A guide to Google’s featured snippets

May 15, 2023

All you need to know about ranking in ‘position zero’ and remaining there

Ranking at number one on Google is always a much sought-after spot, but did you know that you could in fact go one better? That’s right, ‘position zero’ is a real thing! Known as Google’s ‘featured snippets’, these valuable listings can prove a lifeline in the world of digital advertising.

So, what is a featured snippet? How do you get to position zero on Google? And what is the real value of a Google featured snippet? We answer all these questions and more in our guide dedicated to the topic. Read on to find out more…   

What is a Google featured snippet?

A featured snippet appears at the very top of page 1 in Google’s search results. Because it is placed above position one on Google, a featured snippet is actually referred to as position zero – this is the absolute pinnacle of what can be achieved for the relevant search query.

Google scrapes the world’s websites to find the most relevant result for what a person searches for – with only the best responses coming out top. Google’s featured snippets are designed to give people a direct and concise answer for the particular query they are searching for – be it a standalone keyword, search term or question. 

In other words, the featured snippet that’s presented in position zero is the best answer or solution Google can find in response to your query. It is the cream of the crop! It’s worth bearing in mind however that not every query in Google comes with a relatable featured snippet. Sometimes, in place of a featured snippet being displayed, an ad may be present instead. 

How many types of Google featured snippets are there?

There are five different types of featured snippets that Google presents in response to search queries. They are:

  1. Paragraph featured snippets – A short piece of information that gives people what is considered to be the most descriptive answer to their question (usually the most popular option presented).
  2. List featured snippets – Bulleted or numbered lists that are typically presented when people search for a step-by-step query.
  3. Table featured snippets – Presented in the form of a table of data if the search query requires a heavily weighted data based answer.
  4. Image featured snippets – Displayed when an image is requested in the search or the query lends itself better to a descriptive picture.
  5. Video featured snippets – Displayed when a video is requested in the search or the response is best presented in video form.  

What are the benefits of a Google featured snippet?

Achieving Google featured snippet status can and will greatly benefit the online presence of your business. Here are perks of being in position zero… 

  • Improved brand awareness: Being visible is the key to the success of any business and the power of Google can catapult you to great heights – especially when information from your website is in position zero – placing you ahead of the competition.
  • Increased click-through rate: No doubt one of your biggest KPI’s is website traffic, so achieving Google featured snippet status can increase the click-through rate (CTR) when people click on the link for further information. 
  • Improved domain authority: How well your website is represented online is a huge factor and Google’s featured snippets can in fact help improve the domain authority (DA). For other tips on increased DA performance, check out our blog all about how to improve website domain authority.
  • Increased credibility: Being a credible business is what any owner strives for so it’s important this achievement is visible online too. Featured snippets enable people to see your website is a preferred choice by Google when it comes to answering a query. 
  • Improved share of voice: Not only do you want to keep your eye on the competition, but go one better too. Google’s featured snippets can increase the share of voice (SOC) in a crowded online marketplace and also acts as a gauge by comparison to competitors.
  • Maximises voice assistant technology: We all love a voice command tool like Siri and Alexa, so it’s good to know that people asking search queries via voice assistant tech will be served with Google featured snippet info first.   
  • It shows you are doing things right: Achieving Google featured snippet status is a great indication that your website content is performing and proves useful. This is only possible when a web page (product, blog or other) is well-written, well-presented, factual and informative. A pat on the back for you!     

How are Google featured snippets chosen?

Google uses an automated system to determine what web page would make an ideal featured snippet based on the search query. Remember that a featured snippet is just that – a ‘snippet’ of information that highlights the key response to answer a person’s question. 

Alongside every featured snippet, Google displays a feedback form that allows users to choose how helpful or unhelpful a snippet is, while also encouraging comments and suggestions too. The feedback received helps Google to improve its search engine algorithm to ensure the optimum quality of search results at all times. 

How long do Google featured snippets display for?

