March 17, 2019

How to write for featured snippets


Black Samsung tablet displays Google browser on screen

On writing for SEO in 2018, SEO aficionado and CEO of Moz, Rand Fishkin says, “optimising to solve the searcher’s task tends to be the most highly prized.” And a featured snippet provides a great opportunity to do this, as quite simply, a featured snippet is a text response to a searcher’s query in Google. As voice search is on the rise, the importance, impact and value of featured snippets is only set to continue.

Have an understanding of what a featured snippet is

A featured snippet is a selected search result that ‘features’ in a box at the top of Google’s organic results.

It’s a concise response to a Google search query, and can appear in three forms: a paragraph, a list or a table. They’re what Google has determined the best (and most concise) answer to a specific search query.

Know their impact

Sitting atop of the Google SERP mountain has always been the best position to be in with an organic click through ratio (CTR) of 33% for a search query when a featured snippet is not present. The numbers then decline quickly from there, with second spot accounting for 18%, third with 11%, and so on until the virtual graveyard that is page two happens, and beyond.

In comparison, when a featured snippet sits above the position one result, the snippet receives a CTR of 50%, thereby eating away at the CTR’s results below it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… featured snippets for the win, right? Well, yes, but they’re only part of the equation.

99.58% of featured snippets come from pages that are already ranking in the top 10 search results, meaning they’re not the SEO solution. As content is the equal number one factor for influencing SERP rankings, then good quality content — written by a professional SEO writer — should be your number one goal.

See our top 3 copywriting tips to gaining a featured snippet

1. K.I.S.S. (keep it short, stupid)

When targeting a featured snippet, your content should be no more than 50 words (somewhere between 40 and 50 is ideal). Google values concise responses to questions.

2. Answer the damn question!

Asking a question (in the heading or sub-heading), then providing a direct answer to it has a considerable influence on gaining a featured snippet. This is specific to paragraph-based featured snippets, which make up the majority of snippets (as opposed to table or list-based snippets).

3. Get high and mighty

Now Google doesn’t stipulate that a ranking factor for featured snippets is how high the content is placed on a page or article. However, the proof is in the pudding. Meaning, most snippets are placed ‘above the fold’. This is as much content/copywriting best practice, as it is a featured snippet thing. Therefore, you should be employing the inverted pyramid technique with your content, thereby placing the most important information (in the reader’s eyes) at the top of the page, and more general information towards the bottom. At Avion Communications, we’re not only experienced SEO copywriters, but we’re also well-versed in best practice content production techniques that will help you better engage with your audience. So, if you want to grow your audience and increase sales, get in touch with our Melbourne copywriters today.

Industry Insights

January 21, 2022

Content design in theory and practice – who’s doing it well?

November 26, 2021

Who writes your copy? Spotlight on… Marina Penderis

November 10, 2021

Fintech 2021: Who survived and what’s ahead?

October 29, 2021

Could you use a microsite for your next campaign?

October 6, 2021

5 ways technology’s impact is a force for good