- Posted by Trevor Weitzel
- On May 17, 2017
- click-through rate, Featured Snippets
The featured snippet portion of Google’s search engine is a coveted place that companies fight for tooth and nail. Similar to SEO rankings, Google uses a complex and mysterious algorithm to decide which site is featured, and it doesn’t always go to the No. 1-ranked SEO site.
Here’s what you need to know to have a shot at getting a featured snippet placement:
Concise Content Matters
The snippet feature is designed to answer the user’s question without having to go in and out of various web pages. Ideally, the answer is 40 to 50 words in length, although it can be a little shorter or longer if it still accomplishes quick answers.
Formatting also matters. Snippets often contain lists, images, charts and graphs that get the point across without any unnecessary text.
This is true even if a list or graphic eats up a significant amount of space “above the fold” (what you see on the initial screen without scrolling down).
Focus on Engagement
One unusual element of the snippet feature is that it relies heavily on user engagement, more than other ranking data points. For instance, a site that is ranked at No. 8 may get a snippet because users spend a ton of time engaging with the site, rather than bouncing from it quickly.
User engagement is linked to readability and accessibility of the information and indicates to Google that content is holding users’ attention. Engagement is also an indication of the quality of the content throughout the site.
Even a No. 1-ranked site will struggle to get snippets if their engagement stats are off.
Ranking Does Matter
We’d be remiss if we made it seem like ranking didn’t matter at all. Ranking does have something to do with snippets because the top-ranked sites are usually led by marketing teams that know a thing or two about how to optimize your site.
Almost 70 percent of featured snippets come from top three ranking sites. So if you are in the top 10 already and you’re looking for ways to stand out, bringing up your rankings and engagement numbers at the same time could get you where you want to be.
V Digital Services
As with everything relating to Google search, it’s impossible to know exactly how the company’s formula works, and it does change somewhat regularly. However, these three points seem to be the common denominators across all of the Google snippets that we have examined.
As the snippet feature grows, there will be plenty more opportunities to gather data and determine which aspects of your site’s performance make the largest impact on attaining snippet features.
To learn more about how to optimize your content and add feature snippets to your content strategy, contact the experts at V Digital Services today!