Featured snippets in Google Search are short snippets of text, and sometimes images as well, that appear near or at the top of the first page of Google’s organic search results. Google features these snippets in order to quickly answer certain search queries.
Appearing in a featured snippet at the top of Google SERPs is a difficult and ever-evolving task for digital marketers seeking to drive more organic search traffic to websites. Understanding the ROI of featured snippets and the awareness they are capable of driving for brands is key to maximizing organic search traffic that can turn into new business or sales leads.
Brands that win featured snippets have a competitive advantage in Google Search over websites that do not, since users will more likely see and click on their result due to the snippets. Here are some of the key benefits of winning Google’s featured snippets for brands online.
How Search Snippets Grow Brand Awareness
Within Google search results you will often find a variety of featured snippets, such as the “People also ask” section that features related queries and other websites that answer the related questions. The content that appears inside of a Featured Snippet is automatically pulled from web pages that are in Google’s index, and Google’s automated systems determine whether a page would make a good featured snippet to highlight for a specific search request.
The most common formats of featured snippets in Google are definitions, lists, steps, and tables. These snippets are helpful because they provide precise and comprehensive answers to a user’s question, typically in the form of a summarized response taken from the contents of a web page, including a link, the page title, and its URL address. Let’s review how these search snippets help grow brand awareness in multiple important ways.
They Appear Above Organic Search Results
Being at the top of a Google SERP will often bring more organic traffic to your website. Organic traffic is typically more likely to lead to a meaningful conversion than paid traffic.
While the snippet tells you the absolute basics that answer your search query at a glance, searchers will often click to learn more on the subject matter. This means winning snippets eventually leads more traffic to your website, since the snippet’s contents often convince them that the full page will contain even more relevant and robust information related to their query.
They are Larger, More Prominent Search Results
As the user scans and skims through the search result page, the featured snippet stands out from the rest of the search results, as it appears in a highlighted box. By taking up more real estate on Google SERPs, the snippet draws the attention of the web user and makes it more likely they will click on your listing.
According to Search Engine Land, a Featured Snippet gets approximately 8% of all clicks for each search. So if you’re able to get your content in the Featured Snippet, you can give your website’s organic click-through-rate a serious boost.
They Give Your Brand Topical Authority
One of the most effective marketing strategies for any organization is to gain credibility as an authoritative source of information for particular topics. The credibility of your content–and by consequence, the credibility of your brand–is validated when search users see your brand in the featured snippets. Being featured by Google adds immense brand value to your website and positions you as a thought leader with relevant and authentic information.
They Improve Voice Search and Accessibility
Whether it’s Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google, or another AI-driven smart technology, there is no questioning the importance or growing popularity of voice search. According to Google, nearly a third of the global population is using voice search.
What does this have to do with featured snippets? Featured snippets are one of the most prominent search results used as answers to voice search queries on any device. That means winning a featured snippet will help you become the answer given for popular and relevant voice search queries, and to that end, it makes your content more accessible too.
This is even more of a win than being at the top of a list of results, for one big reason: If a searcher is using voice search and expecting a verbal reply, they will not be presented with a list of results like conventional SERPs on the web; instead, the top result will be the only answer spoken back to them, thereby increasing your brand awareness even more with voice search audiences.
Pursuing Additional Search Snippets
While featured snippets are the most common and recognizable search snippets, Google features various other types of “rich results” that also provide heightened awareness for your brand.
People Also Ask
One of the primary strategies to appear on featured snippets is to create content specifically to answer questions, because this positions the content to win the “People Also Ask” snippet, Google’s version of FAQs that can be seen in most Google Search results.
Winning real estate in the People Also Ask section will help establish thought leadership by proving your brand knows what questions Google Searchers will have and providing a thoughtful and accurate answers to those questions.
This will also help you gain favor with Google searchers when your content can answer the queries accurately and briefly. If your content is there to answer the question they have, they are more likely to deem your website as trustworthy and become a high-quality lead by submitting a contact form or subscribing to your email list.
Increasingly, brands are publishing video content that supports their marketing strategies online, whether they are published through the website, social media, or other digital channels such as YouTube. Google will often elevate videos in search results as Video Snippets, because the search algorithm has determined that search users want to view content in that media format to answer their query.
For example, someone searching for “how to replace a car battery” will more likely gravitate towards a video tutorial than a page featuring written instructions because the video is more helpful to them.
Local Search Snippets
Local SEO is a distinct marketing strategy leveraged by businesses that rely on local customers and foot traffic to generate revenue and grow brand awareness. Google knows this, and therefore places different kinds of Featured Snippets for searches that indicate a need for local goods or services.
For example, someone searching for “pizza restaurants near me” will likely be presented a Google Map known as a “Local Pack” with nearby pizza restaurants listed prominently in a map section, because the map interface is more helpful to someone who may need to physically navigate to the pizza restaurant to pick up an order, or someone who wants to order pizza delivery from close by so it arrives at their location faster.
How Can You Win Featured Snippets?
At DBS, we work to help all of our clients optimize their website pages and digital content to win featured snippets and appear at the top of the page on Google. For example, our expertise in web design, content marketing and technical SEO has helped elevate Kao Collins to the top of the search results for highly-searched queries related to their industry and service offerings, such as “food grade inks.”
Do you want to know more about how your brand can win featured snippets that increase awareness and organic search traffic for your website? Contact DBS to help you attract more high quality leads organically and spend less money on digital ads.
Frequently Asked Questions
Winning Google’s featured snippets means your web content appears at the top of Google search engine results pages (SERPs), helping you to gain brand recognition through appearing as trusted answers to Google Search queries.
Appearing as the result for voice search usually means you will be the only result given for those using the verbal reply feature of voice search-enabled devices.
Winning Google snippets is complex and never guaranteed, but there are some best practices to follow:
- Add the correct schema markup or structured data to the page(s)
- Publish engaging, unique, authoritative, and informative content on your website
- Request that Google index your page(s) as soon as they go live