backlink analysis to competitor research)
- Author hReview (useful for implementing star ratings for your contents)
- Rank Math (a great optimization plugin for all WordPress users which helps you easily optimize your contents for your primary keywords)
5. Are featured snippets going to show up forever for my blog contents?
So once you get snippets for your blog contents, are they going to be there forever in Google search results? That’s an interesting question and the answer is a BIG no. Google constantly changes the snippets and only keeps the BEST possible answers to show up in the Google snippets box.
Also, Ahrefs found that the more popular a keyword is, the more often Google updates snippets which means that long-tail keywords might not have their SERP updated in 2 to 3 months.
That being said, if any of your competitors create even better content and concise answers for your target audience queries, your content will be replaced by theirs. It’s as simple as that.
Browse more SEO Tutorials:
- Ultimate Guide to Find LSI keywords in 2020
- How to Get Star Ratings for Your Product Reviews in Google Search?
- SEO Case Study: How Long It Took Me to Get Top Rankings on Google
- how to Index Your Latest Contents on Google Search Really Quickly?
- Ultimate Guide to Increase Domain Authority of Your Website in 2020
Getting featured snippets for your content is doable. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in and it also doesn’t matter whether you have an authority site or not, if you’re providing highly informative and concise answers to the users’ queries, Google is going to show your information in their answer boxes (aka snippets).
Have you found this detailed guide on Google answer boxes useful? If yes, please consider sharing it with others and let us know if you’ve any questions in the comments.