There is no exact answer to this question, because the length of time a Google featured snippet displays can vary. The success of Google’s featured snippets really does depend on the digital landscape around you. This is why it’s so important to not only keep an eye on the content of your competitors, but also develop a keyword strategy so you can ensure you remain top dog. 

You CAN’T control when and how long a featured snippet on Google displays for, but you CAN put all the right processes in place to ensure you have the best chance possible of achieving position zero.    

Can you pay for Google featured snippets?

No, Google’s featured snippets aren’t classed as advertising, so you cannot pay for them. They are organically sourced by the search engine based on the questions and queries asked by users. Only the most relevant information is chosen by Google and presented as a featured snippet in the form of a paragraph, list, table, image or video.

How valuable is a Google featured snippet?

This is a question we often get asked so it’s really important for us to highlight the value of a Google featured snippet. We’ve listed the benefits above, but let’s take a look at the data below – as we all know, numbers do the talking! 

Think of Google as sections of real estate. Every inch of space on page 1 of Google has a value, so the higher up you appear in the searches – and the size of the space your listing consumes – is more valuable in return. 

The good news here is that a Google featured snippet is considered to be prime real estate – it really doesn’t get any better than this. A featured snippet on Google quite literally takes up more space on the page than a standard search query result does (like positions 1 to 10), so it is like comparing a two bedroom apartment with a six bedroom mansion.  

According to the data, featured snippets get 35% MORE clicks than all the other listings on search results pages. This means that if your content appears as a Google featured snippet, it is 65% more likely to be clicked on compared to the listings presented in positions 1 to 10 on the page. Bingo. 

How to achieve a Google featured snippet

Now you understand the importance of a featured snippet on Google, we’ve no doubt your next task is to achieve one! Well lucky for you we are here to lend a helping hand; discover the top 10 ways to increase your chances of ranking in position zero:

  1. Develop a keyword strategy: You can’t work out where you are going without first establishing a starting point. Building a keyword strategy will enable you to identify your current website page-by-page performance, while determining where you want to end up. 
  2. Understand what pages are currently performing: How many people click on each page of your website? What’s the conversion rate against your goals? Get to know what pages prove most popular and those that can do with a little more TLC. 
  3. Perform keyword research: If you aren’t ranking for the search terms relevant to your business, then who is? Find out who they are, how they are doing it and what you can do better. 
  4. Focus on page 1 keywords: By focusing your attention purely on keywords ranking on page 1, means that you will target the best performing competitors in the same space as you. 
  5. Pay attention to your competitors: You know what they say; keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Keep your eye on the competition so that there’s never any nasty surprises. 
  6. Be present on page 1: The web page, piece of information or keyword you want to achieve Google featured snippet status for should already rank on page one of Google. It’s not the end of the world if this isn’t the case, but it will be much harder to get there. 
  7. Consider the structure of your content: Think about how your piece of content will be digested by the reader. It may be that your information is best presented as a list or in table form rather than in a descriptive manner.
  8. Be factual: Google prioritises content that is factually correct and supported by clear data. Never make any of the information up or presume that something is correct. Do your research and you are more likely to reap the rewards. 
  9. Use images and/or video in your content: It’s not just all about text; as we know, pictures can speak a thousand words. Incorporate images and/or videos in your content as much as possible – if you don’t achieve a featured snippet for the text, you may just do it for an image instead – especially if it is a new picture or infographic. 
  10. Answer important questions within your content: Search queries that start with a how, what, and why are the most popular choices, so you need to make sure your content is reflecting these through deliberate question and answer content. 

Boost your Google featured snippet status

Do you yearn to drive your business beyond the forecourt boundaries? Let us show you how. We’re an all-in-one automotive marketing agency that is transforming the online presence of dealerships across the UK. 

Here at 67 Degrees, we make it our business to create award winning websites and digital marketing campaigns for your business. If you’re a brand working with the motor industry then we’ve got just the tools for the job. 

Speak to us about how we can work with you to develop a website that performs, supported by an industry-leading search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy and content that ranks. We’ll steer you on the road to success in a bid to secure those sought-after Google featured snippets.    

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